questionswhat brand is your tool?

vote-for10vote-against
vote-for5vote-against

Still got Craftsman, though there are a lot of choices on the market.

You see Craftsman in KMart because KMart bought out Sears about 8 years ago. You also find Craftsman in the military base Exchanges and some of their stuff in ACE Hardware.

vote-for4vote-against

We've always been a Craftsman family but have been very disappointed in the quality of tools recently as well as their newer replacement policy. We recently had to replace a socket wrench that failed.
Instead of receiving a new wrench as was their policy years ago, the salesman at Sears tried to give us a "refurbished" model. I guess they keep refurbs on hand for this purpose. My husband made enough of a stink that he was given a new wrench.
Seems many of their tools are no longer made in the USA.

vote-for2vote-against

I had to get a replacement about a year ago. Guy pulled a brand new one for me.

vote-for2vote-against

Craftsman started to drop in quality some time ago. Sears also started carrying orange handled sorts of things that are actually not Craftsman at all, just in case the respect for the brand wasn't falling fast enough. I own a few of those (sometimes a cheap crappy tool still does the job). I have a full toolbox already, and I'm not in the market for more things.

When it comes to power tools, my old craftsman drill is a thing of joy. I wouldn't buy another, though. I like Bosch, and DeWalt, and I wouldn't take a Makita if it was free. There are still quality products out there. Craftsman has worked so hard at trashing their own reputation that I'm not sure they can get it back.

I don't think I'd buy hand tools (wrenches, pliers, hammers, etc) online, unless I was already very familiar with a product, and just needed another one of whatever it was. Tools are personal, if you use them a lot, and you need to handle them to see how they feel, and whether they're right for you.

vote-for3vote-against

A number of name brands produce quality cordless products. And they've all produced some models that weren't that great. I personally try to buy Rigid when I can as they are sturdy and carry a lifetime warranty (if you register for it). I like all of my rigid power tools.

Popular mechanics does some good reviews/testing of such things. Look on their website to see if you can find some reviews. For instance (and I know you said cordless, this is just an example), they recently reviewed circular saws. Makita took the category and they've put out one of the best circular saws for years. That's the circular saw my boss (and thereby myself) used when I framed houses years ago. It's what I bought when I started remodeling my own home and when I recently helped my father-in-law on his deck, it put his Craftsman to shame. So much so that he sat in stunned silence with his mouth open.

Cont....

vote-for4vote-against

My point is that there are quite a few high quality power tool manufacturers and they don't all always have the best model in any given category. Figure out what features you want, find the ones with those features and then check reviews. Then balance price with those reviews.

I personally think that DeWalt is usually overpriced and Ryobi has really stepped it up the past few years (in fact Pop Mechanics rated one of their drills as the best value a couple of years ago). Ridgid, Makita, Milwaukee, Bosch, and Hitachi are solid.

Here's a link to Pop Mech. comparison tests - http://www.popularmechanics.com/archive/home/reviews/power-tools/0/10/

vote-for2vote-against

Craftsman Mostly although you need to watch what tool you buy now... I always wait for big sales and get sets at 50% off...
Some stores will swap out broken tools with a refurb, others will hand you a new replacement... Some have quoted me the "you have to contact Craftsman" line but if you pick up most any current packaged tool and read the fine print it tells you to return it to a Sears store, which I promptly show the offending clerk / department manager... If that doesn't work ask for the Store Manager and then ask for their Business Card... Replacement tools come off the bottom line for each store and it will be a choice for the person in-charge between a little off the bottom line or a well written but critical letter in the file at the home office... YMMV

vote-for2vote-against

I'm a regular volunteer leader at a Habitat chapter, and we use mostly Dewalt and a few Ryobi. I have been impressed with how they handle a lot of abuse by untrained to semi-skilled volunteers, and last for years. Good luck with your tools!

vote-for2vote-against

For hand tools, Craftsman because you can walk into any Sears and replace a broken item forever.

But you're asking about power tools. With power tools, it actually depends on what you're buying and how often and for what you intend to use it. There's no sense spending big money on a tool you might use only once or twice a year when a less expensive moderately-priced tool will do.

vote-for3vote-against

My .02 and worth everything you paid for it.

Buy a good brand and you won't go wrong. There is a reason that one drill costs 179 and the next model costs 119. Usually it is in the mechanics, plastic vs. metal components. You won't go wrong with the whole bosch dewalt milwaukee lineup, and will have a lot of decisions to make within those lines. My last purchase was a hitachi impact driver and drill set.

I wouldn't normally pick a hitachi, but all the contractors that I was dealing with were all using them on the jobsite due to their impressive warranty and their ability to do the job. One year later and I don't have a complaint, except spare batteries are pricey.

I would advise you to purchase an impact driver and drill combo that comes with a charger and at least two batteries. I personally don't care about all the other junk like flashlights and bags. For me it has to come in a hard case for transport.

vote-for1vote-against

If you are going cordless, be sure to look at the battery prices and technology. Stay away from anything using NiCd batteries. If you don't use the batteries often (at least once a month or so) be prepared to buy a lot of them over the life of the tool. Also, look at how long that battery "format" has been around as you will have to just hope that they still make them when it comes time to buy a new one or else your perfectly funtioning tool is now just a hammer.

hlx hlx
vote-for1vote-against

I tend to do a lot of underwater repairs. Any recommendations?

vote-for1vote-against

Call me snobbish, but I've always used Mac, Snap-on, or Matco for hand tools. They cost you an arm and a leg, but freaking durable, and great warranty. If I do go with craftsman, I go with the professional line, due to the smooth finish making it easier to clean the tools.

vote-for1vote-against

A lot of replies about hand tools, but the question was regarding purchasing cordless power tools.

I have a Dewalt 18V cordless drill and saw and they've both been great. Only two bum batteries after 10 years (these were the two XR model batteries that came with the saw which I think were faulty to start with and may have been discountinued). I've also owned Craftsman cordless drills, which worked pretty well at a lower cost, but I found the batteries degraded quickly with time. That was some time ago now and they may have a better supplier/technology now, but I don't know because I've been using Dewalt!

vote-for1vote-against

When I bought my house, I went with a Ryobi pack. Got an 18V drill, impact, sawzall, and circular saw for around $200. I looked for sales and later got a light, sting trimmer and blower with 2 li-ion batteries for $100. Now I have 4 batteries, 4 chargers (bought at a garage sale) and great tools. It's the one+ line so all the batteries work in all the tools. 2 years later they still make batteries for the system and they keep coming out with new tools. My next purchase will be a fan and a radio and a jigsaw. I love it. My dad uses Ryobi too. He helped build houses after Katrina and used those 2 drills and batteries to death and they still work great.

vote-for0vote-against

If you're talking hand tools, I've bought mainly Craftsman over the years, and that's what my son's tools are as well. However, some wrenches and such that you use less often or on smaller jobs, but from Harbor Freight. The quality on their good tools is actually quite good.
If you're talking strictly cordless, buy from whoever- what you want is good batteries(pref. Lithium Ion), there's not that much difference in tools. The folks that make Black & Decker also make DeWalt, some Craftman and a couple of other brands, but batteries from EVERYBODY become extinct every couple of years, makes you buy new tools(they think). Buy better than basic, look for a good weight balance and 18-24 volt, and you'll likely be alright.

vote-for1vote-against

I still buy Craftsman hand tools since they will still replace a broken one, but for power tools, I find that every brand has one tool that is exceptional. The only cordless tools I have are a Dremel rotary tool and a Panasonic 3/8" drill, everything else I buy corded like a Milwaukee Sawzall, Porter Cable belt sander, Dremel Multi-max, Skil circular saw, Bosch jigsaw, Hitachi miter saw, an old 1/2 Craftsman drill, etc...
I do love the Panasonic drill, it is probably not as nice as some other brands, but it is extremely powerful for its size so it is awesome for overhead work, and the batteries charge faster than I can use them with a smart charger that keeps them charged, and shuts itself off when it is not needed. I do have concerns about the chuck quality, but it hasn't been a problem yet.