Author Topic: Black & Decker Tools  (Read 2627 times)

grandep

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Black & Decker Tools
« on: June 08, 2018, 10:00:19 AM »
Black and Decker tools tend to be the least expensive, but I'm worried if that means there is a meaningful trade in quality. To people here who have experience with different tool brands, is Black and Decker worth it or should I spring for a nicer (higher-quality) brand?

In particular right now I need to get a random orbit sander. Black and Decker sells one on Amazon for less than $20, while Dewalt's is $69, Ryobi is $40, and Bosch is $49. These are fairly big price variations but I do not yet have enough experience with these tools to understand how much price is an indicator of quality (or what level of "quality" is even necessary for the work I'm doing, i.e. weekend woodworking and around-the-house repairs).
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 02:34:14 PM by grandep »

nereo

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Re: Black & Decker Tools
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2018, 10:47:05 AM »
You've asked a simple question with a complex answer.
B&D makes the 'economic class' of tools... and there's nothing wrong that. If you are a fairly light user and if you don't demand incredible precision you'll probably be happy with them.  FWIW, B&D's also makes DeWalt tools, which are aimed at contractors.

Whether its a good buying decision depends a lot on how long you expect your tools to last and how much you abuse them. Brands like DeWalt and Makita *generally* can take a beating and be used much more aggressively. If you plan on using this sander on several hundred board feet over the next few years I'd say just buy the Bosch or DeWalt.  But if you just occasionally need it and you are generally careful about your tools (vs tossing them in the back of a pickup or dropping them off ladders) the B&D will be fine.

Tools are one of those things that a lot of people want to 'buy it for life'.  I've had the same sander for 10+ years (a DeWalt) and I do a lot of woodworking projects. So I tend to think that it was a good decision for me... YMMV.

in the end sanders aren't tools that need a terrible amount of precision.  I'd be much more likely to recommend you spend more on items that do require more precision (and power), like your table saw.

Radagast

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Re: Black & Decker Tools
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2018, 03:39:32 PM »
The last new power tool I bought was a Dewalt sander which was so poorly assembled it couldn't hold the sand paper in place for more than a minute or two. I had similar hit and miss experiences buying new with pretty much all manufacturers. Now I try to only buy used, because if it took a beating and still works fine it has similar odds to new but at least costs a fraction of the price. Maybe for a big saw or something that is hard to transport or requires precision could see myself trying to find quality.

gooki

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Re: Black & Decker Tools
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2018, 06:13:26 AM »
I put the on the same level as Ryobi. Good enough for DIY, but not from professional use.

I have a B&D skill saw thatís served me well for 15 years and still going.

gliderpilot567

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Re: Black & Decker Tools
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2018, 01:45:58 PM »
Walk into the tool department of any big home center or hardware store and you will be paralyzed by the wide array of colors and brands.

If you inspect the packaging you will find most of them are all owned by two or three major companies. Robert Bosch and Stanley Black & Decker are two of the major holders.

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nereo

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Re: Black & Decker Tools
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2018, 02:32:25 PM »
Walk into the tool department of any big home center or hardware store and you will be paralyzed by the wide array of colors and brands.

If you inspect the packaging you will find most of them are all owned by two or three major companies. Robert Bosch and Stanley Black & Decker are two of the major holders.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-J327A using Tapatalk

This is kinda true... but don't draw the wrong conclusions. There's roughly a dozen large corporations that collectively compose about 90% of tool sales. These include Stanley Black&Decker, Robert Bosch, TTi, Hilti, Makita, Fortive, SnapOn & others. (see who owns what here).

But just because two brands are produced by the same corporation doesn't mean they are targeted at the same demographic or are the same quality. Its similar to the auto market, where Toyota owns Lexus and Fiat-Chrysler controls brands as diverse as Maserati, Jeep and Ram.  That doesn't mean that the more expensive brand is always better - occasionally there are duds and poor quality control issues, and certainly one can argue that the premium paid often is not worth the gains realized, but broadly speaking the more expensive brands do produce higher quality tools.


...and of course you can go even further down the rabbit hole - many popular brands have been gobbled up by these MegaCorp in recent decades, and their production sent overseas. Sometimes this has resulted in a noticeable drop in quality; the 2018 version isn't nearly as well built as the 1998 version (i'm looking at YOU Craftsman powertools!)

lthenderson

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Re: Black & Decker Tools
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2018, 10:40:29 AM »
I'm worried if that means there is a meaningful trade in quality. To people here who have experience with different tool brands, is Black and Decker worth it or should I spring for a nicer (higher-quality) brand?

I've regretted buying many things in my life but I've never ever regretted buying a quality brand when it comes to power tools.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: Black & Decker Tools
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2018, 04:50:24 PM »


...and of course you can go even further down the rabbit hole - many popular brands have been gobbled up by these MegaCorp in recent decades, and their production sent overseas. Sometimes this has resulted in a noticeable drop in quality; the 2018 version isn't nearly as well built as the 1998 version (i'm looking at YOU Craftsman powertools!)

I had to reread the title - I thought I was in a sewing machine forum!

FiftyIsTheNewTwenty

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Re: Black & Decker Tools
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2018, 09:21:22 PM »
In particular right now I need to get a random orbit sander.

These vary a lot in design -- shape, heft, and how they feel in your hands.  Choose the one most comfortable for the kind of work you'll be doing, with an eye toward the brand advice given above.

I've had a quiver of these in the past.  The B&D ones worked just fine.

JLee

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Re: Black & Decker Tools
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2018, 10:29:21 AM »
How much use is it going to see? I had a B&D cordless drill for a while and it worked well enough.

I now have DeWalt and it's a different league entirely.

pecunia

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Re: Black & Decker Tools
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2018, 12:26:55 PM »
I've had some B&D corded tools for over 30 years and they keep going.

My newer purchases have been corded DeWalt tools as I understand owned by B&D.  I've been happy with those.

One other possibility may be Harbor Freight tools.  I worked with an electrician who bought a cheap Sawzall knockoff from there.  He beat that thing and it didn't die.  I would avoid cheap cordless tools.  I think the batteries won't be as good.

lthenderson

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Re: Black & Decker Tools
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2018, 02:03:44 PM »
I've had some B&D corded tools for over 30 years and they keep going.

30 years is before they were bought out by General Electric and then roughly a dozen other companies since then. The old Black & Decker was stuff made to last. Anything in the last 30 years though is made as "consumer grade". Even the rebranding which occurred last year states they they want to attract people by being innovative for a cheap price instead of trying to keep up with more quality lines of tools.

pecunia

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Re: Black & Decker Tools
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2018, 06:11:34 AM »
Quote
30 years is before they were bought out by General Electric and then roughly a dozen other companies since then. The old Black & Decker was stuff made to last. Anything in the last 30 years though is made as "consumer grade". Even the rebranding which occurred last year states they they want to attract people by being innovative for a cheap price instead of trying to keep up with more quality lines of tools.

So they basically purchased the "name" to help them sell junk.  Not the first time that has been done.  Before the flat screen TV era, I saw TVs in K-Mart with the Curtis Mathes logo.  Curtis Mathes used to advertise as the most expensive TV made and darn well worth it.  To see their name used in such a manner meant another American brand was gone.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtis_Mathes_Corporation

Surprisingly, the article states they were the last US owned consumer electronics company.

I winder if the "Craftsman" tool name formerly owned by Sears will slide down the same chute.  People spend years building a reputation and some sleazy business types use it to bamboozle a purchaser of said items believing in their reputation of quality.

I've been thinking of getting a table saw.  I guess it won't be Black & Decker.

JLee

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Re: Black & Decker Tools
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2018, 03:16:47 PM »
Quote
30 years is before they were bought out by General Electric and then roughly a dozen other companies since then. The old Black & Decker was stuff made to last. Anything in the last 30 years though is made as "consumer grade". Even the rebranding which occurred last year states they they want to attract people by being innovative for a cheap price instead of trying to keep up with more quality lines of tools.

So they basically purchased the "name" to help them sell junk.  Not the first time that has been done.  Before the flat screen TV era, I saw TVs in K-Mart with the Curtis Mathes logo.  Curtis Mathes used to advertise as the most expensive TV made and darn well worth it.  To see their name used in such a manner meant another American brand was gone.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtis_Mathes_Corporation

Surprisingly, the article states they were the last US owned consumer electronics company.

I winder if the "Craftsman" tool name formerly owned by Sears will slide down the same chute. People spend years building a reputation and some sleazy business types use it to bamboozle a purchaser of said items believing in their reputation of quality.

I've been thinking of getting a table saw.  I guess it won't be Black & Decker.
They're on the way.  New Craftsman tools are not great.

dougstash

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Re: Black & Decker Tools
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2018, 06:57:35 PM »
My experience says avoid it. Black and Decker is primarily a brand of disposable garbage unless your goal is simply to drill a few small holes in drywall to hang a picture every few years.  I had one of their orbital sanders a few years back and it just felt chintzy.   Lots of hand vibration, noise, and didn't feel nearly as solid as a bosch or makita. I eventually threw it out. Maybe back in the day it was another story but times have changed.   

I've used a RYOBI on a job site a few times and it was a much better than the B&D for a few extra bucks.

Most anything made under the umbrella of techtronic industries (Milwake, ridgid, ryobi, Stiletto, Hart ect) should be a decent product that can certainly withstand moderate-heavy use depending on the brand

Keep us posted on any projects!

bognish

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Re: Black & Decker Tools
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2018, 03:11:49 PM »
I have a B&D belt sander that I have used for home projects over the last 10 years. It works great and has taken some abuse. I would upgrade if I was using it daily, but for 1 project a year it has been a great purchase and a Dewalt $ would be overkill.

I also have  B&D cordless drill. The battery stopped holding a charge after 5ish years and I can't get a replacement. I second the advice on skipping cheap cordless tools or Harbor Freight unless you are happy OK with the chance you will have to replace it after the project.

grandep

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Re: Black & Decker Tools
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2018, 04:08:50 PM »
I ended up finding a Dewalt orbital sander on Craigslist for $40. Still more than a new B&D but a good price for a Dewalt item.

Re: Harbor Freight tools: I actually got a recommendation from a local contractor that the Harbor Freight pneumatic brad nailers are just as good as any of the "nicer" brands. I took his advice and bought one (only $20!) and so far it has worked wonderfully. I don't own any other HF tools at the moment, but I can at least vouch for their brad nailer.

dougstash

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Re: Black & Decker Tools
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2018, 06:01:02 PM »
but I can at least vouch for their brad nailer.

I have the brad nailer/stapler and I must say after putting maybe 2000 brads/staples through that it's not bad at all!  Is it as good as a paslode?  Definitely not.  Although the HF works and functions fine, there are some things about it that are just not meant to last most notably being the trigger hinge pin being made of some cheap plastic and the mag being made of plastic as well as opposed to all metal like the name brands.  With that being said it's still a great buy and is still serving me well for side work to this point and I would highly recommend it to anyone on a budget

index

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Re: Black & Decker Tools
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2018, 01:41:35 PM »
Different brands are better at some tools than others.

Sanders - Bosch
Cordless Drills - Milwaukee or Makita
Table Saws - Delta, Ridgid
Miter Saws - Dewalt and Hitachi
Routers - Bosch and Porter Cable
Air Tools - Bostitch and Porter Cable
Oscillating Tools - Porter Cable, Fein
Jig Saw - Dewalt, Bosch

B&D and Ryobi make mostly garbage, but if you are not going to use the tool very often, they will get the job done. As for sanders, I have the cheap Skill brand sander from Lowe's and recently upgraded to a bosch sander at 3x the cost. After using the new sander, I cannot fathom the amount of time I wasted with the Skill orbital sanding toy. Sure I saved $90 going with the cheapest sander, but I would have saved 12 hours of sanding over 5 years buying quality the first time.   

EricEng

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Re: Black & Decker Tools
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2018, 09:21:27 AM »
Always used Dewalt to good effect.  Used dozens of their tools that were issued to us at work and never had any fail.  Bought them for home use too and been quite happy.  Have had horrible experiences with garage from B&D and Ryobi.  Actually just returned some Ryobi equipment to Home Depot yesterday when I tried to be cheap.  I'd put Milwaukee above Dewalt, but not enough to justify the premium.

Dr.Jeckyl

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Re: Black & Decker Tools
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2018, 10:37:42 AM »
The tools I buy all depend on what I plan to accomplish. I think the last tool I bought was a set of refrigerant gauges from Harbor Freight. Less than $50 with my coupon and I used them once. There are quite a few speciality tools like this that are highly rated and inexpensive at Harbor Freight. I ended up saving money with my tool purchase as a mechanic would've charged me over $100 to refill my system. So for a rarely used tool that works for me. Another cheap tool I bought was a hand sander from Skil it broke and went in the garbage and I bought a new one. My 40 year old Craftsman circular saw got fixed when it wasn't working. My drill and impact drivers are my most used tools so a Milwaukee lithium ion set is now on my tool shelf.

It's all what you need/enjoy. I have a variety of tools from different manufacturers. No need to buy a $500 Dewalt compound miter saw if you are going to be putting up trim around a door once. In that case, borrow or rent. But if you are a contractor that does that type of work daily then buy the top brands. I have a friend who is a machinist and he buys Snap On everything. I was helping him with something and he handed me his Snap On drill. After finding that it was gutless I remarked how I wish I would've brought my Milwaukee. Guess what type of drill he owns now. It goes to show that even the top names don't always have the top tools.

WSUCoug1994

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Re: Black & Decker Tools
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2018, 04:24:35 PM »
Hard core DIYer - I use my powertools every weekend.  Now they are starting to get older and are on the old 18v platform (or older) and a lot has changed in battery technology.  I have used almost every brand with the exception of Milwaukee and the only brand I use today are my Dewalt tools.  I didn't have any brand loyalty in the beginning but over time the Dewalts are the only ones I pack with me on any project.  Maybe I am lucky but I have never had a Dewalt tool fail after heavy use.  Tools also have a decent resale value and many of my tools were purchased used.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 04:26:14 PM by WSUCoug1994 »