Who Makes the Best Tools News & Opinion

Who Makes the Best Tools in the Industry?

Over the past couple of months, we’ve been surveying our audience to see who makes the best tools – at least in their professional opinions. The answer, of course, is it depends. The best ratchet is likely made by a different brand than the best drill. You can break it down into trades, tool classes, power sources and so much more. But still, I wanted to know what the general perceptions are out there. So here’s how our audience answers the question, “Who Makes the Best Tools?”


Several of you correctly pointed out that these results are highly subjective – and you’re right. There were folks that decided Harbor Freight tools are the best in several categories – ahem, @ToolPig – and there’s clearly brand loyalty as well. So take it with a grain of salt, but it was a lot of fun for us to see what you guys and gals think!

Who Makes the Best Tools?

Who Makes the Most Durable Tools?

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Surge

  1. Milwaukee – 36 votes

  2. Makita – 35

  3. DeWalt – 27

  4. Hilti – 18

  5. Hitachi – 13

Others receiving votes: Ridgid (10), Bosch (9), Porter-Cable (7), Chicago Electric (5 – thank you, @ToolPig), Black & Decker (3), Metabo (3), Festool (2), Ingersol-Rand (2), Ryobi (2),  SnapOn (2), Bostitch (1), Channellock (1), Craftsman (1), Fein (1), Greenlee(1),  Irwin (1), Mafell (1), Powermatic (1), SK Hand Tools (1), Skilsaw (1)


Who Makes the Highest Performing Tools?

Milwaukee M18 Force Logic 750 MCM Crimper

  1. Milwaukee – 20 Votes

  2. Makita – 18

  3. DeWalt – 15

  4. Festool – 11

  5. Hilti – 8

Other receiving votes: Metabo (7), Ridgid (7), Ryobi (5), Bosch (4), Porter-Cable (3), Fein (2), Hitachi (2), Mafell (2), Black & Decker (1)Chicago Electric (1), Craftsman (1) Dalluge (1), Kobalt (1), SawStop (1), Skilsaw (1). Vaughn (1)

Who Has the Best Ergonomics?

DeWalt FlexVolt 60V Max Circular Saw Review

  1. DeWalt – 19 Votes

  2. Makita – 13

  3. Milwaukee – 9

  4. Hilti/Bosch (tie) – 3

  5. Other

Other receiving votes: Chicago Electric (1), Hitachi (1), Kobalt (1), Metabo (1)

What Brand Gives You the Best Value?

Best Ridgid Gifts for Christmas

  1. Ridgid – 13 Votes

  2. DeWalt – 7

  3. Makita/Ryobi (tie) – 6

  4. Bosch/Hitachi/Milwaukee (tie) – 3

  5. Other

Others receiving votes: Porter-Cable (2), Central Machinery (1), Chicago Electric (1), Delta (1), Dickies (1),  Glock (1 – thank you, @ConcordCarpenter), Harbor Freight (1 – thank you, @ToolPig), Hilti (1), Husqvarna (1), Jet (1), Kobalt (1), Metabo (1)

What Brand Makes the Most Innovative Tools?

Milwaukee Redstick Level Review 01

  1. Milwaukee – 10 votes

  2. DeWalt – 8

  3. Festool – 6

  4. Makita – 5

  5. Ryobi/Mafell (tie) – 1

Who Makes the Best Cordless Tools?

Makita 18V X2 Brushless Rear-Handle Circular Saw Review

  1. Makita – 45 Votes

  2. Milwaukee – 32

  3. DeWalt – 31

  4. Ridgid – 12

  5. Hilti – 11

Others receiving votes: Festool (8), Metabo (4), Porter-Cable (3), Ryobi (3), Hercules (2), Hitachi (2), Bosch (1), Ingersoll-Rand (1), Kobalt (1), Panasonic (1), REMS (1), Snap-on (1),

Who Makes the Best Hand Tools?

Milwaukee Cheater Pipe Wrench

  1. Milwaukee – 4 Votes

  2. Klein/Knipex/Wiha (tie) – 2

Others receiving votes:

  1. Channellock (1), Estwing (1), GearWrench (1), Irwin (1), Ridgid (1), SK Hand Tools (1), Sitebuddyz (1), Snap-On (1), Stiletto (1), Vaughn (1), Wera (1)

Who Makes the Best Pneumatic Tools?

Hitachi 3-1/2-Inch Coil Framing Nailer

  1. Hitachi – 6 Votes

  2. Ingersoll-Rand/Senco – 3

  3. Bostitch – 2

  4. Other

Others receiving votes: Max (1), Porter-Cable (1), Snap-On (1)


What Brand Makes the Best Corded Tools?

Makita LS1216LX4 Miter Saw Cut Capacity

  1. Makita – 7 Votes

  2. Festool – 6

  3. Milwaukee – 5

  4. DeWalt/Hilti (tie) – 4

Others receiving votes: Porter-Cable (3), Bosch (2), Metabo (2), Ridgid (2), Black & Decker (1), Harbor Freight (1 – thank you, @ToolPig), Felder (1), Hougen (1), Hitachi (1), Skilsaw (1)

What Brand of Tools Do You Use Most Often?

Dewalt Flexvolt 60V Max Track Saw 01

  1. DeWalt – 45 Votes

  2. Milwaukee – 38

  3. Makita – 37

  4. Bosch – 8

  5. Ridgid – 6

Others receiving votes: Hilti (3), Klein (3), Porter-Cable (3), Craftsman (2), Delta (1), Estwing (1), Festool (2), Hitachi (1), Ingersoll-Rand (1), Knipex (1), Kobalt (1), Mafell (1), Paslode (1), Ryobi (1),Skilsaw (1), Wiha (1)

So Who Makes the Best Tools?

Makita 18V LXT Impact Wrench WXT07

It’s no surprise to see the top Pro brands voted on frequently. And while this isn’t an objective test to quantify who makes the best tools, it certainly gives us a great idea of what the perception in the market is. Looking at the final numbers, Makita (166 total votes) makes the best tools, followed by Milwaukee (157) and DeWalt (156). As you can understand, even within the Pro Tool Reviews office there’s plenty of dissension in the ranks. Each of our Pros in their various trades all have their favorite and go-to tools that they’d never leave behind. And their answers to these questions are just as varied as yours.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to vote in this survey!

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I’ve been in construction for 36 years and have used all the major players. The answer to this question is very subjective and you could never narrow it down enough to crown one company as the best overall. In my experience, Makita, Festool, and Hilti all have stand outs. You could include Mafell in there too, but their price takes them out of the equation for most. Festool and Hilti are the kings when it comes to specialty tools. Track saws, hammer drills, etc. Within certain segments, their tools are easily the best offered. Granted, you pay a premium price… Read more »


If you have never used Festool then you are missing out. Not tools you hand to your workers but more like badass wood working tools. Even the cordless stuff is amazing. I would use makita and milwalkee for drills and impacts. But it stops there.


The problem, at least if you are mostly going cordless, is that you aren’t buying tools, you’re buying into a battery ecosystem. Which means choosing best of breed on an individual level is a self-defeating endeavour. So it really begins at the battery – and that’s where Makita is king. The other issue being industry consolidation. Milwaukee is like Viking in the kitchen appliance space – used to be arguably the best tool maker out there, but then they got bought out (by the same company that makes Ryobi), and Milwaukee’s are just Korean junk with an American sounding name… Read more »


I work at construction and experienced different tools. I can say Hilti is the best but that’s the reason why it costs a lot. Makita from my experience has decent quality but DeWalt is much better. I have experienced Chipping gun TE1000AVR, Construction perforator TE40AVR and TE50AVR and cordless hummer Drill TE22 and grinder don’t know the model. Hilti drills are much better than its analogs from Makita or DeWalt (used analogs from these brands too), Hilti chipping guns and perforators showed much better performance than their analogs from Bosh. For grinders I’ve used Makita, DeWalt and Hilti I would… Read more »