Tools used by industry

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Forum topic by MrRon posted 01-08-2015 08:01 PM 1262 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3898 posts in 2667 days

01-08-2015 08:01 PM

I watch several TV programs. Among them are the DIY type programs like “This Old House”; “How it’s Made; “Factory Made”, etc. I have noticed that the tools they are using are usually Dewalt, Milwaukee or Makita. I realize a show like This Old House gets their tools free from the company that makes them as part of their advertising. Other shows that are shot on automobile assembly lines, for example show them using Dewalt tools or Makita tools and often times both. These shows can be of a Ferrari automobile assembly line in Italy and elsewhere. I can see where the tools look to be pretty well used. I would suspect the tools are not supplied by the manufacturer as in the case of This Old House. The point being; the tools used by industry need to be high quality and reliable. That is why you don’t see B&D, Ryobi or Skil tools being used. I did see some “Red” and “green” tools being used in an industrial setting. It would therefore be an endorsement of that brand of tool, that if it stands up to industrial use, it must be a good tool.

19 replies so far

View Loren's profile (online now)


8169 posts in 3071 days

#1 posted 01-08-2015 08:15 PM

Well, larger shops often have big air compressors so
the handheld sanders and even drill/drivers may be
running on air. It really depends on how the shop
is set up. Like in a real furniture factory with an
established product line there are likely to be stations
where the employee has their own assigned tools
they’re responsible for maintaining, nailers and stuff.

Such a shop might have another area where more
custom work gets done and there they might be
using cordless drills to put things together.

Also, in regards to who buys tools for a shop, the foreman
or whoever, that person is likely to have biases and
observe what the employees seem to prefer for
ergonomic and other reasons, and purchase new tools

View Rob's profile


225 posts in 2410 days

#2 posted 01-08-2015 09:16 PM

Where I live, there are a few furniture factories. This once was known as the furniture factory of the world or so the story goes. Long before my time on this earth but there used to be more than 100 furniture factories here! Anyway, I’ve had the pleasure of touring 2 of the factories that are still here. One obviously provides the tools for the employees and there wasn’t one power tool, stationary or portable that I was familiar with. Certainly you wouldn’t buy them at a big box store or your local tool store. They looked to be foreign made and most were pneumatic. The other factory was run more like you might see in an auto repair shop where the mechanics have their own toolboxes but the big stuff was company owned. The stationary tools were old and from maybe the 50’s or 60’s. All the employees had their own portable tools…drills, circular saws etc. There were the good name brand tools that we are all familiar with and there were some of the not so good tools. I assumed those were owned by new or temp. employees where they may not be able to afford the good tools quite yet.

View unbob's profile


697 posts in 1326 days

#3 posted 01-08-2015 09:28 PM

A pretty good example of an industrial air tool would be this Dotco grinder. Yes, it looks like the HF ones at less then $20, but in industrial use “the original Dotco” will out last dozens of the copies…..though over $500!

View Tennessee's profile


2410 posts in 1938 days

#4 posted 01-08-2015 09:37 PM

I worked for Ashley furniture and Catnapper Furniture, for a total of over six years. I cannot remember any assembly line employee ever buying their own tools, save for a few tools used by the guys in engineering and design whose job it was to bring new styles to life.

All production employees used company supplied tools, and 99% of these were pneumatic, for long life.

When I was in the CD industry, (now mostly defunct), a lot of the line employees bought their own since most of the work was done by robots. This was a non-union shop. They mostly preferred battery powered.

When I was out working for Vermeer tractor, they all used company sponsored tools on the lines that were issued by the tool room. Only the best quality was bought, and if the employee lost, broke or stole it, they were docked.

Different factories use somewhat different methods, but only in general repair situations, like maintenance crews in factories, any garage or repair shop, and a few certain environments where the employees don’t have to provide many tools, will a company designate the employee buying their own.

-- Paul, Tennessee,

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Jim Finn

2390 posts in 2345 days

#5 posted 01-08-2015 10:28 PM

When I have to decide what type and brand of tool or equipment I buy I look to what the pros I see are using. I was a professional sheet metal worker doing high end industrial construction work and all the contractors supplied tools to the workers and for cordless drills and drivers they all used Makita. I understand they still do. Best value per dollar is what they will buy. This may not be logical for all of us but it is a good idea to consider following their lead.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View bigblockyeti's profile (online now)


3582 posts in 1144 days

#6 posted 01-08-2015 10:49 PM

When I worked in the HVAC industry, we had to supply some of our hand tools, none of our power tools and all of our battery tools if we wished to go cordless. All of the power tools were Milwaukee. Being in the trades where many subcontractors had to purchase their own tools, there was a great deal of bias as to who’s was the best. When I worked as a mechanic I used all my own tools, only the big stuff (welder, torches, tire balancer, tire mounting machine) was supplied. While most of this was hand tools, a few pneumatic and battery tools helped speed things along. Later working as a millwright in a steel mill, our basic hand tools were our responsibility, specialty tools (and there were lots) were supplied as well as power tools, almost all of which were pneumatic.

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14085 posts in 2106 days

#7 posted 01-08-2015 11:35 PM

While I have a bunch of hand tools at work, I do NOT bring my “good stuff” in to work. The netter the toys, the more they tend to grow legs. If I wanted a power tool, I supply it, they company does have a few, mainly Dewalts.

I run Injection Molding machines. Sometimes, my largest cresent type of wrench isn’t quite big enough, so I grab the company one out of their “Job Box”. I also noted that theirs also came from Harbor Freight.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View MrRon's profile


3898 posts in 2667 days

#8 posted 01-09-2015 05:47 PM

I’m well aware that pneumatic tools are most used in industrial settings. I saw some shows where cordless tools were used quite a bit and they were the yellow and blue variety.

View Loren's profile (online now)


8169 posts in 3071 days

#9 posted 01-09-2015 06:28 PM

I’ve generally been impressed with DeWalt and Bosch,
Makita too. Festool is great but pretty spendy for
an environment where the tools might get dropped
and otherwise trashed.

View mramseyISU's profile


406 posts in 969 days

#10 posted 01-09-2015 07:09 PM

I know that John Deere buys a ton of Makita stuff for the guys on the shop floor.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

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169 posts in 2082 days

#11 posted 01-10-2015 02:03 PM

I have been in construction all my life. Makita, Dewalt, and Milwaukee. Every so often someone has something else and will have some story of how it’s better or cheaper. When it comes to compressors there is a wide range of brands. Framing nailers tend to be Passlode.

-- When questioned about using glue on a garbage bin I responded, "Wood working is about good technique and lots of glue........I have the glue part down."

View distrbd's profile


2220 posts in 1870 days

#12 posted 01-10-2015 02:47 PM

When it comes to compressors there is a wide range of brands.
- klassenl

I have heard a lot of praises for Rolair JC10, ,I’m just waiting for my Campbel,Hausfeld compressor to die so I can bring one home but it doesn’t look like its gonna happen soon.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Buckethead's profile


3140 posts in 1292 days

#13 posted 01-10-2015 03:04 PM

My experience as a framer taught me that the rolair line of compressors was vastly superior to others available in my area. There was no big box store air compressor that delivered the cubic feet per minute, or sheer volume, and also withstand the rigors of field operation.

Speaking of tools used by the industry, I watched this from Roy Underhill today. Awesome human powered tools. Worth a few moments to see.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View TheFridge's profile


5682 posts in 909 days

#14 posted 01-10-2015 03:31 PM

Dewalt, ridgid, Milwaukee, and makita battery tools are the ones I’ve used as an electrician and they are all about the same. I’d say of all that I’ve used, the makita has held up a little bit better than the rest. In fairness, Milwaukee has solid tools but it’s the only one I ‘ve never had the whole set to use. The rest I’ve had a set for more than a year or 2.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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3582 posts in 1144 days

#15 posted 01-10-2015 03:59 PM

That Rolair JC10 might be just what I need for a small portable compressor. I typically prefer an oil lubed compressor due to the life of reciprocating parts, and the Makita MAC700 was at the top of my list. The weight and noise level of the Rolair do look much more attractive to me and the air flow isn’t too far off, especially given I’ll just be running one finish gun with it.

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