Just as it is for entry-level or high-end electrical tools, it wouldn’t be fair to consider a mid-range brand to be better than another. Every manufacturer makes quality tools, even if some of their products may be of a lesser grade than average. As for value for money, it can vary drastically from one tool to another and promotions need to be taken into account since they can really make a tool stand out in this regard.
In this article we study some of the main mid-range electrical tools brands. Some comments are made; they are subjective to a certain degree since every handyman has its own impression of these respective brands based on its experience and its preferences. Still, they provide information that can be useful when, for instance, considering to buy a new a tool.
Here are the brands covered in this article:
Ryobi is an affordable brand that I really appreciate. It is exclusively sold at Home Depot in Quebec. The value for money of the brand might be its greatest strength since it is excellent. I have a drill, an impact driver, a circular saw and a brad nailer (calibre 18) in the cordless tool line of this brand. My table saw , my router table, my electric hand planer and my 9-inch bandsaw are also from this brand. Their One + cordless tool line is well rounded, and the battery compatibility extends to tools that have been produced many years ago.
Ryobi’s tools are of a good quality but not as much as higher-end options like Makita. My finish nailer, for example, has its limits even if it has proven to be useful many times over. Also, I had to replace my impact driver after two years of use, but I have to say that it only broke after being dropped from a height of about five feet and that I was satisfied enough with this tool to buy the same one again.
Craftsman exists since 1927. At first it was a private label brand owned by Sears, just like what Mastercraft It stayed this way for a long time, until 2017 to be precise, when it was sold to Stanley Black and Decker as part of the process for Sears to definitely close its door. This way, Craftsman continues to exist independently of the retail chain that created it.
Today, Stanley Black and Decker owns many tool brands in addition to Craftsman like, as its name suggests, Stanley and Black and Decker, but also Porter Cable, Bostich, Delta Machinery and even Dewalt. The complete list is too long to be written here.
Craftsman seems to have a good reputation among older handymen. As for me, I only owned an old electrical scroll saw from that brand. It was far from being the most used tool in my shop, but I must admit that it seemed to be built to last, probably more so that any other tool in my workshop.
Besides, most Craftsman hand tools have an unlimited lifetime warranty and a Craftsman electrical tool can be expected to last a long time. Other people could probably boast the brand more than me, but a professional woodworker would probably go for higher quality and pricier tools than Crafstman. It’s a good brand for the do-it-yourselfer that uses its tool from time to time.
Porter-Cable is another old American brand. It was bought by Stanley Black and Decker in 2004. The only direct experience I had with this brand was when I bought a calibre 18, one inch and a quarter finishing nail box from this company. From what it’s worth, they seem at least as good as the Dewalt two inches one I bought some time after. Porter-Cable has a long history and a pretty good reputation.
Yet another old American brand. It is the same company that invented in the 1920s one of the most ubiquitous tools, the circular saw, hence the name “skilsaw” often given to this tool. I really liked the two Skil circular saw I tried. They were in fact among my favourites. The contenders were a Black and Decker, but also a Bosch. That being said, I also really like my cordless Ryobi circular saw. My angle grinder is also from this brand and I am happy with it, it was cheap and as always been up to the task. I can say the same about my bench grinder, which is also from Skil.
Skil makes good tools and their price are often in line with those of entry-level tools. It is another excellent brand for the handyman who uses is tools from time to time. That being said, it should be noted that they also produce higher-end tools, especially among their line of circular saws.
This brand is, of course, mostly known for its rotary tools, although they also produce a few other types of tools like oscillating tools. compact circular saws cleaning tools, flashlights, electric scissors and butane torches. They also sell accessories for some of these tools. As far as 1/8 inch collet rotary tools goes, it’s the best-known brand on the market. I have Dremel rotary tool bits and they are of good quality.
That being said, if you are regularly or professionally doing sculpting or engraving, it could be interesting or even preferable to invest in 1/4 inch collet flex shaft rotary tool. Foredom is the most renowned brand for this type of tool.
Still, a Dremel rotary tool (or even one from a generic brand) can prove useful in many situations. It is even possible to engrave rock in a precise fashion and with relative ease with this type of tool equipped with diamond-tipped bits. It is worth noting that the diamond tip will wear out after a few hours of rock engraving, but they are inexpensive to replace. This type of bit can, of course, also carve wood, but carbide bits might work better for this task since they tend to remove material faster.
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31