12 Best Power Tool Brands (Where They Excel)

Last Updated on October 4, 2022 by Barry Gray

When people think of power tools, several brands tend to come to mind over and above all others. While those brands may be your favorite, I think it’s a good idea to become aware of other names in the market.

That is what this article is about. It’s all about introducing you to what I see as the top 12 power tool brands on the market.

Now, I know this isn’t a definitive list. There are clearly way more than 12 brands that you could purchase, but I feel that any more than this number will simply confuse things.

But I’m not going to simply list them. Instead, I will tell you why I think the brands are so good and if they excel in a particular area. By doing so, I think it may make your life easier when it comes to selecting your new power tools.

  • Best Power Tool Brand for Performance – Milwaukee
  • Best Power Tool Brand for Reliability – DeWalt
  • Best Power Tool Brand on a Budget – Black and Decker
  • Best Power Tool Brand for Professionals – Hilti
  • Best Power Tool Brand for Precision – Makita
  • Best Power Tool Brand for Trades – Metabo
  • Best Power Tool Brand for Home DIY’er – Craftsman
  • Best Power Tool Brand for Beginner – Ryobi
  • Best Power Tool Brand for Quality – Festool
  • Best Power Tool Brand for Performance – Bosch
  • Best Power Tool Brand for Woodworkers – Sawstop
  • Best Power Tool Brand for Small Projects – Kobalt

How I Know So Much About Power Tools

I’ve spent over 20 years working with different power tools, and my experience with various brands is incorporated into that time span. I have spent countless hours working on many projects and know how to get the best out of each tool.

Also, I understand the limitations of different brands or what I need to look out for when choosing a new power tool.

So I want to put all that experience to good use and help you select the best power tool for the job. However, I want to look at individual brands to help you identify the names that should stand out depending on your own personal needs.

So that is why I know so much about power tools and also why I think the information I’m about to dispense may prove invaluable.

Best Power Tool Brand for Performance – Milwaukee

different milwaukee power tools on the table

If it’s the absolute performance you are after with your power tools, then I think Milwaukee is the brand that stands out. There’s no surprise that so many serious DIY’ers and contractors prefer to use this brand when you see what their tools can do.

Launched back in the 1920s, Milwaukee has since built a reputation for producing high-quality power tools packed with power and the ability to do some amazing things. 

Also, Milwaukee is known for its innovation. They constantly strive to better their existing product range by making changes and seeking to boost productivity. Look at their battery for their M18 range as an example. This battery outperforms pretty much every other brand out there thanks to its ability to hold a charge and not die on you mid-project.

But I need to mention the size of their product range. I’m talking about 100s of tools and over 3,500 accessories. It means you should have no issue finding the perfect tool for your project within this brand.

However, it’s the power and ability of the tool to constantly perform well even in tough conditions that makes this one of the top power tool brands on the market. The performance never drops with these tools, which draws people to use them.

Things to Look Out for

  • Their M18 line is fantastic
  • Brushless motors mean less maintenance
  • Ergonomically designed tools
  • Superior battery
  • Professional-grade power capabilities
  • Redlink Plus Intelligence protects the tool from damage

Best Power Tool Brand for Reliability – DeWalt

working with dewalt miter saw

If you want reliability with your power tools, I wouldn’t look past DeWalt. Of course, DeWalt is one of those brands almost everybody knows, and that’s for a good reason.

Also launched in the 1920s, DeWalt is perhaps even more recognizable than Milwaukee with its distinct livery over its tools. However, that’s not the reason why I’ve included it here.

Instead, even though these tools are well-known for their power and capabilities, it’s their reliability that I want to focus on. These tools tend to come with brushless motors, which means they break less often. Also, they require less in the way of maintenance, while you can push the motor harder without having to stress about it breaking.

As a brand, DeWalt is perhaps the most popular in the country, and that’s helped by the fact they have hundreds of tools in their product line. Also, DeWalt pours a lot of time and money into developing their tools, both in new technology and ensuring tools just continue to work.

That is why I have listed it as the best brand for reliability. This brand is a real work-horse for power tools; they just won’t let you down, no matter the circumstances.

Things to Look Out for

  • The 20V MAX line is the focal point of their product range
  • Brushless motors mean you can push the tool harder
  • They come with a high-quality Lithium-ion battery
  • Tool Connect allows you to connect Bluetooth to track the tool performance
  • Their FlexVolt battery changes voltage depending on the tool
  • You have 100s of accessories to choose from to make the tool suitable for the job

Best Power Tool Brand on a Budget – Black and Decker

bleck and decker power tools

If you want a quality brand for a budget price, then Black and Decker is the name I would be looking at. You do have several others out there, but I feel the range of tools available from Black and Decker is what sets it apart.

With Black and Decker, you will often find the power capability to be slightly less than you do with premium brands, but that’s where knowing what you need for your projects comes into play. They also market to hobbyists and people carrying out some basic DIY, so you know their abilities will be less than with other brands. 

But that’s not to say their tools are poor. They perform exceptionally well for the price you pay and have a wide range of tools and accessories to choose from. However, you should know they tend to focus more on specific tools than others.

That means you stand a better chance of getting a better quality Black and Decker drill, sander, and screwdriver than other tools. They do include various saw types, but they are slightly inferior if you need to push the tools to their limit.

Things to Look Out for

  • It’s a budget brand but with fantastic performance
  • They do focus on certain types of tools
  • Their market is the hobbyist and basic DIY’er
  • Both corded and cordless tools are available

Best Power Tool Brand for Professionals – Hilti

hilti circular saws

Many professionals will check out what Hilti has to offer for heavy-duty tools because of their tool range’s sheer power and capabilities. But there’s often a problem in that getting your hands on Hilti tools will not always prove possible.

Contractors love this brand because of the high power and performance that comes with their tools. I’m talking about these tools being used for various construction jobs and even in industrial settings such as building bridges. That alone should give some indication of the capabilities of their tools.

But Hilti is also known for something else, and that’s their customer service. People see the brand is there to support them even after purchasing one of their tools, and they do appear to go out of their way to ensure you get all the help you need with your tools.

Considering the price you can pay to own one, that appears to be a basic requirement, but it’s incredible how many power tool companies let you down in this area.

They may not have the same extensive tool range as you get with other brands, but I must admit that the tools they offer tend to be manufactured to the highest quality. Here, you get a tool that is rugged, reliable, and capable of being used in any conditions.

Things to Look Out for

  • For power, it’s tough to find a better brand
  • Their tools are for serious heavy-duty usage
  • Their customer service is outstanding
  • Their tools are rugged and can be used anywhere

Best Power Tool Brand for Precision – Makita

makita tools

For me, Makita has the ability to make life easier when it comes to carrying out those precise cuts. So, if that’s what you need from a power tool, then I believe Makita can make a massive difference to your projects.

This Japanese brand didn’t start making power tools until 1958, but since then, they have invested considerable money and time in developing their range. This has led to them producing 100s of tools, all made to the same high-quality you come to expect from Makita.

What I love about them is that they keep things nice and simple. Makita tools come packed with power, but they deliver that power in an easy-to-use manner. 

I also appreciate how the tools manage to produce exactly what you want from them. On saws, markings for adjusting the tools are clearly marked, while the use of lasers to line up cuts is also widely used.

That is why I’ve included Makita here. Their tools are wonderfully made, perform well, and make the process of producing your desired end result significantly easier than it can be with other brands.

Things to Look Out for

  • These tools are straightforward to set up and use
  • They pack a lot of power into the tool
  • Adjusting the tools is straightforward
  • Their brushless motors rarely overheat
  • The LXT system works with almost 300 tools
  • Their tools are controlled electronically to monitor speed and torque

Best Power Tool Brand for Trades – Metabo

metabo miter saw in the workshop

While Metabo may not be a name you feel too familiar with, that’s because it used to be called Hitachi. That alone could ignite your memory, and what you get with Metabo are quality tools that, in my opinion, represent real value for money.

If you work in a trade where power tools form a significant part of your day, I suggest checking out what Metabo offers. 

One of the main reasons I’ve included Metabo in my list is not due to the ease with which their tools are available. Instead, it’s thanks to something called their MultiVolt platform.

What that refers to is a stunning battery that lasts longer than previous models. It means you can make even more cuts than before. Also, it’s lightweight and more compact, while you have the ability to use the battery across their 18V product range.

In addition, Metabo also has its Ultra-M technology, and that’s another huge deal. What it does is it effectively links together the tool, battery, and its performance. Getting everything working in tandem leads to a more efficient tool.

With that help, it’s no surprise that professionals feel drawn to the brand.

Things to Look Out for

  • Metabo has an extensive product range
  • Their 18V product range is the best
  • The Ultra-M technology does lead to better end results

Best Power Tool Brand for Home DIY’er – Craftsman

craftsman tools

The Craftsman brand is one of the most well-loved brands in the industry, and for a good reason. However, I also see the Craftsman brand as the perfect power tool brand for your average home DIY’er.

Founded in 1927, Craftsman tools are certainly dependable even though their power-to-torque ratio is less than you get with other brands. However, that’s why I’ve included it in my list for the home DIY’er simply because that ratio is perhaps not quite as important.

But what I love about Craftsman is that their tools are still high-quality even though they do not come with that high-quality price tag. I feel they offer value for money and can prove to be the perfect tool for someone doing small jobs around the home.

I think my favorite tools in the Craftsman range is their line of 20V cordless tools. I feel you get adequate runtime with the battery, and charging is also quick and easy. I also appreciate the storage and organization options that come with the brand. They seek to make your life as easy as possible when you only plan on using your power tools for a short period.

Things to Look Out for

  • Focus on their 20V range of cordless tools
  • These tools are well-built and should last
  • Their power is less than you get with other brands
  • Their Versa system is fantastic

Best Power Tool Brand for Beginner – Ryobi

ryobi jigsaw in the workshop

If you are new to power tools, then you want everything to be as easy as possible, and that’s why I think Ryobi is the brand you should be checking out

Not only does it offer a wide array of tools, but they manage to keep everything nice and straightforward. You can basically take the tool out of the box and get started with using it.

The thing that does stand out for me with Ryobi is the cost. It’s very inexpensive, and it’s all thanks to its battery system. As long as you have their battery, then the cost of purchasing new additional tools is exceptionally low.

But the price is not the only good thing about this brand. They also focus on making it easy to do all the basic things you want from a power tool. Need to adjust settings? You can do it in seconds. Need to change bits or blades; it’s effortless.

But you should also know that these tools are not designed for heavy-duty usage. They can’t cope with too much, which is why I see them as better for a beginner rather than someone with a whole host of projects lined up.

Pay attention to their 18V One+ line as well. It’s the best line from the company and offers you over 200 different tools.

Things to Look Out for

  • The battery can easily move between tools
  • The battery lasts a long time between charges
  • Their 18V One+ line is the best option
  • You have over 200 tools available
  • You can use their tools almost out of the box
  • Nothing appears complicated with Ryobi tools

Best Power Tool Brand for Quality – Festool

using festool drill

I must start by warning you that Festool comes with a higher price tag than most power tools, but what you get in return is a powerful tool that is probably the best for build quality.

Festool may not be the most well-known brand, but that may be due to them being more expensive than most. However, you can feel the quality of the tool as soon as you touch it, but it’s not just the feel of it that makes this brand stand out.

They spend a tremendous amount of time working on their tools to ensure they provide the best performance possible. They seek to constantly fine-tune every aspect, and it quickly becomes apparent you have a premium tool in your hand. 

As a brand, they look at areas where power tools often disappoint the users and attempt to counteract those issues. One such example is dust, which is a massive deal with certain tools. Festool has developed one of the best dust collection systems in the industry, but there are other ways in which these tools excel.

They may not have as many power tool options as other brands, but each tool in their range is crafted to the highest standards.

Things to Look Out for

  • These tools do come with a premium price tag
  • They are exceptionally well engineered
  • They feel comfortable in your hand
  • It’s difficult to pick a fault with them, aside from the price

Best Power Tool Brand for Performance – Bosch

using bosch track saw

I love Bosch tools and have owned several over the years. One thing that manages to stand out with this brand is the tool’s overall performance. It just never appears to let you down. 

I feel that Bosch tools are something you can rely on. Their motors come with cell protection and are also brushless. That means they can cope with a lot more punishment and use without failing. Also, it’s pretty much impossible for them to overheat.

It’s also worth noting that Bosch has two different product lines. Blue tools are aimed more at the professional, while green tools are better suited for the home DIY’er. Green tools will often have slightly less power and capabilities than blue tools, but they will still prove excellent in their own right.

I do also appreciate the blades that come with their tools. The technology in their blades should reduce the possibility of the blades sticking in material while also offering a more precise cut. There should also be less vibration, which leads to a better cut.

Overall, I feel that you can always trust what a Bosch tool will do, and that’s a huge deal. If you want consistent performance, then their tools can do just that.

Things to Look Out for

  • The precision of their tools is excellent
  • Blades and bits perform better than you expect
  • Tools need little in the way of maintenance
  • Tools incorporate Syneon technology offering optimum performance
  • They offer an extensive array of 12V tools
  • The price range is reasonable for the quality of the tool

Best Power Tool Brand for Woodworkers – Sawstop

sawstop tools

If you are seriously into woodworking, you want tools to make your projects run as smoothly as possible. That’s where Sawstop has the ability to excel.

Sawstop is a relatively new company as it has only been producing tools for just over 20 years, but they have still built a strong reputation for its high-quality tools in that time. But I have a good reason for including this brand in my list, and it’s their approach to safety.

One of their primary concerns is the safety of individuals using their tools. That translates into them incorporating a number of unique features designed to make their tools as safe as possible.

They have managed to do this by creating a system that detects when a tool has come into contact with skin. It shuts off as soon as it realizes this, preventing even more damage. It’s simple but highly effective.

I love that, and even though they pay so much attention to this area, they have hardly let other parts of their tools slip. Each tool is manufactured to such a high standard that I don’t see any problems regarding reliability. 

Things to Look Out for

  • The safety aspect is amazing
  • Their tools are very reliable
  • They are priced in the mid-range compared to most brands
  • The range of tools is smaller than you see with other brands

Best Power Tool Brand for Small Projects – Kobalt

kobalt tools in store

If you only ever indulge in small projects, then your power tool requirements are not the same as they would for larger projects. That’s why I’ve selected Kobalt as the best brand for those smaller-scale projects.

That’s not to say these tools are incapable of doing more. That’s just not true, but I feel they offer enough power and capabilities without costing you too much money. After all, if you only occasionally work on small projects, then there’s no need to have more expensive tools.

What I love about Kobalt tools is just how accessible they are. You should have no problem finding them, and then there’s the added bonus of the tools proving to be easy to use. 

Kobalt knows and understands its market. They know that the people most likely to purchase their tools do not require all of the bells and whistles you get with other brands. So, don’t expect Kobalt tools to come with the same capabilities as the likes of DeWalt; it’s just not going to happen.

But seriously, I think Kobalt tools are better than most people make them out to be. I feel they can be the perfect tool for any individual looking to carry out those small projects around the home. 

Things to Look Out for

  • Check out their XTR lineup as it’s exceptionally powerful
  • Kobalt offers real affordability
  • Their tools are easy to find
  • They perform better than the price

Overall Conclusion

So those are my top 12 power tool brands that I think you should really pay attention to if you are in the market for a new power tool. As many others exist, I’m not saying that these 12 brands remain the only ones you should focus on. However, I see them as the best out there for a whole host of reasons.

At the end of the day, the best approach to buying a new power tool is to understand what you need the power tool to do. As long as you understand that, you should not run into too many problems and hopefully settle on both the tool and brand that fits those needs.

After all, I want you to have the equipment to complete your projects. Perhaps now you will better understand which brands you need to focus your attention on.

Photo of author

Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.

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