Which brands do you consider to be the true quality brands?

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Forum topic by richgreer posted 01-08-2011 04:33 AM 2237 views 0 times favorited 36 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4541 posts in 3073 days

01-08-2011 04:33 AM

When I think of quality brands I think of Lie-Nielsen, Veritas, Leigh, Festool, Incra, and Bridge City.

I would give honorable mention to Kreg, Powermatic, Sawstop, Woodpecker, Forest and Freud.

There are some brands that have such a limited product line that I don’t consider them. Osborne is a good example.

What additions or deletions would you make?

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

36 replies so far

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Steven H

1117 posts in 3058 days

#1 posted 01-08-2011 05:45 AM

Powermatic is no longer a quality brand, recent years the quality has went downhill.

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1879 posts in 3989 days

#2 posted 01-08-2011 06:06 AM

I agree with all of Rich’s list but disagree with Steven. I have owned my Powermatic 3520b lathe for a couple of years now and produced a fair number of bowls, Hollow Vessels, Larger Platters, etc on it and have never had an issue. The same can be said for the Powermatic 6” jointer that I acquired last year.

Rich, I would also add that my experience with General tools has been stellar.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

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1879 posts in 3989 days

#3 posted 01-08-2011 06:10 AM

Oh, one other I would mention is Fein. I received the Multi-Master as a gift and I am very impressed with the quality, design & functionality.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Loren's profile


10391 posts in 3646 days

#4 posted 01-08-2011 06:13 AM

I owned a Jessem sliding table for awhile. The quality of design and
manufacture was really pretty good.

I don’t think in terms of brands too much – mostly I use older machinery
and put up with the antiquated safety features and in exchange
for cast-iron solidity and old-fashioned engineering. I have a couple of
antique machines made for working with metal type for the printing industry –
the accuracy and quality of build is unbelievable by today’s standards
for light industrial woodworking machinery.

I have owned a bunch of Inca machines. Still own a couple of bandsaws.
Most of the Inca stuff is really well designed and accurate. If the machines
are still manufactured however (nobody seems to be sure), they aren’t
available in N. America.

View JuniorJoiner's profile


486 posts in 3438 days

#5 posted 01-08-2011 06:15 AM

oneway, their lathes are superior
General Canada, their made in Canada models are high quality
Northfield, they still make the high end machines for the true afficianado.
Hegner scroll saws cannot be beat.
hmm, i’m sure there are more

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View Marc5's profile


304 posts in 3340 days

#6 posted 01-08-2011 06:25 AM

On the power tools side I really like Laguna and Forrest saw blades. Bad Axe saws and Auriou rasps for some stuff on the hand tool side.

-- Marc

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3584 posts in 3367 days

#7 posted 01-08-2011 07:25 AM

I have to second the Fein nd Jessem brands, they are superior.

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4091 days

#8 posted 01-08-2011 07:29 AM

Brands are becoming kind of like wine… it all depends on what year you purchase.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View newbiewoodworker's profile


668 posts in 2825 days

#9 posted 01-08-2011 07:46 AM

I would nominate Harbour Freight.. :) Quality for the woodworker on an extremely tight budget…. lol… Seriously, some gems can be had… :P

For the Worst… I would nominate Delta/Porter Cable… Both things from them, the bandsaw, and my planer, have either gone belly up, or are starting to…

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View JuniorJoiner's profile


486 posts in 3438 days

#10 posted 01-08-2011 08:03 AM

Wetzler clamps
CMT makes great blades and bits

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View Colin 's profile


93 posts in 2809 days

#11 posted 01-08-2011 09:13 AM

Of course there are the industrial brands but I’ve used very few of those and currently don’t have any in my shop. Too expensive for a home shop though. Omga miter saws make festool seem cheap. Sometimes you can get industrial brands cheap at auction. I almost bought a SCM t30 shaper at auction. It went for $2000 which is about 10% of new. Actually, I do have a Grutter jump saw but they are out of business now so not sure if you are talking about products that are available new?

As far as stuff I own, I think Powermatic is still a good value for a small shop. Definitely a step up from the Grizzly and Jet stuff I have used. Oliver and general would be the other ones I would consider quality although I haven’t used them. Panasonic makes some of the best cordless tools.


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18271 posts in 3674 days

#12 posted 01-08-2011 09:28 AM

Milwaukee, but not much WW tools, just drills and circular saws.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 2959 days

#13 posted 01-08-2011 09:30 AM

over here i guess the austrian Felder brand had the best reputation in woodworking machines for smaller shops, behind that i would say Robland, less expensive but less features so you get what you pay for.

in powertools i would say personally Bosch and Festool, though not everything they make is of the same goodness. recently purchased a used Kapex wich made festool go down in my esteem. though it’s just 2 years old it’s hard to use because the wear makes the saw harder and harder to push down, sometimes it won’t go down. it’s the most freaky miter saw i have used, if i don’t clamp the workpiece down the saw will jump at you asif it’s trying to cut your arm at least when it doesn’t get stuck in the wood. it does make incredibly clean cuts lol.

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 2834 days

#14 posted 01-08-2011 02:35 PM

How about Leecraft for zero tolerance inserts, if you don’t make your own.

General Finishes.

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

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8013 posts in 3374 days

#15 posted 01-08-2011 02:40 PM

This is hard to do justice to. There are a fair number of brand names I’ve never tried, and of those I’ve tried there are many models I’m unfamiliar with. Business models and countries of manufacture change so often these days, it’s hard to keep up. Many sell to a very broad market of both high quality and budget items. Even the brands that used to cater to high quality now make some clunkers made overseas these days, and brands that are considered bargain items make some tools that are functional, and when the price is right can be worthwhile.

With that said, here is my list of unqualified guesses at high quality brands who I believe specifically sell only high quality items with no lower end choices:

- Minimax, General Canada (no GI)
- Lie Nielsen, Veritas, Clifton
- Infinity, Forrest, Whiteside, Ridge Carbide

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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