Which power tool brands do you like?
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View Poll Results: Which brand(s) do you own and/or prefer?
Dewalt 18 50.00%
Ryobi 4 11.11%
Milwaukee 11 30.56%
Makita 7 19.44%
Black & Decker 3 8.33%
Porter & Cable 4 11.11%
Bosch 11 30.56%
Skil 5 13.89%
Ridgid 6 16.67%
Dremel 11 30.56%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-11-2012, 01:10 AM   #1
Zefrik
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Which power tool brands do you like?


Just wondering what brand power tools you prefer. I am just now starting to work on building up a collection of power tools (and of course hand tools). I am about to make another purchase because I am going to be building a couple stands for my tank and I am not quite sure which brand to go with.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:23 AM   #2
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:28 AM   #3
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Festool - only the best if you can afford it. It can only be purchased at woodcraft.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:30 AM   #4
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All but one of my pneumatics are Porter Cable. 4 of my 5 routers are Porter Cable 2 of them are the old 690s. My table saw is a benchtop Delta and it scares the hell out of me. I could never recommend the benchtop saws. My workhorse saw is a 12" Dewalt radial arm saw. It's mounted in a 12' bench so I can saw to the middle of a 4 x 8 sheet by myself. It's as accurate as any table saw and then some. Best thing is the blade is always in full view.
For cordless I've had a few brands. First was a Ryobi. Not too bad of a drill but when the batteries died I went to Porter Cable. Full featured and withstood a drop from 25' with no damage. Batteries are dead in that one also and they aren't inexpensive at 30-40 a pop.
For a circ saw I just use a cheap one. The blade however is cost almost as much as the saw. It's a 60 tooth carbide. Spend the money on the blade here. You'll never regret it with better, smoother cuts. I've also got a Millers Falls circ saw. It's heavy but a dream to use. Must be 40 years old. Only problem is it wants to pull to the right.
Router bits. I've got a bunch from different manufacturers. Doesn't matter the brand. Plywood dulls them fast. Jesada is a great brand and last I heard is made right here in Oldsmar FL. Oldham is OK. So is CMT. Woodline is a lower quality but adequate for the occasional woodworker.
If you do a lot of cope and stick joinery get two routers and build two tables. You'll never regret doing that.
I've also got 2 drill presses. Don't waste your money. I rarely ever use them anymore.
If you want to get into hand tools like planes stick with Lee Valley/Veritas. Good quality. The ones at the BB stores will turn you off to hand planes. They usually require a ton of tuning up and tweaking. Best left to a person with experience. But if that person ever used a quality plane they'd return the BB brand straight away.
Sanders. I've got a few. My workhorse is an old cast aluminum orbital model from the 50's I got from my father. Next up would be an old Craftsman "palm" type sander. Again from the 60's. Also have a B&D belt sander. Don't bother. I rarely ever use it.
I've "invested" more money in jigs than I'd like to admit. I've got an Incra router table jig. Never set it up but am closer now. I've also got another fence system for making dovetails, box joints, sliding dovetails, etc. I've used it twice. My favorites are the ones I've built myself for the task at hand. You may think you're wasting time making jigs but in the long run they save time and make things repeatable and consistent.
Drills. I've collected a few over the years. Corded drills have a definite place in the shop. They are far superior to a cordless for drilling holes over the long haul if you're in a shop/garage situation. When I am using the Kreg jig I always use a single speed non reversing drill for drilling the holes. If I am using traditional wood screws that require a pilot and shank hole I use 2 corded drills and drive the screw with the cordless. I can't waste time changing bits. I change drills/drivers. Just like with the routers. I'm not saying go buy 5 drills. Just that over the years I've gotten them. My very first drill was a B&D single speed non reversing that I still use. Next was the variable speed reversing. Again another B&D that is still going. And for some unknown reason I've got 5 drills and can't remember where I got the other 3. But I use them.

You don't need to buy new all the time. I would buy new for cordless things. 3 of my routers (the 690s) I bought from a customer that repairs tools. A radial arm you might have to buy used also. Not sure who makes them anymore. If you're going to buy a table saw get a full size contractors saw. The table models are okay for construction not wood working. and get an aftermarket fence. A Beisemeyer is way more accurate than any stock fence. Delta, Powermatic and others make good ones. Look at some of the write ups in magazines like Popular wood working for reviews and tool tests.
Festool is considered one of the best but the bang for the buck isn't there. For a beginning wood worker I couldn't justify the expense. (I can't justify it for an experienced one either.) Same as Lamello for biscuit joiners. They invented it but it's not worth the extra money. BTW I have a Ryobi biscuit joiner and rarely use it anymore. I still prefer dowel joints. It's just a little more work but it's a better joint. Domino makes a loose tenon maker but again it's not worth the price.There's also a beaded loose tenon joint but again not really worth the extra expense.

The one thing I couldn't live without? Simple. Dust collection. And I don't mean a shop vac. Get a decent portable unit if your just starting out. Your lungs will thank you immensely.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:43 AM   #5
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Festool - only the best if you can afford it. It can only be purchased at woodcraft.
Not exactly. It's available at other places. Go to festoolusa.com and use the store finder to find a distributor near you.

As an aside. The only place I will buy new tools anymore is when the wood working show is in Tampa.

http://thewoodworkingshows.com/

I've not missed one in 15 years.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:44 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Zefrik View Post
Just wondering what brand power tools you prefer. I am just now starting to work on building up a collection of power tools (and of course hand tools). I am about to make another purchase because I am going to be building a couple stands for my tank and I am not quite sure which brand to go with.
What tools do you currently have and what are you looking for?
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:13 AM   #7
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I love my Makitas. I'm small, and their compact line is light and perfect for me. I also own several other brands, but Makita is my favorite.
I am a girl, and I work at a Home Depot and I've been building things like furniture since I was 12 or so with my dad.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:57 PM   #8
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Ridgid makes awesome small hand tools and vacuums (i've put the vacuums to the test TRUST ME)
dewault has awesome higher speed variable sanders polishers/ grinders also put to the test
makita has a fairly broad range of tools that are all decent

skil i actually got a small set for christmas and so far seems to be pretty nice, the drill is underpowered and the battery doesn't last long but it does get the job done repeatedly
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:21 PM   #9
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I like pretty much all but dewalt i have had zero problems with just little pricey but love there impact drills
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:55 PM   #10
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Being in construction for over 20 years, I've found that as long as you buy a quality power tool and treat it right, it all boils down to personal preference. Also treat your tools right and they'll treat you right, don't use them for jobs they weren't intended for and they will last much longer. That being said, Bosch!
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:18 PM   #11
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I like makita for drills. Have no complaints on craftsman routers. I have a fixed one attached to a table and a plunge one. I also got a old makita bench table saw. Still works like a champ, just spend the extra cash on good blades. I built a rolling bench along with a "table extension" for it. I can rip a 4x8 piece of plywood no problem. Just roll the bench in place, lock the wheels and saw away. For sanding, I have a snap on da and orbital sander. A few other metal working pneumatic tools from snap on and an old ingersol rand compressor. Nail guns are either ingersol rand or hitachi. Next purchase is gonna be a compound miter saw. Probably just get whats on sale at the time. Dewalt and rigid make a couple nice ones.
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Festool - only the best if you can afford it. It can only be purchased at woodcraft.
My dad only buys Festool, however at 500$ minimum a tool I can only dream of affording them = (
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:55 PM   #13
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I love Makita cordless tools and circular saws. All power tools are good for their price ranges that you buy them in to me. I've used DeWalts and Hitachis and liked them. Its personal preference and brand naming for the most part. I don't really use them all that much any more to tell you the honest truth if one is better than the other. Depends on price range and how often it will be used.

I like the Binford 6100 series haha. MORE POWER ARGH ARGH ARGH
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:12 PM   #14
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You can talk all you want about which is the "best". If you don't have the skills, knowledge and patience it won't matter a hill of beans.

Pretty much all of the tools made by the major manufacturers will do a decent job. the same tool in the hands of a decent woodworker will of course turn out a better product than in the hands of a rank amateur. Of course that has nothing to do with the tool. Same holds true in just about every field.

My reasoning for P-C? Simple. When something wears out or breaks, and it will eventually, I can always get replacement parts. Take my 690. Not made in the same way anymore but parts are still available. My Dewalt RAS? Parts are available from Wolfe Manufacturing even though the saw hasn't been available since the early 80's. That stapler I got from Harbor Freight? It's a throw away.
Makita, Hitachi, Bosch? More than likely parts will be around for a while. Read the reviews though. See what the good, and the bad, points are before you sink money into tools. Wish I'd have done that on my table saw. I do love my 12" Delta miter saw though.

Again, as I said previously, buy good blades and bits. A good tool without good bits is frustrating at the least.

Craftsman routers are fine. But they do have a bit more run out than other brands and given the same skill level and bit quality will be a rougher cut than some other brands. It makes it a bit more difficult to get a good match on cope and stick joints. For a groove and stub tenon no discernible difference.

Sake, working with tools in building a house is a bit different than wood working. I've done both. Construction is "brute strength". Wood working is finesse. Or like Boone's farm to Dom Perignon.

C gwinner, The Binford 7240 series puts the 6100 to shame.
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
The one thing I couldn't live without? Simple. Dust collection. And I don't mean a shop vac. Get a decent portable unit if your just starting out. Your lungs will thank you immensely.
+2. My next purchase.

Latest purchase was a full size Ridgid table saw. After burning through a junky ryobi bench saw, this is a treat to use. Porter cable router, ryobi sliding miter saw (highly inaccurate- will replace it with Bosch or Delta soon), Bosch cordless stuff, makita circ. Most blades and router bits are Freud. Mastercrap drill press and bench grinder.
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