Over the last few months, we’ve been conducting surveys within our audience to determine which brands produce the best tools. However, it’s important to note that the answer isn’t cut and dried. The top brand for ratchets may differ from the top brand for drills. It’s possible to break it down by trade, type of tool, power source, and much more. Despite the complexity, we were curious to gauge the general consensus. Thus, we asked our audience, “Who Creates the Finest Tools?” Now, let’s delve into the responses and perceptions we received.
Who is the Leading Overall Tool Brand?
With a whopping total of 1700 votes, Milwaukee emerged as the clear winner, capturing 53% of the vote. DeWalt trailed far behind at 18%, closely followed by Makita at 17%. Bosch secured the fourth position with 4% of the vote. The remaining 8% was split among various other brands. Let’s take a look at how the comments reflected the votes:
Flex (6), Metabo (3), Metabo HPT (3), Hilti (2), Ridgid (2), Craftsman (1), Fein (1), Klein (1), Kobalt (1), Ryobi (1), Worx (1)
Note: The numbers in parentheses indicate the total number of votes each brand received.
It comes as no surprise that Milwaukee emerged as the winner. However, the gap between Milwaukee and DeWalt surpassed our expectations. Based on the comments we received on our website, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube channels, it seems that Milwaukee and DeWalt are much closer competitors than the numbers suggest.
In the write-in votes, Flex garnered considerable support, outshining several other well-known and popular brands. As Flex continues to gain market share with its impressive performance and innovative approach, its competitive pricing makes it an attractive option.
Who Produces the Best Cordless Power Tools?
Specifically focusing on cordless tools, Milwaukee once again claimed the top spot with 53% of the 1100 votes cast. DeWalt improved slightly from the previous category, securing 19% of the vote. Makita followed closely with 16%, while Hilti accounted for 3%. The remaining 8% was divided among other brands. Here is how the write-in votes were distributed:
Flex (4), Bosch (2), Craftsman (2), Metabo HPT (2), Chervon (1), HART (1), Metabo (1), Ryobi (1)
Remarkably, Milwaukee maintained the exact percentage of votes it received in the previous category, despite there being 600 fewer total votes this time around. Nevertheless, let’s not delve too much into the numbers. DeWalt, Makita, and Milwaukee are unofficially known as the “Big 3” in the power tool industry, thanks to their extensive range of cordless tools. However, Milwaukee stands apart by offering trade-specific tools in mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) fields. Milwaukee provides solutions that its closest competitors do not.
Flex should take pride in leading the write-in votes once again. We also received the first vote for a brand group: Chervon. They are responsible for producing EGO, Flex, Skil, and Kobalt, and each of these brands is a quality choice in their respective categories.
Who Produces the Best Pneumatic Tools?
Now let’s move on to the world of air power. DeWalt claims the crown in this category, securing 26% of the 609 votes we received. Metabo HPT (formerly Hitachi) closely follows with 20% of the votes, while Senco garners 12% and Ridgid receives 11%. Surprisingly, a significant 32% of the votes went to various other brands, with Ingersoll-Rand being the notable mention. Here’s a breakdown of the write-in votes:
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)
Given its strong brand loyalty, it comes as no surprise that DeWalt emerges as the leader in the pneumatic tools category. Metabo HPT continues to perform well despite its rebranding from Hitachi. The quality of their nailers and compressors remains unchanged, as only the name has been altered. It’s worth noting that Ingersoll-Rand could have fared exceptionally well had it been one of the main four choices, considering its well-deserved reputation within the industry.
Who Produces the Best Hand Tools?
The general hand tool category encompasses all trades, and Knipex dominates the vote, securing 48% of the 1200 votes cast. Klein performs strongly with 27% of the votes, while Wera lags behind at 11%, and Wiha earns 5%. The remaining 9% is distributed among other brands. Here’s how the write-in votes stack up:
Snap-On (3), Harbor Freight (2), Benchtop (1), Channellock (1), DeWalt (1), Gearwrench (1), Gedore (1), Irwin (1), Milwaukee (1)
The results in this category surprised us somewhat. While we knew Knipex produces excellent hand tools, we didn’t expect such a significant margin of victory. As expected, Klein garnered significant support, particularly among electricians. The numbers for Wera and Wiha were lower than anticipated, indicating that more individuals should give them a try. 😉
Who Produces the Best Concrete Tools?
The concrete industry is vast, and no other brand comes close to earning as many votes as Hilti. Out of the 1000 votes received, Hilti dominates with 49%. Makita secures the second position with 15%, while Bosch and DeWalt are tied at 14%. The remaining 10% is divided among other brands. Here’s how the write-in votes were distributed:
Craftsman (1), Flex (1), Hyper Tough (1), Kraft (1), Marshalltown (1), Metabo (1), Milwaukee (1)
When you get your hands on a Hilti product, the first thing that strikes you is the attention to ergonomics. Upon powering it up, you experience exceptional performance, vibration control, and other innovative features that make it incredibly popular. From demolition hammers to rotary lasers, cut-off saws to the latest Nuron cordless system, Hilti tools are an absolute pleasure to use. Additionally, Hilti provides excellent service before and after the sale.
Who Produces the Best Tools for Electricians?
Now let’s focus specifically on tools designed for electricians. Klein establishes a significant lead, capturing 53% of the 921 votes. Milwaukee solidifies its position in second place with 34%. Greenlee and Southwire each earn 2%, while the remaining 10% is distributed among other brands. Here’s a breakdown of the write-in votes:
Knipex (6), Wera (4), Wiha (3), DeWalt (1), Flex (1), Fluke (1), Harbor Freight (1), Jokari (1), Metabo (1)
It comes as no surprise that Klein emerges as the winner in this category. After all, they have been producing electrical tools since 1857. Milwaukee is gaining significant ground with its impressive range of cordless electrical tools, such as the compact cordless threader and dieless crimper, in addition to its wide range of cordless hydraulic and hand tools. Looking at the write-in votes, Knipex leads the pack, with Wera and Wiha also receiving some love.
Who Produces the Best Tools for Plumbers?
In the plumbing category, we received a total of 986 votes, with 51% going to Milwaukee. Ridgid takes a solid second place with 37%, while Crescent trails behind with 6% of the vote. Reed wraps up the competition with just 1%. Only 6% of the votes went to other brands. Here’s how the write-in votes were distributed:
DeWalt (1), Flex (1), Pipe Vise (1), Rems (1), Tool Shop (1)
There were no brands that garnered more than a single vote in the write-ins. It is clear that Milwaukee and Ridgid enjoy the highest reputation in the plumbing industry. Milwaukee’s dominance primarily stems from its cordless tools, including PEX expanders and cordless threaders, as well as a comprehensive offering of hand tools and more. Ridgid, on the other hand, is renowned for its plumbing hand tools, chain vices, and heavy-duty pipe threaders, among other rugged tools that plumbers rely on.
Who Produces the Best Mechanics Tools?
The mechanics poll was a bit more contestable, with Snap-On emerging as the victor with 41% of the 888 votes. However, a substantial 31% of the votes went to other brands. Craftsman secured 18% of the vote, Mac Tools earned 7%, and Proto concluded with 4%. Here’s how the write-in votes were distributed:
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 enjoys a stellar reputation as the most popular tool truck brand, making its rounds to shops across the country. Craftsman still holds a place in the hearts (and toolboxes) of many, thanks to the remarkable balance of quality and price it offers. When it comes to the write-in votes, we saw more brands represented in this category than any other. This isn’t surprising considering the number of brands that produce mechanics tool sets and the wide range of retailers where they are available.
Who Produces the Best Woodworking Tools?
Out of the 775 votes cast in the woodworking category, none of us at Pro Tool Reviews anticipated that Festool would be anywhere other than at the top. Indeed, it claimed victory with 39% of the votes. Makita put on a strong showing with 28%, while Bosch secured a respectable 12%. Jet finished with a mere 3%, while 17% of the votes went to other brands. Here’s a breakdown of the write-in votes:
Mafell (2), Ridgid (2), DeWalt (1), Metabo HPT (1), Milwaukee (1), Tool Shop (1)
If price is not a constraint, serious woodworkers aspire to use Festool. From their ergonomically excellent sanders to the legendary Kapex miter saw, innovative Domino, and purpose-built CT dust extractors, Festool is a brand laser-focused on top-notch quality. However, it’s worth mentioning Makita as well. It is a premium brand offering a more affordable price range, with a deep selection of saw designs and an extensive range of cordless tools that Festool cannot rival.
It comes as no surprise that the top professional brands are frequently voted on. While this survey does not provide objective data to determine who creates the best tools, it offers valuable insights into market perceptions.
Even within the Pro Tool Reviews office, there is much dissent among our team members. Each of our professionals, working in various trades, has their favorite go-to tools that they would never leave behind. The diversity in their responses is similar to your own. We encourage you to share your favorite brands in the comments section below!
A heartfelt thank you to all of you who took the time to participate in this survey!