Monthly Book Giveaway - January 2023

Favorite Power Tools Brand?


What’s your favorite power tools brand and why?

Martin Sojka, Maker of Craftisian

39 Replies

I’m not in the same class as a lot of the members here but have gradually switched from Delta to DeWalt. Quit Delta for lack of service and parts. DeWalt because it is in the right price range and seems to be reliable.

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-

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.

Anything I can buy at ALDI…..(apologies to my American friends for the obscure reference but …hee hee to those of us in the UK)

-- Alec (Friends call me Wolf, no idea why)

Anything but Craftsman and Ryobi. Never tried Grizzly and Harbor Freight.

Tor and Odin are the greatest of gods.

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.

Grizzly bandsaw

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.

MJCD….wow I couldn’t agree more. I have a Rolex, as does my Father-in law and wife….we always joke that as an accurate time piece they are sure nice looking!

I have most every concievable brand of tool….and yes I even have ryobi…which I really like in fact, but I do not make my living at ww so I don’t need the durability that Milwaukee or dewalt may offer. I have a lot of Delta standing tools, so the decline of that brand greatly bothers me. My TS is a saw stop cabinet saw which is one of the best tools I have. I have some Jet also, bandsaw, planer and mortiser. The planer is 16" and just a beast, but works well. I have a Supermax surface sander which is just an awesome tool.
The only Rikon stuff I have is a small econo lathe which is my second lathe and I mostly use it for a beall buff, and is less than a stellar lathe, but I will not make any judgements on the Rikon lathe by this one little bottom of the line piece of equipment.
I have a lot of Porter cable stuff too, they are nice, no issues there, and I have a couple of bosch routers, plate jointer, and of course jig saw that are very nice tools too. I have no powermatic, but I have been eyeing their varible speed DP….anyone have one? You like it?
I only have one craftsman standing tool which is a 9" disc and belt sander….I use it rarley, but only have $50.00 in it and will probable never sell it. I do have the Delta 12" disc, and the Delta Oscilating Spindle Sander….both table top but nice…
Good thread Martin!! every WW likes to talk about their tools!!


I couldn’t have made it through the day on the job site , or in the factory, without an assortment
of these brand tools . Glad those days are behind me : )

I don’t currently own anything from Bosch, but that will change in the next few days. I need a new laminate trimmer and I’ll be buying the little Bosch colt. I’ve used their 12 volt cordless extensively while working with other folks and have to say I’m really impressed with them. The Bosch saber saw is a workhorse as well and can highly recommend it.

Artisan Woodworks of Texas-


I just have to smile at your comments – my Rolex is in the night stand, and has been for a decade – or two… My Timex just keeps on ticking…
I’ve invested heavily in Bosch hand tools; having divorced Porter-Cable when they were purchased by Stanley. The Bosch have been work-horse tools: Router, Sanders, Jig Saws, ‘Brute’ Drills – quiet, powerful, rugged; however, the last two items – two Sanders – are really disappointing, and they soured me – maybe it’s just me wanting to change; maybe so.

There was a time when I had a favorite brand, and over the years it had changed several times. But with all the changes in ownership that has occurred recently, my favorite brand is pretty much different for each tool. If I was really forced to pick a company, it might be Bosch. They have more stuff I would buy than others. Before that it was Milwaukee, but the recent buy out has changed my affection for the name.

"I long for the day when coke was a cola and a joint was a bad place to be" Merle Haggartd


Ferdinand and Son Construction

I have an amazing little Makita 18v drill which I abuse horribly. It never fails (knock on wood) even when blasting holes in concrete…nice little tool.

-- Alec (Friends call me Wolf, no idea why)

LWL, funny you mention black & Decker. I used to have a b&d cordless drill. It was big and heavy – before the small lithium ion batteries came out. It was 19v , very powerful and was a perfect handyman drill. It had one feature I haven’t seen lately: a bit storage clip that fit 2 bits. It was great to have a flat head, #2 and #3 always handy for the handyman work I was doing. They were all used frequently. The only reason I got rid of it was when the batteries both died, replacement ones were as expensive as a new drill and by that time the lithium ion lighter weight ones were in vogue so I went with a different brand. But that bit storage thing – as small of a detail it was – was very important to me. Small things can have a big impact.

Losing fingers since 1969

Most power tools are Ridgid. Can’t say I have a favorite. I get them super cheap and haven’t been disappointed with anything save the bandsaw. And it’s bad because they could have spent 5 bucks in manufacturing costs to balance wheels and pulleys and it would have been a nice saw. I did some static balancing and have it at an acceptable vibration level now.

It’s easier to day what I don’t have: Fes Tool and Ryobi.

In power tools, that saying “I can’t afford cheap” seems a good saying to adopt. However, I do have Harbor Freight bar clamps by the dozen.

On the cheaper tools, I’d be a hypocrite and snob to run them down. They got me started so many years ago, then again, after I went through the “getting single” thing.

Back in the day, a crappy Craftsman jig saw was about as good as it got and I just had to live with replacing a couple a year, until I got my first Bosch.

On the other hand, I’ve bought Harbor Freight stuff, thinking I’d kill it on the job on which I was using it, only to find that ugly little think just kept going and going, until I gave it to a kid just starting out (after an upgrade, of course).