#1
Old 12-12-2013, 11:48 PM
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Good brands in power tools?

The last couple posts in the Angle grinder question thread discussed tool quality/reputation. Rather than sidetrack that thread, I wanted to throw it open to the Dope as a whole—how do various brands (generally) compare?

Here are the major brands I can think of off the top of my head. I know there are some house brands in there, and have a good notion that Chicago Electric (Harbor Freight brand) is near the bottom for most things power tool, but other than the obvious (or, seemingly obvious), my main familiarity comes via their marketing departments.

Speaking very generally, how would you categorize these brands into three or four tiers? Did I miss any mainstream brands? Are some brands stronger in one set of tools but weaker in others?

  • Bosch
  • Chicago Electric
  • Craftsman
  • Delta
  • DeWalt
  • Grizzly
  • Hitachi
  • Jet
  • Kobalt
  • Makita
  • Porter and Cable
  • Rockwell
  • Ryobi
  • Shop Fox
  • Skill
  • Stanley
  • Wen
  • Woodtek
#2
Old 12-12-2013, 11:58 PM
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Serendipitous. Our little town council just bought a big ol' power tool. It was either an angle grinder or an impact drill -- or maybe both. It's going to be used to remove rusted bolts from street signs.

After a long discussion that only happens when men talk about their tools, they agreed on a deWalt.

The mayor and 4/5ths of the council have jobs that involve heavy use of small and large power tools, and they think DeWalt is the best. They had a second choice but I've forgotten what it was, and the other names on your list don't ring any bells.
#3
Old 12-13-2013, 12:52 AM
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DeWalt also gets my vote.
#4
Old 12-13-2013, 01:36 AM
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Hilti Blows them all out of the water. Festool is another premium brand. I'd opt for their tools over anything on the market. Problem being if I have to pay for them I'd pass and because you can buy 2 top end brands for the same price.

For brands readily available in major retailers around me
Your top end are:
Bosch
Dewalt
Milwauki
Mikita

Mid grade:
Ridgid
Craftsman
Porter Cable
Kobalt

Lower end:
Ryobi
Skill
Hitachi

Some of you brands I don't think can be compared well with the above as their specialties are stationary equipment. Where as the others have stronger focus in their portables. I stuck to my thoughts on portables as I know that market better.
#5
Old 12-13-2013, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by boytyperanma View Post
Hilti Blows them all out of the water. Festool is another premium brand. I'd opt for their tools over anything on the market. Problem being if I have to pay for them I'd pass and because you can buy 2 top end brands for the same price.

For brands readily available in major retailers around me
Your top end are:
Bosch
Dewalt
Milwauki
Mikita
...
...Some of you brands I don't think can be compared well with the above as their specialties are stationary equipment. Where as the others have stronger focus in their portables. I stuck to my thoughts on portables as I know that market better.
As a Brit, I'm not familiar with Festools or some of the other brands mentioned, but I think that's a good call.

They all have their strengths, for example, Milwaukee for cordless drills, Makita for handheld breakers, Hitachi for televisions...
#6
Old 12-13-2013, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boytyperanma View Post
Your top end are:
Bosch
Dewalt
Milwauki
Mikita

Mid grade:
Ridgid
Craftsman
Porter Cable
Kobalt

Lower end:
Ryobi
Skill
Hitachi
I would mostly agree with this list, but would move Craftsman down a tier. Kobalt may be somewhere between the low- and mid-grade.

But of course it really comes down to how you're going to use them. For the run-of-the-mill homeowner, it doesn't really matter much. Buy whatever's affordable to you. For heavy duty, all-day-everyday use OTOH, you'll want to invest in a higher end brand (and don't skimp on blades and bits!), unless you have a thing for buying replacement tools every other week.
#7
Old 12-13-2013, 08:49 AM
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I think Chicago Electric is the Harbor Freight house brand. I reserver HF tools for non-archival tools -- if I need a tool for a one-time project or for tasks I do very rarely, I'd consider a CE tool just to save money. But you get what you pay for.
#8
Old 12-13-2013, 09:06 AM
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It depends what tool you are talking about.

Cordless drills, Milwaukee, DeWalt or Panasonic. With cordless drills, it also matters what you're doing with it. Driving screws or drilling? Do you need an 18v big guy, which gets really heavy after a long day, for drilling holes, or can you get away with a 10v Li-ion drill-driver?

Reciprocating saws-Milwaukee. For routers, I like Bosch.

My Festool saw was probably the best $500 I've spent. Almost don't need a table saw with that.

If you'e got compressed air, get some Bostich staplers and nail guns. And a Dynabrade sander. Way better than any electric palm sander.

Jet is, in general, larger stationary tools. Grizzly is a good, slightly cheaper comp.
#9
Old 12-13-2013, 09:11 AM
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Today's Craftsman power tools are probably in the low middle to lower grade range as they're built to hit a price point, rather than built to last. Same goes for the mass-market store brands like Lowes' Kobalt and Home Depot's Ridgid.

To add a wrinkle - age. The brands your grandfather knew like Milwaukee and Ridgid have seen a decline in quality as well - they're often being built "good enough" for the usual handyman now, rather than bulletproof for hard daily use. Apples to bananas, obviously, but a 30-year old Ridgid pipe threader was built to a much higher standard than today's Ridgid cordless drill. Same goes for Porter-Cable and Rockwell. They used to be premium brands, but not so much today. Porter-Cable actually died off in 1960 when they were sold to Rockwell. What you see sold now is just "badge engineering" of tools made in Mexico or China by Stanley Black & Decker as SB&D bought the names nearly ten years ago.

Several of the brands on the OP's list are more of the stationary woodworking variety - Jet, Grizzly and Shop Fox make things like table saws and would deserve their own comparisons.

Overall, I agree with boytyperanma that Hilti and Festool are making some of the best tools now, but with prices to match. You could buy ten "big box" brand slide miter saws for the price of one Festool slite miter saw, for example.
#10
Old 12-13-2013, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
I would mostly agree with this list, but would move Craftsman down a tier. Kobalt may be somewhere between the low- and mid-grade.

But of course it really comes down to how you're going to use them. For the run-of-the-mill homeowner, it doesn't really matter much. Buy whatever's affordable to you. For heavy duty, all-day-everyday use OTOH, you'll want to invest in a higher end brand (and don't skimp on blades and bits!), unless you have a thing for buying replacement tools every other week.
Completely agree about Craftsman. Uniformly junk.

Makita can be hit/miss, I'd probably move them down one. Used a couple Makita tools that felt like toy junk. The rest of the top tier are uniformly good quality, though for some reason the bright yellow DeWalt doesn't "feel" as solid as a Milwaukee or Bosch.

Milwaukee is kind of the gold standard for recip saws, DeWalt for cordless, and I feel like Bosch is good for rotary tools. *Looks like I independently agree with what Paintcharge said, on review, an ditto Bostich for smaller air fasteners. Except for framing nailers, when I'd get Paslode.

Last edited by Sicks Ate; 12-13-2013 at 09:19 AM.
#11
Old 12-13-2013, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Finagle View Post
I think Chicago Electric is the Harbor Freight house brand. I reserver HF tools for non-archival tools -- if I need a tool for a one-time project or for tasks I do very rarely, I'd consider a CE tool just to save money. But you get what you pay for.
It's not on your list, but Black & Decker branded stuff isn't much better. In a peculiar twist of fate though, DeWalt is another brand of the same company, so they're clearly capable of making good stuff.

Hilti is extremely good as well, as are Milwaukee and Makita. I'd put Porter-Cable and Bosch one step down, with Ridgid, Craftsman and Kobalt.

Everything else is sort of crappy... and I'll bet that unless you're a professional, you wouldn't be able work the tools hard enough/be able to tell the difference between a Ridgid and a Hilti.

Another thing to consider is that many of the higher-end lines have followed the Echo/Stihl/Husqvarna route and have big-box versions of their tools and the "pro" model of their tools, with similar quality differences. Makita is probably the easiest to spot- they have different colored lines, with the black and white ones being the lower-end versions and the classic turquoise/red being the pro grade stuff.
#12
Old 12-13-2013, 10:14 AM
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Is the branded stuff sold in Home Depot and Lowe's the same quality as you'd get at a professional store? Or do brands like DeWalt have a low-end line they sell in the big-box stores, and a better line to professionals?
#13
Old 12-13-2013, 10:22 AM
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The OP had Shop Fox on his list; they're hit or miss. Jet makes some decent band saws. I'm a fan of DeWalt corded tools, and also their heavier battery drills. Hilti has been the king of both corded and battery drills for a long time; I was using their tools in the 80s. I have a Milwaukee corded hammer-drill that kicks ass.

I'll likely never buy another Skil or Craftsman power tool. Skil, in particular, makes the worst battery tools I've seen, and I really don't like Kobalt.

I think Stanley is on the road back, at least for their hand tools. I bought a Stanley block plane that does a nice job.

But like most products, every brand has its gems and its lemons, so research and reviews are important prior to buying.
#14
Old 12-13-2013, 10:26 AM
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I love how everyone thinks B&D is junk, when DeWalt was branded as such for years. They just changed the color and the name of B&D's commercial line, literally overnight. Contractors who had called the orange tools junk the day before suddenly raved about the new brand.
#15
Old 12-13-2013, 10:36 AM
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I wish when people respond in these threads that they would explain WHY a certain brand is better than others. Exactly why is a DeWalt cordless drill better quality than a Ryobi?

I've seen good youtube videos going into detail explaining why certain gas grills are better than others, but in forums, everyone tends to just throw out a name brand and leave it at that.
#16
Old 12-13-2013, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by nate View Post
I wish when people respond in these threads that they would explain WHY a certain brand is better than others. Exactly why is a DeWalt cordless drill better quality than a Ryobi?

I've seen good youtube videos going into detail explaining why certain gas grills are better than others, but in forums, everyone tends to just throw out a name brand and leave it at that.
I've neer used a Ryobi, but I have used plenty of DeWalt. I can attest to having dropped cordless DeWalt drivers onto concrete from ladders or roofs, and I don't recall ever cracking the case of one.
#17
Old 12-13-2013, 11:27 AM
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The poster who mentioned Hilti is spot on, definitely the best.

I too am amused that Dewalt is rated so highly - as a contractor/jobber you are looking for power tools that are a balance between durability and cost - if it is cheap enough such as a Clarke or Sealey and lasts for one contract of six months, it may well be better value than a much more expensive item that perhaps lasts two or three contracts - plus, if you have ever been on site, nice tools tend to go walkabout and never come back - or some idiot borrows it for a quick task and returns it damaged.

DeWalt is simply too costly for what it is. I would prefer a Makita or Kamasa, these things seem to have a definite life span - you can baby them or abuse them - they last for the same amount of work either way.

Bosch seems to have status bestowed upon it by the German sounding name - its ok stuff but not startling.

Elu used to be pretty good stuff but seems to have disappeared


Kango was a pretty good alternative to Hilti - seems they belong to Milwaukee nowadays

Wolf also used to be a reasonable make - dunno what happened to them

Sealey - I haven't seen these mentioned, they are fairly cheap - I have a heat gun, ok for home use but I don't really think its up to proper hard work - except they are cheap enough to leave behind after finishing a job

You need to pick the tool for the job and then decide on the make, for instance Stihl make some decent stuff if power is not available - especially on chainsaws, ground augurs etc but then you really are getting into small industrial plant stuff

If its compressed air tools than you would need to look at Ingersoll-Rand
#18
Old 12-13-2013, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by gotpasswords View Post
To add a wrinkle - age. The brands your grandfather knew like Milwaukee and Ridgid have seen a decline in quality as well - they're often being built "good enough" for the usual handyman now, rather than bulletproof for hard daily use. Apples to bananas, obviously, but a 30-year old Ridgid pipe threader was built to a much higher standard than today's Ridgid cordless drill. Same goes for Porter-Cable and Rockwell. They used to be premium brands, but not so much today.
Buyers should seriously consider buying used tools because of this.
#19
Old 12-13-2013, 12:22 PM
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Oh.. something I forgot. With the higher-end brands and their commercial models, you can actually buy replacement parts for things as mundane as a cordless drill.

The keyless chuck broke on my Makita 12v drill a few years back, so I bought another one for $20, and installed it, and used it for another couple of years until the battery and motor started to go at the same time.

Had it been a consumer brand or a consumer-level model, the whole tool would have been done-for, but since it was a commercial model, replacement parts are readily available- motors, screws, chucks, etc....

Last edited by bump; 12-13-2013 at 12:22 PM.
#20
Old 12-13-2013, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Labrador Deceiver View Post
I love how everyone thinks B&D is junk, when DeWalt was branded as such for years. They just changed the color and the name of B&D's commercial line, literally overnight. Contractors who had called the orange tools junk the day before suddenly raved about the new brand.
Like many tool lines, the quality goes up and down over the years. Manufacturers start relying on the name recognition for sales and let the actual product turn into a piece of shit. This is what has happened to Craftsman of late. I have two DeWalt power tools and a DeWalt battery drill. All three are top performers for home use and purchased within the past three years, so I recommend them.

Stanley used to be THE carpenter and woodworker's tools of choice years ago, but they decided to ship production overseas and the vaunted wood planes and chisels went to shit fairly quickly. The newer line of Sweetheart planes is actually quite good, and I have a set of Stanley wood chisels that, while not near the quality of Lee Nielsen, are certainly serviceable.
#21
Old 12-13-2013, 01:48 PM
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Great breakdown, thanks. My burgeoning shop is slowly evolving; I’ll be adding both stationary and hand tools over the next few years.

Nate brings up a good point about understanding what distinguishes the tiers. Are there factors that are specific to the (general) type of user or are the distinctions (generally) more across the board?

In other words, I’m an every-third-weekender at best, with long periods of dormancy between. I’m very careful, (though there’s no telling whether I’ll drop something from a roof), and as far as I know am unlikely to put things to as much rigorous use as a contractor or ‘serious’ woodworker.

I guess I’m kind of responsible for manufactures pumping out machines with cheaper wear parts—I’m unlikely to wear them out.

But does that go hand-in-hand with other aspects? I love my Jet band saw; it’s steady as a rock and fantastic to (learn to) work with. At this point, errors and cutting imperfections are due to my lack of skill and technique in either saw setup or use. As I learn and improve, how much will be attributable to the saw?

In other words, is, say, a Skil table saw less accurate or precise than a Dewalt (with identical basic specs)? Is it that the Dewalt’s guides and stops make supplemental measurement tools and guides (e.g. Incra gauges and fences) unnecessary until my own skill levels are much higher? If you removed all markings, would it be easy to tell the difference between the two?

Does ease of use/setup enter into things, too?

Is this kind of like explaining to someone who’s only used Ginsu knives that there’s a difference between those, Henckels’s single-man and their twin-men lines?
#22
Old 12-13-2013, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Like many tool lines, the quality goes up and down over the years. Manufacturers start relying on the name recognition for sales and let the actual product turn into a piece of shit. This is what has happened to Craftsman of late. I have two DeWalt power tools and a DeWalt battery drill. All three are top performers for home use and purchased within the past three years, so I recommend them.

Stanley used to be THE carpenter and woodworker's tools of choice years ago, but they decided to ship production overseas and the vaunted wood planes and chisels went to shit fairly quickly. The newer line of Sweetheart planes is actually quite good, and I have a set of Stanley wood chisels that, while not near the quality of Lee Nielsen, are certainly serviceable.
In case there is some confusion, I'm not insinuating that either Dewalt or B&D are shit quality.
#23
Old 12-13-2013, 03:17 PM
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Generally speaking, you are looking for tools that will do the work with less effort from you - this leaves you free to concentrate on getting the work done accurately.

Classic case - If you use a Hilti Hammer drill, apart from having huge torque and plenty of weight, you will find it take far less effort to make it drill - you do noy need to force it to work, in fact its much better to let it do its thing. The drill bits will last longer too. They are better ergonomically - you will be able to work longer and harder without suffering the vibration or physical effort.

Now go to a store own brand tool, it may have the same power rating - though pretty unlikely - but not all that power will do useful work, and that's if they are actually telling the truth. Not only that, it will not be capable of hard work at the upper end of its capacity - it will heat up, and the more it heats up, the less work it will do. It will also take time to cool down.

The casings on good tools will be tough, this does not mean hard - it means they can take impacts and flex slightly rather than crack, the casings will also be more resistant to oils and greases and for real outdoor worksites they will be able to cope with sunlight-which tends to embrittle plastics.

Access to spare parts can be an issue, but these can be very expensive, for example the Dewalt batteries and the trigger speed control module is very expensive indeed, these parts are only just worth the cost of replacement - Batteries have a finite life if the battery drill has heavy use then you can expect to replace it, and perversely lack of use can also damage batteries. I have found that the speed control trigger unit in Dewalt power drills has a tendency to go down, and its never at a convenient time. I would prefer to pay less and have two of them and that way I have a backup instead of having to go back to the shop and dig out a spare.

Makita stuff works well but goes down completely, you just have to realise they are built for a specific lifespan - I would be quite prepared to have a couple of them, rather than just the one DeWalt

Kango stuff just keeps on going, give it all the abuse and it keeps going - testament to this is the secondhand market, used Kango stuff sells for strong money.

Milwaukee, same as Kango

Hilti - best by far, but be prepared to pay for it, can be repaired ad infinitum, but I have never had to do it and although heavy it is less effort to use because it does all the hard stuff whilst all you do is act as the guiding agent.

DeWalt - popular, spares available, but expensive for what it is - good solid case they don't crack or break. Loads of options available, great for shopfitters if they get the push to drive chucks, you keep your finger on the trigger so it runs all the time, but the chuck disengages the drive until you push it on to the next fastening, which re-engages the drive - superb for doing lots and lots of fast repetitive drilling such as displays and stuff.

Bosch - As far as home users go, its plenty good enough, pretty much semi pro-tools. I find things like clamps and other plastic attachments are not very strong.

Hitachi - General home user, you probably don't need much more unless you are doing structural work, I would not want to be using it all day though, it would be pretty tiring.

If you are going for static tools, then the construction of the guides and locking mechanisms for the table are all important, they need to be easy to move, must not have a tendency to jam or slide out of alignment, or flex when you put pressure on them. One hand locking levers are best. Don't go for ones with plastic levers, they are never ever strong or rigid enough Its easy to go for much heavier stuff than you need - get it cut to approximate sizes on the merchant's machines first - save you lots of money and lots of effort.

Cheap store brands, good for kids to learn on, just noisy toys really.

Last edited by casdave; 12-13-2013 at 03:18 PM.
#24
Old 12-13-2013, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by nate View Post
I wish when people respond in these threads that they would explain WHY a certain brand is better than others. Exactly why is a DeWalt cordless drill better quality than a Ryobi?

I've seen good youtube videos going into detail explaining why certain gas grills are better than others, but in forums, everyone tends to just throw out a name brand and leave it at that.
I have owned a small construction company and architectural woodwork business for 30 years and have gone through many electric hand tools. I can't say the one brand is superior across their full line of tools over any other.

I am not a big fan of DeWalt cordless drills and impact drivers. The batteries don't seem to last and they cost far more than Ryobi. We use Ryobi impact drivers heavily, (there are at least 8 in the shop) and have gone through many batteries over time. The replacement cost is far less than the DeWalt. And there is no noticeable difference in performance.

I also own 4 different miter saws, 1 Makita sliding saw, 1 Makita miter saw and 1 Hitachi slider and 1 Milwaukee miter saw. Every one of my installers prefers the Hitachi.

I have 4 corded roto-hammers. Three Milwaukee and an Hitachi. They are all very good tools.

I have a lot of corded drills. Milwaukee, Hitachi, DeWalt and Metabo. The Hitachis are preferred by the workers.

Most of the hand sanders are Porter Cable. I have had in the past Makitas and Bosch but have gotten better performance from the PCs. Same goes for routers, PC is now my preference. I used to love Bosch but the last few Bosch routers all went through bearings quickly. I have an old Ryobi plunge router that has been used heavily and is still working well. My favorite electric power tool is a heavy duty Elu plunge router. Elu was Black and Decker's European line and were of top quality. When Black and Decker bought DeWalt and started marketing their tools under the new name the quality diminshed IMO.

Nail guns, Porter Cable and Hitachi. Have 1 Ridgid 15ga angle gun. Bought a Bostich kit of 3 and have more jams in a day than I have in a month with the other brands.
#25
Old 12-14-2013, 12:55 AM
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The man I live with who is a contractor, says Makita for battery powered-he says the Makita (not a knock off) battery is the best.

Bosch for hitting/breaking tools. He says DeWalt is not as good.

Hilti-yes

Quote:
Is the branded stuff sold in Home Depot and Lowe's the same quality as you'd get at a professional store? Or do brands like DeWalt have a low-end line they sell in the big-box stores, and a better line to professionals?
Well, there are some things that are different, esp. when it comes to repairing them. The co. I work for sells the high end contractor equipment. And they tell me that some of the steel or aluminum parts in the tools by the same manufacturer, are plastic in the Home Depot/Lowes lines. So when a home consumer brings a tool to us, since we are a warranty shop for them, and they got it at the big box store, we can't help them.

But keep in mind, I am speaking of expensive professional grade tools.

Last edited by DummyGladHands; 12-14-2013 at 12:57 AM. Reason: arrggh
#26
Old 12-14-2013, 07:06 AM
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I only buy Makita, if I can afford them.
#27
Old 12-15-2013, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by boytyperanma View Post
Hilti Blows them all out of the water. Festool is another premium brand. I'd opt for their tools over anything on the market. Problem being if I have to pay for them I'd pass and because you can buy 2 top end brands for the same price.

For brands readily available in major retailers around me
Your top end are:
Bosch
Dewalt
Milwauki
Mikita

Mid grade:
Ridgid
Craftsman
Porter Cable
Kobalt

Lower end:
Ryobi
Skill
Hitachi

Some of you brands I don't think can be compared well with the above as their specialties are stationary equipment. Where as the others have stronger focus in their portables. I stuck to my thoughts on portables as I know that market better.
Skill (actually Skil) lower end???? IMHO they make the best worm drive hand circular saws. They are fantastic. Craftsman power tools need to be lowered down and in no universe are above Skil.
#28
Old 12-15-2013, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by enipla View Post
Skill (actually Skil) lower end???? IMHO they make the best worm drive hand circular saws. They are fantastic. Craftsman power tools need to be lowered down and in no universe are above Skil.
Isn't a Skill model 77 still the standard of the industry for a worm drive saw?
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#29
Old 12-15-2013, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
Isn't a Skill model 77 still the standard of the industry for a worm drive saw?
That's what I thought. Though it's been years since I framed for a living. I have the Skil 77 Magnesium. It is a great saw.
#30
Old 12-15-2013, 10:05 AM
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Skil is at the lower end of the price range for many things, if that has any legitimacy.
#31
Old 12-15-2013, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Rhythmdvl View Post
Skil is at the lower end of the price range for many things, if that has any legitimacy.
Which products are you comparing? admittedly $$$ does not make it good. (Look a Jaguar). IMHO, Skil makes the best circular saws, Milwaukee the best sawzall, and Makita the best cordless drill.

Meh. There is no real reason to debate this. Some things work better than others depending on the job you have to do. But to put Craftsman above Skil is blasphemy. I think we have a thread about that around here somewhere...
#32
Old 12-15-2013, 10:31 AM
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I have a skil worm drive circular saw that has been a real workhorse for many many years. I have ripped lots of 20 footers with it over the years and it just keeps on going. Guard is presently bent and sticks because I dropped it.
#33
Old 12-15-2013, 06:43 PM
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I do not see uniform quality across tool brands; just like auto manufacturers they have tiers even within the same brand. Some models are light duty and others heavier and often price is the best indication of what a tool is really intended for.

Hitachi is a good example. They have a consumer grade line of cheap tools, like most of their cordless tools for instance, but they also make premium professional grade air tools and compressors. For a few years they were pretty much the standard for air nailers and staplers. Their mitre saws are well respected.

Milwaukee is a big name that gets a lot nods in this thread but I've been hearing a lot of complaints about their cordless tools from other trades. The Sawzall I bought this year though is an excellent performer and has 1 1/8" travel as compared to correspondingly priced Dewalt model that only has 3/4". It seems bomber and the quick release isn't going to blow apart like the Dewalts are notorious for.

Usually the best professional tools are feature minimal, its the inside that counts.
#34
Old 12-15-2013, 11:58 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Leominster MA
Posts: 5,172
Quote:
Originally Posted by enipla View Post
Skill (actually Skil) lower end???? IMHO they make the best worm drive hand circular saws. They are fantastic. Craftsman power tools need to be lowered down and in no universe are above Skil.
In general Craftsman has better tools. Skil has been in a race to the bottom for years, the name sells regardless of quality so they have put little time or effort into keeping up with quality.

The op asked for a general placement. different manufacturers do different tools well. Pick up a Skil drill and you'll understand why their average sucks. Circular saws is something they do very well, most people can circular saws Skil saws because they really did set the standard.

Their worm drive is a staple for carpenters it's been the same exact saw for a very long time now and is a good seller in different parts on the country. Worm drives are a regional thing. In my area they aren't used often. Carpenters prefer the lighter saws and use table saws more frequently.
#35
Old 12-16-2013, 08:56 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Colorado Rockies.
Posts: 11,491
Quote:
Originally Posted by boytyperanma View Post
In general Craftsman has better tools. Skil has been in a race to the bottom for years, the name sells regardless of quality so they have put little time or effort into keeping up with quality.

The op asked for a general placement. different manufacturers do different tools well. Pick up a Skil drill and you'll understand why their average sucks. Circular saws is something they do very well, most people can circular saws Skil saws because they really did set the standard.

Their worm drive is a staple for carpenters it's been the same exact saw for a very long time now and is a good seller in different parts on the country. Worm drives are a regional thing. In my area they aren't used often. Carpenters prefer the lighter saws and use table saws more frequently.
Interesting. I'll be honest, I've never seen any other Skil tools besides their worm drives. Perhaps that's telling. But if a carpenter showed up at my house with Craftsman power tools, I'd be worried.
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