Consensus on tool brands

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Name brands are deceptive. You have to examine the tool yourself to find out if you're getting a good tool. Many people have gotten decent results by narrowing down the field of tools they want to say, 3 tools, and asking about them here.
When it comes to hand tools, the ones that are heavy for their size, have no noticable blemishes, and beefed up areas where the tool will encounter the most force, are going to be the best. (This doesn't always hold true, however.)
Right now, Lowes is attempting to establish the Kobalt brand. Most of their tools seem to be good tools, at lower prices.
Puckdropper
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On May 23, 10:54pm, Puckdropper <puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> wrote:

I'm really impressed with the Kobalt toolboxes. Much stronger that the old craftsman mainstay. Kobalt boxes have better slides and thicker gauge metal with a much better price. I'm not sure I'd buy anything else labeled Kobalt though. I've been happy with my Dewalt Routers and Plate Joiner. I've been eyeing their new line of 200psi compressors but haven't picked one up yet. Craftsman still makes some good socket and wrench sets IME.
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I have a Ridgid table saw, the TS3650 that I'm very happy with. Also have a Ridgid thickness planer and shop vac, also very happy with these. Ridgid tools are carried by Home Depot.
A couple of months ago I picked up a Hitachi 18volt drill with Lithium-Ion batteries that is powerful and the charge lasts a looonnng time.
A Dewalt DW788 scroll saw is the latest addition to my stable.
Other brands/tools: Freud plunge router and biscuit joiner; Porter-Cable D-handle router; Bosch jigsaw; Craftsman radial arm saw (70s vintage); Dewalt deck screwdriver (screwgun); also tools by Ramset, B&D, Ryobi, and even a Chicago Electic chainsaw sharpener.
I see no reason to be a slave to any one manufacturer, unless maybe if you get some fantastic package deal.
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