If you are looking to build up your arsenal of power tools, you are probably looking at a number of different brands. Two very popular ones include Craftsman and Ridgid. Of course, it is better – especially if you are looking at cordless power tools – to stick to a single brand.
So, when it comes to these two, which is better?
A Brief History of Craftsman & Ridgid
What is interesting to note is that Craftsman was originally created to be the house brand of Sears. Craftsman products were sold in Sears, as well as in K-Mart after the K-Mart and Sears merger. But of course, Sears has gone belly up since that time, and, in 2017, Stanley Black & Decker purchased Craftsman.
Sears had registered the Craftsman trademark all the way back in 1927, making the brand name nearly 100 years old. It was created by Arthur Burrows, who was at the time the head of the hardware department of the department store.
The right to use the name was actually bought from the Marion-Craftsman Tool Company for just $500.
When it comes to Ridgid, the other brand name being looked at today, it was founded back in 1923 in Ohio, making it just a few years older than Craftsman. Its current headquarters location is still in Ohio, USA, to this day, and in 1966 it became a subsidiary of Emerson Electric.
Craftsman produces plenty of power tools, whereas Ridgid also produces some power tools, although the main focus of this company is the production of tools and products related to plumbing, pipe fitting, and HVAC. That said, Ridgid’s lineup of power tools is still quite good.
Ridgid is the brand name that invented the modern pipe wrench, a pretty big deal in the world of plumbing.
Craftsman vs Ridgid: Which Offers Better Quality?
One way to gauge the quality of tools is by where they are made. When it comes to Craftsman, as of 2010, the vast majority of tools were outsourced to China and Taiwan. Most of Craftsman’s hand tools are made in China, which is not ideal but at the same time, it’s what most manufacturers do these days.
However, there are also some tools, particularly wrenches, mechanic sets, pliers, and other such tools that are still made in the USA. Unfortunately, Craftsman is very unclear about where their tools are made.
Regardless of where they are made, though, most people would agree that Craftsman tools are fairly high in quality, especially considering the mid-level prices which they come in at. The consensus is that Craftsman tools are fine for everyday and basic use, as well as for light professional work.
In fact, back in 2007, the Harris Interactive Poll gave Craftsman the highest scores for both trust and brand expectations. Moreover, Craftsman is also the official tool brand for the DIY Network and for NASCAR, which is a testament to its quality.
When it comes to Ridgid, this brand name receives pretty big praise from basic tools users and professionals from around the world. People say that they are very durable, well designed, and can handle a fair amount of punishment.
Moreover, Ridgid tools, although they may not be comparable to some top quality brand names out there, are still regarded as being very good, which is nice as they also come in at mid-level prices.
All in all, both Craftsman and Ridgid produce fairly high-quality tools at decent prices, with Craftsman appearing to be the slightly better option in terms of quality.
Which Offers a Better Warranty?
Something that can be said about Craftsman is that this brand offers some truly excellent warranties on some of their products. They provide full lifetime warranties for mechanics tools, hand tools, automotive specialty tools, and others.
When it comes to power tools and outdoor equipment, most warranties are either one- or three-year limited warranties, which is OK, but not industry-leading.
What is quite impressive about Ridgid is that the majority of their hand tools are covered by either full or limited lifetime warranties. Most of Ridgid’s power tools are covered by three-year limited warranties. All in all, it seems as though Ridgid does offer slightly better warranties.
Craftsman vs. Ridgid: Which Has a Better Product Portfolio?
What needs to be made clear here is that these two brand names don’t really focus on the same areas.
First off, if you are looking for the best possible selection of power tools, whether corded or cordless, Craftsman is the clear winner in terms of the number of products available. For instance, when it comes to cordless drills, Craftsman has many more in its arsenal than Ridgid.
This also appears to be true for other types of power tools such as grinders, saws, and sanders.
Craftsman also makes many more outdoor-related tools than Ridgid.
However, where Ridgid really excels is with tools related to the automotive industry, the HVAC industry, and for the plumbing industry.
As you can see, both brand names, while they have excellent product portfolios across the board, they don’t focus on quite the same areas.
Which of the Two Brands Should You Choose?
When it comes down to it, if you are looking for high-quality power and hand tools at a decent price, especially when it comes to a large selection of them, it’s Craftsman that is the winner. This is also true for outdoor tools.
On the other hand, if you are looking for good tools with great warranties, particularly automotive, mechanic, HVAC, and plumbing tools, it’s Ridgid that is the winner.
At the end of the day, while both brand names focus on different areas of tools, the products they manufacture are both fairly high in quality, and they come in at decent prices. Which brand you go with is going to depend on your specific needs.