We take our awards pretty serious at Tools in Action. It is probably the only thing we take serious here. So when we give an award, it says a lot. We don’t get paid by companies or have any other incentive to give out an award. Our awards are picked by Dan, Eric and a select few contractors we work with. For each category, we might start with five or ten tools and then we have to narrow the selection down. Some were clear winners, while others were very tough to decide and were close. In fact, we ended up getting in a big fight over a couple of the decisions. Luckily we are old and out of shape, so the fight only lasted about 10 seconds with both of us missing our only punch thrown. We were out of breath from that one punch and then we got back to business. If you would like to check out previous winners, click a link below. If you would like to skip that and just check out this years winners, just scroll down and have some fun. Of course we want to hear from all of you on these awards, good or bad.
2013 Tools in Action Awards
Milwaukee has been one step ahead of the game for 2013 with their brushless FUEL line of products. With a few exceptions, Fuel products have constantly been at the top of their class for run time, ergonomics, performance and value. Milwaukee will enter 2014 at the top of their game and be a force to be reckoned with. Read Milwaukee M18 Reviews.
Milwaukee dominates the 12V tool market with over 60 tools. Everything from an innovative stick light to a trade specific Propex tool is represented in their 12V line. Fuel brushless technology also makes the M12 line a top performer. Read Milwaukee M12 Reviews.
The DCD790 is a powerhouse in a small 3.5 lb ergonomic package. This drill has almost the same power and run time as bigger 18v/20v drills. We recommend this drill for just about 90% of all drilling tasks. The added 2.0 Ah battery gives this drill extended run time while saving weight with a thin style pack. Read Dewalt DCD790 Review.
The DCD985 is a monster drill. It has a 3 speed gearbox that is suited for almost any task. It has a separate ring selector for drill, hammer and drive modes which the Pros like. This was our go to drill when no other drill would get the job done. We ripped though 6×6 lumber with the 1″ auger “Drill Killer” bit on speed 2 with this drill. It may not have the run time of the latest brushless offerings, but for raw power it can’t be beat. Read Dewalt DCD985 Review.
There are plenty of great impact drivers on the market, so this was a tough one. But due to overall feel, performance and features, the Dewalt DCF886 won this category. This impact has a great feel, good power and the three ring LED light actually lights up your work area. For a contractor driving sheet metal screws into studs or 3″ decking screws, this is a great impact. Dewalt DCF886 Review.
If you’re dealing with any type of heavy fastening, a solid impact wrench is a must. You need reliability, power and performance, which the Milwaukee 2763 dishes out. With 1,100 ft lbs of nut busting power, this is a solid performer and takes the top impact wrench. Milwaukee Impact 2763 Review.
Milwaukee has owned the cordless circular saw market award for the last two years. The 2630 has been a solid performer. Milwaukee could have stood back and rode the coat tails of that model, but they decided to step up their game with the Fuel 2730. While it mimics the 2630, the 2730 is brushless, has a better shoe, a rafter hook and 4.0 a/h battery. If you live and die by your circular saw, this is a clear winner for the 18V cordless platform. Read Milwaukee M18 Fuel Circular Saw Review
Yes this was the winner last year, but that is how great this saw performs. Lightweight, powerful and reliable. While I still have no idea what UWO means and how it works, I can say this is an awesome saw. If UWO means awesome, then the Dewalt DWE575 is awesome. Need to cut through thick material day in and day out, but don’t want to mess with the weight of a worm drive, this is your saw. Read Dewalt DWE575 Circular Saw.
Milwaukee brought lighting to an entirely new level this year with the M12 Stick light and the M18 Flood Light. Quality LEDS and rugged design make these the ultimate job site lights. Read Milwaukee M18 Light Review. Read Milwaukee M12 Light Review.
Sawzall, people ask for it by name. The new Fuel sawzall is 8.9lbs of streamlined brushless power. Heavy duty features like a swing out rafter hook and huge rubber over molded grip make this the most advanced Sawzall ever. This is the best reciprocating saw we have ever tested. Read Milwaukee 2720 Fuel Sawzall Review.
DeWALT reinvented the Multi-tool with this one. They took their ergonomic 20V grip and incorporated it into a multi-tool making the DCS355 the most versatile oscillating tool on the market. No other Multi-tool gives you this level of variable control. They also added the award winning Porter Cable Quick change system to make accessory changes a breeze. Read Dewalt DCS355 Review.
You want power, easy and quick blade change, then this is a no brainer. The Bosch has been a solid performer to take the daily abuse of job sites. Variable speed, quick blade change system, power and low vibrations makes this a clear winner for best corded oscillating tool. Read Bosch MX30EC Oscillating Review.
Milwaukee has streamlined the cordless grinder and added brushless fuel power. Extended run time and almost constant torque no matter how much pressure you lay down make this the best cordless grinder of 2013.
The DWS780 won this award last year and it is no surprise that it won again this year. The Bosch glide saw came close but you just can’t beat the DeWALT for accuracy. The Shadow LED light XPS system makes perfect cuts every time. This saw stays true and cuts straight every time. Read Dewalt DWS780 Review.
The new DWE7491 beat out its predecessor the DWX744XRS as the top table saw. DeWALT has lightened the load, made the tool safer and kept the rack and pinion fence system which locks the fence straight every time. There is no guess work with this saw. It is designed for job site production. This saw will save the contractor money in the long run. Read Dewalt DWE7491 Table Saw Review.
Disruptive innovation, that is what Milwaukee is all about. When they introduced their hand tools a few years back we instantly fell in love with the design and quality. The side cutters are our favorite. They excel at cutting anything from wire to nails.
Porter Cable has been the router of choice for many wood workers over the years. We like this kit as you get two bases and a powerful router. 1-3/4″ hp and an rpm of 27,500, it’s a router to do just about any task. This has been a woodworkers staple which means this router will also fit in almost any router table. Read Porter Cable Router 693 LRPK Review.
This is an all around great router. Easy to control, good site and powerful. With a 5.6 amp motor and a variable speed dial, it makes a great addition to any workshop. Easy to change bits and adjust base. How can you not like this compact router? Read Bosch Router PR20EVS.
What can we say about this jig saw? There are jig saws and then there is Carvex. While you do need some accessories to get the full use of this jig saw, it’s worth every penny. This is a whole system and blows the competition out of the water. Powerful, reliable, easy to use and wide range of cutting, this is a clear winner for best jig saw. Read Festool Carvex Review.
Sometimes to get reliability you have to keep it simple. The Franklin sensor just works! Easy to use and reliable. What else do you want in a sensor?
Every year we give the Jawhorse an award. It is our most used tool. You can see it in almost every video we shoot. It is stable, easy to use and grips tighter than most vises.
Impact drivers are getting more powerful everyday. With this power comes a drawback. You need bits that keep up with todays modern impacts and can take the everyday abuse. That’s where the Makita Impact Golds delivers. True to it’s name and design, the Makita Gold Impacts are up to the daily task of the abuse of impact tools. Read Makita Gold Impact Review.
Has cordless technology taken over corded technology? Hilti sure made a statement with the TE 30-A36. Fast, powerful, tough and safety oriented, the TE 30-A36 is a clear winner. With long run times, high impact energy and Active Torque Control, this is any workers new best friend. Remember the old saying, “Move over bacon, there is something leaner.” Well now it’s , “Move over corded, there is the TE A30-A36.” Read Hilti TE30-A36 Review
Simple and tough make the Klein MM500 one of the best basic multimeters on the market. The 3 buttons and auto ranging make it one of the easiest to use multimeters on the market today.
Cutting tile can be a pain and a mess. The 8″ Ridgid, sister to the R4090, is our top pick for 2013. Easy to move around, great water management, easy set up and great cuts, this saw is hard to beat for an 8″. Read Ridgid Tile R4040S Review
Organization is key to any productive day. With the Tstak, you have numerous options to organize your world into one small place. The ability to stack these on top of each other, makes it easy to store and transport.
This is a no brainer. A solid, practical and reliable truck box, the Weather Guard was an easy pick for 2013. With top quality locks, a real weather seal, a level holder and easy install, this is the box to have. Weather Guard Truck Box Review.
There are ladders, then there is Werner. Werner owns the market and they own the market for a reason. Quality, reliability and reputation. The MT ladder is easy to operate, move and set up. Enough said. Read Werner Ladder Review.
Really did you expect something other than the Power box? No other radio comes close to features, sound and performance. Go Power Box or go home. Read Bosch Power Box Review.
The Bosch was the hottest jacket we tested, literally. The jacket is comfortable and the battery is easy to access. This jacket is hard to beat. Even with the zipper on the wrong side, this is still a winning design. Read Bosch Heated Jacket Review.
Lots to pick from in this category, but the Paslode took top spot for cordless and air. Easy to use, powerful and reliable, the Paslode is the nailer to own. Who doesn’t carry Paslode nails or Fuel? Our older models are still going strong today with happy customers on every job site. Read Paslode Reviews.
This is the king of lasers. Easy to use and a full 360 degree range, what can’t this laser do? Want points, want a horizontal line or vertical line, what about all lines, what about plumb? This is the laser to own. This was an easy pick to win the 2013 best laser. Read Bosch GLL3-80 Review.
Really, you thought there was a chance something other than Milwaukee might win? However it was a close call from this and the Milwaukee drill/driver. If you could own one 12V tool, this has to be it. Powerful, lightweight, great balance and well I don’t have to explain myself. This is the top 12V tool, hands down. Read Milwaukee Impact Review
The automotive pros we work with love ACDelco. The tools are tough, reliable and designed to last. We have had these tools out in the field for over 2 years with no issues.
Again, are you really surprised here? Tell me one company who has come out with so many new tools, new designs and have changed the way we do work? Right, Milwaukee is the one that comes to mind. Disruptive innovation, enough said.
For the past few years Milwaukee has been an industry leader with their disruptive innovation technique. They are on top and the ones to beat. Just like last year, you guys picked Milwaukee as your favorite power tool brand for 2013.
It is no surprise that you picked Klein for your favorite hand tools. Klein has been around since the late 1800’s producing quality tools and building America.
Husqvarna is known for quality. Professionals ask for it by name and the 580BTS is the most powerful backpack blower we have ever tested. Easy to maintain and stellar ergonomics make this blower a winner!
Most work boots are uncomfortable but Timberlands are one of the most comfortable boots we have ever worn. They are rugged, well built and keep our feet warm on the coldest of days. We love these boots.
We reviewed quite a few pressure washers in 2013 and one brand stood out. Simpson makes some great quality pressure washing units. The PS3228 is powered by a reliable Honda engine and is designed to provide years of trouble free service.