LumberJocks

New member: what brands do you trust?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by diyforthewifey posted 07-06-2015 03:03 PM 1179 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View diyforthewifey's profile

diyforthewifey

2 posts in 517 days


07-06-2015 03:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: new member tools woodworking tools brand

New member here! im tired of buying crap and want to start making some things. Would like to build a shop but not sure what brands are considered quality buy serious craftsman. Lowes carries Porter, Dewalt, Bosch. There’s always Craftsman. Not sure what Home Depot carries. But what brands do you all trust? Is your shop full of same brand or do they vary because some brands have better reputations for certain equipment? Don’t want to buy crap or break the bank but I prefer buying tools that my 1 year old could inherate.


28 replies so far

View DIYaholic's profile (online now)

DIYaholic

19172 posts in 2136 days


#1 posted 07-06-2015 03:27 PM

In this day and age….
There is no one “brand” to become loyal to.
Each tool/machine must be evaluated individually.
Many tools/machines are made in the same factory….
regardless of what color it is painted, or what name plate is affixed.

One must research and weed through reviews.
Ask for input here, regarding a specific model or three.
You should also try to get a “hands on” experience….
Seeing and holding a tool will let you know….
if it “feels good” for ergonomics….
how the features & adjustments work….
and if it is quality built and robust.

BTW: Welcome to Lumberjocks & happy hunting….

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View John L's profile

John L

148 posts in 625 days


#2 posted 07-06-2015 03:43 PM

I frequent Lowes all the time, because there are only 2 miles from me, and Charlie has a lot of friends there. But in truth, Home Depot’s Ridgid brand is a solid choice. They have a great reputation, and now they are offering a lifetime warranty for their power tools for those who register them. I have recently purchased the Ridgid 13” thickness planer, and their really nice Oscillating Edge/Belt Spindle Sander . Its the pick of the litter.

Also, their table saw is made by Dayton Electric(W.W.Grainger). Dayton Electric also makes the same saw for Craftsman, Home Depot, the number three store chain in the midwest(forgot the name), and W.W. Grainger. Whichever you buy your table saw from, you’re getting a good saw.

If you have Big Bucks, and love status symbols, there is always Festool. They may be great, but are a bit rich for my blood. ;)

The key to the whole thing is to personally do your research before deciding on what you want. Play the part of a business owner, and compare quality to cost, in order to get the best all around tool for your needs.

-- Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil - Thomas Mann

View derrickparks57's profile

derrickparks57

128 posts in 1332 days


#3 posted 07-06-2015 03:46 PM

Everything that DIYaholic just said.

Some tools I would buy one that is 40 years old before I would buy a brand new one.
If your looking for tools to pass down, you’re gonna have to spend the $$.

-- Derrick, Florida, DP Woodwerks

View pulchridude's profile

pulchridude

14 posts in 517 days


#4 posted 07-06-2015 03:54 PM

It sounds like you’re interested in power tools – at least based on the brands you’ve mentioned. This is what I’ve learned in my 6 year journey into woodworking: I bought a LOT of big box stores (the blue one and the orange one) tools. I currently own… just the miter saw from them (a nice DeWalt 12” without any sliding stuff that would make it wiggle off of 90/45) and a DeWalt 13” planer and a DeWalt cordless drill, router, impact driver, and corded drill.

Those tools are dead simple, anybody makes them well (in other words, they’re hard to screw up). Why did I get all DeWalt? Cost. I knew the guy who does distribution for the state I was living in, and I got them all at 50% off of retail. Any brand is fine in those tools – Makita, Bosch, heck, probably Hitachi (I’ve never used them). That being said, I’ve upgraded many of these with aftermarket bits to make them better (Shelix cutterhead for the planer, for example).

Other woodworking, real woodworking specific tools – I avoid the big box stores now. I bought tablesaws and other things from Sears/Lowes etc and it didn’t take long for me to decide I wanted something better. Not that you can’t make great furniture with those tools, but I didn’t enjoy using them/finicking with them to make them work. Sold them all (lost $) and bought better tools.

Next, I bought what are probably considered mid-grade “hobbyist” or “Prosumer” tools, a Jet lathe, air filter, dust collector and 14” bandsaw, a benchtop drill press, an SawStop contractor saw, an old Delta jointer from Craigslist – and upgraded each those to make them work better. (I like my tools as much as I like woodworking, probably). I sold or am selling many of these too, as they are under sized/under powered for what I want to do in my shop. I also fell out of the Festool tree and hit several branches on the way down (and I love them!)

I’m saving up to buy better tools with more power and capacity. I bought a Laguna Italian LT 18, a Powermatic PM2800B drill press and a SawStop 3hp PCS this year. Huge purchases for me, but like you, I want tools that will last my lifetime and that of my kids (and I’m not yet 40, so I have some lifetime ahead of me, I hope!).

Budget determines a lot of what I can afford to buy, and I’m blessed to have a lot more spare cash than I ever imagined growing up. In the end, you can make great furniture and projects with less that primo tools, but it takes more work and you may or may not enjoy the experience as much.

Hand tools are the same way. Some planes I have are Lie Nielsen, others are Lee Valley. My handsaws are Lie Nielsen and Bad Axe, I have the 8” titanium fret saw from Knew Concepts, my chisels are the PM-V11 set from Lee Valley and Blue Spruce, my marking knives are blah blah blah – it’s enough of a humble brag – basically it’s exactly like DIYaholic says – the “best” tools are made by a smattering of manufacturers. The preference between one or another comes down to fit, finish, ergonomics, sex appeal (got to love a #4 brass smoothing plane and the shooting plane by Lie Nielsen!) and application. I believe you should buy the best you can afford, but I’d caution against buying everything all at once. These tools have been around for hundreds of years in some form or another. Wait until you need or want to use one on a project before you buy, it will likely be available.

And never buy hand tools from a big box store. They’re “Tool shaped objects”, they are NOT tools! :)

View Woodmaster1's profile

Woodmaster1

736 posts in 2048 days


#5 posted 07-06-2015 04:02 PM

I have delta table saw, 13” planer and drill press, jet jointer, rikon bandsaw, craftsman old drill press, old disc belt sander, newer spindle sander, porter cable and triton routers, Rockwell lathe, grizzly dust collector, and a dewalt radial arm saw. All brands have their plus and minus qualities. I like all of my machines. Look for what fits your budget best. It took me 40 years and upgrades to get what I have. I am still acquiring equipment some day my sons will have nice shop when I can’t use it anymore.

View Stewbot's profile

Stewbot

195 posts in 545 days


#6 posted 07-06-2015 04:16 PM

In regards to like big box store power tools: I’ve always been happy with Dewalt, and Bosch and have the most of those tools. I also have some Makita, hitachi and Milwaukee, Ridgid and one skil. Some companies seem to have different strong points with certain tools, I’ve never found I like one companies tools across the board.

-- Hoopty scoop?

View Rob's profile

Rob

704 posts in 2532 days


#7 posted 07-06-2015 04:17 PM


In this day and age….
There is no one “brand” to become loyal to.
Each tool/machine must be evaluated individually.

- DIYaholic

I agree; brand loyalty doesn’t get you very far these days. Even some of the most well-respected brands will stamp their names on junk these days to make a quick buck. One thing that rings as true now as it ever did is that you generally get what you pay for unless you’re some lucky jerk who scores a great deal on a used tool. The hard part is coming to grips with how much more you have to spend to buy the next step up in tools to get the extra features or the better fit and finish.

Even though I have three Bosch drills, a Bosch router, and a Bosch jigsaw, I didn’t set out to buy a bunch of Bosch stuff. I just happened to find them on sale and the reviews were overwhelmingly positive when I looked them up. Unfortunately I gave Bosch the benefit of the doubt when I bought their RA1181 router table and later found it to be a piece of junk that seems as though it was designed to be as difficult to work with as possible. That was yet another reminder that brand loyalty will only get you burned eventually.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

View crank49's profile

crank49

3980 posts in 2432 days


#8 posted 07-06-2015 04:47 PM

Ridgid 13” thickness planer, and their really nice Oscillating Edge/Belt Spindle Sander . Its the pick of the litter.

Also, their table saw is made by Dayton Electric(W.W.Grainger). Dayton Electric also makes the same saw for Craftsman, Home Depot, the number three store chain in the midwest(forgot the name), and W.W. Grainger. Whichever you buy your table saw from, you re getting a good saw.

- John L

Sorry but I simply must disagree on the table saw. I have one and me and several others on here will strongly advise you to stay way away from the Ridgid R4512 table saw or any of the other brands it is sold under.
The saw has had a history of serious alignment drift issues for over 5 years. There must be thousands of people have had this problem. The manufacturer will not acknowledge there is a problem. I have this saw an can not get to fixed. It is not fixable without loading and shipping a 200 lb machine to a service center and then paying for a part that may or may not fix it. I have never heard from anyone who had one with the problem and got it fixed. By the way, I think this thing is made by One World Technologies, a giant factory in China that makes all kinds of tools..It is just private branded by Sears and Graingers and Ridgid.

The belt sander is a good tool, on the other hand. I would only buy one based on it being a disposable tool, however. I wouldn’t trust Ridgid to fix crap.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View John L's profile

John L

148 posts in 625 days


#9 posted 07-06-2015 06:40 PM

diyforthewifey, one thing I have learned over the years is that name brands tend to change products and subcontractors. Take Ryobi for example. I first bought the Ryobi One drill system when they originally came out. Its the one with the deep blue color. At that time the rechargeable batteries were NiCad, and while they worked nicely, the batteries didn’t last. But that was due to the type of battery, not workmanship. A few years ago, they upgraded to the “chicken hocky” green, and upgraded to the Lithium Ion batteries. Knowing that these batteries were far better, I upgraded to them because they also fitted into my older Ryobi one drills(I had one regular and one hammer drill). I also install draperies for my designer clients, and frequently have to drill into concrete.

In order to get both batteries, I also added the new drill package, which was only a few dollars more. So I had three Ryobi drills. And I use them all, but mostly the “Chicken hocky” green one. So about now they all have around the same hours of usage. The deep blue ones are solid as a rock and the only thing wrong with them is the ruberized plastic peeling a little. The new one,.............not only is the rubberized plastic peeling far more, but the shaft bearings are wearing out. In other words, the chuck is not tight, but wobbles a little bit. I have since learned that Ryobi International(Japan) has sold off its tool division to a Chinese business group. So, apparently the new Ryobi has more lax standards.

The point is, be careful when you buy, and be prepared for the fact that some things are not built as well as others.

As for things made in China, the overall quality of an item made there is dependent on the specification requirements made by the parent company, and the machines they import for the construction process. If Ryobi turns it’s back and doesn’t have a strict policy, the Chinese will tend to get away with whatever they can get away with. Its human nature by the way.

If you look at something owned by a Chinese parent company, it may be best to be skeptical first, and pleasantly surprised if, and when, they turn out to be well made. It was the same thing with Japan, Taiwan, and Korea, as they tooled up technologically. They started out with toys, and other simple thing. Then they moved up to tools, and now all three are heavy into the High-Tech upper crust. Its how countries move up the technological and economic ladder. China has a distinct disadvantage, because they remain a Collectivist country, rife with corruption and inefficiency. They have a long way to go in order to catch up with the first three I mentioned. I suspect that somewhere around 2035 or so, it will break up into several countries, because it is just too big to run efficiently. The smaller the unit, the more efficient it is.

-- Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil - Thomas Mann

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1770 days


#10 posted 07-06-2015 06:55 PM

I have had good performance from Delta (older stuff) DeWalt, Bosh and Milwaukee. From there you can go up to European tools. Festool, Fein, Metabo, Mafell, Felder etc.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View MrFid's profile

MrFid

804 posts in 1365 days


#11 posted 07-06-2015 06:59 PM

Brands I trust (almost) implicitly: Lie-Nielsen, Veritas (Lee Valley), DeWalt (although I hesitate to say that my 2 year old will inherit any of my DeWalts except maybe my DW735), old Stanley (planes and chisels), Bad Axe, Jet, Powermatic, maybe some others that I’m not thinking of right now. Some of these are not power tool brands, and some I wouldn’t entirely trust the name badge, but they are companies I’ve generally had good results with.

Brands I’d have to have a long look in the mirror before I bought power tools from: Craftsman, anything from Harbor Freight except their 2HP dust collector, Ryobi, and certainly others. Those are the ones that are off the top of my head.

Brands somewhere in the middle: Bosch, Porter Cable, Ridgid, and others of that ilk. For these I evaluate on a tool-by-tool basis, and I read reviews on Amazon, and more importantly on here, before I buy.

In general, it’s not simple or easy to say that an one brand puts out gold or trash entirely. Each brand has their hits and misses. Reading reviews on here is the best way to sort through it all. Good luck!

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View MrFid's profile

MrFid

804 posts in 1365 days


#12 posted 07-06-2015 07:12 PM

Hey Crank, I have (maybe) a solution for your R4512 problem. You have a saw that has the alignment issues. If you can find one without alignment issues at a Home Depot, buy it. Then, pack your old 4512 into the box for the new saw, and return it through Home D’s no questions asked 30 day return policy. Say you “tried it, didn’t like it”. Since the R4512 is still manufactured, they shouldn’t be able to question that transaction. I am close to using this technique with my Honda mower with them. The carburetor is messed up, and Honda won’t talk to me since HD is a Honda dealer they want me to go through them for warranty issues. However, the Home Depot guy keeps thinking he can fix it with a tune-up (which he tried to charge me for!!). He has it now, and if it doesn’t get any better I’m gonna try the return the old one technique. Pretty sure it’s not totally legal, but if they refuse to acknowledge the problem, they leave us with little choice. Sorry, DIY, for hijacking your thread.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View John L's profile

John L

148 posts in 625 days


#13 posted 07-06-2015 07:28 PM

Speaking of the Ridgid table saw, has anyone seen this Youtube video?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fz1Z5LBJGng

-- Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil - Thomas Mann

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4167 posts in 3203 days


#14 posted 07-06-2015 07:33 PM

You’ll have to go tool by tool…..

Good source of info are the comments on the tool reviews here on LJ.

IGNORE the star ratings… often people will get a tool delivered, and before ever using it give it a 5 star rating based on how fast the tool arrived from an online vendor, not so much how it really works…. and many times with no real frame of reference to other tools.

You will see 5 star reviews of Harbor Freight Tools….. so if that is 5 star… what is Festool or Powermatic?
The comments of other users help to temper/ or at least legitimize what is good or bad in some tools and brands.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 692 days


#15 posted 07-06-2015 07:34 PM

I will start this with, no, I will not buy festool, they are just too high. But the Design engineer in me was quite impressed with the Core 77 4 or 5 part write-up on them.
http://www.core77.com/posts/37631/Core77-Visits-Festool-Part-1-An-Introduction
When it comes to festool, yes, you get what you pay for. I just question if I need what they have. So far that would be a resounding “no”.

Yes, their tools are cool and I am sure accurate.


I frequent Lowes all the time, because there are only 2 miles from me, and Charlie has a lot of friends there. But in truth, Home Depot s Ridgid brand is a solid choice. They have a great reputation, and now they are offering a lifetime warranty for their power tools for those who register them. I have recently purchased the Ridgid 13” thickness planer, and their really nice Oscillating Edge/Belt Spindle Sander . Its the pick of the litter.

Also, their table saw is made by Dayton Electric(W.W.Grainger). Dayton Electric also makes the same saw for Craftsman, Home Depot, the number three store chain in the midwest(forgot the name), and W.W. Grainger. Whichever you buy your table saw from, you re getting a good saw.

If you have Big Bucks, and love status symbols, there is always Festool. They may be great, but are a bit rich for my blood. ;)

The key to the whole thing is to personally do your research before deciding on what you want. Play the part of a business owner, and compare quality to cost, in order to get the best all around tool for your needs.

- John L

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

showing 1 through 15 of 28 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com