Craftsman vs. DeWalt: Which Brand Is Better?

Choosing the right tools is essential for you to be able to complete any given task. Your own skills and ideas will only get you so far without the high-quality tools that you need to create the best possible end result. So when the choice is Craftsman vs. DeWalt: which brand is better?

We randomly gathered data on both brands’ tool reviews and ratings. DeWalt had more reviews available and more 5-star ratings in our findings. Plus, out of 5 randomized tool searches the DeWalt 5-star percentages were 83% and higher. Craftsman’s 5-star percentages were lower at 59%, and highest being 87%.

Contractors typically choose DeWalt, while homeowners can get by with Craftsman tools since they don’t use them daily. Both brands are successful companies that offer great tools, but it is important to look at the two brands to get a better understanding of what they have to offer.

There is nothing worse than buying tools that won’t make it through to the end of a job, and you need equipment that you can rely on.

To help you to make a decision between Craftsman and DeWalt, we are going to compare both of these brands to find out which one is better. This way, you will have more information about the two brands and come to your own conclusion.

About Craftsman

Craftsman is a brand that offers a variety of different tools, lawn and garden equipment, and workwear. The brand was originally owned by Sears but has since been taken over by Stanley Black & Decker. 

During the time in which the company was owned by Sears, the tools were not actually manufactured by this company, and they were made by a variety of other companies.

They were sold through lots of different retailers but were not the best brand for consistency and reliability. This company began on the 20th May 1927, and over time, the quality of the tools was upgraded. 

Company Changes Hands

The company was taken over by Stanley Black & Decker in March of 2017, which went on to acquire the Craftsman license and make the brand their own. 

The Craftsman line of tools is known as the middle tier of products, while the Craftsman Professional line is one of the highest tiers available. 

The majority of Craftsman hand tools will come with a lifetime warranty, which is seriously impressive.

This lifetime warranty was first brought in by Sears and was continued when the company was taken over. This is one of the best features that they have to offer, and we will talk more about this in a moment.

About DeWalt

Craftsman vs. DeWalt

DeWalt is an industrial tool company that manufactures tools worldwide and provides customers with power tools and hand tools for the construction, manufacturing, and woodworking industries. Like Craftsman, they are also a registered trademark of Black & Decker. 

The original company began trading in 1923 and was created by Raymond E. DeWalt, who was actually the inventor of the radial arm saw. The company grew in success very quickly and was then sold to Black & Decker in 1960. 

More recently, in 1992, Black & Decker began a major effort to rebrand its professional quality and high-end power tools. As of 2001, DeWalt manufactures and sells more than 200 different power hand tools and 800 accessories.

Craftsman vs. DeWalt Quality

Now that you know a little bit more about the two companies, it is time to delve into the differences and similarities between them. The best place to start with this is the overall quality that each company is able to provide you with.

Craftsman and DeWalt are two companies that offer robust and high-quality tools that you can depend on. Both companies offer a variety of tools and equipment that are going to last for a long time. As they are both owned by branches of the same company, you can be sure that the quality is going to be similar.

At the moment, DeWalt manufactures its tools in Mexico, America, Brazil, China, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the Czech Republic. They are also committed to making the majority of their tools in the US using domestic and global materials.

Craftsman offers many different portable power tools that are manufactured by Techtronic Industries, which is the same company that also manufactures products for brands such as Milwaukee, AEG, Ryobi, Homelite, Empire, Stiletto, and Dirt Devil.

Craftsman vs. DeWalt

Craftsman & DeWalt Reviews Tell the Tale

When it comes to Craftsman vs. DeWalt, everybody has their own opinion about quality. Many factors come into play. For example, if your father and grandfather used Craftsman you are likely to stick with them. And if you had a bad experience with a drill from one company or the other, that could turn you against all their products.

We did a small survey and found DeWalt was preferred by a couple of painting contractors we know. A couple of landscapers said Craftsman hand tools got the job done for the mower maintenance they had to do. And among the homeowners we know, they reported using several different brands of tools.

So we dug deeper into online reviews for various tools and got more clarity on Craftsman vs. DeWalt. Below are randomized reviews and ratings we discovered on the most popular online places to shop.

Star Ratings

Craftsman DeWalt
Hedge trimmer – 900+ reviews, 81% 5-starsHedge trimmer – 7000+ reviews, 86% 5-stars
Socket set – 142 reviews, 87% 5-starsSocket set – 2400+ reviews, 90% 5-stars
Air ratchet – 154 reviews, 64% 5-starsAir ratchet – 2600+ reviews, 88% 5-stars
Table saw – 39 reviews, 59% 5-starsTable saw – 119 reviews, 84% 5-stars
Nail gun – 167 reviews, 84% 5-starsNail gun – 203 reviews, 83% 5-stars

Again, we randomly picked the tool type and also the specific tool on each sales page before looking at the reviews.

Common Complaints

Honing in on problems and complaints from tool buyers, here is a sampling of what we were able to find. On TrustPilot, DeWalt had 18 registered complaints. On ComplaintsBoard, Craftsman had 98 complaints. Keep in mind some of these may have resolved after the problem was posted.

Here are some negative comments among mostly positive reviews on each brand’s tools:

Craftsman (various tools)

  • Underpowered (blower)
  • Size range not ideal (wrench set)
  • Problems on first use (sander)

DeWalt (various tools)

  • Battery charging problems (blower)
  • Slipping (wrench set)
  • Battery issues (sander)

Let’s Compare DeWalt and Craftsman Prices

Now for a brief price comparison between these tool companies. Looking at every tool they both offer would be an impossible job. But we can match up a few products to see the obvious differences. Keep in mind warranties (coming up) matter as well as customer service.

Air Compressors

DeWalt sells through various retailers and we tracked down these prices on their official Amazon store. The lowest priced DeWalt air compressor was $149, ideal for a home garage or small air tool jobs. The most expensive was just over $4,100, and is obviously made for commercial use.

To contrast, Craftsman’s website directed us to where their air compressors had lower prices than DeWalt. The smallest Craftsman compressor listed at $39 and their highest machine was $1,799.

20V Battery Circular Saw

Comparing apples to apples with both brands’ battery-powered 6 1/2-inch circular saws, here are the results. Craftsman only had two saws and the listed price was $79. DeWalt showed more options on Amazon and just three saws on Lowes’ website. $99 was their lowest price.

Wet / Dry Vacs

This line of power tools is useful to homeowners as well as contractors. DeWalt had ten different vacuums ranging from $101 – $239. What about Craftsman vacs? 18 different machines priced from $37 -$188.

Those are three randomly chosen power tools and give you a snapshot of how prices play out with these two tool brands. DeWalt costs more generally and seem to have a wider selection than Craftsman on many tools besides vacs. Of course, if you shop around you can often find deals on close-out and clearance items. You just have to have patience and also consider warranties.

Craftsman Vs DeWalt Warranties

DeWalt offers many different warranties, but as a standard, the majority of their power tools come with a three-year limited warranty. This three-year warranty means that the company will repair any defects that have occurred due to faulty materials or workmanship.

This warranty will last for three years from the date of the purchase at no additional cost. However, it does not cover part failure due to normal wear or tool abuse.

Certain products by this company will be covered by a seven-year limited warranty, but you will need to certify which warranty can be applied to your purchase.

Extended Coverage for Your Tools

These tools that you buy from this company are also covered by a service contract that comes free for one year, and during this period, DeWalt will maintain the tool and replace any worn parts that have occurred due to normal use. 

Additionally, they have a 90-day money-back guarantee that allows you to return your DeWalt power tool if you are not completely happy with the product. As long as you are returning the product within 90-days of the date of purchase, you will be given a full refund.

Craftsman Power Tool Warranties

Craftsman power tools all come with a three-year limited warranty, and they will repair any defects that are due to faulty materials or workmanship that have occurred within the first three years of your purchase.

You will require proof of purchase to claim on this warranty, and it does not cover part failure due to normal wear or tool abuse.

Similarly to DeWalt, they also offer a 90-day money-back guarantee that means if you are not completely happy with the product you have received, you can return it for a full refund, as long as it is within the 90 days.

Does Craftsman or DeWalt Offer a Better Selection of Hand Tools?

Craftsman vs. DeWalt

Both of these companies offer a wide range of products that are available for you to choose from. They each offer a multitude of different hand tools, and they both supply customers with high-quality products.

Craftsman hand tools range from hammers to automotive tools to measurement devices. They also produce multi-tool kits and tool boxes that can handle almost any repair job. Various retailers, online and offline, sell Craftsman hand tools. But on the official Craftsman homepage there are 14 hand tool categories, some of which are:

  • Ratchets / sockets
  • Utility knives and blades
  • Hand saws
  • Pliers and snips
  • Chisels, punches, files
  • Planes
  • Wrenches

To give you an idea of the selection inside the categories, there are five different styles of hammers including framing, ball pein, and sledge hammers. The hand saw category has three styles of saw. They are mitre box saws, wood saws, and hacksaws. And the screwdriver page has 114 individual products and sets available!

DeWalt’s Hand Tool Selection

Not to be outdone in hand tool selection, DeWalt shows 14 categories on their main website. Just to list a few:

  • Fastener tools
  • Wrenches
  • Laser instruments
  • Drywall tools
  • Clamps / vices
  • Layout tools

DeWalt’s fastener tools include glue guns, riveters, and staplers / tackers. Their mixed tool sets show 22 options. These range from 20-piece sets to cases filled with 341 pieces. Mechanics, DIYers, and handyperson services have plenty of options no matter their budget.

So, both tool brands are great options to choose from in this respect as they both have plenty of products widely available.

Craftsman vs. DeWalt: Which of the Two Brands Is Better?

Out of these two brands, DeWalt takes the upper hand. More reviews available and more 5-star ratings. While Craftsman tools are typically of a slightly lower quality than DeWalt, they do also come at a cheaper price. In this instance, you get what you pay for.

If you are looking for a cheaper solution, then Craftsman may be worth looking into. However, if you are looking for the best products of the highest quality, then DeWalt is the one for you. Especially if you’re using the tools commercially in your business, since reliability is the top priority.

We would recommend that DeWalt is the place to go for your tools, no matter what you need them for. Even though they come at a slightly higher price, you are more likely to be able to use them for years to come as they are both durable and long-lasting.

Realistically, purchasing power tools is an investment, and durability and reliabilty are two of the most important things to look out for. So, if DeWalt is in your budget, then this is the brand you will want to buy.

Dean Luoma

As a long-time homeowner, Dean has been working on his own home projects for over 30 years. He is a licensed real estate agent in the state of Minnesota, helping clients with the buying and selling of their homes.

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