Over the past few months, we've been polling our audience to see who makes the best tools. The answer, of course, is that it depends. The best ratchets may be made by a different brand than the best drills. You can break it down into industries, tools, power supplies, and more. As complicated as it is, we wondered what the prevailing perception was there. So here's how our listeners answered the question, "Who makes the best tools?"
Some of you have rightly pointed out that these results are very subjective. Some offer some dubious options, and there's clearly brand loyalty as well. So take it with a grain of salt, but it'll be fun for us to see what you guys think!
With 1,700 total votes, Milwaukee dominated all other brands, winning 53 percent of the vote. DeWalt leads with 18%, followed by Makita with 17%. Bosch came in fourth with 4 percent of the vote. 8% went to other brands. Here's how the votes faltered in the comments:
Flex (6), Metabo (3), Metabo HPT (3), Hilti (2), Ridgid (2), Craftsman (1), Fein (1), Klein (1), Kobalt (1), Ryobi (1) , Vaux (1)
Note : The numbers in parentheses are the brand's total votes.
It's not surprising to see Milwaukee lead, although the gap between it and DeWalt is much wider than we expected. If the reviews on our website, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube channels are any indication, the reality is that they are closer competitors.
In supplementary tickets, Flextronics should get some encouragement from leading several well-known and popular brands. As it continues to gain market share with its impressive performance and thoughtful innovations, its price point generally makes it a very attractive option.
When asked specifically about wireless tools, Milwaukee again took the top spot with 53 percent of the 1,100 votes cast. DeWalt edged ahead of the previous category with 19 percent of the vote, with Makita at 16 percent and Hilti at 3 percent. A total of 8% chose other brands, here's how to supplement the vote:
Flex (4), Bosch (2), Craftsman (2), Metabo HPT (2), Chervon (1), HART (1), Metabo (1), Ryobi (1)
Statistically, it's odd to see Milwaukee have the exact same percentage of votes in the previous category, despite a 600 reduction in total votes. But enough geeks. DeWalt, Makita, and Milwaukee are informally known as the Big Three of the power tool industry, and that has a lot to do with the breadth of cordless tools each brand offers. One thing that sets Milwaukee apart from the other two is its focus on trade-specific tools in the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) sector. You'll find that Milwaukee Tools is designed to provide solutions that its closest competitors cannot.
Flex can again count its leadership addition vote as a positive. We also saw that the first vote went to a brand group: Chervon. They're responsible for making EGO, Flex, Skil, and Kobalt, and each of these brands is undoubtedly a premium choice in its respective category.
When it comes to air power, DeWalt wins with 26 percent of the 609 votes we received. Metabo HPT (formerly Hitachi) got 20 percent of the vote, Senco 12 percent and Ridgid 11 percent. However, a whopping 32 percent of the vote went to other brands, most notably Ingersoll Rand.
Ingersoll Rand (10), Aircat Tools (2), Astro Pneumatic (2), Quincy Compressors (2), Snap-On (2), Chicago Pneumatic (1), Craftsman (1), Earthquake (1), Kobalt (1) ) ), Milwaukee (1), Porter-Cable (1)
With its brand loyalty, we're not surprised to see DeWalt taking the lead in aerodynamics, while the Metabo HPT is apparently still doing well despite Hitachi's rebranding. Well deserved considering they are the exact same high quality nailer and compressor as before – it's really just a name change. The argument here is how Ingersoll Rand will be one of the main four picks rather than write. While we can address this in the next voting session, it's clear that they maintain a strong (and well-deserved) reputation in the industry.
The general hand tools category is vast and encompasses every industry. Knipex dominated the vote, receiving 48% of the 1,200 votes cast. Klein did well with 27 percent of the vote, while Wera trailed on 11 percent and Wiha on 5 percent. In this category, 9% went to other brands.
Snap-On (3), Harbor Freight (2), Benchtop (1), Channellock (1), DeWalt (1), Gearwrench (1), Gedore (1), Irwin (1), Milwaukee (1)
This result surprised us a bit. We knew Knipex made great hand tools, but we didn't expect such a big win. As we expected, Klein is wildly popular among electricians. The numbers for Wera and Wiha are a bit low, but maybe that's just because more of you need to give them a chance. 😉
Who Makes the Best Concrete Tools?
The concrete industry is massive and no other brand has won as many votes as Hilti. 1000 votes came in and Hilti won 49% of them. Makita came in second with 15 percent, while Bosch and DeWalt tied for 14 percent. 10% voted for other brands.
Craftsman (1), Flex (1), Hyper Tough (1), Kraft (1), Marshalltown (1), Metabo (1), Milwaukee (1)
When you touch a Hilti product, the first thing you notice is the attention paid to ergonomics. Once powered up, you'll experience the performance, vibration control and other innovations that made it so popular. From demolition hammers to rotary lasers and chop saws, to the latest Nuron cordless systems, these tools are a joy to use. Also, Hilti's pre-sales and after-sales service are excellent.
Specifically for tools designed for electricians, Klein led the field with 53 percent of the 921 votes cast. Milwaukee is a solid second with 34 percent. Greenlee and Southwire each received 2 percent of the vote, while 10 percent went to other brands.
Knipex (6), Wera (4), Wiha (3), DeWalt (1), Flex (1), Fluke (1), Harbor Freight (1), Jokari (1), Metabo (1),
We don't think anyone who knows the electrical industry will be shocked to see Klein top this poll. After all, they've been making power tools since 1857. Milwaukee has clearly won the market with an impressive range of cordless power tools, such as its compact cordless threader and dieless crimper, as well as its other line of cordless hydraulic and hand tools. Looking at the additions, Knipex leads the pack and Wera and Wiha get some love too.
The pipeline category had 986 votes, 51 percent of which went to Milwaukee. Ridgid came in second with 37%. Crescent trailed with 6 percent of the vote, while Reed got just 1 percent. Only 6% think other brands deserve their vote.
DeWalt (1), Flex (1), Pipe Vise (1), Rems (1), Tool Shop (1)
With no one receiving more than one vote in the addition, it's clear that Milwaukee and Ritchie have the highest reputation in the plumbing industry. Milwaukee's dominance is largely due to cordless tools with PEX extenders, cordless threaders, hand tools and more to meet your needs. Of course, Ridgid is known for its pipe hand tools as well as chain vises and many heavy duty pipe threaders, chain vises, inspection systems and other rugged tools that plumbers rely on.
Things got a bit heated in the mechanical vote, with Snap-On winning with 41 percent of the vote, but 31 percent of the 888 votes went to other brands. Craftsman got 18 percent of the vote, Mac Tools 7 percent and Proto 4 percent.
Milwaukee (9), Tekton (3), DeWalt (2), Gearwrench (2), Hazet (2), Kobalt (2), Makita (2), Wera (2), Cornwell (1), Flex (1), Husky (1), Hyper Tough (1), Pittsburgh (1), Ridgid (1), Ryobi (1)
Snap-On has a solid reputation as the most popular tool cart brand, stocked in stores nationwide. The Craftsman still holds a special place in many people's hearts (and toolboxes) as one of the best combinations of quality and price. Entering the Supplementary Vote, more brands are represented than any other category we surveyed. That's no surprise, considering the sheer number of brands that make machine tool kits and the multitude of retailers you can get them from.
Of the 775 votes in the woodworking category, exactly zero people in our Pro Tool Reviews didn't think the Festool would top the list. In fact, it got 39% of the vote. Makita came in very strong with 28% and Bosch got a respectable 12%. Jet was backed by just 3%, while 17% voted for other brands.
Mafell (2), Ridgid (2), DeWalt (1), Metabo HPT (1), Milwaukee (1), Tool Shop (1)
If price is no object, Festool is what most serious woodworkers will want to use. From its outstanding ergonomic sanders to the legendary Kapex miter saws, innovative Domino's and dedicated CT dust collectors, it's a brand with a strong focus on quality. Don't discount the Makita, though. It's a higher-end brand that's more affordable, has a very in-depth saw design, and has a plethora of cordless tools that Festool can't match.
It should come as no surprise to see frequent votes from top professional brands. While this isn't an objective test to quantify who makes the best tools, it does give us a good look at what the market thinks.
As you know, there's a lot of disagreement even within the Pro Tool Reviews office. Each of our professionals has their favorite and most-used tools in their various trades that they never forget. Their answers to these questions are as varied as yours. Be sure to give your favorite brands a shout-out in the comments below!
Thanks to everyone who took the time to participate in this survey!