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Are the older routers and drills from companies like bosch and craftsmen better tools than today's?
It's hard to say anything conclusive without specific examples, but generally no. There's plenty of junk on the market now, but the better tools today are often very good.
In the years since I purchased that router several things have changed in the tool market. First there is far more variety today than 30 years ago. We are also now enjoying all the great thinking that over the years has improved our tools dramatically. Look to any of the major brands to see evidence of this! Things like locking arbors or variable speeds better fitting handles, lighter weight more powerful and more efficient motors and on and on.
I think one of the other big changes and this one plays into your question directly is the homeowner or DIY movement in tool manufacturing. Craftsman and other companies like DeWalt etc. have all learned that the homeowner won't pay $250.00 for a circular saw or a drill like the trades will. So the consumer version of these products are built to a price point. You will find plastic gears, nylon bearings and weaker motors in them and in the hands of the homeowner who hauls the tool out now and again they will last. For the professional who depends on his/her tools 5 days a week they burn up,strip their gears and generally go slower! So I think one needs to consider the markets and if you are a pro and use your tools continuously Sears stuff probably won't cut it. If you're an occasional user the cheap stuff will do in most cases. At least until you step up to a professional model and then there is no turning back!
My grandfather always told me to buy the best tools I could afford. That way you only buy them once! I can tell you that any time I've broken that rule I have paid for it with broken, incapable tools that have in the end cost me far more than the price of the high quality tool.
Enjoy your purchase!
well said cj, thanks
if you do buy the cheap stuff get it from HD, when it quits working their policy is to take it back and give you a new tool. I don't like the mentality of poorly built stuff but it seams it is the new way of doing business.