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Woodworking Machine Brand Ranking 2020 [Interactive]

By  — Last updated on December 31, 20196

Below you will find an interactive ranking of Woodworking Machine Brands. Click on a specific quality to show only those machines. Scroll down below for a detailed explanation of all categories. Note: This is about stationary machines, like table saws and jointer planers, not handheld power tools.

Region available

Quality Level(Select to filter)

Top of the lineShow All

ProfessionalShow All

Semi-proShow All

Serious HobbyistShow All

HobbyistShow All

Basic DIYShow All

Ranking Explained

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.

Disclaimers

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!

Comments

  1. Thanks for the response Rob. While I am not familiar with the strictly European brands, I can give my two cents on the stationary tools manufactured by some of the brands that are common in North America. With that in mind (and putting aside the fact that industrial tool manufacturers like Felder, Format 4, L’Invincible, Altendorf, Martin, and Hoffmann arguably shouldn’t be included on this chart at all if it is aimed at people who are relatively new to purchasing stationary woodworking tools like you said):

    * Porter Cable is a hobbyist brand AT BEST
    * Bosch, Milwaukee, RIDGID, Dewalt and Makita are serious hobbyist to semi-pro brands
    * Rikon has tools that range from serious hobbyist level (e.g., the 10-305 bandsaw) all the way up to professional (e.g., the 25-210H planer/jointer combo)
    * Laguna and Powermatic are semi-pro to top-of-the-line brands
    * Sawstop’s products range from their jobsite saw (which is a serious hobbyist/semi-pro level tool) to their PCS/ICS (which are professional grade tools.) However, their unique technology arguably makes them a top-of-the-line brand.
    * Grizzly, Delta, and Jet tools go all the way from serious hobbyist to professional (though overall, I personally think Jet makes the best tools of the bunch)

    A
    Aaron
    1 person found this helpful
  2. I appreciate the effort to be comprehensive and to establish a standard reference point, but even with those things in mind, there are A LOT of issues with these classifications. For example, there is no universe where a company that makes a $7,000 5HP cabinet saw like Sawstop or a $4200 24″ bandsaw like Rikon should be categorized as a hobbyist/serious hobbyist brand. There is also no universe where Porter Cable is considered to be higher end than either Makita or Milwaukee (even if Porter Cable has a wider line of stationary woodworking tools).

    A
    Aaron
    • Hi Aaron, thanks for your comment. You’re absolutely right that it’s difficult to make general comparisons between brands as many sell a wide range of products, from the hobbyist level to professional equipment. But this ranking is meant as a general indication, to get a rough idea of the general range of products each brand makes.

      As such it’s also more aimed at people who are relatively new to purchasing stationary woodworking tools. Professionals who buy a $7000 SawStop cabinet saw will probably not need a ranking like this to make their purchasing decision.

      That said, if you have any specific suggestions on brands that you think should be classified higher or lower, let me know. I’m happy to update the ranking to make it more accurate.

      Rob

      R
      RobFounder
  3. Amazing!
    This is a very comprehensive table. The classification of the brands is very detailed and well structured. The best overview I have ever seen so far. Really great work!!!

    I would have considered Bosch and Dewalt also suitable for Basic DIY (Btw: I have never heard the term ‘weekend warriors’. But I love it 😀 )
    And I miss RUWI on the classification (which are professional Woodworking Machine. IMO)
    But I absolutely agree with the classification of Martin and Altendorf at Top of the line!
    Thanks again for this great work. I really appreciate it

    T
    Thomas
    • Hi Thomas, glad to hear you find the ranking useful! Thanks also for the tip, I’ll look into RUWI.

      Rob

      R
      RobFounder
  4. My father has past away and he had a 15 inch thickness planner that was called a wood working machine by the brand name.
    I do not see this brand name on your site.
    I was wondering if some other company bought them out.
    We were thinking about Salling this planner and was wondering what it was worth.
    It is 2HP
    15 inch
    1990 model year
    If you could help us it would be great
    Thanks

    L
    Lorne

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