Canstar Blue’s review of power tools has seen Ryobi, DeWALT, Ozito, Bosch and Makita compared on their value for money, reliability & performance, ease of use, maintenance & servicing, design, noise levels and overall satisfaction.
See our Ratings Methodology.
Any tradie or self-respecting DIY enthusiast will tell you having the right power tools in your tool box is as important to getting the job done as applying a little elbow grease. Ever tried drilling tiles without a specialist drill bit? Or cut a large tree trunk using a manual wood saw? We hope not. Whether you’re chipping away at it on a construction site or in your own backyard, buying trade quality tools is a must to get the best bang for your buck.
With just under half of Aussies surveyed (47%) stating they enjoy doing DIY projects and 33% admitting to having tried multiple brands of power tools, finding the right product from the start can save you both time and money. Hardware stores are chock-full of different power tools and gadgets claimed to be ‘perfect’ for this and that, but how do you decide which to go for?
That’s where our review can help. Canstar Blue surveyed more than 700 Aussies for their feedback on the power tools (i.e. drill, nail gun, etc.) they’ve purchased and used in the last three years. Respondents rated brands on important factors such as reliability and performance, ease of use, noise levels, value for money and so on. Those which received the minimum survey sample size of 30 responses are featured in our results.
Here are the best brands of power tools in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s 2021 review:
Ryobi powered its way to the top of our ratings in 2021, after earning five-star reviews in most categories, including reliability & performance, ease of use, maintenance & servicing, design and overall satisfaction. It got four stars on value for money, with Ozito the only brand to receive full marks in that category. Runner-up DeWALT managed to receive five stars for ease of use and noise while operating, with Bosch and Makita both scoring five stars for maintenance and servicing.
With each brand sharing top spot honours in at least one category each, and none dipping below a four star rating for overall satisfaction, it looks like it’s a tough market to drill into, with plenty of tools for you to power through.
Read on to explore what brands featured in our review have to offer, plus what you should look out for when shopping for power tools.
Exclusive to Bunnings and online via its website, Ryobi specialises in pro-featured power tools and outdoor equipment, including a decent line-up of drills and drivers, priced around the $200 mark. It also offers caulking guns, drain augers, glue guns, biscuit joiners, nailers, staplers, rotary hammers (also priced under $200) and everything else you’d expect to find on a construction site.
For the outdoors, you’ll find budget-friendly loppers, lawn mowers, chainsaws, trimmers and blowers and various tools and accessories to manicure your garden to perfection. Prices for Ryobi tools are mid-range, but the brand does feature some good promotions and discounts worth checking out from time to time, giving both DIY enthusiasts and tradies plenty to get excited about..
For heavy-duty power tools, look no further than DeWALT. The brand claims its products have undergone extensive testing to perform in the harshest environments. DeWALT offers a wide selection of durable power tools suited to various jobs and work sites, including drills, fastening tools, rotary and demolition hammers, saws, grinders and more. There’s also a 12V or 18V ‘Combokit’ for those looking for an all-around solution, or you can opt to shop tools by trade.
DeWALT also offers site equipment such as cameras, thermometers, compressors, laser instruments, lighting, radio and audio equipment. There’s also an outdoor power tool range comprising of lawn mowers, trimmers and blowers to help you tackle any project. DeWALT products are boasted for their exceptional power range, although expect to pay more for that at the checkout. You can shop DeWALT products at Total Tools, Bunnings and online.
Ozito is a go-to brand for many homeowners, DIY enthusiasts and tradespeople, largely because it’s one of the most affordable brands on the market, with a decent selection of products to boot. Ozito offers a Power X Change range comprising of over 70 power tools and garden equipment – all powered by the same battery. It’s a game changer for people short on time and space. In the handheld power tools department, you’ll find the usual, including corded drills and cordless drills (with prices starting from $50) and hammers, angle grinders, laser levels, saws, rotary tools and the likes. Ozito also has a decent range of benchtop tools for metal cutting, welding, tables, and is available online and in most Bunnings stores.
A big name in the home appliances world, Bosch offers a German-engineered range of power tools and safety solutions targeted specifically at tradies. Its range includes Combo Kits for tradespeople and standalone tools like drills, drywall screwdrivers, impact wrenches and drivers, sanders, planers, multi-cutters and more. You can opt to shop tools by trade, with Bosch offering solutions for electricians, metal construction workers, plumbers and heating engineers and joiners and carpenters.
In terms of price, Bosch is firmly in the mid-range, with prices for drills and angle grinders hovering around the $200-$300 mark. You can find Bosch tools at Total Tools, Bunnings and online via its website.
Makita was founded in Japan in 1915 and is claimed to be the first company to have manufactured electric planers. Over 100 years later, and Makita is now a leading manufacturer of power tools for the building and construction, power garden and commercial cleaning industries.
For building and construction, Makita offers a wide variety of drills, impact drivers, nailers, staplers, rivet guns, rotary hammers, and various solutions for cutting, grinding, sanding, polishing and more. For the garden, you’ll of course find lawn mowers, leaf blowers, line and hedge trimmers and so on. Makita power tools are slightly more expensive than competitor brands, but if Makita’s reputation is anything to go by, they’re well worth the price. The brand is sold online and in various hardware stores, including Total Tools, Bunnings and independent retailers.
While only five brands qualifying for our ratings in 2021, there are other options out there if you need something specific for that next project. It’s always a good idea to compare brands on range of tools and prices to make sure you get the best deal. Here are some other well-known power tool brands available.
A German brand, AEG’s beginnings were as an electrical equipment producer in 1883, with the brand now offering a wide-range of products available under its umbrella, including power tools. Featuring air compressors, blowers, drills, generators, grinders, multitools, sanders, saws, screwdrivers and a range of outdoor equipment such as blowers, brushcutters, chainsaws and lawn mowers, AEG offers plenty to help get the job done. With a 12V, 18V and 58V range, in addition to hybrid and petrol models across its range of power tools, AEG also has combo kits on hand if you need multiple tools to get the project started, or finished.
AEG power tools are available to purchase at select hardware stores, including Bunnings, with Onsite Trade Solutions available in select areas, which allow AEG retailers to come to you (when it’s COVID-safe), saving you from running down to the shops when a tool breaks halfway through the job.
Well-known within the power tool market, Black & Decker offers a wide variety of tools to choose from. With a history that stretches back over 100 years, Black & Decker’s range of tools includes traditional power tools such as drills, sanders, saws, grinders and multitools, in addition to garden tools such as lawn mowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers and hedge trimmers. You can even pick up workbenches, lights and vacuum cleaners to help with all aspects of the job. Black & Decker is reasonably priced within the market, with a number of combo kits available for when you need additional batteries or tools.
Black & Decker tools are available directly from the website, or through hardware stores such as Bunnings, with help guides and blogs also available via the Black & Decker website if you’re stuck for inspiration.
Designed for the worksite, Milwaukee offers a number of sturdy power tools built to get the job done. From drills to saws, and polishers through to lasers and specialty tools, Milwaukee aims to be the go-to for any and every job you may come across. With a heritage dating back almost 100 years, Milwaukee additionally offers workwear, tool storage as well as traditional hand tools, with the brand also unveiling the MX Fuel Equipment System across some of its more heavy-duty tools, allowing for better performance and run-time, while also cutting down on noise and maintenance issues.
While a bit pricier compared to other brands given its heavy-duty nature and build, Milwaukee may be well worth exploring for those constantly on the job site, or have plenty of jobs to do around the house. Available for purchase at multiple hardware stores and chains, Milwaukee also has a number of service centres around Australia to help with maintenance and tool upkeep, with more details available via its website.
The types of power tools you need will depend on the job at hand and your capabilities – whether you’re a semi-professional or rookie. If you don’t know where to start, our survey revealed the 10 most common tools purchased by Aussies are:
The philosophy that you get what you pay for applies to most things and even more so to power tools. There’s really no point cutting corners on price and finding yourself with a sub-par tool that’s not up to the job or that will flop half way through. You’re best to invest a few more bucks on a product that’s robust and that comes with extra power and functionality, which will make your job a hell of a lot easier. In fact, our survey found that price was the most important purchasing factor for Aussies (40%), narrowly beating out features and capabilities (i.e. power, accessories etc.) at 39%, and brand name, third (17%).
Bottom line is − do your research. Look for power tools with a good enough power output and that come with various functions, accessories and safety measures. Use our review as a starting point, but the best way to ensure you’re getting the best power tool for your needs, is to speak to a professional.
Picture credits: Chepko Danil Vitalevich/Shutterstock.com, Labutin.Art/Shutterstock.com.
Canstar Blue surveyed more than 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used a new power tool (this refers to tools that are powered by battery or electricity, NOT hand tools such as hammers) in the last three years – in this case, 701 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
Below are the previous winners of Canstar Blue’s Power Tool reviews: