Power tool brand preference for Function + Form

What brand of power tools does everyone prefer here?

I have used many different brands around the house, at school, while working construction jobs, and helping family and friends over the years. I know that I dislike Craftsman for sure. The set that I have used had weak power, short battery life, poor quality accessories, and overall bad design. Craftsman does have their nice warranty though.

The reason I ask is I am looking to purchase some in the future and I would like to stick with the same brand. I was giving the ok by my fiancee to register for some as wedding gifts so I’m pretty excited.

Please let me know any opinions from personal use to what others have claimed.

Thanks in advance!

I prefer DeWalt for everything except for pad sanders, resicprocating saw and hammer drills. I have two cordless drills, a plunge router, cut-off saw, biscuit jointer, a plane and a belt sander and the all work great. Especially the router.

For pad sanders I like makita: they last for ever
For rec saw and hammer drill I prefer Milwaukee: they seem tougher than the rest

Well that depends on how often you will be using the tools and what for. As with everthing you get what you pay for for the most part. Most contractrs are not tool loyal. Simple reason is that different brands tend to have different specialties. Take Skil- absolute crap line all round, but it has one oddball- the Skilsaw- the worm-drive circsaw that everything else is judged against. I would suggest that you look around for online reviews. Ridgid.com has a healthy forum where all tools Ridgid included are bashed soundly if they suck. Woodworking sites are a good source of tool info too.

So quick suggestions

If you stick with one brand

Price conscious/Entry Level: Ryobi from Depot is good for cordless tools. They sell the tools seperately from the batteries which makes the tools cheaper. Ryobi portable table saws also have somewhat of a cult following… Freud makes some great hand-tools. They are not particularly exciting but are typically well made. Makita is a great brand too. They are more on the pro level but have a great line.

Not so price conscious/Contractr Level: Milwaukee, Ridgid and Dewalt are good brands. The Dewalt line itself has a low end which has no castings and is mainly plastic parts and a high end range that has more durable components. Bosch has some great tools- and as far as design goes, they always have clean lines even when they design contemporary tools.

You have to realize that many of the brands in the market are owned by single corporations. Black and Decker owns Porter Cable, Dewalt, Delta and many other brands. So you still have to buy on a tool by tool basis.

no expert here by any means, but I won a toolset at a IDSA conference years ago from Ridgid and its awesome. There is some real thought behind their functionality: fan-cooled chargers that charge in half the time, force-feedback batteries that let you know when they are attached, unattached, corded versions have a light up plug that let you know which tools are in use, etc.

I also had the advantage of interning at their design center afterwards, which was great. so i would recommend ridgid.