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What is the best power tool brand for woodworking?
I get these kind of questions all the time. It has also been asked severally on forums and groups.
In a bid to answer this question, Lifestory Research surveyed the most trusted power tool brands in America.
I understand the curiosity. As woodworkers, it’s no longer news that power tools are a must-have in our workshops. The problem is, there are so many brands to choose from that it can be challenging to make the right decision.
Therefore, based on my research, brands I have used, and user ratings, I have narrowed down your options to 10-brands. These are the 10-brands I consider to be the best in general.
Also, behind the scenes, I looked at brands that have built a strong reputation over the years, because happy customers are a major indicator of quality of service.
After reading this article, I believe you should be able to make a good buying decision as to which brand is suitable for you based on your interest and the kind of projects you build regularly.
I have drawn up a table and categorized these 10 brands under the following criteria; durability, performance, affordability, innovation, cordless, corded and finally, a link to check out their prices.
You can take a glance and find out which brand is right for you without reading the whole article.
|Metabo HPT||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||Check Prices|
|Black & Decker||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||Check Prices|
Things To Keep in Mind
I did not list the brands in a particular order because no one size that fits all. They all have strong points and also weaknesses. What you find impressive in one, your next-door woodworker may find in another.
I may go into some specific details and background to give you a solid understanding of each brand and how they relate to your woodworking needs.
As this is going to be a long article, here is the navigation you can use to quickly jump over to different sections.
Milwaukee has made some amazing progress since the organization was set up in Wisconsin in 1924. They have experienced numerous proprietorship changes, yet their quality has remained steady. In 2005, they were acquired by Techtonic, who additionally claims Ryobi and Hoover.
Their recognition grew when they released their famous lightweight, one-handed drill, called the Hole Shooter. Today, the company now offers dozens of different construction and outdoor power equipment. They have also amassed a huge line of cordless power tools, leading the way to a cordless revolution.
They also developed a one-key solution that enables companies to maintain and manage all of their battery-powered tools efficiently.
Apart from woodworking, Milwaukee power tools have also proven useful to professional contractors.
- Milwaukee’s Cordless Compact Router,18.0 Voltage: This Cordless Compact Router combines power, speed and accurate depth adjustments to deliver clean accurate cuts in a variety of materials and applications.
- Milwaukee 2719-20 M18 FUEL Hackzall: This is the fastest cutting and most powerful one-handed design reciprocating saw. Utilizing a POWERSTATE Brushless Motor and a best in class 7/8 in. stroke length, the M18 FUEL HACKZALL cuts up to 50% faster than competitors
- Milwaukee 2626-20 M18 Lithium Ion Cordless Orbiting Multi Tool: This Multi-Tool has best-in-class speed and performance and offers you the versatility to complete problematic jobsite applications. It also cuts up to 50% faster and delivers up to 2X more cuts per charge than the competitors.
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DeWalt is a multinational company that was born out of the invention of the radial arm saw by Raymond E. DeWalt in 1923. This made many tag them as the original power tool manufacturers.
In 1960, they were acquired by Black & Decker. This takeover was marked with a significant decline for a few decades because many people considered Black & Decker as a novice in the power tool industry. A successful rebranding in the early 1990s changed that, making DeWalt the go-to brand among DIYers and professional contractors.
Dewalt’s has an array of different power tools; corded, cordless and of different models. The most innovative of their products is their FLEXVOLT Battery which automatically switches between 20V and 60V depending on the power tool it is attached to, meaning it can power almost any tool.
- DEWALT (DCK240C2) 20V Max Cordless Drill Combo Kit: Has a compact and lightweight design to fit into tight areas, as well as an ergonomic handle for comfort and control. This DEWALT cordless drill combo tool kit is ideal of completing a wide range of drilling and driving applications.
- DEWALT 12-Inch Sliding Compound Miter Saw (DWS780): This sliding Compound Miter Saw is driven by a powerful motor for advanced cutting power in a compact, lightweight design. With extended bevel and miter capacities, this compound miter saw powers through dimensional lumber and molding at angles up to 50ۜ degree left and 60 degree right for versatility
- DEWALT 6-1/2-Inch 20V MAX Circular Saw (DCS391B): This Dewalt cordless Circular Saw has a powerful 5150 RPM motor that delivers power and speed to make the most demanding cuts with ease. The high strength and lightweight magnesium shoe provides job site durability for prolonged cut accuracy.
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Established by Robert Bosch in 1886 in Stuttgart, this German organization has become familiar in many home and work environments.
Related Article: 6 German Power Tool Brands | Which is The Best For Woodworkers?
What makes Bosch unique is the fact that they are 90% owned by a charitable organization, Robert Bosch Stiftung. This is ironic because you would expect a tool company to stand out based on the quality of their tools. Nevertheless, Bosch still makes quality, reliable, flexible and high-performing tools.
Just like DeWalt, they are innovators in the battery technology as they have a large portfolio of cordless tools.
As a woodworker, it is worth noting that Bosch tools are generally more expensive than their counterparts. But this is understandable as you will be paying for the extra quality.
- BOSCH 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Jig Saw (JSH180B): The Bosch JSH180B Lithium-ion jig saw is compact and lightweight. Its T-shank blade change system allows the user to insert the blade just without the need for any tools, and when it’s time for a blade change, a turn of knob ejects the blade, so there is no need to touch a hot blade.
- Bosch Benchtop Router Table RA1181: This 15 Amp Corded 27 in. x 18 in. Aluminum Top Benchtop Router Table with 2-1/2 in. Vacuum Hose Port is a perfect addition to your workshop. Each router table includes a lightweight yet durable aluminum top and a sturdy ABS plastic base. The vacuum hose port fits standard 2-1/2 in. vacuum hoses for quick and easy clean up.
- BOSCH Combo Kit CLPK22-120 – 12-Volt Cordless Tool Set: This Bosch line of cordless tools uses the industry’s most advanced Lithium-ion technology. This gives the battery greater life and more run time, all in a lighter package.
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Ridgid was established in 1923. They mainly manufacture equipment for the plumbing and HVAC industries. The most famous tools in its portfolio are its red pipe wrenches. As for power tools, they produce drills, saws and impact drivers.
Despite not being a major dealer, Ridgid power tools are still widely used among construction and woodworkers.
They do not have a sophisticated battery technology like the other brands, but by providing one of the best guarantees in the market they can compensate for that.
- Ridgid R86011B OCTANE 18V Cordless Impact Wrench: This impact wrench has 4-modes, including a unique auto mode, that help it to stand out from the competition and make it a must have in any workshop. RIDGID OCTANE brushless motors offer up to 50% more runtime and longer motor life.
- Ridgid R8606B GEN5X Cordless Random Orbit Sander: Featuring an innovative motor technology, this sander maintains full speed and power under a heavy load. With a new ergonomic Hex Grip handle, this sander feels better than ever in your hand and runs for over 40 minutes on a 4.0 Ah Lithium-Ion Battery. With a 6-Speed variable speed dial this sander can run from 7,000-11,000 RPM.
- Ridgid R8832B 18V OCTANE Cordless Brushless Jig Saw: This OCTANE Tool features a high performance brushless motor and advanced electronics, providing best-in-class power and intelligence. This tool delivers up to 45% faster cutting in high demand application.
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Ryobi, a Japanese power tool brand, is owned by the Techtronic Industries (the same company that owns Milwaukee). These two power tool brands can be seen as two arms of the same company. While Milwaukee caters far the contractors and professionals, Ryobi is more suited for DIYers and homeowners.
Ryobi power tools may not be as robust as Milwaukee’s, but they are affordable. Maybe that’s why they are favoured by a lot of hobbyists.
It is important to note that, their tools are not designed for heavy usage ( 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). You should consider the other brands on this list if your projects involve heavy usage of power tools.
- Ryobi 18V ONE+ 18 Gauge Cordless Brad Nailer Kit: The RYOBI P320 AirStrike Brad Nailer drives 18-Gauge nails from 5/8 in. to 2 in. long. Best of all, it is part of the RYOBI ONE+ System of over 260 cordless tools that all work on the same battery platform.
- Ryobi Tools P505 18V ONE+ 5-1/2″ Cordless Circular Saw: This saw is equipped with GRIPZONE overmold for optimum grip and comfort and has a 50° bevel cut capacity. The 5-1/2 in. blade provides a 1-9/16 in. depth of cut.
- Ryobi P519 18V ONE+ Lithium-ion Cordless Reciprocating Saw: This saw delivers better productivity with up to 3,400 SPM and 60% faster cutting. An easy blade change lever and a lock-off button make this saw a must have for any DIY or professional job. It features a 1″ stroke length and adjustable, pivoting shoe to provide greater depth control and more efficient use of the blade.
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Although established in 1915, it wasn’t until 1958 before Makita started to make headway. First, it was their planer, then drills followed. Today, Makita is one of the well-known power tool brands out there.
Makita’s portfolio includes all the power tools you will ever need to set up your woodworking shop, ranging from sanders, routers, circular saws, angle grinders, hammers and impact drivers.
Makita is also known for being innovative while keeping things simple. They streamlined their cordless platform, featuring a single voltage of 18V across their tools.
- Makita 18V LXT Li-Ion Brushless Cordless Impact Driver Kit (XDT131): The Makita 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Impact Driver Kit (XDT131) delivers maximum versatility and performance, with an efficient Makita BL Brushless Motor for up to 50% longer run time, increased power and speed, and longer tool life.
- Makita XMT03Z Cordless Oscillating Tool (LXT Series): This Makita Cordless Multi-Tool delivers corded speed and power without the cord. It is engineered with additional features like reduced vibration and low noise for improved performance and is ideal for cutting, sanding, scraping, grout removal and more. Great for wood flooring, plaster, PVC and more.
- Makita XAG04Z 18V LXT Brushless Cordless Cut-Off/Angle Grinder: Makita delivers corded grinding performance without the cord with the 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless 4-1/2″ / 5” Cut-Off/Angle Grinder. It’s powered by a Makita brushless motor for longer run time, increased power and speed, and longer tool life.
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Note: Metabo HPT should not be confused with Metabo. They are two totally different brands although they are owned by the same investment firm, KKR.
Hitachi when they initially started could be considered Jack of all trades when it comes to power tools. They manufactured way more tools than you can imagine. From batteries and screens, all the way to construction machinery and aircrafts equipment.
Ever since then, they have undergone some kind of rebranding which saw their name changed from Hitachi to Metabo HPT in 2018. Today, they are notable for producing cut-off saws, angle grinders and other heavy-duty cutting equipment.
Metabo HPT tools tend to be more expensive when compared to other brands, but this shouldn’t stop you from trying them out, especially if the main tool you need for a particular project happens to be made by them.
- Metabo HPT C10FCGSM Single Bevel 10 in. Corded Compound Miter Saw: This Metabo HPT compound miter saw is ideal for trim carpenters, framers, and woodworkers who demand precision, reliability and versatility on the job. The 15 amp motor generates a no-load speed of up to 5,000 RPM for making crosscuts and miters with ease, even on the toughest cutting jobs.
- Metabo HPT 16-Gal Pneumatic Roofing Nailer, NV45AB2M: One of the best-selling Coil Roofing Nailer (NV45AB2), extremely lightweight, (only 5.5 Lbs.) making it the essential tool for the fast-paced working environment. It features rapid driving and unprecedented quick response with a unique cylinder valve firing mechanism allowing you to fire up to 3 Nails per second.
- Metabo Hpt C3610 36V Multivolt Table Saw: The Metabo HPT brushless full-size jobsite table saw provides the pro, a powerful and innovated solution for the modern jobsite. The MultiVolt table saw is a first of its kind offering the ability to be powered by a 36V MultiVolt battery for flexibility and portability or choose to plug into an AC outlet.
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Craftsman first started in 1927 by the retailer Sears. Later they were acquired by Black & Decker which they helped dominate the power tool market in the US.
Craftsman manufactures a good range of power tools, including Weedwhacker brand which everyone knows and uses. They produce both corded and battery-powered tools.
Their innovation can be seen in their Versa System, a unique system for organizing equipment, tools and accessories within a workshop. With this system, they firmly marketed themselves towards woodworkers.
- Craftsman MAX 20 volt Brushless Cordless Drill/Driver Kit: The CRAFTSMAN V20 drill/driver has a 1/2in. Chuck to fit a variety of drill bits for different applications. The 280 UWO provides the power needed to complete your tasks.
- Craftsman 20V MAX 11/16 in. Cordless Keyless Jig Saw: This CRAFTSMAN 20V max* cordless variable speed Jigsaw delivers precision in a wide range of applications. The three orbital settings adjust cut aggressiveness for getting the desired result in a variety of materials. The lightweight design and comfortable grips helps to reduce user fatigue.
- Craftsman V20 Cordless 20 volt 4-1/2 in. Angle Grinder: The Craftsman Cordless Angle Grinder features a powerful high performance providing you with the grinding power you’ll need on the job. This hand grinder is built with the user in mind providing control and versatility while adding comfort during use.
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I am sure you must have heard of Black & Decker. I mean who hasn’t. Even non-professional contractors know them. Founded in 1910, in 1917 their reputation grew when they invented the portable drill. Since then, they have kept on expanding.
Although DeWalt, one of its companies took the professional route, they decided to feed the DIY market. Today, Back & Decker manufactures power tools commonly used by hobbyists such as; screwdrivers, drills, sanders, routers etc.
Venturing out of only power tools, you can find cleaning equipment and home appliances in their portfolio.
- BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Cordless 4-Tool Combo Kit: The ultimate DIY 4-tool cordless combo kit featuring 20V MAX* Lithium Ion drill/driver, circular saw, reciprocating saw and a work light.
- BLACK+DECKER 20-Volt MAX* Lithium-Ion Drill-Driver, LDX120C: Durable and powerful, this 20V MAX* cordless drill features an 11-position clutch to help prevent stripped screws. A compact, lightweight design enables you to work in tight spaces with ease, and an LED illuminates worksurfaces.
- BLACK+DECKER 20-Volt MAX* Drill-Driver And 68-Piece Project Kit: Ideal for a variety of household tasks and projects, this household tool kit features a powerful 20V MAX* Lithium Ion drill and 66 hand tools and accessories. Includes a carrying bag for portability and storage.
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Last but not least, we have Skil.
Skil was founded in 1926 in New Orleans and is now based in Stuttgart after being acquired in 1996 by the German company Bosch. Recently, they were acquired by Chervon, a Chinese power tool company. They are arguably the best American tool brand.
If you have heard of Skilsaw, that was their debut tool. The Skillsaw Model 77 was invented in 1937 and today we have a power tool company.
Skil has a portfolio of high-quality power tools with their focus being on saws. If you need a durable high-performing saw for your next project, check out Skil.
- SKIL Corded Circular Saw with Single Beam Laser Guide, 5280-01: For the more experienced user who needs a powerful circular saw with advanced features the SKIL 5280 7-1/4 inch circular saw is the saw for you. The single-beam laser guides cuts more accurately while the integrated dust blower keeps the line of cut sawdust free.
- SKIL Flooring Saw with 36T Contractor Blade, 3601-02: With the capabilities of a standard miter and table saws, the compact Skil flooring saw model 3601 allows you to cut flooring right where you’re installing. Durable, lightweight and portable, dyers and flooring specialists agree it makes wood floor installation easier and faster.
- SKIL Jobsite Table Saw With Integrated Foldable Stand: This SKIL Jobsite Table Saw has a 25-1/2” (64.77cm) Rip Capacity and is equipped with a 15-Amp motor, integrated foldable legs, rack & pinion fence rails, and a dust port elbow to keep your jobsite clean. The 15-Amp motor quickly rips through hardwoods with ease, while the rack & pinion fence rails make fence adjustments fast, smooth, and accurate.
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What is The Overall Best Power Tool Brand For Woodworking?
Overall I will say, Bosch. This is the brand I have been using for 5 years. My jigsaw, router, orbital sander and table-saw are all Bosch’s.
Yes, their tools are on the high side, but their quality is unmatchable and I have found them to perfectly suit the projects I build.
Is It Mandatory To Stick To One Brand?
The best table drills are likely to be made by a different brand than the best table saws. A particular brand may make efficient cordless power tools while another brand may be better at the corded ones. The possibilities are endless.
So, it is not uncommon for a woodworker to have several power tools that are of different brands in his/her workshop.
But for cordless tools, you will save yourself the headache of having to worry about different batteries and chargers if you stick to one brand.
I will like to hear from you. Is my list fair? Which brand(s) do you use? and which brand do you think I should have included? Drop your thoughts in the comment section below.