There are so many power tool brands out there today that it can be difficult to know the answer to the question, what is the best cordless tool brand? Muddying the waters further still is the fact that some people are as dedicated to their chosen power tool brand as they are to their favorite football team (Go Cats!)
There are many reasons you may be wondering about the best brand of cordless tools. You may be brand new to DIY and looking to start your tool-buying journey. Or you may be a grizzled trade veteran and your current batch of power tools is getting long in the tooth. You might be somewhere in between, or you might just be curious to know what I’ve got to say about your brand of tools! Whatever your situation, this article is for you.
I’ve arranged some of the more common cordless tool brands into a picture below. They have been separated into three categories: trade quality, DIY quality, and budget quality. While all of them have their place, only you can decide what is the best option for yourself.
The purpose of this article is to help you choose the best tools for your jobs. This article is not exhaustive, and many fantastic brands have been left out. We’ll do our best to get around to all of the best cordless tool brands, but if you want us to cover something specific, let us know!
Budget Quality Tools
Starting at the bottom of the pile, we have the budget quality tools. A tool in the budget range is designed to complete a singular job as cheaply as possible. Sure, these tools may get the job done, but they will have a poorer finish compared with a better-quality tool. These budget tools certainly won’t last as long as DIY or Trade quality tools, but they will be significantly cheaper. In my humble opinion, only buy budget-quality tools if you need them for a small job, or plan to use them very rarely.
Remember, the poor man pays twice!
Want to get the job done as cheaply as possible? Choose budget quality.
DIY Quality Tools
Next, we have the DIY quality tools. The main difference between Budget and DIY quality is the price (obviously), but also the quality of the finished project. DIY quality tools will generally be the starting point for those doing DIY around the house and some basic carpentry. You can usually get good results using these DIY quality tools, and the price makes them a fantastic option for weekend warriors. Just make sure that when you’re buying DIY quality cordless tools, that your batteries will be compatible with a range of other tools. That way you can buy ‘skin only’ down the track and save yourself some cash.
Finally, we have the Trade-quality tools. The difference between DIY quality and trade quality is the durability of the tools. Trade quality tools are used by professional tradesmen because they want to buy a tool once and once only. Your Ryobi impact driver (DIY) might fix your roofing iron just as well as your Makita impact driver, but when your stupid brother kicks it off the roof onto the concrete, the Makita will live to fight another day. I know from experience, dude…
Personally, I almost always recommend buying tools from Trade quality brands, even for the homeowner and DIY-er. This is because you know you are getting a quality product every time. That’s why this article will focus mostly on the tools in the trade quality column. Certainly, though, there are times when DIY quality products are a great option, and I’ll expand upon why I’m quickly becoming a Ryobi convert.
What is the best cordless tool brand?
Makita, DeWALT, and Milwaukee are the best and most popular cordless tool brands.
I get asked this question a lot with my free, personalized tool advice. And for the most part, those asking this question just want the best quality tools they can find, with a useful range of tools they can use with the same battery.
Most professional tradesmen and those working in hardware stores consider Makita, Milwaukee, and DeWalt to be the big three of cordless tools. That’s because each of these brands creates high-end tools and lots of products that can fit within the same battery system.
Are Makita tools any good?
Yes! Makita is one of the world’s most trusted tool brands among trade professionals and DIYers alike. Their well-known and extremely popular ‘teal’ colored tools are professional quality, user friendly, and yet are still quite affordable.
Many years ago, when I started my tool-buying journey, I committed to becoming a Makita owner. The main reason for this, is the tools last for ages, and there are just so many different tools that can be run off the same battery! As someone who considers themselves a serious DIYer (but not a trade professional), it’s a great feeling seeing professionals using the same gear as me.
Makita’s range of cordless products is enormous! This means that once you start buying Makita cordless gear, you can rest assured that your existing batteries will power almost any other tools you’ll need to buy. Case in point, Makita makes the only cordless chop saw that I’ve ever seen in person. Simply put, Makita is the most popular tool brand among trade professionals.
Why is DeWalt good?
DeWALT tools are trade quality made for the daily use of professionals. They are the tool of choice for a majority of tradesmen and contractors who aren’t using Makita. DeWALT tools have established their reputation for making durable, long-lasting, premium tools.
While I’m a Makita fanboy, I’ve used many DeWALT tools in my time and have noticed that oftentimes, they actually pack more punch than my Makita tools. The ergonomics are also fantastic, and many tradesmen choose DeWALT for this reason more than any other. Being comfortable in the hand and easy on the body is a massive deal when you’re on the tools day in, and day out!
DeWALT’s 20v Max system has over 250 tools in its lineup, and this is expected to grow over the coming years. Another great thing about DeWALT is that because it’s not quite as popular as Makita, you’re less likely to have your batteries stolen by the myriad of Makita users!
Milwaukee Cordless Tools
Milwaukee tools provide you with another fantastic option in the Trade Quality bracket. Their enormous range of tools, especially in the MX Fuel range is ever-growing, plus, they have an awesome modular storage system called Packout. Check it out here.
Milwaukee tends to be a little bit cheaper than both Makita and DeWALT, which may speak to a slight reduction in quality and durability compared with the other two. However, in my experience, and with the tradesmen that I talk with, there is no discernable difference in the longevity, durability, or performance between Milwaukee, Makita, and DeWALT.
What is the best power tool brand?
Trying to find an overall winner between these three is like splitting hairs. A quick google search of Makita vs Milwaukee vs DeWALT will show you thousands of different websites, all with different end results.
The point is, you can’t go wrong choosing Makita, Milwaukee, or Dewalt.
What About the Other Brands?
Other brands such as Bosch (Blue tools, not green), Festool, Metabo, Metabo HPT, and Hikoki are all fantastic brands and will serve you well.
Are Ryobi Tools any Good?
Ryobi is a DIY quality brand that is taking the world by storm. Owned by the same company as Milwaukee, Ryobi has made a name for itself as THE go-to brand of the DIY category. Their range of tools is insane, and their marketing is incredible. They have positioned themselves as the house brand of many popular retailers around the world, such as Home Depot and Bunnings (Australia).
Do professionals use Ryobi?
Yes! It would have been crazy to think even 5 years ago that professionals would be using Ryobi tools, but their quality has improved significantly in recent years. And more impressively, their line-up of tools has just exploded! Their unique combination of quality, range, and affordability has Ryobi gaining traction among all types of tool users.
For these reasons, I’ve started buying more Ryobi corded tools in the last few years. Last year, I purchased a Ryobi 36v lawnmower and whipper snipper, and absolutely love them! I’ll do a review here soon, I promise.
But it wasn’t until recently that I started buying Ryobi cordless tools. When my brad nailer died, I nearly fell over when I saw the price of the Makita skin-only brad nailer! Because I don’t use them that often, I pulled the trigger and bought myself a Ryobi one instead. It was cheaper for me to buy a Ryobi tool with a battery than a Makita skin-only, and so far it has performed as well as the Milwaukee bradder that I borrowed as well.
As for Crafstman, Kobalt, and Hart, these are all brands that are deserving of consideration when purchasing tools for DIY.
In my humble opinion, the best cordless power tool brand is a three-way tie between Makita, DeWALT, and Milwaukee. In reality, any trade-quality brand will serve you well with durable, high-performing tools. For the budget-conscious buyer, Ryobi is most certainly deserving of your consideration, as even many tradesmen are turning to the bright-yellow tools.