What brand of tools to buy for a business

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Forum topic by nate22 posted 10-20-2012 11:16 PM 1315 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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475 posts in 2875 days

10-20-2012 11:16 PM

What brand of tools would you buy if you had your own business building furniture,
Building houses, and remodeling houses. I am just curious. Any advice would be helpful.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

14 replies so far

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2361 days

#1 posted 10-20-2012 11:26 PM

The best tool regardless of brand. “Best” in the context of price, performance, and return on investment.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2286 days

#2 posted 10-20-2012 11:26 PM

Heh… this is going to open a can of worms around here :) What kind of tools are you talking? Machines, hand tools, a bit of both…? What kind of furniture? For house building/reno work, I would stay with the major brand names in those markets… Dewalt, Makita, etc… For fine woodworking and furniture building, well, there’s varying schools of thought on what the “best” tools are. You won’t have too look far for an opinion in these forums. I am a hobby woodworker so I buy what I please, but for someone with a business I would think that reliability and quality would be desirable. I’d be looking to Veritas and Lie-Nielsen for hand tools. For machinery, there are many good options. I think Grizzly offers good value on many machines. My opinions only!

-- John, BC, Canada

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20488 posts in 3105 days

#3 posted 10-21-2012 12:07 AM

I like Grizzly for machines. I don’t think you can beat them for the price. I also like Makita and Bosch for hand power tools. I don’t have much Ryobi equipment except my BT3000 table saw and it is a great saw for the money.
I avoid Jet tools. I have had a few and got rid of them as fast as I got them….............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2997 days

#4 posted 10-21-2012 12:13 AM

If you are just starting out, the best tools are the ones you can afford to pay cash for rather than financing. Hard to make the payments when the jobs are slow (or slow paying).

Now, if you are doing all the work yourself, start saving pennies for tools that are up to the workload. Hobby tools are great but a poor way to run a business.

Now, I ordinarily go for import tools for personal use but that can be problematic if you are in a union state and taking tools onto a jobsite. Also, if you are doing it commercially and with other employees, OSHA has some input on the tools you choose as well. Also your insurance company can want to have their say.

Milwaukee has some fine portable power tools that stand up to daily use. Some of DeWalt’s stuff is suitable. When you look for stationary tools, you need to be more specific as to what kind of work you are planning. I would honestly say that a Delta Unisaw would be at the lowest end of tablesaws for commercial use in a production shop. Are you planning to have 3 phase power available? That will dictate a lot.

If you are doing cabinet work and starting without machinery, it might be a great time to think about bypassing old tech and going straight to CNC work. Panel saws are not a bad thing to have around.

Most framing and trim stuff for houses can be handled by a good router, compound miter saw, good circular saw, drill and maybe a jobsite tablesaw.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View thedude50's profile


3603 posts in 2477 days

#5 posted 10-21-2012 12:26 AM

one thing is clear with this question the request is a bit to general. I am in business I own powermatic dewalt delta and dewalt I purchased a new Saw Stop a couple of weeks ago if your going to have others run your table saw a saw stop is a must get anything else your open to a law suit. I love my professional grade powermatic tools To give more accurate info i will need to know more about your shop.

-- Please check out my new stores and

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2576 days

#6 posted 10-21-2012 12:27 AM

For furniture, my tablesaw would be a sawstop definitely. Probably the 3HP PCS.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2109 days

#7 posted 10-21-2012 12:35 AM

My tools are chosen one at a time… from SawStop, to Powermatic, to Delta, to Rigid, to JDS, to DeWalt, to Porter Cable, to Jet, to Bosch, to Performax, etc… Get the idea?

Brand loyalty is for suckers. Nobody makes the the best fit for everyone, in every tool.

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3765 days

#8 posted 10-21-2012 12:37 AM

What Barry said.

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2692 days

#9 posted 10-21-2012 01:40 PM

The best that you can afford at this time. Then upgrade to the best you can afford the next time around. Often we cannot afford the VERY BEST starting right out.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View knotscott's profile


8015 posts in 3375 days

#10 posted 10-21-2012 03:08 PM

Sticking with a single brand name is a sure way to ensure that you don’t pick the best tool within a given price range. It’s far more important to evaluate the merits of the individual tool and it’s suitability for the task.

Some brands cater exclusively to higher end markets, others dabble in both higher end and homeowner level tools. You’d certainly want to avoid most homeowner level tools for a business, but not necessarily all brands that make homeowner level tools if they also offer tools in multiple market niches.

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

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2969 days

#11 posted 10-21-2012 03:47 PM

Extreme use? Occasional use? Lease purchase or buying out of your own pocket?

If I had the work, the finance and a good accountant I would buy Felder and Festool.

View Loren's profile


10401 posts in 3647 days

#12 posted 10-21-2012 03:54 PM

Holz-her makes some good tough machines and there
are plenty available on the used market. Not as feature
rich or refined as Felder, Martin or Altendorf, but good
and accurate machines.

Brandt, SCMI, old Oliver, Northfield. If you’re going to
build frameless cabinetry you need some special machines
to make the process efficient and profitable.

In terms of building houses and remodeling work, it
seems to be hard to tools. Tough and reliable
brands that hold up to pro use seem to be Milwaukee,
Dewalt, Makita and Bosch. You could add Hilti
and Metabo. Hitachi seems to be hit and miss
with the smaller power tools from what I’ve

I’ve had good luck with Hitachi nailers and found them
reliable and ergonomic.

For portable gear Dewalt is good value in my experience –
never had the cordless tools. Festool is good but
untrained employees may damage tools and with
Festools that would be a bummer.

View RogerM's profile


792 posts in 2398 days

#13 posted 10-22-2012 01:52 AM

My favorite go to brands are Delta (tablesaw. joiner, planer, drill press); Festool (Kapex sliding miter), Dewalt (12” chop miter saw), Rikon (14” bandsaw), General (18” bandsaw and mortise machine); Tormak (sharpener); Porter Cable (routers, and sanders); Fisch combination sander; Ingersol Rand air compressor; and Onedia dust control unit

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View thedude50's profile


3603 posts in 2477 days

#14 posted 10-22-2012 03:11 AM

no more input from the author this is still a vague question in need of a lot more information.

-- Please check out my new stores and

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