What are the best brands to buy.

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Forum topic by nate22 posted 03-20-2012 12:25 PM 2068 views 0 times favorited 38 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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476 posts in 3383 days

03-20-2012 12:25 PM

I could use your guys input on different brands of tools. About a week ago my sander wasn’t working right. I have a 5’’ orbit sander and it is a craftsman. I was going to use it one day and I turned it on and it started but when I went to sand it would stop on me it wouldn’t sand. But before going out and buying another one I wanted to see if there was a better brand to buy. I want one that will take a lot of use. Craftsman is alright if your doing woodworking for a hobby but as much sanding than what I do it doesn’t seem as good. So what is the best brand out there to buy or what would you guys buy. Any comments will be helpful.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

38 replies so far

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476 posts in 3383 days

#1 posted 03-20-2012 12:38 PM

And another thought what is a good brand to buy all my tools for my shop.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

View waho6o9's profile


8768 posts in 3084 days

#2 posted 03-20-2012 12:45 PM

Festool with a dust extractor. You can also hook it up to a shop vac until you upgrade.

When you get tired of using inferior equipment you’ll wonder why you didn’t switch to Festool earlier.The sand paper lasts longer as well because the debris is extracted away when you sand.

Spendy, but it’s worth the investment.

Mirka Ceros 5” Electric Random Orbital Sander is awesome as well.

Or, Dynabrade (spelling?) for an air sander.

View Bertha's profile


13567 posts in 3201 days

#3 posted 03-20-2012 12:59 PM

Festool or Mirka for the sander is the cadillac. I prefer the Rotex but it’ll hurt the wallet. I’ve had good results with the sub $100 DeWalts. Mine actually collects dust really well with the ShopVac. The festool just feels good in the hands but I can’t say it’s worth the premium. Add the extractor and you’re looking at $1000. You can buy 10 DeWalts for that.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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1490 posts in 3861 days

#4 posted 03-20-2012 01:08 PM

I’ve had my DeWalt 5” orbital sander for going on 20 years and it is my go to sander, it gets used on every project. The only thing I every had to do to it was replace the plastic brake ring once so it doesn’t speed up when not on the work surface, cost me all of a buck if I remember correctly. Friends have the Porter-Cable for just as long and haven’t heard of any problems with it.

I recently Picked up the Porter-Cable low profile 5” orbital sander, too soon to tell on that one though. At $130 it was over priced IMO, when it went on sale for $79 I picked one up. People I know bought them at $130 when they came out and I’ve only heard good things about it.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

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51458 posts in 3988 days

#5 posted 03-20-2012 01:10 PM

I use Porter Cable and Bosch. I have had great luck with both.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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157 posts in 2802 days

#6 posted 03-20-2012 01:30 PM

I use Dewalt and Makita,have good results with both.I burnt a craftsman up at work ,it lasted about 4 years.I”ve had the Dewalt for 5-6 yrs .Came across a deal on the Makita and bought it for a back up.

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Mainiac Matt

9307 posts in 2836 days

#7 posted 03-20-2012 02:00 PM

a good brand to buy all my tools for my shop

If you have unlimited resources, or want to take out a home equity loan, you can just buy up the entire Festool line.

I’m not in that category and am not making my living with my tools, so I buy the best that I can afford using a subjective cost benefit evaluation.

Over the years of shopping and reading reviews….. I’d concluded that different brands have historically had signature tools, that they were the first to introduce of innovate, and then others followed suit as “me too” manufacturers that knocked off the original. I think Milwaukee’s Sawzall and Hole Shooter (drill) were top of their class, Porter Cable owned the router market, and DeWalt dominated cordless drill/drivers. Makita always seemed to be strong across the board. Rockwell/Delta and Powermatic were the crown jewels in fixed machinery.

Today, the market is much more developed and designs have evolved in several different directions. Also, some of the distinguished names of the past like Craftsman (who never did manufacture their own stuff) have had to go economy class to stay alive. And even the top names (US and European) are outsourcing critical parts to China and Mexico. These days, I put a lot more stock in personal reviews and recommendation…. but only from people who actually USE their tools a lot, have used a lot of other tools and don’t get paid for their reviews. These can be hard to distinguish, as many, if not most reviews, seem to be more in the “post purchase justification” category.

I persnally don’t look to one brand as the end answer in all categories…. but then again, I’m limited to the tools that mere mortals can afford :^)

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View syenefarmer's profile


540 posts in 3588 days

#8 posted 03-20-2012 02:18 PM

Simply put, there is no one “best brand” out there. Purchasing tools is basically a matter of doing a lot of research and then deciding which particular tool best serves your needs. While recommendations and reviews by others may play a role in the decision making process, in the end, you are the best judge of what’s best for your particular circumstances.

View knotscott's profile


8332 posts in 3883 days

#9 posted 03-20-2012 02:55 PM

In today’s market I think it’s a mistake to differentiate strictly on brand name. Many brands use multiple manufacturers to make the tools that display their logos. Many tools come from the same factories and are very similar. Also, several mergers and takeovers have occurred in the past several, which can result in brand names being repositioned in the marketplace, making it very difficult to keep up with a brand’s current status. No one brand makes the best of anything, and there’s often not a correlation from one tool to the next from the same brand. Buying all the same brand is a good way to end up with less than the best tools for your money. IMO it’s better to evaluate the individual tool.

Craftsman has a broad line of tools that range aimed at different markets and different price points. They range from cheap homeowner grade to some excellent serious hobby/light professional grade. Their tools can be made by TTI/Ryobi, Steel City/Orion, Chervon Power, Richen/Rikon, Freud, Bosch, Palmgren, and others. While I wouldn’t recommend Cman’s current line of sanders above many others, they do have other tools that I do recommend, so I wouldn’t dismiss that brand name based on their sanders. If I were shopping for a ROS today I’d look at Bosch, Milwaukee, Makita, and Ridgid.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View ruel24's profile


79 posts in 2801 days

#10 posted 03-20-2012 02:58 PM

Just about all of my hand held power tools are DeWalt and Porter Cable. I’ve used DeWalt for years and like them. The nice thing about DeWalt and Porter Cable (both Black and Decker brands), is there is likely a nearby B&D/DeWalt/Delta/Porter Cable store that you can get parts from. I got a brad nailer for Christmas from my brother and it didn’t have a case. So, I just drove up to the store and they had a case in stock and sold it to me for a song and a dance to boot. You just can’t replace that kind of service…

View waho6o9's profile


8768 posts in 3084 days

#11 posted 03-20-2012 03:04 PM

My Ridgid piece of junk broke on the second house I was sanding. I took it back to Home Depot and they wouldn’t warranty it, so I left it on the counter and walked away. No receipt my fault, Oops.

My buddy has a Ridigid and thinks it’s great. YMMV.

Luck of the draw I guess.

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3861 days

#12 posted 03-20-2012 03:18 PM

I’m pretty much like ruel, if it’s hand held, it’s DeWalt or Porter-Cable. But I’ve been noticing now that Black & Decker owns Porter-Cable they’re slap’n the Porter-Cable name on some cheap junk so you have to be more wary. If I remember correctly somebody that owned Porter-Cable before did that too and it took Porter-Cable quite a while to dig out from under that. But here we go again it seems…

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3479 days

#13 posted 03-20-2012 03:22 PM

The latest review I read on these sanders didn’t find much different from one brand to another. It did include Festool and stated it was the least agressive at removing stock but produced a finish that was superior. Also, the Festool sander has a paper dust bag attached to it that kept falling off. I would not be happy with such a pricey tool with parts that fall off, regardless of the superior finish.

I could tell the Ryobi, Dewalt and Ridgid come from the same factory because the hook and loop pads are interchangable and there are several other features that are too similar to have come from independant different designers. Kinda like what was the difference between a Pontiac, Chevy, Oldsmobile, or Buick built during the 1980s; not much more than the trim.

Bottom line, I got a Ridgid because I liked the way it felt in my hand and it had the best warranty. It works just fine for me.

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28 posts in 3180 days

#14 posted 03-20-2012 03:30 PM

I use Milwaukee and Porter Cable for hand tools and a mix of Craftsman, General, Delta and Steel City for the larger power tools. The mix comes from the need to economize but that having been said I have had very little trouble with any of the tools.
Good luck with your purchases.

-- Bill, "GreyLion" ,Montana, Eph 2:8

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4155 days

#15 posted 03-20-2012 03:50 PM

The Festool 6” sanders are very, very good. In part because
their vacuum dust collection is so good. You don’t need the
Festool dust extractor. You can get a Bosch hose that fits
Festool (and Bosch) tools for less $ than the Festool hose.

The Festool paper is special for the sanders. Bosch makes
a 6” sander that looks a lot like a 6” Rotex and I suspect
they are made in the same German factory. The dust
extraction hole pattern is different.

One thing you want to look at if doing a lot of sanding is

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