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#1
Old 02-09-2016, 08:14 PM
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Is Dewalt THE top tier brand?

I work in construction and obviously I see a lot of different contractors. Years ago, I noticed most construction guys had a lot of Milwaukee brand tools and quickly everyone switched to Dewalt brand. I rarely see anything but Dewalt's these days.

My foreman is in his 50's. He owns a lot of Craftsman brand tools, buys their more premium stuff but claims Dewalt is not the best but he would say so wouldn't he?
I only own one Dewalt product which is a drill. It's fine I guess as far as drills go but was pricey. I have pretty good luck with Black n Decker tools plus they're more reasonably priced.

I'm curious why Dewalt brand tools are so heavily used or do you see other brands used more often in your area?
#2
Old 02-09-2016, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeXen View Post
I work in construction and obviously I see a lot of different contractors. Years ago, I noticed most construction guys had a lot of Milwaukee brand tools and quickly everyone switched to Dewalt brand. I rarely see anything but Dewalt's these days.

My foreman is in his 50's. He owns a lot of Craftsman brand tools, buys their more premium stuff but claims Dewalt is not the best but he would say so wouldn't he?
I only own one Dewalt product which is a drill. It's fine I guess as far as drills go but was pricey. I have pretty good luck with Black n Decker tools plus they're more reasonably priced.

I'm curious why Dewalt brand tools are so heavily used or do you see other brands used more often in your area?
Dewalt is not the best brand nor is it the worst. You frequently see tool popularity in patches. If Bob is happy with his Dewalt, Jeff the guy working with him may pick up the same. This continues and everyone on the job site is now working with Dewalts. If Bob had started with a Makita things may have turned out differently.

Dewalt historically has offered a decent line up across many different tools which makes it easy for someone to stay brand loyal.

There is deviation amount trades, electricians in my area tend to use Milwaukee and plumbers tend to use Rigid, carpenters tend towards Dewalt.

I don't have any brand loyalty, I have tools from multiple different manufacturers. I run a lot of corded tools so I don't have to use batteries as a deciding factor.

When it comes to the best brands your looking at Hilti and Festool but most guys on job sites aren't going to spend that type of money. A 400 dollar Hilti drill doesn't dramatically out perform a Dewalt. When the Hilti walks away when you're not looking it hurts a lot more though.
#3
Old 02-09-2016, 09:11 PM
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One factor is all the battery powered tools with the interchangeable batteries. So if you have a dewalt drill, you can use the same batteries and chargers on your circular saw and reciprocating saw, etc. It's handy. But I'm a Makita fan, myself.
#4
Old 02-09-2016, 10:09 PM
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DeWalt is a quality mid-tear brand for power tools. You'll get a tool that performs well, has a decent warranty, and will last, at a reasonable price point for a serious hobbyist, handyman, or contractor. It certainly won't stand up to the level of abuse that something like a Festool or Bosch will, but that's why those cost a lot more.

Last edited by friedo; 02-09-2016 at 10:09 PM.
#5
Old 02-09-2016, 11:56 PM
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I was told this by a guy in a tool store. Not a big box, a real tool store.

Up until the mid 80's, Black and Decker made a line that was very, very good homeowner/handyman and almost pro.
Then they destroyed their reputation by making toys. Yes, kiddie toys. "My First Kitchen" was one I remember (how many ways is that wrong?).
Meanwhile, DeWalt had been making "Radial Arm Saws". When that market dried up, B&D bought DeWalt to re-enter the market they used to have.
I still have my 1/2" B&D drill from 1983. It has taken a beating and still works fine. Used it to install 2 kitchens - a drill-intensive task.

Is DeWalt really re-badged B&D? Never looked into it.

Last edited by usedtobe; 02-09-2016 at 11:57 PM.
#6
Old 02-10-2016, 12:35 AM
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B&D took the idea of making their contractor-grade tools a different brand from Honda/Acura. B&D had actually bought out DeWalt back in 1960, but they had been phasing out the brand name over time. However, tradesmen generally knew the DeWalt brand and had a highly favorable reaction to it. B&D didn't really have a contractor-grade tool line until then -- just handyman and industrial. (Makita pretty much created the contractor tool market in the 70s and 80s, apparently.)

Source/further reading from the Baltimore Sun, 1992-04-05: Black & Decker hopes DeWalt tools' reputation will conjure new business
#7
Old 02-10-2016, 08:31 AM
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You get what you pay for!

Best: Bosch Greenlee Milwaukee
#8
Old 02-10-2016, 08:41 AM
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DeWalt is well placed in the contractor's tool market. The balance of price/quality is right on for that market. For most of their tools there's an equivalent that usually costs a little less from the other brands but a contractor can just go with DeWalt and get what he's expecting each time.

Their distinctive yellow color is a good marketing move also, DeWalt tools are instantly recognizable. That could make it appear that they are the contractor's choice just because the other tools they may have are not so noticeable.
#9
Old 02-10-2016, 12:01 PM
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Quality varies from model to model. Flatly stating that (for example) Bosch is the best tool is incorrect, as many Bosch products get very poor consumer reviews, while other tools from Bosch are five-star. Same goes for DeWalt and every other tool within economic reach of the ordinary person. Seriously, who the fuck can afford Festool?

I have a number of DeWalt power and battery tools, because they get good user reviews and perform to my expectations. I also have a Bosch hammer drill because it's indestructible, and a Makita biscuit cutter that gets better reviews than any of the others.
#10
Old 02-10-2016, 12:28 PM
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I like Milwaukee and Bosch also, not just DeWalt. Depends on the tool/need/job. Even Ryobi and Rigid have tools I like. Heck, I've even been known to buy cheap stuff from Harbor Freight. Depends..
#11
Old 02-10-2016, 12:33 PM
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I'm not a contractor but serious DYIer. Currently doing all my own carpentry on a restaurant we are opening in what was just a shell of a building. ( I plead insanity). I started with a 18v DeWalt cordless drill 20 years ago and have kept adding more DeWalt stuff over the years. Partly for battery compatibility and in the case of the corded stuff because I can expect a good tool for the price. I do own other brands as well.

Lots of tradesmen around here seem to favor Milwaukee.

As has been said no one brand has all the best tools. Anyone who says different has swallowed the kool-aid.

Quote:
He owns a lot of Craftsman brand tools, buys their more premium stuff but claims Dewalt is not the best but he would say so wouldn't he?
Personally I wouldn't put much faith in the opinion of someone who owns all Craftsman stuff. They have been coasting on their reputation for a long, long time and I have been burned by their products too often.
#12
Old 02-10-2016, 12:36 PM
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This may be out of date, but I love my Bosch because they actually made a "high-end handyman" drill when I was last shopping. It's half the size and a third the weight of a serious contractor drill, but build solidly and incredibly comfy in the hand. More than enough power for 99.9% of jobs I'll ever need a drill for; my father borrowed it when he built a deck a few years back because it's so much less tiring than his heavy-duty Dewalt.
#13
Old 02-10-2016, 01:37 PM
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Dewalt is pretty expensive for what it is, but you can get the parts to repair them, so you can keep them going and going. Really heavy continuous usage can result in the electronic trigger modules going faulty, but a replacement is a lot cheaper than a new machine.

If you really want to be working that hard for that long, day after day, you'd be better off either adding it into the cost of a contract and treating the equipment as job disposable - write it off against tax. If you do this you then take a different view, and even fairly cheap machines then become viable.

If reliability is critical, then you have to pay, and that's when you start getting into Hilti territory - this is stuff you don't throw away after the contract is done
#14
Old 02-10-2016, 04:13 PM
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I am pretty loyal to DeWalt. I got a 12V cordless drill as a gift many years ago and it performed (and continues to perform) so well I just stuck with them. I just recently bought a 20v combo set with recip. saw, circ. saw, 1/2" hammer drill, 1/4" impact and a flashlight. I've only used the saws so far, used the recip with a pruning blade extensively, cutting up the smaller branches of trees I felled with a chainsaw. Very pleased.
At my last job and at the current one I've used Makita and Milwaukee and they are really good too.
#15
Old 02-10-2016, 04:24 PM
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I moonlighted at Lowe's for a while about ten years ago. I wasn't the "Tool World" guy; I was in the hardware department across the aisle. I don't know what was the best or best-selling tool line, but I do recall that Black and Decker was considered shit. I agree that the DeWalt yellow is pretty good for brand identification.

Last edited by Totenfeier; 02-10-2016 at 04:25 PM.
#16
Old 02-10-2016, 04:44 PM
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I found Dewalt to be pretty good. Consistent quality over many, many years.
Craftsman used to be a solid reliable brand. Went to shit about 20 years ago and never recovered. Same with Black and Decker.
Makita is now a strong contender for affordable tools. Slightly better than Dewalt IMHO, slightly less than Milwaukee.

You pays your money and you takes your choice. YMMV, etc.

Last edited by Fir na tine; 02-10-2016 at 04:44 PM.
#17
Old 02-10-2016, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by boytyperanma View Post
When it comes to the best brands your looking at Hilti and Festool but most guys on job sites aren't going to spend that type of money. A 400 dollar Hilti drill doesn't dramatically out perform a Dewalt.
If a professional on a job site whose livelihood depends on his tools doesn't need to spend $400 on a drill, who does? Rich hobbyists?
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#18
Old 02-10-2016, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
If a professional on a job site whose livelihood depends on his tools doesn't need to spend $400 on a drill, who does? Rich hobbyists?
Even among contractors, there is a lot of variation on what they are willing to spend on tools. Some want the tool to the best possible, damn the cost. Others view it as: it's good, and I can always replace it if it breaks since it doesn't cost that much...

Some of the guys I knew who had specialized into the pricier types of crafts had some pretty cool, and very pricey, tools that they carted around in their pretty vehicles. I had tools that I was pleased with, and went in my purchased used Ford truck's tool box.
#19
Old 02-10-2016, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
If a professional on a job site whose livelihood depends on his tools doesn't need to spend $400 on a drill, who does? Rich hobbyists?
If I was a contractor of any size, I would absolutely invest in appropriate Hilti drills. I used them extensively when I was in the military and have never come across a better hammer drill. Even the battery-powered drills outperformed any other corded hammer drill.
#20
Old 02-10-2016, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
If a professional on a job site whose livelihood depends on his tools doesn't need to spend $400 on a drill, who does? Rich hobbyists?
Your run of the mill contractor usually don't drop the big bucks because security is a constant issue. The more secure the site is the more willing they are to spend. For example if you go into a cabinet shop you'll see Festool tools, but they may carry Milwaukee in the van they send to houses.

Contractors that are very specialized and show up to do one thing. Like the guy I have do concrete cores on commercial sites. Everything he uses cost a fortune, but it allows him to show up x-ray and core a half dozen holes in a few hours, and be on his way. I can't x-ray but I can core with my roto-hammer, my $1k Makita roto-hammer set up is blown out of the water by his $5k Hilti coring set up.

Also high end contractors. One of the outfits I work with specializes in expensive homes. A 5 million dollar build is the cheapest site you'll see them on. Anywhere they set up the site will be fenced off and you need to go through security to be there. They get all types of really expensive tools to play with.
#21
Old 02-10-2016, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boytyperanma View Post
Your run of the mill contractor usually don't drop the big bucks because security is a constant issue. The more secure the site is the more willing they are to spend. For example if you go into a cabinet shop you'll see Festool tools, but they may carry Milwaukee in the van they send to houses.

Contractors that are very specialized and show up to do one thing. Like the guy I have do concrete cores on commercial sites. Everything he uses cost a fortune, but it allows him to show up x-ray and core a half dozen holes in a few hours, and be on his way. I can't x-ray but I can core with my roto-hammer, my $1k Makita roto-hammer set up is blown out of the water by his $5k Hilti coring set up.

Also high end contractors. One of the outfits I work with specializes in expensive homes. A 5 million dollar build is the cheapest site you'll see them on. Anywhere they set up the site will be fenced off and you need to go through security to be there. They get all types of really expensive tools to play with.
I dunno, I just recently did a job for another contractor that specializes in mega million dollar factories and high rises and had to go through a 1 hour seminar and sign in/out at the guard shack, very strict policies...etc and all their guys had Dewalt drills, saws and core drills. I notice tools a lot mainly because when I take fiber..etc through a building, they are constantly around me or I'm having to step over them or around them or I'll be waiting for something and just observe others working...Dewalt's are heavily used in my area at least regardless of how small or large the project and contractor companies are.
#22
Old 02-10-2016, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by HeXen View Post
I dunno, I just recently did a job for another contractor that specializes in mega million dollar factories and high rises and had to go through a 1 hour seminar and sign in/out at the guard shack, very strict policies...etc and all their guys had Dewalt drills, saws and core drills. I notice tools a lot mainly because when I take fiber..etc through a building, they are constantly around me or I'm having to step over them or around them or I'll be waiting for something and just observe others working...Dewalt's are heavily used in my area at least regardless of how small or large the project and contractor companies are.
Could be the Dewalt Rep for your area is really good at their job. Tool companies have Rep's they send to job sites to talk to contractors, hand out freebies, process warranties and most importantly convince people to buy their brand. A good rep can go a long way towards steering the local market.
#23
Old 02-11-2016, 09:13 AM
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I could see a situation where if you work in a team of contractors you may want to have the same brand tools, at least for the cordless variety, so you can share batteries and accessories or whatnot. And from an outside observer it would look as though that brand was good since everyone uses it, but it may just be out of convenience.

I've personally had a harbor freight cordless drill and then upgraded to a Ryobi Li-ion several years ago. The chuck on it broke a few weeks ago and although it was probably fixable I used it as an excuse to buy a new drill/driver combo. I bought a Milwaukee M18 brushless set and man, it's night and day different from the Ryobi. So there are definitely performance tiers, but I'd bet that Makita/DeWalt/Milwaukee all probably make similar quality tools for similar prices.
#24
Old 02-11-2016, 10:57 AM
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A lot of these tools are all made by the same company and often in the same factories. For example, Milwaukee, Ryobi, Ridgid and Craftsman are all made (at least in part) by Techtronic/TTI out of China.

DeWalt is part of Black & Decker.

Someone below mentioned B&D acquired Dewalt to have a range of quality. I think that is also true of the TTI range.
#25
Old 02-11-2016, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by wguy123 View Post
A lot of these tools are all made by the same company and often in the same factories. For example, Milwaukee, Ryobi, Ridgid and Craftsman are all made (at least in part) by Techtronic/TTI out of China.

DeWalt is part of Black & Decker.

Someone below mentioned B&D acquired Dewalt to have a range of quality. I think that is also true of the TTI range.
And even when assembled in different locations the tools may all use the motors and other parts, and those parts won't be consistent within the same brand either. But the companies do set quality standards and choose the components carefully while knowing the trade off between quality and cost. The upshot of all that is that there isn't that much difference between one brand and another and that difference is not consistent across their product lines.

I think most people dislike a particular brand because one tool didn't do the job or broke and they like the brand of the next tool they get if the tool is better.
#26
Old 02-11-2016, 11:18 AM
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TTI owns Milwaukee and Ryobi but AFAIK they haven't let Milwaukee's quality slip.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Techtronic_Industries

I don't think Craftsman ever did make their own tools. Somethings are easy to spot as simple rebadges. Knipex pliers and Ingersol-Rand impacts come to mind.
#27
Old 02-11-2016, 11:18 PM
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Mid grade as everyone else has said, but also certain models by certain manufacturers sometimes stand out. Dewalt makes decent, well priced Miter Saws, and they have some great mid quality laser levels that are bomber. Lots of their tools are maybe a little klunky but tend to last a long time.

But what I really wanted to say is....

BOSCH!? Are you people FUCKING KIDDING?? IN THE SAME BREATH AS FESTOOL????? REALLLY?????

Sorry but I have been burnt enough by Bosch. Even their blades are terrible. Never will I buy anything by them again. Maybe they were decent at one time (like others), but Bosch never, ever was in the same league as Festool or Hilti.
#28
Old 02-12-2016, 01:01 AM
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With increased use of rechargeable tools, contractors will settle on one brand for commonality of batteries and chargers. Corded tools get chosen based on personal preference or, "we always get Dewalt/Milwaukee/Makita, etc... If your buying on your own, read the reviews, try one out for vibration/noise/fit/adjustments/blade-bit changing and what else is important to you. I've got a Milwaukee 28v kit for travel. Around the house I use mostly Dewalt corded saws and drills. YMMV
#29
Old 02-12-2016, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Totenfeier View Post
I moonlighted at Lowe's for a while about ten years ago. I wasn't the "Tool World" guy; I was in the hardware department across the aisle. I don't know what was the best or best-selling tool line, but I do recall that Black and Decker was considered shit. I agree that the DeWalt yellow is pretty good for brand identification.
I go back 20 years as the Hardware Manager at Builders Square.

Back then Milwaukee was the best among those who "knew", but DeWalt was "sexier" because of the yellow color.

Makita was next in terms of quality i.e. contractor worthy but cheap, then Ryobi and Skill as a high end homeowner tool, and yeah the Black and Deckers were considered shit.

I think we might have also sold Bosch and Porter Cable, as well as a third new drill company that was light blue and began with a "P" but cant remember who. They were all also-rans hoping to pick up customers through various marketplace niches.

I do remember back then the pissing match was over how many "volts" a cordless drill could offer. There was 12.2v, then 14.4v was the Gold Standard, then I think Dewalt came out with an 18.8v and if you were a lower end company and could come out with a 14.4 or 18.8 but cheaper it would impress customers, through IIRC it was torque, not just voltage, that was a true measure of a drill's ability.

My favorite story is Makita held a contest where the BS that sold the most of their power tools in the country won a pair of Super Bowl tickets plus about $1500 cash and we won, my top sales guy took the tix and the rest of us split the money.

Part of me misses those days!

Last edited by russian heel; 02-12-2016 at 01:53 AM.
#30
Old 02-12-2016, 06:05 AM
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I have been a electrician since 1983. Both residential and commercial. I have used Pretty much every brand out there, and there one thing that is for sure, there isn't just one make/brand of tools that does it all. Depending on the type of work your doing, one brand can be many times better, and even more so when it come to type of tool... you can buy. Granted, I haven't bought a new drill since 2003.. because I haven't need to! The 18V cordless I have still kicks the as, er rear end of any brand i have seen on jobsites. True, I have gone through 3 or 4 batteries in 13 yrs. But I can drill 2" holes in 16 gauge metal all day long and not run down the batt. BUT, I need to ad that the Dewalt 18v drills that are sold at home depot, are not the same drills you can buy else where. They are..well built a lot cheaper.

Milwaukee makes the best 1/2" right angle elc drill that there is, it's called a hole-Hawg. Spend 8 or 9 hrs in 115 degree temps, drilling 1" holes in studs with a 18" ship auger with any other brand.. it won't last the day. I get that hole-Hawg so damn hot, I have to wear leather gloves.. I can use it like that all summer long, 5 days a week, never have a problem.

When it comes to Sawzalls.. it's Milwaukee again! There just isn't a better one out there.. and I don't care what anyone says!

When you have 50 to 75 men being paid hourly working jobs.. jobs that need to get done right and fast... you sure as hell don't buy a tool because of it's price, you buy because it the best damn tool you can buy.. for any price!! Think about it, when that cheaper tool breaks and the job stops.. everyone waiting for it to be replaced.. being paid by the Hr. Perhaps these little contractors buy cheap stuff, but not any big outfit does.. and if they did.. probably wouldn't be around that long

IMO...
#31
Old 02-12-2016, 09:59 AM
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Isn't the hierarchy something like this (at least for portable power tools, and with some overlap with lower-end product ranges, and big-box store variants):

Top tier

Hilti
Festool

2nd Tier (contractor grade)

DeWalt
Bosch
Makita
Milwaukee
Ridgid

Third Tier (homeowner grade)

Black & Decker
Ryobi
Skil
Craftsman

Last edited by bump; 02-12-2016 at 10:00 AM.
#32
Old 02-12-2016, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by billybl View Post
I have been a electrician since 1983. Both residential and commercial. I have used Pretty much every brand out there, and there one thing that is for sure, there isn't just one make/brand of tools that does it all. Depending on the type of work your doing, one brand can be many times better, and even more so when it come to type of tool... you can buy. Granted, I haven't bought a new drill since 2003.. because I haven't need to! The 18V cordless I have still kicks the as, er rear end of any brand i have seen on jobsites. True, I have gone through 3 or 4 batteries in 13 yrs. But I can drill 2" holes in 16 gauge metal all day long and not run down the batt. BUT, I need to ad that the Dewalt 18v drills that are sold at home depot, are not the same drills you can buy else where. They are..well built a lot cheaper.

Milwaukee makes the best 1/2" right angle elc drill that there is, it's called a hole-Hawg. Spend 8 or 9 hrs in 115 degree temps, drilling 1" holes in studs with a 18" ship auger with any other brand.. it won't last the day. I get that hole-Hawg so damn hot, I have to wear leather gloves.. I can use it like that all summer long, 5 days a week, never have a problem.

When it comes to Sawzalls.. it's Milwaukee again! There just isn't a better one out there.. and I don't care what anyone says!

When you have 50 to 75 men being paid hourly working jobs.. jobs that need to get done right and fast... you sure as hell don't buy a tool because of it's price, you buy because it the best damn tool you can buy.. for any price!! Think about it, when that cheaper tool breaks and the job stops.. everyone waiting for it to be replaced.. being paid by the Hr. Perhaps these little contractors buy cheap stuff, but not any big outfit does.. and if they did.. probably wouldn't be around that long

IMO...
Not really, you buy whatever fits the job, works and keeps working and you use it until it breaks and every tool will break eventually regardless. There is no science that says tool A is the best damn tool rather typically the warranty/job to experience ratio would effect choice. It's like concrete, there's the kind that's cracked and the kind that's gonna crack and when you have multiple guys using it, some "new guy" will likely break it eventually. For you to have formed your opinion then you obviously know that much except your current preferred tool just hasn't broke yet or been broken by that darn new guy. However that is only your sole experience which may differ from someone else. But that doesn't explain why a particular brand would be so common amongst such a variety of professions. Consensus here shows Dewalt is not top tier but so far no common bond found for why it would be so common.

Perhaps it's more like some have said, Dewalt fits in a price range where if the new guy breaks it then your company doesn't have to file for bankruptcy and is still made decent enough for it's average life span to justify the choice. Or perhaps it's a monkey see, monkey do effect.

Last edited by HeXen; 02-12-2016 at 08:05 PM. Reason: clarification
#33
Old 02-13-2016, 07:58 AM
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Dont the tool companies also make different qualities within the same brand.
Theyll make a 100$ tool and a $200 version and a $300 and the quality devil is hiding in the details.

Id like to know: what brand(s) would the tool expert, if paying from their own pocket, choose for a moderately careful and honest workforce. Wont break but wont walk.
#34
Old 02-13-2016, 09:05 AM
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There are multiple websites that offer tool reviews. This is a review of SDS rotary hammer drills. Tool Box Buzz . They give the nod to a Makita over a Hilti, with a DeWalt in third. Obviously it's just one article, and different people weigh different factors differently ... warranty, speed, comfort, workmanship, versatility, etc.

Last edited by Baal Houtham; 02-13-2016 at 09:08 AM.
#35
Old 02-13-2016, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicky View Post
Dont the tool companies also make different qualities within the same brand.
Theyll make a 100$ tool and a $200 version and a $300 and the quality devil is hiding in the details.

Id like to know: what brand(s) would the tool expert, if paying from their own pocket, choose for a moderately careful and honest workforce. Wont break but wont walk.
Normally the purpose of a brand is to seperate out different tiers of the same manufacturer. So typically the quality is consistent if the manufacturer wants to make a cheaper product they'd usually make it and sell it under a different brand. Like black and Decker makes drills of different qualities. They sell the cheaper ones as black and Decker and the more expensive ones as Dewalt.

Dewalt is an example of s brand with that offers cheaper versions within the brand. For example if you go shopping at home depot they will have 2-3 18v hammer drill kits. The cheapest will have a plastic chuck and the shorter life battery packs. The more expensive one will have a knurled metal check and the longer life batteries. Both are good quality but one is clearly better. This has been both good and bad for Dewalt. On one hand a brouder price range let's more people into the brand on the other hand it hurts the brands reputation when people see or experience the cheaper version and think it represents the entire brand.

As another poster stated 'Dewalts from Home Depot are cheaper' which is sometimes true as home depot carries both the cheaper and more expensive version. A professional shop will only carry the better ones. You can get the top quality Dewalts at home depot you just need to make sure you are comparing apples to apples.

Bumps earlier list is a good breakdown to go by.
#36
Old 02-13-2016, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Baal Houtham View Post
There are multiple websites that offer tool reviews. This is a review of SDS rotary hammer drills. Tool Box Buzz . They give the nod to a Makita over a Hilti, with a DeWalt in third. Obviously it's just one article, and different people weigh different factors differently ... warranty, speed, comfort, workmanship, versatility, etc.
In the article the say Hilti is the better tool but Makita wins out due to price. I agree. My SDS and SDS Max roto-hammers are Makita. Dewalt has never been a real competitor in the concrete tool market, they do much better with carpentry tools
#37
Old 02-13-2016, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by boytyperanma View Post
In the article the say Hilti is the better tool but Makita wins out due to price. I agree. My SDS and SDS Max roto-hammers are Makita. Dewalt has never been a real competitor in the concrete tool market, they do much better with carpentry tools
That makes more sense.

In addition to the expense of a Hilti drill, you then have to buy the Hilti bits, which have a patented design. Hilti drills will accept other bits, but only with an after market adapter, as I recall. It's not worth it, as the Hilti bits, like their drill motors, are superior to other products. I've drilled everything from drywall anchor holes to a 6" core through a concrete floor with Hilti products. They are, hands down, the best in the world.
#38
Old 02-13-2016, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
In addition to the expense of a Hilti drill, you then have to buy the Hilti bits, which have a patented design.
I don't think that's true any more. I Think all of the manufacturers have gone to SDS-Max shanks. That was originally Bosch's.
#39
Old 02-13-2016, 09:03 PM
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One thing to keep in mind is that the more expensive tools get, you can actually get replacement parts and get them repaired.

I used to have an older 11.7v(?- can't recall, but it was weird) contractor-grade Makita cordless drill, and the chuck took a dump on me, so I looked it up, ordered a new chuck, and was back in action. The neat part was that I could have bought just about ANY part of the drill separately, had I so chosen.

So for $18, I got another couple of years out of the drill, while had it been homeowner grade, it would have been done for when the chuck failed.
#40
Old 02-14-2016, 12:51 AM
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My BIL works on heavy equipment and goes through power tools faster than most people would. He says he'd rather go through a few cheap Ryobis and treat them as rough as needed than buy a DeWalt and get pissed when it dies. Just another POV.
#41
Old 02-14-2016, 01:45 AM
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I'll retell this:

There is a meme that some manufacturers will make a cheaper version of their products especially for the big box retaialers*. They alter the model number or other mark to distinguish the product.

* - if YOU had the buyer for HD in your office and he could buy all the output of a new factory in China - IF you can meet his price, what WOULD you do?
#42
Old 02-14-2016, 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by usedtobe View Post
I'll retell this:

There is a meme that some manufacturers will make a cheaper version of their products especially for the big box retaialers*. They alter the model number or other mark to distinguish the product.

* - if YOU had the buyer for HD in your office and he could buy all the output of a new factory in China - IF you can meet his price, what WOULD you do?
I'd like for once someone to show some proof this happens. It should be easy. You can go to any of these manufacturer's websites and see the model #s. So it should be no problem to cross-check them with home depot or lowe's websites.

It would be idiotic of these companies to produce a knock-off replica of some other model just to sell at home depot or lowes. I would imagine the vast majority of their sells come from big box stores... so why bother? There are plenty of cheaper tools available out there, why risk tarnishing your brand for no gain?
#43
Old 02-14-2016, 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by nate View Post
I'd like for once someone to show some proof this happens. It should be easy. You can go to any of these manufacturer's websites and see the model #s. So it should be no problem to cross-check them with home depot or lowe's websites.

It would be idiotic of these companies to produce a knock-off replica of some other model just to sell at home depot or lowes. I would imagine the vast majority of their sells come from big box stores... so why bother? There are plenty of cheaper tools available out there, why risk tarnishing your brand for no gain?
Compare a DCD940KX kit to a DC720KA kit. They are both 18v 1/2 drills. One retails $80 bucks more than the other. The cheaper one pretty much exists to meet a big box price point Home Depot carries both. It's not some secret marking that differentiates them the Model numbers are on the packaging and clearly different.


http://dewalt.com/tools/cordless...-dcd940kx.aspx

http://dewalt.com/tools/cordless...s-dc720ka.aspx
#44
Old 02-14-2016, 03:33 AM
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Big box versions can be almost a completely different tool, or just a minimal version of the product. A shorter power cord, no spare blade or bits, no case, any little bit of savings to meet the price range that can be found might be the big box version, or it might be a completely different tool with a lot more plastic and cheaper motor.
#45
Old 02-14-2016, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by boytyperanma View Post
Compare a DCD940KX kit to a DC720KA kit. They are both 18v 1/2 drills. One retails $80 bucks more than the other. The cheaper one pretty much exists to meet a big box price point Home Depot carries both. It's not some secret marking that differentiates them the Model numbers are on the packaging and clearly different.


http://dewalt.com/tools/cordless...-dcd940kx.aspx

http://dewalt.com/tools/cordless...s-dc720ka.aspx
Those are very different drills, though. The fancier one has a higher power rating, three speed settings, higher max RPM, more clutch settings, and a metal ratcheting chuck, and is a lot heavier.

The accusation that gets thrown around is that the companies make cheaper versions of the same model (perhaps with a -A appended to the model number or something) with just a few parts replaced by plastic equivalents, and sell those to the big-boxes. The point being that a guy who looks at a FooCorp 1155 drill in a catalog and picks up a FooCorp 1155-A thinks he's getting something of higher quality than he actually is.
#46
Old 02-14-2016, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by friedo View Post

The accusation that gets thrown around is that the companies make cheaper versions of the same model (perhaps with a -A appended to the model number or something) with just a few parts replaced by plastic equivalents, and sell those to the big-boxes. The point being that a guy who looks at a FooCorp 1155 drill in a catalog and picks up a FooCorp 1155-A thinks he's getting something of higher quality than he actually is.
I agree I've never seen such accusations born out. Manufacturers do make tools of different qualities though. Someone who knows nothing about tools might choose a lower quality version thinking it's equivalent to the more expensive one. Deception that would fool a competent buyer doesn't exist imo.

Nate asked for an example of a brand offering a cheaper version sold at big box stores. There is no question one of those drills is cheaper than the other. They are both within the same brand.
#47
Old 02-14-2016, 02:52 PM
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Sorry for not being clear, but I was asking for proof of a cheapening of a specific model just to sell it in a big box store, basically what friedo is describing. I'm aware that brands make different models for different price points.
#48
Old 02-14-2016, 09:51 PM
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In business school, the Black & Decker case study is a classic!

Back around 1992, the problem was that B & D's commercial-grade products were charcoal-gray, and their consumer-grade products were black. A lot of their really cheap competitors also used black or charcoal-gray for their colors, as well. At the time, their main competitors in the professional-tradesman arena (contractors, construction workers, etc.) were Makita and Milwaukee Power Tools, each with their own bold, distinctive colors. Makita was kicking the snot out of both Milwaukee and B & D, and Milwaukee was starting to pull ahead of B & D.

B & D were huge in the consumer goods marketplace (coffee makers, popcorn makers, blenders, etc.) and they had a very high name recognition value, due to all the marketing for those consumer goods. However, that brand recognition worked against them, because there was a perception that B & D was synonymous with "cheap" and "consumer-grade" products, not to be used by professional tradesmen. Interestingly enough, they had done research where they took similar products from B & D, Makita, and Milwaukee and removed all identifying marks and colors, then put them to use in real situations. The B & D products performed equally with the other two brands, demonstrating that B & D's quality was high, but they had a perception problem.

B & D was literally faced with the possibility of exiting the power hand tool market, and they were the ones that had invented the market!

As mentioned upthread, DeWalt was a manufacturer of radial arm saws for the lumber industry, but the brand had been retired due to liability concerns. The DeWalt brand was already part of the B & D "stable" of brands; that is, they did not go out and purchase DeWalt. They resurrected the brand name and applied it to their professional-grade tools, along with the "industrial yellow" color.

They could have co-branded their products by calling them "Such and Such by Black and Decker", but that would not have helped them overcome the perception problem. Therefore, they had to do something to get separation from the B & D name.

At the time, studies had shown that the DeWalt had a high name recognition factor, so they chose to rebrand as DeWalt. (This was around the same time that Honda was introducing the luxury brand of Acura, and Toyota was bringing out the Lexus, both for the same reasons: to get separation from their cheaper, "consumer-grade" lines.)

Again, as mentioned upthread, perception is everything, especially in a macho environment such as a job work site. The guys are always sizing up each others' ... tools ... (ahem, the powered kind). Same thing with their trucks. There is an inherent "ego-expressive" quality about what you use to make your living, especially in a testosterone rich environment where you only make money when you are working, and you are losing money if your tools are broken.

The color of the drill or saw or whatever was a very powerful influence. You could see from across the job site what a particular guy was using. Good or bad. But B & D suffered because a cheap knockoff's black or charcoal-gray color was indistinguishable from their charcoal-gray products.

By completely changing over the name and color of their tools, B & D was able to successfully rebrand themselves and separate their professional-grade tools from their consumer-grade tools. And they totally dominated the market in the years immediately following.

Now, all of this happened a long time ago when we all wore onions on our belts, and so, today, the landscape may be completely different. DeWalt tools may or may not be of as high quality as they were 30 years ago. Makita and Milwaukee may or may not be better than they were 30 years ago. (Both Makita and Milwaukee are owned by the same "umbrella" corporation.) Other brands may have risen to take their place.

But the really strange thing is the important part that the color played in the whole rebranding effort.
#49
Old 02-14-2016, 10:03 PM
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Missed the edit window. Sorry about that. I want to at least make an attempt to answer the questions immediately above my wall-o-text.

Generally, though, a manufacturer can't offer radically cheaper versions of the same product due to their marketing agreements with their retailers. A manufacturer usually doesn't want to alienate their retail partners. If BoxStoreA is selling a Foobar 1000 (for professionals) for $400, and BoxStoreB is selling the Foobar 1000-A (for the casual Mr. Fixit around the house) for $100, then someone is getting deceived, especially if BoxStoreB tries to position the 1000-A model as suitable for the rigors of a job site.

Plus, let's say they did actually do that. Consider the tradesman who doesn't know that there is a difference between the Foobar 1000 and the Foobar 1000-A. He buys the cheaper product thinking he just saved $300, but the thing breaks on the second day at the job site. Now he's out of work until he can replace the tool. Immediately, he will be completely disenchanted with that manufacturer, and probably won't even try to do the research needed to find out that he really should have bought the Foobar 1000 rather than the 1000-A model. He'll just move on to another brand, and typically, these guys are not just buying a single tool ... they are buying about $1,000 - $3,000 of tools per year, over a lifetime. A manufacturer would be stupid to deliberately try to lose that revenue stream.

Last edited by BobArrgh; 02-14-2016 at 10:05 PM.
#50
Old 02-15-2016, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by BobArrgh View Post
Now, all of this happened a long time ago when we all wore onions on our belts,.
What on earth does that mean?
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