Professional Tool Reviews for Pros

Who Makes the Best Tools in 2021

who makes best tools brands

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, Most Durable Tools?

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Surge
  1. Milwaukee – 36 votes
  2. Makita – 35
  3. DeWalt – 27
  4. Hilti – 18
  5. Metabo HPT – 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), Metabo HPT (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), Metabo HPT (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/Metabo HPT/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), Metabo HPT (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. Metabo HPT – 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), Metabo HPT (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), Metabo HPT (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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ben dover

honestly I have always been flipping with milwaukee and dewalt, right now with milwaukee

Reggie S

Does anyone make something like this anymore…?!


Makita is still probably the best, but they’ve moved half their production to China now. The only thing saving them is unlike pretty much every other single brand, Makita is owned by Makita, not a conglomerate making tools for 10 other brands. Even most Snap-On power tools are made in China now, but they’d be my choice if I was spending someone else’s money on hand tools. In another 10 years they’ll probably be crap. I’m convinced anyone who thinks Milwaukee still makes good tools is basing that off their stuff from 20+ years ago. They just make rebadged Ryobi… Read more »

tim taylor

all the made in china is the its just a different color. They all copy eachother all the workers don’t even know what brand they make they just make drill cheap. Made in america tools i cant do that, i could buy an entire harbor freight store for that. even the china no name batteries are good. chinese engineers guys will put an 18volt battery inside of a anhything. i got one in my jacket , my lunchbox and myelectric toothbrush. forget telsa , milwaukee will get us to mars on a 2 pack of 150ah REDLITHIUMS, refurbished ones too.

tim taylor

Milwaukee is a head of the curve they try new things and the price is right. If it was up to makita every drill would cost 600 dollars. luckily milwaukee said we must mark it down because ryobi is getting better and their stuff is walmart cheap. makita looks the coolest, whenever i see a new makita tool i want it. Dewalt use to be number one before lithium batteries and brushless motors. They dont care about cordless quality anymore they are plastic drills and the batteries are small. dewalt makes a killing on those drill bit sets, everyone has… Read more »

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