Hand tools are a must need in any well-equipped workshop. It is difficult to choose the right one. The best hand tools for you depends on the type and complexity of your projects.
Hand tools have been around in one form for decades, some for drastically longer. It is for good reason. Simplifying construction, maintenance, and repair tasks. Power tools are very useful, but some workshop and house tasks require the use of hand tools.
Best brands for hand tools?
Irwin is one of the best hand tool brands. In the 20th century, this brand was popular for the quality of its flagship tool lines. Including the iconic “Vise-Grip”, one of the company’s early blacksmiths invented it as the first-ever locking pliers. Their all tools were made in the US.
Since 2008, the brand moved its production to China in order to remain competitive in the current market. Product quality did not drop since then. Although popularity is growing day by day.
Stanley Black and Decker have owned the Irwin bran in 2016. There is a slight change in the visibility of their brand. Specifically, bar clamps of theirs are still considered the most reliable available to consumers today. Apart from regular hand tools, Irwin’s saw blades and drill bits are also better options for many craftsmen and contractors.
Stanley is one of the best hand tools brands. It has been a part of the merged Stanley Black & Decker since 2010.
Specifically, Stanley is popular for making about every type of hand tools. Wrecking bars, Screwdrivers, Hammers, etc. just name it and there is a chance that Stanley makes it.
When it comes to certain mainstay tools in today’s toolboxes, Stanley first introduces them into the market. Truly this was the locking tape measure, one of the most popular brand products.
Stanley as a brand, never rested they continue to lead the hand tool market’s trend towards introducing more digital equipment. It is seen in their digital leveling systems, which are reliable. In minutes ways, they have also innovated. Like packing extra durability into their carbide blades.
Craftsman is one of the best hand tools brands. Dominating the market through its primary sales channel for decades. Specifically, craftsman started as an in-house brand for Sears, made them competitive at the time of mega-retailers heyday.
It is said that Craftsman’s popularity become waned with the fortunes of Sears. Actually, the brand was sold off to Stanley Black & Decker in 2017. It also happened with their product’s quality. Often quality has fluctuated because of the manner in which Sears contracted out the manufacturing of the tools.
Sometimes, they were functionally identical to hand tools that made for New Britain, Stanley, etc. as a result.
In spite of all these variations, in the modern hand tool market, the Craftsman brand remains a mainstay. Particularly, Craftsman’s numerous tools are famous for their size, versatility, and affordability. Including everything from wrenches and screwdrivers to drill bits and ratchets.
In present years, Dewalt has become more popular for its versatile lines of power tools. Though they continue to remain a visible portion of the hand tool market thanks to the great availability and affordability of their tools.
In a broad catalog of available hand tools, DeWalt wrenches, hex keys, ratchets, and mechanic’s toolsets are best among best-reviewed products.
To Raymond E. The DeWalt brand dates back almost 100years. The inventor of DeWalt’s first-ever radial arm saw. The name of the brand grew by the fame of these saws over the decades until the 1990s, at the time they took a turn towards hand and power tools.
Including the release of a contractor’s toolset in 2011 which included pliers, saws, hammers, and more.
Now the DeWalt brand is a subsidiary of Stanley Black & Decker. Most of the hand tools of theirs are labeled as being “made in the USA”, although these tools utilize portions that are made overseas. DeWalt enjoys brand recognition, thanks in large part to its availability in both retail and online stores.
Klein Tools is another top brand of hand tools since 1857. At that time founder, Mathias Klein started creating tools for linemen.
When telecommunication raised in the USA, the Klein brand grew because of its reputation for creating reliable lineman tools. Although the brand now making other hand tools including screwdrivers, wrenches, and more. Still shine these origins through in the company’s logo.
Now, Klein Tools is top of the brands that can proudly declare “made in the USA”. It is because most of their tools are made at company-owned plants in Texas and Kansas. Also, the company has made long-term investments in US-based manufacturing, included expanded some of its plants in the last 10 years.
To make lineman tools there are given origins. It’s no surprise that Klein now making some of the best-insulated tools on the market. Telecom specialty tools are also second to none. Most Craftsmen now rely on this brand’s cutters, strippers, clippers as well, thanking their durability.
Snap-on one of the popular brands. Snap tool has a history with automotive and industrial professionals because it has the devotion to making high-end and pro-grade tools.
Its tools are popular also for their unique form of accessibility, which is to say that they do not sell their products in retail stores. Their dealers rather travel from shop to shop by van and sell their wares directly to their clients. The method they sales, it has earned the brand a lot of loyalty.
Most mechanics and industrial professionals also appreciate the brand’s approach, respect for both its sales team and manufacturing plant employees. Certainly, Snap-On’s core products are still the primary reason they are well-respected in the hand tool market.
Its tools like wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers are considered top performers in their class among others.
Milwaukee is popular for its electronic power tools. It is said that the brand offers a broad assortment of hand tools that are just reliable same as their primary tool lines. Including an assortment of folding knives optimized for craftsmen and construction contractors. Also, Milwaukee sells an assortment of socket wrench sets and tape measures that can fulfill most user’s needs.
Milwaukee as a company and as a brand dates back to 1918. A.H. Petersen that year accepted a commission from Henry Ford to improve upon existing electric drills used in his factories. As a successful person, Petersen launched his brand on the back of this success. The brand became popular over time among craftsmen for their tendency to innovate new electric power tools year after year.
Harbor Freight is a new kid on the market. Harbor Freight started in 1977 as a family-owned business, the popularity of this brand increases through its commitment to providing affordability without sacrificing quality. Also, it is among the most widely available hand tool brands now because of its operation of branded stores and a mail-order system.
In consideration, Harbor Freight sells most of the general hand tools types that general contractors can rely on. Including lines of durable socket wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers, hammers, etc. Nevertheless, specialty tools of brands, including magnetic hand tools, are specifically popular because of their price compared to premium brands.
By selling direct to consumers via its fleet of sales vans Mac Tools remained a market mainstay. Its impressive variation of available tools makes it a recognizable brand. At one point which as high as 42,000 items.
Mac Tools now offering 8,000 separate tools at competitive prices to other direct-to-consumer brands. Particularly, now the brand specializes in automotive tools and auto-sports tools. Also, the toolset of Mac Tools is recognizable for its consistency and durability.
Cremax is a less popular brand. Nevertheless, they earn a spot as the top brand of a screwdriver because they offer a very affordable set of magnetic screwdrivers. DIYers and Professionals have consented that magnetic is the way to go if you want to take the hassle out of driving screws. 10 piece magnetic screwdrivers sets of their make this type of productive luxury accessible to the masses.
Nevertheless, Cremax screwdriver only available online through e-retailers. The way of creating benefit making their products accessible while making it more challenging to find them when stock runs slow. This brand’s warranties and guarantees are also not known for being reliable. A prospective buyer should rely on recommendations from other craftsmen to see a purchase of these screwdrivers through.
Channellock is one of the popular brands of hand tools. It has a noteworthy history that began with a line of hand-forged farrier’s tools made by founder George B. DeArmet. He had a commitment to make superior products. Empowering his company to innovate and create the multi-position, tongue, and groove pliers known as the “Channellock” pliers.
The pliers are still popular now. Channellock makes several lines of useful hand tools, the specialty of screwdrivers. Each tool is made in the US. At the company’s factory in Meadville, PA.
Gearwrench is a new brand in the hand tools market. It enters the market in 1996, the brand becomes a recognizable premium hand tool brand for mechanics. Particularly, their ratcheting wrench which made by a five-degree patented system that makes it user-friendly. 20 styles of socket wrench offered by Gearwrench, besides this as well as over 600 other automotive specialty tools.
Crescent is one of the popular brands. Especially the wrench is the most popular. Crescents’ adjustable wrenches are the best for versatility and durability. Crescent offers almost 2,600 other tools.
Crescent’s share of the market has remained over the years, where other famous brands failed to maintain consistency. Because their quality is always the same as the old days. Big box hardware stores, making them fully accessible to professionals and DIYers.
Stiletto tools are also a good brand in the market. Well-known for its hammer. Ultra-durable titanium head they use, for better control and not losing any heft. A replaceable hammer plate allows them to enjoy a long service life. The brand got fame for its introduction of titanium into its striking tool line in order to decrease each tool’s rate of recoil.
Vaughn & Bushnell
Vaughn & Bushnell is also a popular brand. Especially for hammers. The brand expanded its offers in 1886, to a set of workman tools, which included hammers. These hammers were innovative and triple-wedge designs.
Which hand tool brand is best?
Answer: When you are looking for a single hand tool brand that can give you the best performance, durability, and price, one brand cannot do it all. While some brands like craftsmen, DeWalt have the reputation to back up their quality, broad selection. Meanwhile, brands that are affordable such as Harbor Freight offers a large set of tools through a variety of accessible outlets.
You should select each type of tool in your toolbox based on the brand’s performance with that tool. For this, Screwdriver shopper keeps an eye on Channellock models rather than other brands. Same for hammers too, you should always choose Vaughn & Bushnell.
Is it better to stick to one hand tool brand?
Answer: Simply it is not worth the effort, sticking with a single hand tool brand in today’s market. This made a lot of sense back in the day, given the accessibility of brands like Snap-On or the brands which provide warranties like craftsmen. Many of these have melted away with time. So, you should focus on how individual tool performs in the field.
It cannot say that brand loyalty should go entirely out the window. Actually, buying tools from the same brand can help you to understand quickly their performance. If you are fully satisfied with its performance to compare to others you can stick with it.
In the market, there are many brands that are available now. So, you have to be able to differentiate among them when shopping for new hand tools. Understanding the guide, you should be able to shop like a pro craftsman and find a hand tool brand that matches your needs and your budget.