Tool Brand Loyalty


It's a real shame how on some internet sites, if you mention a brand-name to a group of people that prefer a different brand you'll find yourself covered with tar and feathers.... or worse.

Mention the name Grizzly and you're considered an idiot, mention Jet and you're considered cheap, mention Delta or Powermatic and your considered a snob, mention anything other than Felder and you're considered an amateur. And depending on who's responding, be prepared for a nasty response.

Why do we feel so loyal to certain brands sometimes? There's a good reason for that.
Why do people respond so harshly? Well, there's NO acceptable reason for that.

Brand loyalty can have it's place in any purchase, whether it's cars, tools or hamburgers. People can have their favorites for a number of reasons. Let me suggest this:

I think that a person's favorite has alot to do with first impressions. And brand loyalty starts right there.

My very first stationary tools were a 16" scroll saw and a 9" drill press. Both Deltas. I was so impressed with the quaility of these machines that the next machine was a Delta and then the next. But you should never buy solely based on brand.

I have about a dozen Deltas, a dozen DeWalts, a dozen Porter-Cables, and a few Makitas and Milwaukees.

All things being equal, we often choose a brand that we have had a good experience with. But it's always the particular tool, not the brand, that carries the most weight when making a decision.

As much as I like PorterCable tools, my reciprocating saw, 1/2" drill and portable bandsaw are all Milwaukee. For each of those, I feel they make a better tool than either PorterCable and DeWalt.

I'm sure Bosch makes some fine tools, but my first two experiences with Bosch tools were negative, so I shy away from that brand.

You may decide to buy a Grizzly and love it and then your next ones will be from them. Or you may not like it and never buy a Grizzly again. And this is true of EVERY manaufacturer. Every manufacture has machines that will either make or ruin a first impression. Even Delta has some tools that if you bought that first you may never want to buy a Delta again. Same with Powermatic, Jet, you name it.

And there is no PERFECT machine for everyone. Some people will pay more for a better paint job, others will relish the deal of a functionly adequate inexpensive machine. Sometimes we'll buy a machine with one project in mind, while other times we'll be thinking of our grandchildren using it someday.

So I would advise to anyone, that instead of going out and buying 5 machines at once, people should buy one, see how they like it before they commit their whole tool budget to a particular manufacturer. There are some machines where there is clearly a better product from one manufacturer, while there are other tools where the difference between one company and another is negligable.

© 2008 Mark Goodall