What’s your favorite power tools brand and why?
Martin Sojka, https://craftisian.com
Actually, it would be easier to list the brands I avoid. My list of tools is pretty varied.
Cordless drills and drivers: I’ve moved to Milwaukee 12 volt for everyday use. I’ve found little difference between 12 and 18 volt other than price. Since most of my activity is shop based, rotating batteries isn’t an issue for me and the 12 volt have plenty of torque. I’ve also got a Porter Cable 18 volt set for really heavy use.
Circular saws: a blend of Porter Cable and Makita
Sanders: All my electric are Porter Cable (and old enough to all sport the Made in USA badge), but I use a Mirka pneumatic sander in the shop backed up by a really big Ingersoll Rand air compressor
The vast majority of my power tools are Porter Cable, Milwaukee, Makita, and a little sprinkling of Dewalt. My heavy equipment is Powermatic, Jet, Delta, and Crescent and Dewalt.
I normally base my purchases on recommendations from folks around me. A lot of times I’m able to use the tool for a few minutes before I decide.
There are brands I avoid like the plague: Rigid, Ryobi, Grizzly, and just about anything from Harbor Freight.
Artisan Woodworks of Texas- www.awwtx.com
My current stable of power tools is “old’ Porter Cable (when Made-in-America meant something), with my less-than-five-years tools being Bosch. In fact, for new purchases I’m moving toward Fein and DeWalt (though, the DeWalt is only one step above PC in the Black & Decker/Stanley hierarchy).
Bosch, IMO, is playing the same game as Stanley (which owns PC, Skill, DeWalt), and has populated every price/quality-point; now, I’m not sure of Bosch quality.
Fein and Hilti are true commercial-grade: more efficient motors, quieter, more safety, advanced dust collection and lower weight – at a premium price (though, less than Festool). I’ve been pushing their drills and angle grinders; and their a pleasure to use.
My heavy equipment is old Delta and Powermatic, with a recent Jet 12” disk sander (nice addition). Similar to Bill, I stay away from Rigid, Ryobi, Grizzly, HF: These brands provide excellent value at their price-point, and they are a good choice in many instances; however, I’m just too rough on both my hand tools and heavy equipment.
For hand power tools, almost strictly Milwaukee. I do have a couple of DeWalt tools because I couldn’t find a Milwaukee when I needed the tool. My air tools are all Porter Cable. What little heavy equipment I have is a hodge-podge of Grizzly (TS), Jet (jointer), DeWalt (CMS) and Ridgid (planer). Of those four, I am most impressed with the Jet. I can not use the factory inserts with the Grizzly because the blade rubs against them. Contacting tech support got me suggestion of cutting the slots longer in the trunnions. I now just make my own inserts. I don’t have any complaints with the Ridgid, but I only have a hobbyist shop. It does a pretty good job and doesn’t snipe. Same with the CMS. It cuts square and has taken a beating over the years. The Jet seems to be a superior machine though. Setting the knives was a snap, it cuts great, and just feels ready to work.
While I do have one craftsman (router), I generally avoid the brand. The router was a Christmas gift from the wife. I have to admit though, it does what I ask of it. I owned a Ryobi drill…once. I’ll never do that again.
If I had my ‘drothers, I’drother have a shop full of Powermatic…but who wouldn’t?
Where are the band-aids?---Pro Libertate!
Hey, Wolf & Rabbit, we have ALDI here in America, too. I think they’re worldwide, based in Germany?? I’ve seen pretty good prices on the few tools they occasionally sell, but never needed what they had. But your comment is making me hungry since that is where I do a large portion of my grocery shopping!
As for my tools, I only dream of owning Fein, Festool, Mirka, Powermatic, or similar. I keep wondering when they will ask me to test their tools for them and then let me keep them! LOL
I think I only have one Black & Decker tool but that’s probably my favorite. Let me explain: most every B&D item we’ve gotten has been a problem. However, they have such a confused customer service that when we have contacted them, we get it replaced free of charge—not just once but many times!! When the second replacement comes and we contact them because it was duplicated, it seems that it generates another record and we get still another. One day we came home after complaining about a toaster oven. We had already received two and were told to keep the second one. There were three more setting on our front step! Nearly the same thing happened with a coffee maker and we ended up with five more over a period of several months waiting for them to replace it. Their quality may not be very good, but it only has to last 20% as long !!
My favorite tools are Menards’ free-with-rebate tools! I’m pretty cheap!
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin
Bosch: I have routers, drill and driver works great
Makita: power drill and driver as well as a worm drive circular saw.
Sawstop: table saw
Dewalt : Planer, Scroll saw (barely used it) and sliding miter saw that is precise and rock solid
The original blades in the planer did not last long.
Jet drum sander: a life saver. Robust, I have used it a lot with no hiccups.
Delta: Disc sander and a jointer. Just OK quality IMO.
HF piece of …. in every aspect.
Abbas, Castro Valley, CA
A friend of mine, a good friend, jokes about Rolex watches – that the best ones cost $20 on Canal St. in NYC…
For those unfamiliar with New York City sub-cultures, Canal Street is where all of the expensive brands have functional knock-offs. And I know several individuals who own the original and wear the knock-offs. For the Rolex, the knock-off is much better value: the time of day is correct (that’s all most Rolexes have, other than the Date, and maybe the Day). Frankly, the Time-of-Day is perhaps more-accurate, as the knock-offs have a quartz movement.
Value is relative and subjective; the most important aspect is whether something gets the job done; and done safely.