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Best Power Tool Brands of 2021

Updated
10 power tool brands the USA loves.

What are the best power tool brands? We’ve all seen the well-known names on the shelves of DIY stores across the country, but which ones are the best?

We list the leading power tool brands, sharing their history, pedigree, innovations, and their most popular models so you can make an informed choice.


What Makes the Best Power Tool Brand?

It’s a tricky question to answer because if you ask 100 experts, they will all tell you different things. Is it their annual turnover, the number of countries where the brand is sold, their range of tools, or consumer satisfaction?

If you ask anyone in the street, they will most likely give you the obvious names: DeWALT, Bosch, Makita, Milwaukee, and a few others. So is it that the best brands are simply the ones that everybody knows?

Ask the Professionals

The first place to start is with the professionals. They rely on their tools to earn a living, so they will not invest in something they don’t trust. You may end up spending a bit more to get the best brand of power tool, but at least you get one that professionals trust.

What Are the User Ratings?

The second place to look is customer reviews. Big brands sell in their thousands, so if you want an unbiased opinion, read the reviews. Many DIY enthusiasts have as much experience with power tool brands as the professionals and their opinion matters.

If you see a higher than average rating across many thousands of sales, there is a strong chance that you will also feel satisfied with your purchase.

How Long Is the Warranty?

Many brands boast about their warranties, claiming they are industry-leading. This may be true, but what an extended warranty tells you is that the brand is confident that its products will keep working for years to come.

If they were less sure, they would offer you a short guarantee and hope the tool suffers zero defects before the warranty expires.

What’s Their History?

While history is not an indicator of quality itself, it does show you that the company has been around for years, and there is a reason for that: customer confidence. If their tools were below par, they wouldn’t last 5 minutes in such a competitive world.

History also demonstrates how well a brand innovates and improves its range. If a firm claims to have invented the chop saw, there’s a strong chance that their chop saws are among the best you can buy.

You also feel more confident buying a brand with an illustrious past. It gives you a sense that you are part of that story in a tiny way, reinforcing a kind of loyalty to the company.

Where’s It Made?

This is a tricky one because the country of manufacture does not make the tool inferior; however, there are many out there who believe in buying American goods, which is admirable. But be careful. Just because it has DeWALT on the box doesn’t mean it isn’t made in China.

Likewise, Bosch is a German brand, and Makita and Ryobi are Japanese. There is a stereotype that we all buy into, convincing us that German engineering is superior and Japanese technology is the best in the world. Still, the truth is even power tools made in China are of high quality.

Protecting Their Reputation

This is one of the most important factors when choosing a new power tool. Reputation is a key driver. Building a good reputation can take years of hard work, and it can disappear in the blink of an eye.

To protect the brand name, these companies must innovate and constantly evolve without losing sight of the core principles of value for money and reliability.

Best Power Tool Brands

Now we have established what we think makes a trusted brand, let’s look at some of the best-known names in the American power tool market.

Milwaukee

You have to go as far back as 1918 and an association with the great Henry Ford to find the green shoots of Milwaukee’s inception. They invented a lightweight and portable power drill for car production.

The company officially got its name as the Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation in 1924, when Albert F. Siebert purchased his former partner, A.H. Peterson’s share of the company and went out alone.

Since then, they have been at the forefront of American innovation, developing lightweight hammer drills and sanders, among many other products, including the tool they have become best known for; the Sawzall reciprocating saw.

This proved so popular, and today, it is still going strong. Milwaukee is associated with hard-wearing tools, loved by professionals and the public alike.

Additional Specs

Country of origin USA
Years in the industry 103
Tier Professional and homeowner
Type of power tools Hammer drills, drills, sanders, reciprocating saws, miter saws, angle grinders
Most popular product Sawzall reciprocating saw, hammer drill
Warranty 1 to 5 years
Price $$$$
Website https://www.milwaukeetool.com/

Makita

Makita started life in Nagoya City in Japan in 1915 under the name Makita Denski Seisakusho, repairing motors and transformers. The company developed electric motors and began a global sales campaign.

In 1938, Makita became the Makita Electric Works Ltd, and in 1958 they developed their first power tool, the electric planer. This set them on the path of power tool production, kickstarting a history of innovation and excellence.

The company expanded in the 70s, 80s, and 90s with a US division and continues to grow today. Makita has increased its range to include Hammer drills, Impact wrenches (one of their most popular products), sanders and routers.

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Makita is also famed for its battery-operated technology, which they developed as far back as 1978, and today, they are one of the go-to cordless brands in the USA.

Additional Specs

Country of origin Japan
Years in the industry 106
Tier Professional and homeowner
Type of power tools Hammer drills, drills, sanders, reciprocating saws, miter saws, angle grinders, hedge trimmers and chainsaws.
Most popular product Impact wrench, cordless tools
Warranty 3 years
Price $$$
Website https://makitauk.com/history

DeWALT

Few names can rival DeWALT for popularity. They are a global tour de force in the power tool world and famed for their professional and DIY audience.

So, where did it all start? Let’s go all the way back to 1922 when Raymond DeWalt invented the radial saw to increase production at the sawmill where he was the superintendent.

In 1924, the DeWALT Products Company was established in Pennsylvania, producing a woodworking tool known as the “Wonder Worker.” It was innovative because it could be configured in 9 different ways.

Today, DeWALT is a multi-billion dollar company employing over 13,000 people and producing almost every type of power tool you can imagine. It is most famous for the radial miter and circular saws, as well as drills and cordless models.

Additional Specs

Country of origin USA
Years in the industry 99
Tier Professional and homeowner
Type of power tools Hammer drills, drills, sanders, reciprocating saws, miter saws, angle grinders, hedge trimmers
Most popular product Radial saws, miter saws, drills
Warranty 3 years
Price $$$
Website https://www.dewalt.com/company-info/milestones

Bosch

Bosch is a giant in the power tool world, with a turnover that eclipses almost every other company. We are talking hundreds of billions rather than billions. It also has fingers in many different pies, producing kitchen appliances, boilers and a host of other things.

It all started in 1886 in Stuttgart when the Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering was founded by Robert Bosch. The company focused on magneto ignitions for the automobile industry in the prewar years, and as they grew, so did their product range.

By the 60s and 70s, they were manufacturing airplane parts, engines, power tools, and many more items for use in heavy industry and the home.

The company produces power tools to the highest standards and is loved the world over by professionals and enthusiasts. Their most popular power tools are impact drivers, miter saws and routers, although they also have one of the most extensive cordless ranges.

Additional Specs

Country of origin Germany
Years in the industry 135
Tier Professional and homeowner
Type of power tools Hammer drills, drills, sanders, reciprocating saws, miter saws, angle grinders, hedge trimmers, routers
Most popular product Impact driver, miter saw, router
Warranty 1 to 3 years
Price $$$$
Website https://www.bosch.com

Metabo

Surprisingly, Metabo started life in Germany in 1924. The name comes from Metabowerke GmbH, which is the full name of the company. Albrecht Schnitzler developed the first hand-held drill in 1923 in the back of his parent’s bakery in the town of Nurtingan.

Since those humble beginnings, Metabo has gone from strength to strength, developing sanders, angle grinders with safety clutches, impact drills and many more.

Today, Metabo is a global brand, employing over 2,000 people with 2 facilities in Germany and Shanghai. The company holds over 700 patents and registered designs, making it an industry leader for innovation and technology.

In recent years, the company has scored several firsts, including the world’s first 36V cordless angle grinder and a 4Ah battery pack.

Their most popular tools include cordless screwdrivers, angle grinders, pneumatic frame nailers and routers.

Additional Specs

Country of origin Germany
Years in the industry 97
Tier Professional and homeowner
Type of power tools Hammer drills, drills, sanders, reciprocating saws, miter saws, angle grinders, nailers, routers
Most popular product Cordless screwdriver, nailer, router, angle grinder
Warranty 5 years
Price $$
Website https://www.metabo.com/us/enus/

Ryobi

Ryobi started life in 1943 in Japan. It began by producing die-cast tools as well as plastic models. The company started almost by accident when the manager of the Mitsubishi Electrics Fukuyama works mentioned die casting to Ryobi’s founder, Yutaka Urakami.

Urakami had to look up what die casting was, having no experience in the manufacturing process, but quickly realized its potential and went into business. The first manufacturing facility was set up in a soy sauce factory, and they set about supplying air armaments for the war effort.

After the war, they branched into automobiles, fishing reels, and power tools like chop saws and circular saws. In 1975, Ryobi made a concerted effort to shake off the shackles of their small brand image and set about advertising.

In 1985, the company became the first Japanese manufacturer to establish a die-cast facility in the USA, and today has detached itself from the multinational parent company to concentrate on power tool sales.

Its most popular tools include cordless multi-tools, Brad nailers and circular saws.

Additional Specs

Country of origin Japan
Years in the industry 78
Tier Professional and homeowner
Type of power tools Hammer drills, drills, sanders, reciprocating saws, miter saws, angle grinders, Brad nailers, routers
Most popular product Brad nailer, circular saw, cordless multi-tool
Warranty 3 years
Price $$$
Website https://www.ryobitools.com

Black and Decker

Only Black and Decker can claim a meteoric rise from a humble machine repair shop in Baltimore to the surface of the moon. They began life in 1910, founded by S. Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker.

They opened their first factory in 1917 in Maryland, and by 1919 they had notched up over 1 million dollars in sales. Not bad for two young men with an initial $1,200 stake and a limited education.

As the company grew, so did their scope for products. They moved into the appliance business, plumbing industry, and the sportswear market but never lost sight of their core, which was power tools.

They even developed cordless power tools used in the NASA Gemini and Apollo space programs. Today, Black and Decker is a household name famed for its extensive range of power tools at extremely competitive prices.

Their popular tools include cordless drills, angle grinders and rotary tools.

Additional Specs

Country of origin USA
Years in the industry 111
Tier Homeowner
Type of power tools Hammer drills, drills, sanders, reciprocating saws, miter saws, angle grinders, nailers, routers
Most popular product Cordless drills, angle grinders, rotary tools
Warranty 2 years
Price $
Website https://www.blackanddecker.com

Delta Power Tools

Delta may not have the presence of other tool manufacturers, but they hold a soft spot in the hearts of tool enthusiasts across America. They started life in Milwaukee in 1919 by Herbert Tautz.

In the early days, they thrived making small tools for the home but eventually expanded to light industrial machinery for commercial use. In 1945, they were acquired by the Rockwell Manufacturing Company and renamed the Delta Power Tools division of Rockwell manufacturing company.

They continued to make their tools in Milwaukee, producing the first power miter saw, and today their popular range includes miter saws, table saws and bench grinders.

Additional Specs

Country of origin USA
Years in the industry 102
Tier Professional and homeowner
Type of power tools Table saws, bench grinders, miter saws, scroll saws, belt sanders
Most popular product Miter saw, bench grinder, table saws
Warranty 3 years
Price $$$
Website https://deltamachinery.com

Craftsman

The craftsman trademark was first registered by Sears in 1927 when Arthur Barrows was the head of their hardware department and liked the name, so he paid the Marion-Craftsman Power Tool Company $500 for the right to use it.

Less than 2 years later, the brand had produced their first electric power drill, which they described as rugged, well balanced and easy to handle.

By 1934, they launched their budget range of lawnmowers, and just a few years later, in 1940, they announced a 1,550 percent increase in sales since they started the company. By the time of the war, in 1942, Craftsman were at the forefront of the US military effort, with their tools to construct aircraft.

By 1976, the company rolled their 100 millionth screwdriver off the production line. A few years on, and they celebrated their 50th anniversary. By 1978, they had produced 2 million radial saws.

Today, their most popular tools include cordless drills and angle grinders, as well as circular saws.

Additional Specs

Country of origin USA
Years in the industry 94
Tier Homeowner
Type of power tools Angle grinders, miter saws, scroll saws, belt sanders, drills
Most popular product Cordless circular saw, angle grinder, drills
Warranty 1-year to full lifetime guarantee
Price $$$
Website https://www.craftsman.com/support/where-its-made

SKIL

Today, SKIL is a Chinese-owned power tool brand, but it wasn’t always the case. Back in the day, they were an all-American manufacturer, with an illustrious history stretching all the way back to the beginning of the 20th century.

In the early 1920s, Frenchman Edmond Michel invented a motorized machete for chopping sugar canes in the deep south of New Orleans. By 1924, the Michel Electric Handsaw Company was established in Chicago, thanks to investment from a wealthy landowner.

Further innovations followed after the great depression with the introduction of the world’s first worm drive motor. The Model E Skilsaw celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2012, proving what a great product the saw is.

By late 2016, the company was acquired by Chervon (HK) Ltd, a Chinese company, and a great American brand went overseas. Unsurprisingly, their most popular tools include a circular saw, a cordless screwdriver and a wet tile saw.

Additional Specs

Country of origin USA
Years in the industry 101
Tier Professional and homeowner
Type of power tools Angle grinders, Skilsaws, belt sanders, drills, jigsaws, multi-cutters
Most popular product Skilsaw, cordless screwdriver, drills
Warranty 1-year
Price $$
Website https://www.skil.com/

Headshot of Mark Weir

About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark spent 24 years working in real estate, so he knows his way around a home. He also worked with contractors and experts, advising them on issues of planning, investments, and renovations. Mark is no stranger to hands-on experience, having renovated his own home and many properties for resale. He likes nothing better than seeing a project through to completion.

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