What is it that makes a tool brand stand out among the top tool brands? It’s not an easy question to answer. DIY users are generally looking for a reliable and capable tool at an affordable price. Professionals who rely on their tools for their livelihood will spend more to get a tool that can withstand the harsh environment at work while maximizing performance.

Different people may have different opinions about the best tool brands. However, there are certain brands that consistently rank high in independent tool reviews. They meet the criteria that buyers expect.

We’ve taken a closer look at a wide range of well-known tool brands by delving into their backgrounds. For each brand, we’ve also selected a tool that we feel is typical of the brand’s high standards.

1. Makita

 

Best Tool Brands Option Makita

Photo: amazon.com

About the brand: A high-quality power tool brand that’s often innovative and has a particularly strong cordless range.
Price range $$$ to $$$$

The impact of Japanese brands on tool markets has been relatively recent, so it’s easy to think of them as young businesses. However, Makita has been around since 1915. The company is now a manufacturing powerhouse with 10 factories in 10 countries, including the Far East, Europe, South, and Central America, as well as the U.S.

Makita was founded in 1958 as a motor repair business. In 1958, Makita introduced its first power tool (a hand held planer) and its first cordless tool (1978). The company has grown to be a leader in the cordless market, with a large collection of garden, job site, and workshop tools. These tools are not the best options for DIY users on a budget, but pricing is competitive with other professional-standard tools.

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2. Bosch

 

Best Tool Brands Option bosch

Photo: homedepot.com

About the brand: Bosch has a strong German engineering background, producing an enormously diverse range of well-designed tools known for their reliability.
Price range $$ to $$$

Robert Bosch founded his engineering business in Stuttgart, Germany in 1886. The company is now active in many markets including automotive, energy and home appliances. Unbelievably, 92 percent Bosch is owned by a charitable institution, which uses profits for a range of cultural, social, and scientific projects.

Bosch is known for inventing the first hammer drill in 1932. This tradition of innovation continues with the company boasting at least 100 new products every single year. They are among the most reliable tools on the market due to their high manufacturing standards. Bosch tools are a premium brand but many Bosch tools can be found within the budget of DIY enthusiasts.


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3. DEWALT

 

Best Tool Brands Option DeWalt

Photo: amazon.com

About the brand: DeWalt’s extensive range of high-performance power tools have long been one of the top choices of contractors and tradespeople.
Price range $$ to $$$$

Raymond E. DeWalt, an American craftsman from Pennsylvania, created the first radial arms saw in 1924. It was popular in pro woodworking shops. DeWalt Inc. was formed in 1947. The company has factories in many countries and seven manufacturing plants in the U.S. In 2010, DeWalt became part of the Stanley Black & Decker Group.

A combination of power and durability has long made DeWalt tools among contractors’ favorites. These tools are definitely designed for professional users, and the price reflects that fact. However, DeWalt’s reputation for reliability is such that these tools are also popular with DIY users who see the value as a long-term investment.

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4. CRAFTSMAN

 

Best Tool Brands Option CRAFTSMAN

Photo: sears.com

About the brand: Craftsman hand and power tools are a DIY favorite, offering great value for the price.
Price range $ to $$

Sears founded the Craftsman brand of tools in 1927. It was initially available only through Sears and then Kmart. The company quickly expanded its production of handtools and now offers power tools, gardening equipment and work clothing.

Long considered to be one of America’s most iconic tool brands, Craftsman Manufacturing is now mainly done in Taiwan, but automotive tool production continues to be made in the United States. In 2017, Stanley Black & Decker acquired the brand, though Sears retained certain rights and still sells Craftsman tools. Even though some critics believe Craftsman tools may not be as quality controlled as it once was, they still offer good value for DIY users.

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5. Stanley Black & Decker

 

Best Tool Brands Option Stanley Stanley Black & Decker

Photo: amazon.com

About the brand: Stanley Works is one of the world’s best-known hand tool brands, and Black & Decker is a leader in affordable power tools. While the tool brand is now called Black & Decker, the company name represents the two companies as Stanley Black & Decker.
Price range $ to $$

Frederick Trent Stanley started making door hardware back in 1843. Henry Stanley, Henry Stanley’s uncle, established the Stanley Rule and Level business in 1857. Both companies were located in New Britain, Connecticut. They merged into Stanley Works in 1920.

Original Black & Decker company was a machine shop founded in Baltimore, coincidentally also in 1920. It grew to become one of the world’s leading makers of affordable power tools for home and garden use.

In 2010, Stanley Works and Black & Decker merged and have gone on to acquire many of the best tool brands around the world, including Bostitch, Craftsman, DeWalt, Irwin Tools, and Porter Cable. Each brand still has its own identity and values. Stanley’s core strength is still hand tools; Black & Decker’s strength is Value for money for the DIY market.


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6. RIDGID tools

 

Best Tool Brands Option RIDGID Tools

Photo: homedepot.com

About the brand: Although RIDGID Tools manufactures an increasingly diverse range of products, it is perhaps best known for tough tools for plumbing and construction trades.
Price range $ to $$

RIDGID Tools was established in North Ridgeville, Ohio in 1923. The company moved to Elyria, Ohio in 1943. The company has been a subsidiary of Emerson Electric since 1966.

The brand’s core products have always been durable hand tools for the construction, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing trades. RIDGID tools also produces associated inspection devices. The majority of these tools are made in the U.S. The company also offers professional-oriented power tools, but these are mostly made in Hong Kong.

RIDGID Tools may be one of the lesser-known brands in the professional market. While pricing is competitive at that level, it puts the company’s products beyond the budget of many DIY users.


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7. Kobalt

 

Best Tool Brands Option Kobalt

Photo: lowes.com

About the brand: Kobalt is the house brand of Lowe’s and offers competitively priced tools for the midrange so-called “prosumer” market.
Price range $ to $$$

Lowe’s introduced Kobalt tools in 1998 to compete with rival “house”Sears and The Home Depot brands Kobalt tools are made for Lowe’s by a number of different suppliers. Some manufacturing takes place in Taiwan, but some is done in the United States. The company manufactures all its hand tools in the United States and assembles some of the power tool product lines in the USA from components sourced around the world.



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8. Skil

 

Best Tool Brands Option Skil

Photo: amazon.com

About the brand: Though its range of tools is now extensive, many consumers will recognize Skil for the Skilsaw, the powered circular saw that became so popular it has been called “the saw that built America.”
Price range $ to $$$

Skil was established in Naperville in Illinois in 1926. Its U.S. headquarters are still located there today. The company’s first product, the worm-drive circular saw, was incredibly popular on construction sites despite being very expensive for the time. Skil’s first product, the worm-drive circular saw, was a landmark. “the”Although the company was around for decades, the range now includes many tools. The company’s ownership has been volatile. It went from the Skil Corporation to Emerson Electric, 1979, to Bosch, 1996, and finally to Chervon of China, 2016, where it now produces most of its products.

Skil has two brand names that distinguish target markets, even though it can be confusing for consumers. Skil tools are intended for the DIY user, while those branded Skilsaw are for more professional use in construction and other trades. This is evident in the specifications and prices.

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9. Husky Tools

 

Best Tool Brands Option Husky Tools

Photo: homedepot.com

About the brand: Husky Tools is the house brand of The Home Depot, focusing on hand tools, pneumatic tools, and a wide variety of tool storage solutions.
Price range $$ to $$$

“Husky”Husqvarna is a well-known garden equipment manufacturer. However, Husky Tools is a completely unrelated company, originally Husky Wrench of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, founded in 1924. Stanley Tool bought the brand in 1986. It went through several ownerships. The Home Depot became the exclusive supplier of the brand’s rights after the company reached an exclusive agreement.

The Home Depot decided not to compete on the power tools market. Instead, it will focus on hand tools, compressor-driven pneumatic instruments, and a wide variety of cabinets and tool chests. Husky Tools, like Kobalt offers quality equipment at a fraction of the cost of other leading brands.



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10. IRWIN

 

Best Tool Brands Option IRWIN

Photo: amazon.com

About the brand: IRWIN is known for a vast range of high-quality hand tools, plus accurate measuring and marking devices.
Price range $ to $$

In 1885, Charles Irwin, a Martinsville, Ohio resident, started making auger bits. The company still produces a wide range drill bits. Today, IRWIN is a part of Stanley Black & Decker.

Initially, IRWIN’s primary markets were professional carpenters and associated trades, and the American-made tools always had a reputation for durability and precision. Although there are some critics, IRWIN seems to have maintained its reputation. They are not cheap tools but they are still a standard for contractors and are highly regarded by DIY users who are willing to pay more for better quality.


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11. RYOBI

 

Best Tool Brands Option RYOBI

Photo: amazon.com

About the brand: RYOBI is considered an excellent innovator and particularly strong at developing cordless power tools.
Price Range $ to $$

RYOBI can be described as a diverse company. It was founded in Japan near Hiroshima in 1943 and initially made die-cast products. In 1961, the company added printing presses to its production line and in 1968 began manufacturing power tools. Techtronic Industries now owns six production plants in six countries. The company is still active in each market. RYOBIThe headquarters are located in Hong Kong.

The company’s recent U.S. and European operations seem to have focused on the cordless market in the areas of power tools and lawn and garden equipment. RYOBI makes high-quality products with competitive performance that are aimed at the higher end of the home market. Part of the company’s popularity is undoubtedly due to the fact that while it has made significant improvements in battery technology, the battery packs themselves offer backward compatibility and will still fit tools made as far back as 1996.


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12. Milwaukee

 

Best Tool Brands Option Milwaukee

About the brand: Milwaukee makes a range of power tools and electrical equipment and has a reputation for durability in tough job site environments.
Price Range $$$ to $$$$

Milwaukee was originally known as the A.H. Petersen Tool Company. It was founded by Albert F. Seibert and A.H. Petersen in 1918. Seibert purchased the assets of the factory and created the Milwaukee Electric Tool Company in 1924 after it was destroyed by fire. The company maintained high standards and was a constant source of pride. MilwaukeeSoon, the company was a registered supplier to U.S. Navy.

Milwaukee was the first company that produced a hammer drilling tool that could be used for any other purpose. It also introduced the Sawzall reciprocating drill. From the mid-1970s up to 2005, the company was under various ownerships. It is now part Techtronic Industries.

Milwaukee has been a top-selling brand of electric power tools. The company recently moved into hand tools and workwear. The brand is often compared to DeWalt in terms of product quality, reliability, and design. These tools are expensive for professionals, but they are popular among DIYers who are looking for more than just budget brands.


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13. Metabo

 

The Best Tool Brands Option: Metabo

Photo: amazon.com

About the brand: Metabo makes tough, powerful tools for pros and is a leader in battery technology.
Price range $$ to $$$$

Metabo was founded in Germany in 1923. It became a very successful company in Europe. Hitachi bought the company in 2016. The company was then sold to KKR two years later. Metabo HPT is now the company’s official name.

The Metabo range is not as well-known here in the U.S. Cordless models deliver comparable performance due to lithium-ion high density (LiHD), technology that claims to deliver up 30% more power than standard powertool batteries.


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  • Metabo HPT 36V Brushless 4 1/2″ Grinder: Metabo’s pro-rated angle grinder uses the brand’s flexible proprietary Multivolt technology. Whereas most competitors offer 18-volt tools, Metabo’s features 36 volts for extra power and run times. It also includes an AC adapter for use with the tool with a cord.
    Get the Metabo HPT 36V Brushless 4 1/2″ Grinder at Acme Tools for $189.
  • Metabo HPT Cordless Framing Niler: Framing nailers need consistent power, so a 36-volt cordless tool is a major advantage over its 18-volt competitors. This model can perform sequential and contact nailing at up three nails per second. It can also drive up to 900 nails per charge.
    Get the Metabo HPT Cordless Framing Nailer at Lowe’s for $449.
  • Metabo HPT Cordless oscillating multi-tool: Oscillating multi-tools can cut wood, plastic, drywall, and other materials. Metabo’s 18-volt cordless weighs just 3 pounds, has six vibration speeds that go from 6,000 to 20,000 rpm, tool-free blade changing, and an LED work light.
    Amazon has the Metabo HPT Cordless Oscillating Multitool for $84.99

14. WEN

 

The Best Tool Brands Option: WEN

Photo: amazon.com

About the brand: WEN makes low-cost tools primarily for home users, though professionals value their reliability.
Price range $ to $$

WEN is a family-owned business headquartered in Elgin in Illinois. It has been in operation since 1951. While design, research, development, and production are all based in the United States, production is located in the Far East.

The extensive WEN range includes generators, power tools, and garden equipment. WEN products are not always the most innovative, but they use proven technologies. WEN power tools are durable, reliable, and last a lifetime. WEN is often rated as the best brand of power tools by independent reviewers.


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How to Choose the Best Tool Brands

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right tool brand. Selecting a brand is an important decision for DIYers and professionals, as it’s easier to use a suite of tools from one brand than spending time juggling various batteries and chargers from multiple brands. This is why we reviewed many of the most popular tool brands.

Each brand was evaluated on its quality, availability from easy to find retailers, range of tools available, innovation history, as well as its reputation. We included brands that offered affordable tools for users who don’t use tools professionally, as not all tool users are professionals.

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