From the DIY handyman to professional construction workers, everyone is on a never-ending hunt for the best power tools. What constitutes as best, though? Is it the latest tool with the newest technology, or is there a hidden gem from years past? Is the ultimate tool made by the best power tool brand, or is there an amazing product from an otherwise bland contender?
The answers may surprise you. We’ve rounded up the absolute best power tools to create your new go-to list. From best drill to best miter saw, here’s what we uncovered.
What Makes A Power Tool Great?
Picking any old tool or favoring a brand is a sure-fire way to end up with an arsenal that’s lacking. Maybe you’re a diehard fan of DeWALT or Makita. That’s fine, but one company cannot create the best power tool for each type of device.
So, how do we decide on that term? What makes a router the best router? What about a Sawzall, orbital sander, or circular saw? With so many variables involved for each type of tool, it’s tough to decide. What we decided to do is create a criteria list to help narrow down our selections. Those are:
- and Value
This aspect is simple. The tool you buy needs to handle a vast number of projects before it starts showing signs of wear and tear. For instance, a hammer drill eventually loses its ability to produce immense amounts of power. Parts wear down, electronics wear out, and damage occurs.
When it comes to performance, the tool needs to perform as promised. Two comparable miter saws do not cut the same, comparable drills do not offer the same level of power, and two orbital sanders never deliver the same sanding.
Earning the title of best power tool requires superior performance in the task a tool accomplishes. Performance also relates to features. Lights to illuminate dark spaces, variable triggers, and safety features all come into play.
Have you ever held a power tool in your hand and thought, “Wow, this thing is clunky!” Us too, and we hate it. The way a tool fits into your hand is essential, especially during long projects. It isn’t just the handle, though.
Ergonomics also relates to the very shape of the tool. A streamlined build with designs created to accomplish the task is equally as important. Two impact wrenches, for instance, have different designs. Those designs either aid or hinder the task at hand.
Does the power tool contain features that defy the norm? Every company pumping out cordless drills follows the basic principle, but what technology do they combine with the drill to make it more user-friendly or task-oriented?
Some drills utilize high-tech batteries, while others employ brushless motors or smart controls. The way a tool functions often contains innovation from a company, but this category mostly deals with electronics.
Is the price you pay for the tool worth it? Paying an extra $50 for an oscillating tool doesn’t always equate to owning a better one. Some companies have higher price tags than others, but the value of a tool takes all of the above criteria and compares it to the cost.
The Personal Factor
We try to remain as objective as possible when making these lists but finding the best power tools is a subjective matter. The Hitachi C10FCG miter saw might be one person’s trash, and another’s treasure. A Black + Decker BDEJS600C jigsaw could work for one person while Ryobi’s One+ P5231 works for another.
The point is, there is no single set of best power tools for one person. Everyone has their preferences, likes, and dislikes. So, take this list with a grain of salt. If anything, the tools we mention provide an excellent base point to kickstart your collection.
Best Jig Saw – Bosch 7.2 Amp Barrel-Grip
Off the bat, we love the innovative barrel grip on this model. Instead of driving the saw with a handle, the grips offer a higher level of control for more precision. The button rests by your thumb on the top grip, making this an exceptionally ergonomic model.
An LED light offers advanced visibility while cutting, the dust blower keeps your workspace clean, and the die-cast aluminum footplate provides tool-free adjustments. Add in a one-touch blade changing system, and this is one advanced jigsaw. Bosch also provides a one-year warranty, 30-day money-back guarantee, and a one-year service protection plan.
- Quick adjustments and blade removal
- Ergonomic grips and button placement
- 7.2 amps for more cutting power
- The vacuum attachment isn’t in circulation anymore
- The LED light isn’t all that bright
Best Cordless Drill – Makita XFD061 LXT
The Makita XFD061 LXT features a brushless motor that delivers 530-lbs of torque. The RPMs on this model crank all the way up to 550 with the ability to maintain that rate thank to an energy-efficient battery.
This drill comes in a kit featuring a soft carrying case, an 18V battery, and a charger. Two settings allow adjustment to the level of torque for varying projects. As you change between the two, the motor is designed to float between them and match the power you need for any application.
- Brushless motor
- Energy-efficient battery for long jobs
- Fast recharging
- Feedback mechanism keeps screws from stripping
- The carrying case is a tight fit for both the charger and drill
- The feedback mechanism may create less power when you need it most
Best Orbital Sander – DeWALT DWE6423K
With a 3.0 Amp motor capable of spinning pads from 8,000 to 12,000 oscillations per minute, DeWALT’s 5-inch sander is a compact yet powerful model. A shorter height puts you closer to the work surface, adding extra control, while the design of the product cuts down on vibrations.
Rubber over-molding is set in just the right places to help support your hand and eliminate fatigue. The on/off switch is protected by a dust cover, adding to the longevity of the device, and the dust bag features a simple one-hand locking system.
- Design cuts back on vibration and fatigue
- Compact build adds more control
- Dust cover adds to the longevity of the tool
- No port for standard vacuum hose
- Short power cord
Best Miter Saw – DeWALT DWS779
With a 15 Amp 3,800 RPM motor, there’s a lot of power behind this miter saw from DeWALT. The black fence design allows for 2×12 cuts at 45-degrees and 2×16 cuts at 90-degrees. This is a double bevel, sliding model, adding both accuracy and visibility.
The tall, sliding fences support crown molding (up to 7-1/2 inches) as it moves 60-degrees to the right and 50-degrees to the left. Throw in a highly effective dust collection system and DeWALT’s three-year warranty, and this is one exceptional miter saw.
- A ton of maneuverability
- Powerful motor
- Exceptional fencing
- No LED lights
- Included blade is not ideal for clean cuts
Best Oscillating Tool – Dremel MM30-04 Multi-Max
First off, a quick release integrated wrench means you’ll never have to worry about losing one again. That’s great, but the extra wide 3.2-degree oscillation angle is even better. This increases performance and makes your cuts faster.
A quick hold magnetic interface holds any accessories in place while the motor cranks up to an impressive 23,000 oscillations per minute. Why Dremel’s tool stands out is the ergonomic design, though. Made with hands in mind, this is perhaps the most comfortable fit on the market.
- Excellent power at 23,000 OPM
- Integrated magnets and wrench holder make life easier
- Incredibly comfortable grip
- No quick release heads
- Requires a steady hand to make straight cuts
How to Choose the Best Power Tools
With a seemingly endless number of tools on the market, it’s difficult to pick out the best power tools for your workspace. While the ones featured above are excellent choices, there may be a better tool out there to suit your needs. Plus, we can’t cover every single type of power tool in one article. Who would read all that?
The following are things to consider when selecting a power tool. Before you buy anything, go through this checklist to ensure it’s the right device for you.
If you’re going cordless, don’t settle for anything less than a lithium-ion battery. Nicads are alright, but they pale in comparison to their lithium counterparts. Why? Simple. Ionized lithium lasts longer, deliver more power, and usually feature smart charging systems.
While nicads handle temperature extremes with ease, stick with the better power source. Nine times out of ten, the company makes compatible lithium-ion battery packs that work with all of their tools. That’s an enormous money saver.
Finally, higher voltage batteries provide more power as well as a longer charge. Keep in mind that 20-volt varieties typically pump out 18 volts when used with any load. So, the 18V lithium-ion remains the most popular for now. One last note; any cordless tool should always include a battery. If not, you’re wasting money.
Brushless or Brush
A brushless motor is superior in nearly every aspect. Without brushes rubbing against the interior of the motor, there’s less wear and tear on your device. That same feature also means more energy running through the motor.
While brushless models cost a little extra, the longevity and durability they provide are well worth the cost. Drills, drivers, and impact wrenches typically contain these motors. However, some companies are expanding their uses to other types of tools.
Brand Names and Quality
While a particular brand isn’t always the best, there’s a list of names you can trust. We recommend buying the brand you prefer for the ease of swapping battery packs and attachments but never settle for a lower-quality power tool just because it’s a DeWALT or Milwaukee.
While the brand doesn’t always equate to quality, there are a few things that do. The warranty behind a product is an excellent indicator. With a three or more-year warranty, you know the company producing the tool stands behind their product.
Keep in mind that the conditions you work in and how often you use the tool affect its lifespan. Moisture, dirt, grime, and heat can all cut back your tool’s usage by a few years at most. That’s when you can rely on the warranty to renew your quality product.
Never pick up a tool you simply cannot afford. It’s tempting, we know. There are plenty of times we wonder if there’s an AA-type meeting for people addicted to tools. However, the power tool you choose should fit into your budget.
Money doesn’t equate to quality every time, either. Sometimes a cheaper Ryobi outperforms its expensive DeWALT counterpart. Even Dremel made our list, which shows that a high price tag isn’t always worth the cost.
What you’re looking for with price is value. For the cost, is the tool excelling your expectations and performing at a top-quality level? Reviews like this one and even customer reviews can help you make that decision before buying. If nothing else, talk to someone knowledgeable at your local hardware store.
A top concern for any power tool purchaser is safety. What features are in place to keep you from losing a finger or cutting a hole in your gut? This is more for the saws out there, but it matters when using something like an impact wrench as well.
Safety features aren’t the first point of conversation when talking about the aspects of a product. However, the information is there. Does the saw blade feature magnetic stopping mechanisms? Are there guards in place to save your hand if it slips? What about dust collection to keep your workspace clean and visible?
Finding the best power tools on the market is a tricky task. Not only is it a matter of opinion, but you often end up sacrificing one benefit for another. Instead of driving yourself nuts trying to find the ultimate cordless drill or miter saw, pick the option that works best for your needs and your budget. Are you looking for more information on circular saws? Check out our guide here.