After conducting extensive research and collecting feedback from our audience over the past few months, we sought to determine which brands create the best tools. The answer, as expected, varies depending on the specific industry and type of tool. Whether it’s ratchets, drills, power supplies, or more, different brands excel in different areas. Despite the complexity of this question, we were curious about the prevailing perception. So, let’s dive into how our listeners responded to the question, “Who manufactures the best tools?”
Some of you rightly pointed out that these results are highly subjective. Dubious options were put forward, and brand loyalty was evident. Therefore, it’s essential to approach these findings with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, it’s fascinating to see what you guys think!
Milwaukee Tools: Dominating the Market
Out of a total of 1,700 votes, Milwaukee emerged as the clear winner, securing 53 percent of the votes. DeWalt came in second with 18%, closely followed by Makita with 17%. Bosch secured fourth place with 4 percent, while the remaining 8% was split among other brands. Let’s take a look at the breakdown of the votes 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)
It’s no surprise that Milwaukee came out on top. However, the margin between Milwaukee and DeWalt is wider than expected. Based on reviews from our website and social media channels, it appears that these two brands are closer competitors than the voting suggests.
In terms of honorable mentions, Flextronics deserves recognition for leading several popular and well-known brands. It continues to gain market share with impressive performance and thoughtful innovations, all while maintaining an attractive price point.
Milwaukee Tools: The Wireless Advantage
In the category of wireless tools, Milwaukee once again claimed the top spot with 53 percent of the 1,100 votes. DeWalt secured second place with 19 percent, followed by Makita at 16 percent, and Hilti at 3 percent. The remaining 8% opted for other brands. Here’s a look at the supplementary votes:
Flex (4), Bosch (2), Craftsman (2), Metabo HPT (2), Chervon (1), HART (1), Metabo (1), Ryobi (1)
Interestingly, Milwaukee maintained the exact same percentage of votes as in the previous category, despite a reduction in the total number of votes. However, let’s not get too caught up in the numbers. DeWalt, Makita, and Milwaukee are informally known as the “Big Three” in the power tool industry, owing to the extensive range of cordless tools each brand offers. What sets Milwaukee apart is its focus on trade-specific tools in the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) sector. Milwaukee Tools is designed to provide solutions that its closest competitors cannot.
Flex can also take pride in leading among several well-established brands. Moreover, it’s worth mentioning Chervon, which received the first vote. Chervon is responsible for producing EGO, Flex, Skil, and Kobalt, all of which are undoubtedly premium choices in their respective categories.
DeWalt: The Air Power Champion
In the air power category, DeWalt emerged victorious with 26 percent of the 609 votes received. Metabo HPT (formerly Hitachi) secured 20 percent of the vote, while Senco and Ridgid garnered 12 percent and 11 percent respectively. A significant 32 percent of voters preferred other brands, with Ingersoll Rand being a notable favorite.
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)
It’s no surprise to see DeWalt leading the field in the air power category, given its brand loyalty. Metabo HPT also seems to be maintaining its position despite the rebranding from Hitachi. This comes as no surprise, considering that the quality of their nailers and compressors remains unchanged, with only the name being different. However, it is worth noting that Ingersoll Rand received a significant number of votes, solidifying its reputation as one of the top picks in the industry.
Nipex: The Go-To Choice for Hand Tools
The hand tools category encompasses a wide range of tools used in various industries. Knipex emerged as the dominant brand, capturing 48% of the 1,200 votes. Klein took a respectable second place with 27 percent, followed by Wera with 11 percent and Wiha with 5 percent. The remaining 9% was divided among other brands. Let’s take a look at the supplementary votes:
Snap-On (3), Harbor Freight (2), Benchtop (1), Channellock (1), DeWalt (1), Gearwrench (1), Gedore (1), Irwin (1), Milwaukee (1)
The result in this category came as a bit of a surprise. While we were aware of Knipex’s reputation for producing excellent hand tools, we did not anticipate such a significant victory. As expected, Klein continues to be immensely popular among electricians. The numbers for Wera and Wiha may be lower due to fewer people having experienced their products, but we encourage you to give these brands a chance!
Who Makes the Best Concrete Tools?
Hilti: The Unquestionable Champion
Hilti, a renowned brand in the concrete industry, dominated the voting with 49% out of 1,000 votes. Makita came in second with 15 percent, while Bosch and DeWalt tied for third place with 14 percent each. Other brands secured 10% of the votes. Let’s take a look at the supplementary votes:
Craftsman (1), Flex (1), Hyper Tough (1), Kraft (1), Marshalltown (1), Metabo (1), Milwaukee (1)
When you pick up a Hilti product, you’ll immediately notice the emphasis on ergonomics. Once you power it up, you’ll experience the performance, vibration control, and other innovative features that have made it so popular. From demolition hammers to rotary lasers and chop saws, as well as the latest Nuron cordless systems, Hilti tools provide a joyous user experience. Moreover, their pre-sales and after-sales service are exceptional.
Klein Tools: The Electrician’s Favorite
Specifically in the category of tools designed for electricians, Klein took the lead with an overwhelming 53 percent of the 921 votes. Milwaukee followed closely behind with 34 percent. Greenlee and Southwire each secured 2 percent of the vote, while other brands received the remaining 10 percent. Here are the supplementary votes:
Knipex (6), Wera (4), Wiha (3), DeWalt (1), Flex (1), Fluke (1), Harbor Freight (1), Jokari (1), Metabo (1)
It should come as no surprise to see Klein topping this poll. After all, they have been manufacturing power tools since 1857. Milwaukee, on the other hand, has gained significant market share with its impressive range of cordless power tools, including the compact cordless threader, dieless crimper, and other hydraulic and hand tools. Among the supplementary votes, Knipex leads the pack, followed by Wera and Wiha, all receiving appreciation from the audience.
Milwaukee Tools: The Pipe-Related Experts
In the pipeline category, with 986 votes, Milwaukee secured 51 percent of the votes. Ridgid came in second place with 37 percent. Crescent followed with 6 percent, while Reed received just 1 percent. The remaining 6 percent felt that other brands deserved their vote. Here are the supplementary votes:
DeWalt (1), Flex (1), Pipe Vise (1), Rems (1), Tool Shop (1)
When it comes to the plumbing industry, it’s evident that Milwaukee and Ridgid hold the highest reputation. Milwaukee’s dominance largely stems from its cordless tools, such as PEX extenders, cordless threaders, and hand tools. Ridgid, on the other hand, is known for its durable pipe hand tools, chain vises, inspection systems, and other reliable tools that plumbers rely on.
Snap-On: The Mechanical Powerhouse
Things got heated in the mechanical category, with Snap-On leading the pack with 41 percent of the 888 votes. However, a significant 31 percent of voters preferred other brands. Craftsman secured 18 percent of the vote, while Mac Tools and Proto received 7 percent and 4 percent respectively. Here are the supplementary votes:
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 built a solid reputation as the most popular tool cart brand, available in stores across the nation. Craftsman continues to hold a special place in the hearts (and toolboxes) of many, offering a combination of quality and affordability. It’s worth noting that the supplementary votes covered a wide range of brands, which is understandable given the vast number of brands that manufacture mechanical toolkits. Furthermore, there’s an extensive network of retailers from which these tools can be obtained.
Festool: Woodworking Excellence
In the woodworking category, Festool claimed an overwhelming victory, receiving 39 percent of the 775 votes. Makita secured a strong second place with 28 percent, followed by Bosch with 12 percent. Jet received a mere 3 percent, and the remaining 17 percent was divided among other brands. Here are the supplementary votes:
Mafell (2), Ridgid (2), DeWalt (1), Metabo HPT (1), Milwaukee (1), Tool Shop (1)
When price is not a constraint, serious woodworkers often turn to Festool. From their exceptional ergonomic sanders to their renowned Kapex miter saws, innovative Domino connectors, and dedicated CT dust collectors, Festool is a brand that focuses on delivering top-notch quality. However, Makita is not to be overlooked. It offers a more affordable range of high-end tools with a superior saw design and a wide variety of cordless tools that Festool cannot match.
Final Thoughts: The Market’s Verdict
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that leading professional brands received the most votes. While this survey doesn’t provide an objective measure of who makes the best tools, it does provide valuable insight into the market’s perception.
As you know, there will always be differing opinions within the Pro Tool Reviews office. Each of our professionals has their favorite tools that they rely on in their respective trades. Just like ours, your answers to these questions are diverse. We encourage you to share your favorite brands in the comments below!
We would like to express our gratitude to everyone who took the time to participate in this survey. Your insights have provided valuable information for professionals and enthusiasts alike.