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quality tool brands

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
Hey All,

Having just bought my first (real) house, I am going to have to buy some tools for the work I'd like to do (e.g. see home theater thread in signature). I'd like to collect tools that will last me a long time even if it costs a bit more.

How would you rate the various tool brands? I've got Loews, HD, the internet and all the money my wife won't notice is missing at my disposal
post #2 of 40
I don't think you can go wrong with Dewalt, Bosch, Makita or Rigid...Porter Cable too.
post #3 of 40
Don't overlook the opportunity to buy used stuff. But be sure to understand the background and condition.
post #4 of 40
Just watch where stuff is made. For example, Makita make some fine drop saws from Japan, but they also have some Chinese? ones which are massively inferior. The Japanese Makita stuff is as good as Festool (nearly and for the untrained). Makita plunge saw is also good.

....Festool, probably the best you can buy, but you pay for it. Worth it IMO for saws, sanders (only Rupes is as good, nothing is better) and routers. That said Dewalt make a very good plunge router.

For drills/drivers look at Hitachi or Makita. Lithium ion stuff only.
post #5 of 40
I just got this jig saw yesterday after watching an online review. OH MY GOD does this cut better than my old crappy Black and Decker. It has every options you can think of - a laser, an LED light, a dush blower, 360 degree scroll cut...

Jig Saw

I have had this table saw for about a year and love it too. Very nice. Its a bosch knockoff.

Table Saw

I have a Portal Cable Circular saw....I need a good circular saw for when I built our stone patio. It takes a beefy saw and diamond blade to cut stone.

Almost everything else I own is from Harbor Frieght. They are cheap, but I don't use these other tools as much, so I can't see investing big bucks in those.
post #6 of 40
I've really like the sears craftsman brand. Good warranties. There power tools don't carry the lifetime warranty like there hand tool line. Cost are great. Sears tends to run them on sale in combo packs for 25 to 50 percent off at a time. The quality is outstanding.
Dewalt is a Contractor grade power tool. Pretty much cant go wrong with that except price.
My friend swears by Home depots Ridged brand, I've never used it myself.
Lastly Harbor Freight. (don't laugh, I see all your eyes rolling.) Quality crap, Cost is cheap. I know you said you want quality tools that will last a long time but you have to bend in some places. For main tools the name brands are the best but if you are only going to use a tool maybe a few times they are great. Especially if you have neighbors or friends that like to barrow you things.
post #7 of 40
I'll second for power tools DeWalt and Hitachi. Have been very pleased with the performance, quality, and durability. I also have a Skil circular saw and router I'm very pleased with. As for hand tools I would go with the brands that have the lifetime replacement guarantee no brainer imo.

Not to stir the pot, but my experience with Ryobi, as well as Black n Decker has been less than stellar. Just not impressed with build quality or performance on either account.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

RTROSE
post #8 of 40
I've had some very good experiences with Rigid orbital sanders and pneumatic finish nailers.
post #9 of 40
I noticed that on the Holmes on Homes show they have done quite a few close ups of his crew using Dewalt drills/screw guns. What interested me is when using it to sink some long screws I always hear this ratcheting sound. My drivers don't make that sound. What is that? Is that the hammering action used for screwing?
post #10 of 40
Big, is that the torque override kicking in? Do you hear the clicking when the screw stops going in? If so, that's the torque setting. Its probably not that though because I am ssuming you would know about torque settings.
post #11 of 40
I'm always driving with the throttle wide open. You mean there is a setting? From what I recall the clicking was during the entire screwing not just at the end. But it was more pronounced at the end. Please no wise a$$ comments to that easy volley.
post #12 of 40
Big I know they use a lot of impact drivers on the show. Torque setting are great on drills. It at the front towards the chuck with the numbers with the last setting usually looks like a drill bit. I always adjust the torque when working with put together furniture where the screws if tighted to much will strip the cheap wood they use.
post #13 of 40
Did a YouTube search on the Dewalt impact driver and found a demo. Yup, that is the sound I hear on TV They must always be using it in impact mode.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kXZiQuukYU

I gotta get me one!
post #14 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

Did a YouTube search on the Dewalt impact driver and found a demo. Yup, that is the sound I hear on TV They must always be using it in impact mode.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kXZiQuukYU

I gotta get me one!

I've used a Dewalt cordless impact driver for years and can't imagine life without it. Lighter, smaller, and more powerful than most cordless drill/drivers; it is great for overhead and awkward angles. Easy to wield, it requires less muscle and takes the torque/fatigue off your arm and wrist -- transferring it directly to the screw head. Also, effectively reduces stripping and rounding-off fasteners, but can snap them in hard wood.

Good luck.

post #15 of 40
+++ on the Dewalt impact driver - I absolutely cannot imagine working without one either. For equivalent torque to drive screws in just about anything - lags in hardwood, tapcons, whatever - you would need a much more massive drill/driver, an it would run out of juice a lot faster too.

What's confusing is that there is no separate "impact mode" on an impact driver. That usually refers to the percussion action on a hammer drill. On these things, impact refers to the fact that rotational torque is generated by the motor via an impact ratchet rather than driving the chuck directly. That's why they make that sound, are great at driving screws, but not at spinning drill bits.

If you plan on doing a lot of screw driving (decks, framing, tapcons), you'll want one!
post #16 of 40
I had no idea that anyone was still using cordless drill/drivers to turn screws. We made the switch to impact drivers 6 years ago and never looked back. On rare occasions when a drill driver is all I have handy, I feel like I'm turning the screws by hand. Impacts are a full magnitude superior when turning screws or bolts with any significant torque.

Rob
post #17 of 40
Most of the brands you've seen mention here a mid-tier. They are pretty nice, but they are a definite step below Festool (as mentioned by Elill).

CJ
post #18 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJO View Post

Most of the brands you've seen mention here a mid-tier. They are pretty nice, but they are a definite step below Festool (as mentioned by Elill).

CJ


How does Festool stack up against Panasonic brushless lithium?

Rob
post #19 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbec View Post

How does Festool stack up against Panasonic brushless lithium?

Rob

I personally would steer clear of the Festool drills, they are very good, but come on....in Australia they are 3x as much as say the Panasonic (which has had rave reviews).

All the top brands are good, I'd pick one that is comfortable to use (i.e. fits your hand) and buy a drill/driver set. I did about 18 months ago (first cordless stuff I've ever purchased) and I use them all the time - they'll get a flogging when theatre construction starts (screws for me, no nails). I get a good days use out of the batteries.

I have Festoolitis.....of the worst kind - but as I said, if you're after a saw or sander they are first rate. But if you only need a drop saw and a plunge saw I'd go with makita and forget about the Festool system....depends how much you like your woodworking I guess. The good thing about Festool is that once you have their rails (very expensive) they work with all of their tools. Also, I am pretty vain about how my workshops look, I like matching things
post #20 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbec View Post

How does Festool stack up against Panasonic brushless lithium?

Rob

If you have the chance to try them both out yourself do it. Festools are quite a bit more expensive than the other one mentioned. Are they worth it? That's for you to decide

CJ
post #21 of 40
For someone who doesn't do this stuff for a living, but has taken on some fairly complex (for your average home owner) project, I've had good luck with Craftsman. They are definitely home owner grade tools, but for the frequency they are used they've performed and held up without fail. The tools are rarely the bottle-neck in my projects. I have other brands, but if I'm buying new for myself and something I think I'll use more than once but not daily, I go with Craftsman.

If I consider something one-time or throw-away, I usually just grab something from Harbor Freight. I've inherited a few Dewalt items from my father-in-law and while I can feel that they are a small step up from my Craftsman items, it's not enough for me to pay the premium given the frequency of use.

I also have a construction project manager friend who sometimes joins in on my projects, and he has some really nice Li-Ion Makita tools that are a joy to use... they balance well, tolerances are tight, and are notably more powerful than my Craftsman 19.2 equivalents. If I were ever going to buy something better than Craftsman, I'd probably skip the mid-grade stuff and go with something like the Li-Ion Makita.

Most of this applies to corded power tools as well. For basic hand/mechanics tools, I doubt I'll ever buy anything more expensive than Craftsman, as long as the lifetime warranty is still around (though it does bug me they don't honor it on tape measures anymore).
post #22 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJO View Post

If you have the chance to try them both out yourself do it. Festools are quite a bit more expensive than the other one mentioned. Are they worth it? That's for you to decide

CJ


It looks like they do not make any impacts. Is this correct?

Rob
post #23 of 40
If you want an impact drill get a corded one, bigger the better - Matabo make a good one
post #24 of 40
We use 14.4 Panasonic brush-less lithium and are very pleased. For really high torque applications I have a V28 that goes to 300 ft lbs. I just get excited when I hear about the newest wonder tool. Thanks

Rob
post #25 of 40
Dewalt is not the best, but you can still build a house with it. Keep an eye on Amazon.com for loose tools and you can get a full set of 18V tools for cheap.

Don't overlook a good deal on the 18V shopvac - it's battery powered and plug-in, and is great for small jobs.
post #26 of 40
I picked up this set at Rona a few months back for $125 open box! Mine are not the XRP version though. They are Li-ion instead

only thing missing in the box was the carrying bag.

The batteries last forever and the impact definately makes the clicking noise when driving screws as BIG saw on HOH.

post #27 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbec View Post

It looks like they do not make any impacts. Is this correct?

Rob

The ProTool IDC.

CJ
post #28 of 40
I've picked up some stuff from the Hitachi site (hitachipowertools) in there reconditioned section and you can't even tell that its ever been out of the box before.
So far i've purchased 18v drill and a laser miter saw, the next item will be a impact driver.
post #29 of 40
I want a decent ratchet set. I once got in litigation with Sears so I don't do craftsmen. But I am looking for something better than the hodge-modge of junk I have accumulated.
post #30 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_pilgrim View Post

I want a decent ratchet set. I once got in litigation with Sears so I don't do craftsmen. But I am looking for something better than the hodge-modge of junk I have accumulated.

Depends what you mean by "decent" - treat yourself, and get a small Snap-on set

They have to have the sexiest chests (the tool box type) going
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