When you’re looking to buy a new woodworking machine, all the different brands can be a bit overwhelming. How do you know which brands offer machines in your specific category?
That’s why we made this tool, to help you quickly get an overview of what brands there are, and which are in your specific price/quality range. Below we’ve provided an overview of the criteria for each specific category. If you have any feedback or questions, please let us know in the comments!
Basic DIY: Brands in this category produce machines that are only fit for general DIY tasks (people in this target market are sometimes called ‘weekend warriors’). This means they are not fit for people who demand accuracy, precision or power.
Hobbyist: These are entry-level machines that do provide some reliable degree of accuracy and won’t break down too easily, but still have many shortcomings for anyone with slightly higher standards than entry-level woodworking.
Serious Hobbyist: Brands in this range build machines that are very accurate and reliable, but cannot be used contiuously in a professional setting and lack some sophisticated features of semi-pro and higher machines.
Semi-Pro: These are machines that on first glance are similar to Professional ones, but lack the power and build quality to be used day in, day out. Products in this range are often used by small craftsman workshop who don’t push their machines to the limit, but do want professional-level accuracy and cut quality.
Professional: As the name suggests, these are machines that are meant to be used in professional-level production shops. These machines are pushed to the limit by daily use, and tend to have more sophisticated features than lower categories.
Top of the line: Brands in this category simply make the best woodworking machines available, period. Expect only the highest quality build quality and features on these machines.
The categorization is based on the assumption that the machines will be used in a normal, stationary woodworking shop situation. This is to maintain a standard point of reference, because if you would take into account for example master craftsmen working on a specific location, very mobile machines (for example Festool Precisio, or Mafell Erika) could be classified as professional.
Furthermore, it is important to note that this is not a classification of the quality or value for money of specific machines or brands. Rather, it is based on the price level, feature set, and general market aimed at by the manufacturers. A brand being in the professional category does not guarantee it making actually good machines, just that their products are made for this specific market. Within each market you will find both good and bad products, and to figure this out you will need to do additional research.
We hope you found this ranking helpful and accurate. If you know some brands that could be added, or want to suggest some changes to our ranking, please share your ideas in the comments below!