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Before I begin, let me recognize the fact that many of us here and on similar forums are somewhat receptive to owning tools from different brands, being capable of recognizing that the "best" isn't always proprietary to a favored tool brand.  Also, though this thread will naturally concern tools in general and power tools in particular, a representative example of how close-minded some people are can be had in the endless debates on which truck brand is best.  Ford guys stick to Ford, GM to GM, Dodge to Dodge (or Ram to Ram I guess nowadays), etc.

 

So, how many of you have met someone so blinded by loyalty to a certain brand that they refuse to acknowledge that sometimes that brand comes up short?  Such consumers sometimes waste tons of money on products that receive poor reviews or that are inferior to offerings by competing brands (sometimes even at lower cost), yet become rabidly defensive when confronted with facts or differing opinions.  In this thread I'll share my thoughts on a few of these types of individuals as well as their potential motivations for staying loyal to their preferred brand at all costs.  First, a couple of valid (IMHO) reasons:

 

1) Wanting to restrict the number of cordless tool platforms: cordless tools take batteries which can be quite expensive and which usually require separate chargers between brands and/or voltages.  Even if a tool company doesn't offer the absolute best tool for the job, necessity sometimes dictates that a slightly inferior tool is purchased for the sake of battery compatibility.  For example, a company that runs M18 tools might not desire to buy DeWalt nailers, even though they seem to perform better than Milwaukee's current offerings, since doing so would incur additional costs to buy and maintain batteries for those.  Another example might be considering whether or not to buy a FlexVolt circular saw when one already has 20v Max.  Sure the FV battery can be used with existing 20v Max tools, but the reverse isn't true, making the jump into the new system pricey if only one tool is to be purchased.

 

2) Availability: the availability of tool brands is subject to a person's location.  In some areas, one brand may be easy to obtain while another may be impossible to find locally.  Add in factors such as authorized repair centers and other customer service aspects of ownerships and use, and the effect that a brand's availability has on loyalty is evident.  While home improvement centers have made common tool brands readily available in most areas, they have also limited that same availability to an extent.  Consider Home Depot's two proprietary brands, Ryobi and Ridgid.  Both have a loyal customer base that swears by the tools, with the former appealing more toward novices with some definite professional use and the latter sometimes considered an underrated brand that competes with premium brands.  Both are only available at Home Depot, however, limiting owners of said brands to shopping there in person or online.  This has the opposite effect of limiting those brands' appeal to tool users who might otherwise be interested.  As a Milwaukee owner, should I buy the fan that my local hardware store carries and have instant gratification?  Or should I order a Ridgid version, wait for it to be shipped, and have to use the internet if I have any issues with it?  I had the opportunity to expand into Metabo tools for cheap a couple of years ago, but passed on it as I knew that I'd be unable to find additional tools and accessories locally once the supply ran out. 

 

Now, on to some less logical reasons:

 

1) Country of origin (COO): let's face it, few tools, and fewer power tools are domestically manufactured anymore.  Yet some people may point towards COO as a reason to only buy one brand while ignoring another.  I have a large number of DeWalt tools and often point out that some are assembled in the US.  I usually add the fact that some others are made in Mexico but most are of Chinese origin.  Why?  Because I'm misinforming people who are less familiar with tools if I imply that DeWalt produces all of their tools here in America.  I've read comments around the internet from people slamming Milwaukee because of its parent company while praising DeWalt for supporting the local economy.  Some people even confuse a brand's name with its COO; I'm sure some of you have met a person who though Milwaukee tools were made in Wisconsin.  The same holds true for Bosch (German), Makita (Japan), and other brands whose names denote the country they were originally founded in.  For better or worst, the majority of power tools are sourced from mainland Asia now, regardless of whether the name sounds American, German, Japanese, or Ethiopian.

 

2) Tenuous claims: most companies market their tools as being superior to other brands, often using data that is skewed to put them in the best light.  Some people fall victim to this tactic, considering x brand to just be better than y brand because the packaging says so.  Amusingly, these same people are quick to call foul when another brand claims to offer something "their" brand doesn't.  Since I've mainly covered brands that most of us recognize as solid performers, I'll pick on the perennial whipping boy of tool retailers: Harbor Freight.  Harbor Freight seems to rely a lot on having the best prices, often coupled with deep discounts making good deals absolute bargains.  In turn, they gain a lot of loyal fans who stop there before even considering another retailer, since they just assume that no one can beat them.  This tactic has doubtlessly led to decent sales on their newest cordless tools despite the fact that more tried offerings from the likes of DeWalt and Milwaukee can be had at little, if any, more cost.  I can't name how many times I've heard someone lavishing praise on Harbor Freight while dismissing the very thought of paying a little more for a lot more quality.  Deceptive ads comparing tools and accessories to name brands costing much more leads people to believe that they are getting more for their money.  In some cases, yes.  In many, no.

 

3) "'Cause I said so": this is akin to the truck brand argument touched upon in the opening paragraph.  Some people just allow their experience and pigheadedness to make them oblivious to reality.  I have owned DeWalt and have had no problems with their cordless tools.  I also own Milwaukee (albeit much fewer tools) but have an issue with the trigger on an impact wrench.  Should I sell my red tools and badmouth the brand as producing substandard garbage?  Of course not.  Should I place both my yellow and red tools on a pedestal and declare them vastly superior to all tools because they are mine?  No, most major tool brands, even lesser tiered ones such as Porter Cable and Ryobi, offer exceptional value to customers, and no amount of he said, she said will change that.  In other words, let our experiences enlighten us, but we should never refrain from trying out something different if we need to. 

 

4) "It's the best, why buy less?": this can sometimes be justified by the want or need to restrict platforms, but if we find ourselves buying a $300 tool for a one-off project because it is red, when a green one can be had with battery and charger for half the price, we might be drinking too much Kool-Aid.  This is the most subjective entry on this list as it really does depend on a number of variables, but it could be viewed as compromising versus not doing so.  Brand loyalty sometimes finds us choosing a certain tool not because it is truly needed but because it is the best compromise (even if it is overkill) and it's offered in our favorite color.  If I need to drill a few holes in masonry but lack a hammer drill, do I buy the M18 Fuel SDS-Plus, or consider the much less expensive Ryobi?  If I'm going to use it more than once, maybe.  If I'm not even certain I'll keep it afterward, why waste the money?

 

Ultimately, we decide what is worth spending our hard earned money on.  Brand loyalty can be advantageous to our bank accounts but it can also drain them.  In a similar manner it can make us appear to be snobs, or worse fools, especially when two hardheaded people with different opinions start arguing over whose tools are better.  I guess it's all part of the joy in having so many options available, though; maybe it's me who is the fool writing such a lengthy post about this. 

 

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My cousin is loyal to Milwaukee, she’s a tool dealer that goes to shops sells them what they need regardless of brand, but she tries to push Milwaukee like it’s the end all be all of tools. They are lacking in several areas and when you need a tool they don’t make you either go without the tool or you buy it from a different brand. The tools she has at home are all Milwaukee except the Stihl string trimmer her dad bought her before Milwaukee released OPE products, some Gearwrench sockets, Irwin pliers, and a set of Channellock pliers.

 

Her main reason for pushing Milwaukee seems to be that one of the tool shows her distributor puts on gives you money based on what you buy so for example every $1500 you buy might get you $100 cash. It’s basically a commission for sales from the distributer not the actual tool company. The companies have nothing to do with it and they don’t put up any of the money. Milwaukee gets the most money from the distributor so she can make the most money there.

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The blind brand loyalty and the Made in the USA comments are the ones I see the most.

 

It’s fine to be brand loyal. I loyal to Milwaukee first because I have so many batteries already it makes more sense to buy their tools. I think they make really good tools. That’s not to say I think the other brands don’t. I have a few DeWalt and Festool tools to purchase. They all seem to be so rabidly loyal about it too. I can’t look at a Milwaukee post on Instagram (that has a lot of comments) without seeing a Milwaukee sucks or DeWalt is better comment. I’m definitely not so loyal that I bought the Packout. Price comes before brand loyalty and my TSTAK’s cost me less than the 3pc Packout would have (not counting the sale they did recently).

 

I think the Made in the USA comments annoy me more. There have been so many comments about how great DeWalt is because it’s “Made in the USA”. I guess people are just going to ignore the part where it says “with global materials”. I was at a tool expo in 2015 and had to stop at the DeWalt booth. There rep started bashing Milwaukee saying they’re made in Taiwan and blah blah blah. He shit up rather quick when I pointed out the big ass banner behind him that said “Made in the USA with global materials”.

 

Another example is the new Southwire Made in the USA line. I saw so many negative comments about their tools because they were made in China. Suddenly they launch the USA line and everyone is saying great things about them because of it. I’ve owned their S1018SOL wire strippers for a year and love them. They are my go to strippers. I picked up their USA made S1018SOL-US version and besides the lock design and color scheme they are basically the same tool. They both cut and strip exactly the same.

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Not wanting to buy more batteries means I show some degree of loyalty but its not going to make me buy a bad tool.

 

I really dislike brands that are slick; those that mislead, exaggerate or mention other brands in their marketing and demonstrations as a way of knocking them down (to make their own tools look better).

 

Actually, this is kind of how some people can be; to compete or improve their own situation, they pull the competition down to get ahead of them, rather than push themselves harder to get ahead of them. People see through this charade.

 

I especially see blind loyalty in the JavaScript world; Angular vs React vs Vue vs whatever other fanboy framework is the latest fad. Stop wasting energy on defending or bagging others, just recognize the strengths and weaknesses, pick one that will solve your problem best (they are tools, not Game of Thrones or Hogwarts Houses), and get on with building something useful for the world.

 

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Well I guess I’m not answering the question directly @fm2176 but...

 

I used to be a guy who wanted one battery lineup but learned everybody (including Festool) cannot fit my needs. Now? I’ve got a charging cabinet full of Makita, Bosch, two Dewalt and two Festool. I have a shop that is bastardized by different colors. Oh yeah, I’ve got a wee lil’ red charger...Milwaukee makes a fine heated hoodie 😉

 

Made in America....yeah. I’m one of those guys. I love that my Dewalt tools that I own are made here (global materials? Who cares, they are not going to rot out from salty roads and recycled foreign steel).Does it make them better? Yee-aaass. An American made them I like that. And yes, on my house flies and American flag all year round and my Foreign 2016 Toyota Tundra TRD/SR5 Crewmax, that was made in Texas, by an American, may be an oxymoron but being made here DID help sway my decision. Does Milwaukee suck because they were made in China. No. Absolutely not. It’s for another reason! Just kidding, they don’t suck (I got rid of all of my other Milwaukee tools because I had a bunch of quality and control issues....some of the older members might remember). Any chance they are better nowadays? Sure, they research and development more now but Milwaukee still caters to the tradesman as opposed to the woodworker and cabinetmaker. Am I a pro tradesman? Nope.  My Brother Kevin?.....Now he is a professional tradesman...a plumber. He only buys Milwaukee and he loves them. But he really likes my Dewalt and Makita’s. I don’t let him use my Festools....he will invariably fall in love with them and want to “borrow” them 🤔 I have made the decision based on my experience that Milwaukee does not fit my needs. If they get something I want now...I’d buy it.

 

Do I have Chinese made tools? Sure, it is unavoidable but I’m 47. Chinese tools are not the same as the ones that came out in the 80’s. But neither are American made cars that came out in the 80’s. Basically...it did not matter what you had. Makita was the top back then. Did you know that some of my beloved Festool tool lineup are now being made in China?

 

I would be heck bent to ever find a tool company, regardless of where it is manufactured....BESIDES LIE NIELSEN, go Team Red White and Blue...that makes the whole package...quality, reliability, usefulness and cost. And if I was Chinese, Russian, Brazilian etc... I would probably be on the same boat but for my own Country. So for me, the realization quite recently, found me smashing the brand loyalty topic out my at 🏡 wood shop right out the door and buying whatever brand would help me get the job done. Now I got a cacophony of batteries that don’t fit. It’s friggin’ chaos down there! But tagging tool brands now is kind of like this...

 

 

 

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I'm as guilty as anyone when it comes to preferring domestically produced goods when possible.  The key phrase, though, is "when possible", and unlike some undyingly loyal brand enthusiasts I try to avoid being hypocritical by ignoring the fact that almost every company outsources to some extent these days.  As ChrisK states, if I were a citizen of another country I'd probably try t o support that country's workers before Americans.  It can be considered simply as patriotism or as complexly as anti-internationalism, but I think that most of us have more primal motivations for wanting to support men and women we identify with.

 

A case in point is with my footwear.  I wear a pair of DeWalt Wrench industrial safety shoes daily; they're comfortable and I got them for cheap from Sears (I bought the last two pairs after wearing the first for a week).  Those are made in China, but the COO does not affect their functionality or quality.  As a Soldier, though, I strive to stick to domestically manufactured footwear.  I just don't feel right mixing my country's uniform with an American flag on the right sleeve with a pair of Chinese Garmonts or any of the other popular footwear that most Soldiers splurge on.  Bellevilles and Danners hold up better, are comfortable, and are made in the country I have sworn to protect and defend.  Similarly, I stick to New Balance 990s for physical fitness events.  They cost more than twice as much as New Balance's offshore shoes, and about 50% more than the made in US with Global Materials, but they are mostly of US origin and worth it to me.

 

I think that being fiercely loyal to any given brand only helps to set a person up for rampant disappointment eventually.  If we see only the positive attributes of our favorite brand while failing to acknowledge the negative ones, we are more prone to going on the defensive instead of accepting that our logic is flawed.  When that defense eventually fails to prove fruitful, we realize that we were wrong all along and that every brand has its strengths, weaknesses, and lemons.

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If you are buying something strictly because it is “Made in America”, you are shortchanging yourself.
Made in the USA with global materials is more marketing wank. Unless you think that where something is assembled somehow makes it more durable or reliable. Buying a better tool doesn’t mean you are less American, it means you are smart.

We live in a global economy now.

Tools make me money. Why on earth would I settle for mediocre, just for the sake of patriotism? It’s the same idiots who shipped the jobs overseas who want us to buy American now. They still built everything overseas, but somehow, assembly means American made.




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I dont get brand loyalty either I will use any brand of tool so long as it works and gets the job done. Now I work with OPE everyday as its my main job (chainsaws/pole saws ets) Im currently using Stihl products but I would not for a second hesitate to use Husqvarna or even Echo however I would stay clear of the Chinese made chainsaws the knock offs so to speak.

 

People really do get very touchy when it comes to brands me personality I dont care what a person uses as long as his happy, but what I always try and do is buy quality with my money.

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16 hours ago, D W said:

I really dislike brands that are slick; those that mislead, exaggerate or mention other brands in their marketing and demonstrations as a way of knocking them down (to make their own tools look better).

 

 

I’m really glad a lot of companies are now painting their competitors tools at shows like NPS and Tough in the South so they’re not directly saying they’re better than the competitor. Obviously Milwaukee didn’t do that with the ToughSystem box at NPS this year but they did at least remove the branding from it and everyone would have known what it was anyway since you really only have the ToughSystem, TSTAK, Ridgid boxes, and Systainers as competition unlike something like drills where one competitor might have 10 different models and you have 10+ competitors.

 

I’ve noticed Bosch has started doing a lot of misleading marketing on Instagram videos in the last year to make themselves look better. 

 

This video in particular has a lot of misleading information regarding their tools vs the competitors.

 

Here is my comment from that post. Big surprise they didn’t reply to anyone that commented on it.

 

“The first one with the bandsaw is supposed to be about speed not cuts. The graphic is supposed to show Bosch cuts faster by having a shorter bar in the graphic but instead it just makes it look like the Makita is a better tool. The whole ad makes no sense. They tell you how many cuts the bandsaw and recip saw make but instead of comparing number of cuts to the Makita or DeWalt they compare speed and run time. They also compare run time for the drill instead of the number of holes drilled. Then instead of comparing speed of drilling for the rotary hammer they compare impacts energy. It also doesn't help that they're comparing it to older tools instead of the newest. They used the Makita XPB01 even though the XPB02 has been out. For the recip saw they used a 20v MAX DeWalt with a Flexvolt battery instead of using the Flexvolt recip. They did at least use the newest (non compact) Makita hammer drill. But then they went and used the Milwaukee 2712-20 rotary hammer when the 2715-20 has been out just as long and has nearly twice the ft lbs of energy as the 2712-20 (2712-20: 1.7ft lbs vs 2715-20: 3.3ft lbs). For the record according to the Bosch website the GBH18V-26 they used in the ad only has 1.9ft lbs of impact energy.”

 

 

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1 hour ago, HiltiWpg said:

If you are buying something strictly because it is “Made in America”, you are shortchanging yourself.
Made in the USA with global materials is more marketing wank. Unless you think that where something is assembled somehow makes it more durable or reliable. Buying a better tool doesn’t mean you are less American, it means you are smart.

We live in a global economy now.

Tools make me money. Why on earth would I settle for mediocre, just for the sake of patriotism? It’s the same idiots who shipped the jobs overseas who want us to buy American now. They still built everything overseas, but somehow, assembly means American made.




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I can’t believe how many people have bought into DeWalts marketing like suddenly all the jobs are in the USA for their tools and everything is made here. It’s like they listened for “Made in the USA” then put their fingers in their ears for the “with global materials” part. They don’t comprehend that other companies have been doing this for years without using it as a marketing ploy. Milwaukee has multiple facilities in the US where tools are assembled or even things like blades and hole saws are actually made but the DeWalt fans love to say they’re Chinese/Taiwanese made garbage when some of the parts are probably made in the same facilities.

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Craftsman is the first company I think of when I think brand loyalty especially with "ole timers" age 50+

Back in the day a guy bought Craftsman because it was a quality product. When the switch was made to China, the quality suffered. My dad tends to buy craftsman and I have experienced the quality drop. Our early 2000's string trimmer was built well and lasted a good 10 years or more. It was still going strong until I forgot it at the county grass dump and went back a few mins later to find it gone. The replacement lasted a year maybe 2 and the build wasn't as good as the older trimmer. 

 

One thing guys say, "it is made out of plastic therefore it is not high quality". The old trimmer I had was a good example. It used some plastic and the plastic components did not fail. If those components were all steel it would weigh a ton and would be more tiresome to use.

 

"Made with global materials" means just that the product is made with global materials. It does not mean the materials are low quality nor does it mean they are high quality. It does not say country of origin, how it was acquired or anything about the material. The only thing you know about the material is it came from a country other than the country to process the material into a product. I also understand it NOT to be "made with global parts" but only "made with global materials". To me it suggest parts are not manufactured elsewhere. I see it as the material in raw or mostly raw form shipped to the plant for the plant to do the processing. I could be wrong. Maybe some components are built elsewhere like leds, screws, etc. but I don't understand it to be that way. Sometimes I feel people think if it has "made in USA with global materials" it means the motor is built in one country, the plastic and rubber shell is built in another country, the motherboard is built in a third country, and then the components are shipped to the states just to get joined together with a couple screws by a worker in a USA plant.

 

I don't mind where my tools come from as long as they are quality tools. I avoid "diy", "homeowner", and "el cheapo" brands. Have I gotten any el cheapo brands? yes. The last el cheapo thing I got was a cheap drill powered drain snake. My first hand tools were el cheapos. In the case of the snake I did not see the need to fork out the extra money for the 20v drain snake if at most I will only use it a couple times a year. Also I'm no plumber so spending only 20 bux on a snake and having it break due never using a snake before/improper use vs $200+ and having it break was another reason for cheaping out. These cases will be rare since I have such high tastes in tools.

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In Ireland we have a very well respected company called Stanley Stoves there always saying stuff like 100% Irish, Irish made and all that but the truth is that they are made in some Asian country and assembled in Ireland so my guess is just because there assembled in Ireland that's enough to be called Irish made.

 

Another thing that gets on my nerve is when people not all of course bash the Asian workers for making crap. Blame the companies that's outsourcing and not the man or woman working a shitty job making little to no money. I'm sure we all know people or have read online who for some reason hate the Chinese crap etc

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8 hours ago, HiltiWpg said:

If you are buying something strictly because it is “Made in America”, you are shortchanging yourself.
Made in the USA with global materials is more marketing wank. Unless you think that where something is assembled somehow makes it more durable or reliable. Buying a better tool doesn’t mean you are less American, it means you are smart.

We live in a global economy now.

Tools make me money. Why on earth would I settle for mediocre, just for the sake of patriotism? It’s the same idiots who shipped the jobs overseas who want us to buy American now. They still built everything overseas, but somehow, assembly means American made.




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I've been really disappointed in a lot of USA tools. It seems that a lot of the USA tool makers are soo darn confident that they are the best because they make tools in the USA that they fail to innovate and sometimes let the quality slip.

 

Look at Eklind hex keys, made in the USA, rough edges, not chamfered..Chinese made Tekton, larger set for cheaper AND finished properly and chamfered. USA screwdrivers other than Tekton (that are less than $20 a piece), all acetate junk.

 

Look at Wera, Knipex, Wiha, Witte all of them have innovative designs to improve tools. USA has Channellock, making the same thing for decades. Klein is doing some things but it's nothing special, most copying Knipex multi-functional pliers.

 

The Japanese hand tools are even better, they have absolutely genius ideas to improve tools, they're not scared to take chances...USA made chances are being taken by guys in their garage that end up licensing to larger companies; Robogrip, Porter Cable Restorer, Grip-it screw extractors etc.

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I've been really disappointed in a lot of USA tools. It seems that a lot of the USA tool makers are soo darn confident that they are the best because they make tools in the USA that they fail to innovate and sometimes let the quality slip.
 
Look at Eklind hex keys, made in the USA, rough edges, not chamfered..Chinese made Tekton, larger set for cheaper AND finished properly and chamfered. USA screwdrivers other than Tekton (that are less than $20 a piece), all acetate junk.
 
Look at Wera, Knipex, Wiha, Witte all of them have innovative designs to improve tools. USA has Channellock, making the same thing for decades. Klein is doing some things but it's nothing special, most copying Knipex multi-functional pliers.
 
The Japanese hand tools are even better, they have absolutely genius ideas to improve tools, they're not scared to take chances...USA made chances are being taken by guys in their garage that end up licensing to larger companies; Robogrip, Porter Cable Restorer, Grip-it screw extractors etc.


True!

Licensing seems to be the only thing North America has excelled at!

And ChrisK,

My comment was seriously a joke, hopefully it wasn’t taken seriously!


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51 minutes ago, HiltiWpg said:

 


True!

Licensing seems to be the only thing North America has excelled at!

And ChrisK,

My comment was seriously a joke, hopefully it wasn’t taken seriously!


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No, not really being a fanboy outside of Festool I do not take offense, but the nature of this topic is easy to steer away from the point and people tend to get very impassioned about Country, Politics, Religion and tool brands. Let’s keep focused on Will’s original questions and keep tasked to point. Jokes are often misinterpreted by people and that one would be.

 

No worries.

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I did not intend for this thread to focus on the "Made in ___" aspect, but COO is one of the things that get brand enthusiasts worked up over nothing.  Here's my take:

 

Made/Assembled in USA (or insert other country here) with Global Components: it's a start, or perhaps better described a restart, since most domestic brands originally produced their goods in the US before sending manufacturing offshore.  I agree that some companies focus too much on the marketing aspect, deceiving consumers with a bunch of hype that obscures the fact that relatively little assembly or manufacture is done here.  As I stated above, I'm biased as to what I wear in uniform, but my tool preferences differ somewhat.  I own a bunch of yellow, red, and orange tools made in Asia, it is probably impossible to complete a cordless tool lineup without having "Made in China" on the side of many tools.  Similarly, a lot of my drive accessories are also made in China.  Saw blades are another matter, however; I find myself preferring Freud's Swiss and Italian made blades over both US and Asian varieties. 

 

It is hard to delve too deep into this subject without bringing up politics and other taboo topics I rarely discuss even in private conversation, but suffice to say that we should be proud to be Americans (or Irish, Aussie, Chinese, Kurdish, Egyptian, or whatever floats your boat).  Companies manipulate this innate desire to display our pride, whether that display is an American flag sticker (made in China) on our truck, a MANUFACTURED IN USA with global components blurb on our new drill, or a beer commercial that shows how American getting intoxicated is (yes, I'm still not drinking, so call me bitter...).  In a way, this commercialism is like pop country music--its infectious to many (I stick to Willie's Roadhouse or Outlaw Country on SiriusXM if I want to hear country music) but ultimately it undermines the company's (or music genre's) roots.  "I'm gonna grab that DeWalt drill, drive my Chevy up the hill, jump on my John Deere to fix her heart, 'cause that's what a good man does, in the USA.  Woo!  Product placement!".  Okay, I've been up too long...

 

Lack of Innovation and Quality: I feel like tool technology has grown leaps and bounds beyond what it was even twenty years ago.  Such trivial things as ergonomics and reduced slippage used to be limited to brands like Snap-On, but now most brands offer quality tools, with US manufacturers falling to the wayside to a degree.  I think that the utilitarian approach taken by a company like Channellock, for instance, is what that company must do to survive.  I could very well be wrong, but I don't see Channellock competing with Knipex.  Instead, they make simple and effective tools that lack the refinement of the German brand, but which have their own advantages.  The only Knipex tool I currently own is a pliers wrench.  It is great, but adjusting it to the perfect position isn't as easy for me as my 415s.  Also, if I lose or break my Channellock pliers, I'm out at most $25 (for the 460s), versus over $50.  Hence, I abuse my blue handled tools at times, using them to break locks, pry things open, and even beat stuff into submission.

 

So, back to the broader topic.  Brand loyalty is by no means bad, but I feel that sometimes loyalists simply close their minds to hearing anything besides the party line.  I had my own motivation to stay loyal to DeWalt after I started buying their tools: for a casual DIY'er like me the tools are expensive investments and I didn't see the need to buy other expensive brands like Milwaukee.  Deals popped up, I started filling in the holes with M18 Fuel tools, and more recently I've started filling in other holes with Ridgid tools.  So, two years after really jumping on the yellow bandwagon I have a fair amount of red and orange mixed in.  My experience tells me that brand loyalty is often not good, but my bank account tells me that Ryobi would have been the absolute best brand for me to have invested in.  Oh well, it's too late now.  :D

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I like the idea of creating some jobs in the US by "Assembling in the US" but I find that the biggest problem with tools is the materials used in the tool and if it's still globally sourced, it really isn't making a difference. That's not to say it's bad but I wouldn't buy an "Assembled in the USA" tool expecting any better quality than something made offshore from a comparable brand.

 

I personally try my best to always view things from an outside perspective, it tends to keeps my opinions in check. I try to be open minded also, I mean really...if you close yourself off to some brands, you're going to be missing out on good tools.

 

Hell, I just bought an iPhone X. I HATE Apple for their money grubbing business practices but I like certain things about the OS, their app store is better and there are more third party accessories.

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I’m entirely against brand “loyalty” although I’m fine to acknowledge one brand did “win” me over to be my primary platform...for now. Same time a realist has to acknowledge any platform can have the lead over any given segment of the market. Like I would estimate Makita as being the industry leader in impact drivers, Milwaukee in impact wrenches, and Dewalt certainly seems to excel in drills. That could change in a heartbeat though and tomorrow I’ll say something else if that’s what the evidence shows.

 

Within these limits you could let your priorities dictate which line you pick up if you only want one battery platform. But at the same time if you’re just getting a few generic tools you can also go for whatever color you like and it’s not like it would really be the “wrong” decision. Milwaukee and Dewalt make some awfully good impact drivers. Dewalt and Makita have some really good impact wrenches. Milwaukee and Makita have some pretty solid drills. Skip them all and go for Bosch, Festool, Hilti, whatever. And sometimes whichever company has the best product at any given time has more to do with who has the most recent release than anything anyway.

 

Thing to me from my experience across all my hobbies, no matter how much you may like a given brand one year, five years down the road someone buys them out, or they restructure, whatever, and they go down the tubes...will you have wasted a bunch of money continuing to buy them “just cuz” or are you going to be smart and hop on board the company that rises up in its place? I make it a point to be the latter guy anywhere I can.

 

The issue of “made in America [with global materials]” seems to have drawn some attention in this thread. I’m fine with a global economy, but even if “Made in America” mattered to me, I can’t help but be REALLY cynical about the “with global materials” qualifier. Because I don’t see Dewalt or anyone else deriving any benefit or heck perhaps even having any ability to source a lot of the parts that go into modern tools domestically. Does anyone really think you’re going to get superior LEDs manufactured in the states? Circuit boards with pulse-width modulating controllers? Or would doing such just leave you with a shoddier tool that ALSO cost more to make? Anyone in the states qualified to supervise the manufacture of such things with any level of competency are already getting paid too much at Intel or Microsoft to waste their time with that sort of thing. Not researching it myself but hard to me to not think all the difficult work is done in China and most of the “made in America” thing is $13/hr kids working part-time doing final assembly. Better ways to help America’s economy out IMO. Maybe some of the steel bits and such could be done here. Still hard to beat American steel.

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  • 2 months later...

Other than just wanting to be economical about batteries, I find brand loyalty or Mooneyism to be counterproductive and silly. It's tribal and base on one hand and on another you wind up buying some inferior tools, then talking smack constantly to justify your silly purchase. Being honest would be saying yeah, I bought drill x because it fit my 32 other batteries, but I know drill Y is better. But in the long run it does the job for me. Unfortunately, far too many people go tribal batshit crazy and over the top with the subject. Good tools are good tools. So what if your Brand Y is 132 rpm slower than Brand Q. If it drives that lag bolt a half second slower, who the hell cares? it's quality tools with good warranties, that's all that matters in the end. It's not like Harbor Freight with their Dewalt clones(hercules) and their advertising that they outperform pricier tools. That's where you're truly buying junk, paying top dollar (Hercules) and getting the worst warranty, EVER.The oddest thing is about half the product reviews for miter saws and drills on Youtube are goofballs preening over their Harbor freight crap like some dude who just shot a 12 point buck lol

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I feel like the wanting to limit the amount of tool lines you are in is a big factor. I used Ryobi for my cordless tools exclusively until recently for that very reason among others. Recently I was in need of a powerful rotary hammer, and Ryobi doesn't make one. Thankfully I found an adapter online that allows me to use Makita batteries on Ryobi tools. I am now planning to switch to Makita for my batteries, but I still plan on using Ryobi for most of my cordless tools, I just feel like they are a better value; but I do plan to buy Makita for heavy duty tools i.e. the circular saw, rotary hammer and the reciprocating saw.

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2 hours ago, cliu said:

I feel like the wanting to limit the amount of tool lines you are in is a big factor. I used Ryobi for my cordless tools exclusively until recently for that very reason among others. Recently I was in need of a powerful rotary hammer, and Ryobi doesn't make one. Thankfully I found an adapter online that allows me to use Makita batteries on Ryobi tools. I am now planning to switch to Makita for my batteries, but I still plan on using Ryobi for most of my cordless tools, I just feel like they are a better value; but I do plan to buy Makita for heavy duty tools i.e. the circular saw, rotary hammer and the reciprocating saw.

Not sure how much you want to spend, but Makita makes a nice kit with a circular saw, recip saw, driver, drill and a goofy angle drill for about $550. The tools are all top notch.

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52 minutes ago, satchmodog said:

Not sure how much you want to spend, but Makita makes a nice kit with a circular saw, recip saw, driver, drill and a goofy angle drill for about $550. The tools are all top notch.

I got the 2 battery reciprocating saw because of the awesome deal. I got it with 4 5ah batteries, a two battery charger and a bag for about $250. I wanted to get the rear handle circular saw as well with the same things for the same price, but it was sold out. As far as the impact driver and drill go, I'll stick with Ryobi since they work fine for me and are much cheaper.

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2 hours ago, cliu said:

I got the 2 battery reciprocating saw because of the awesome deal. I got it with 4 5ah batteries, a two battery charger and a bag for about $250. I wanted to get the rear handle circular saw as well with the same things for the same price, but it was sold out. As far as the impact driver and drill go, I'll stick with Ryobi since they work fine for me and are much cheaper.

I hear that. My brother spends so much on Makita tools because he insists they are the best and wants one battery platform. Well, some of their tools are not the best and you can find better for far less. I kinda get the battery thing, but honestly in my work truck the extra batteries and chargers for Milwaukee, Dewalt and Makita just don't take up much extra room, if any.

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I'm just about tooled out now...with mostly DeWalt 20v max, some higher demand Milwaukee Fuel tools and a few of their lights, and a few Ridgid tools to boot.  Bringing different batteries and chargers for everything isn't too horrible, especially since the Milwaukee Rocket light and DeWalt portable power station have chargers, and I'm glad I found what I've got for the prices I paid, but honestly Ryobi would have sufficed nicely for 95% of what I do.

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