Tool faceoff

Affordable Tools vs. High-End Tools

Every tool owner has gone to their local hardware store looking for more affordable tools. Which usually leads to a handful of other questions, such as why are some similar tools priced higher than others, or will the cheaper options work for you? We’re here to help with a tool comparison for both the top-end tools and the affordable tools.

Everyone has a budget that dictates how much they want to spend. If you’re able to afford all the bells and whistles we have you covered, but if you have a smaller budget we also have some options for you. The more affordable tools may not carry all the features of the higher-priced option but it’ll still get the job done.

Affordable Woodworking Tools

Woodworking has become a popular hobby among do-it-yourselfers, but professionals need tools too. There are options for both experience levels and sometimes the affordable option may be the better option based on how you plan to use it.

Miter Saws

The Bosch dual-bevel saw gives you more diversity in your cuts, but the Makita compound saw provides similar power if you aren’t looking to make such intricate cuts during your project.

Bosch 12 Inch Dual-Bevel Glide

Bosch 12 Inch Dual-Bevel Glide Miter Saw
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Makita 10 Inch

Makita 10 Inch Compound Miter Saw

Band Saw

The Jet saw comes with higher horsepower, allowing for more cuts per minute. The Rikon band saw features lower power and capacity but takes up less shop space.

Jet 14 Inch Deluxe Pro

Jet JWBS-14DXPRO, 14 Inch Deluxe Pro Bandsaw Kit. (Rip Fence Not Included)
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10 Inch

Rikon 10 Inch Bandsaw With Fence 1/3 Horsepower

Table Saw

The SawStop table saw features a 52-inch fence allowing cuts of larger pieces, but with that larger fence it takes up more space in the workshop. The DEWALT saw makes up for its smaller fence with a compact design, making it easier to move around the shop or job site. The SawStop saw also features flesh sensing technology, which the DEWALT saw doesn’t.

Cabinet Saw

SawStop 10 Inch 1.75 Horsepower Professional Cabinet Saw with 52 Inch Fence
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DEWALT Compact Table Saw

DEWALT 8-1/4 Inch Compact Jobsite Table Saw

Affordable Tool Storage

Everyone always needs more storage, whether on the go or in the shop. Tool storage keeps your tools where you need them and prevents wasted time of searching for them.

Storage System

Milwaukee and DEWALT’s signature storage systems are very similar in size, while the PACKOUT system is more durable. The DEWALT storage system has a slightly larger load capacity, but it comes down to budget between the two systems.

3 Piece Tool
Box Kit

Milwaukee PACKOUT 3pc Tool Box Kit
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ToughSystem 2.0 Storage Set

DEWALT TOUGHSYSTEM 2.0 XL Storage Organizer Set DS165, DS400, DS450

Truck Tool Box

The Weather Guard box features the best lock on the market and provides a larger capacity at 15.3 cubic feet compared to a little more than 9 feet of the Better Built box. They both have similar features so your budget will determine if you need the extra space.

Weather Guard Saddle Box

Weather Guard Saddle Box AL Full Wide 15.3 Cubic Feet
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Better Built Saddle Box

Better Built 69 Inch Crown Saddle Truck Tool Box, BRITE

Tool Chest

The GEARWRENCH chest has heavier drawer slides and a larger storage capacity but that large capacity may be a hindrance if space is limited in the shop. The DEWALT chest has a smaller footprint and a larger drawer load limit at a cheaper price.

8-Drawer Chest

GEARWRENCH Top Chest, 55 Inch 8-Drawer Extreme Tools Series, Black & Chrome
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8-Drawer Chest

DEWALT 52 Inch Wide 8-Drawer Tool Chest

Affordable Hand Tools

Hand tools are the most basic tools everyone owns but having a quality tool matters. There is plenty of value to be found for a cheaper price, while the higher-end options pack a little more punch.

Hand Tool Sets

The Klein Tools set has more tools in it, but the DEWALT set comes with their patented ToughSystem tool box and a more diverse set of tools. The choice depends on your specific needs.

Klein Tools 41 Piece Tool Set

KLEIN TOOLS 41 Piece Journeyman Tool Set
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DEWALT Heavy Duty Tool Set

DEWALT Heavy Duty Hand Tool Set with DEWALT ToughSystem with Drawer Unit Tool Box

Socket Sets

Between these two sets, the GEARWRENCH set provides a much larger amount of tools, but the Sunex socket set provides the essentials most users will need. If you’re a gearhead the GEARWRENCH set may the better option, but the Sunex set is a good choice for anyone.

243 Piece Set

GEARWRENCH 243 Pc. 12 Point Mechanics Tool Set in 3 Drawer Storage Box
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Sunex 79 Piece Socket Set

Sunex 79 Piece Chrome Socket Set, 1/4 Inch, 3/8 Inch Drive

Tape Measures

The Crescent Lufkin tape offers a longer measure length at 35 feet and a slightly more durable casing, but the Stanley tape measure will work for those quick measurements.

Crescent Lufkin 35 Foot Tape

Crescent Lufkin Shockforce Nite Eye Tape Measure, 35 Foot x 1-3/16 Inch
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25 Foot Tape

Stanley 25 Foot x 1 Inch Chrome Case PowerLock Classic Tape Measure

Affordable Metalworking Tools

Working on metal is a tough job and depending on your level of experience you may want to shell out for the more expensive option, but the more affordable versions are perfect for someone working at home.

Bench Grinders

The Rikon grinder has a slower speed, but larger wheels, which will reduce wheel changes. The DEWALT bench grinder features a faster speed and smaller wheels, which can increase wheel changes. The DEWALT grinder is a good choice for both professional or DIY projects, and has a smaller footprint in the shop.

Rikon 8 Inch Bench Grinder

Rikon 8 Inch 1 Horsepower Bench Grinder
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DEWALT 6 Inch Bench Grinder

DEWALT 6 Inch Bench Grinder

Drill Presses

The NOVA press packs more horsepower and 6-inch spindle travel. The Jet drill press only features 3.125-inch spindle travel and less horsepower, but maybe you don’t need that much drill depth or power on your projects.

NOVA 18 Inch Drill Press

NOVA Voyager DVR 18 Inch Variable Speed Drill Press
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Jet 15 Inch
Drill Press

JET JDP-15F 15 Inch Floor Drill Press

Shears and Nibblers

The Makita nibbler features a more powerful 5-Amp motor, delivering 2,200 strokes per minute, which allows more efficiency. The Milwaukee nibbler is a little less powerful, but has the ability to make cuts on 18-guage stainless steel.

Milwaukee 16 Gauge Nibbler

Milwaukee 16 Gauge Nibbler
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Makita 16
Gauge Nibbler

Makita 16 Gauge Nibbler

Affordable Outdoor Power Equipment

Homeowners and professionals alike operate outdoor power equipment on a daily basis. Whether dealing with overgrown trees or trimming the lawn, having a quality machine is needed, but there are cheaper options for the budget-conscious.


The Makita cordless saw features more power with 5 Ah, compared to EGO’s 2.5 Ah chainsaw, but the EGO saw does have a higher battery voltage. The Makita saw is also lighter for prolonged usage, perhaps by a professional. The EGO saw provides enough power for the usual homeowner looking to cut firewood or snip an overgrown tree.

Makita 16 Inch Cordless Kit

Makita 18 Volt X2 (36 Volt) LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 16 Inch Chain Saw Kit with 4 Batteries
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EGO 14 Inch Cordless Kit

EGO POWER+ 14 Inch Cordless Chain Saw Kit with 2.5Ah Batteries

Lawn Mowers

The Toro mower brings more power being gas-powered and is less work to push, but the Fiskars lawn mower is perfect for someone who is environmentally conscious and is lower maintenance.

Toro High
Wheel Mower

Toro PoweReverse Personal Pace SMARTSTOW High Wheel Mower
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Fiskars Reel Mower

Fiskars StaySharp Reel Mower


The gas-powered Toro SnowMaster can make easy work of heavy snow that may accumulate at the end of your driveway. The Toro Snowthrower on the other hand provides similar power without the hassle of gas and any of the maintenance of a gas-powered snowblower.

Toro SnowMaster

Toro 824QXE SnowMaster Snow Blower
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Toro Snowthrower

Toro 1800 Power Curve Electric Snowthrower

Affordable Apparel

Working in the elements of winter can be taxing and staying warm is important. Between keeping your hands toasty and your body staying warm this apparel will keep you from freezing while clearing your driveway or cutting firewood.

Heated Gear

The DEWALT heated jacket features more heating zones with 5 areas compared to Milwaukee’s 3 zones, but Milwaukee’s jacket is lighter. The Milwaukee jacket’s charge lasts a little longer at 8 hours compared to DEWALT’s 7 hours.

Heated Jacket

DEWALT Heated Black Soft Shell Work Jacket Kit - L
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Milwaukee Heated Jacket

Milwaukee M12 Heated AXIS Jacket Only XL (Black)


The Milwaukee impact demolition gloves come equipped with impact protection and reinforced durability on the back of the hand to prevent injury. The KINCO gloves feature thermal insulation that will keep your hands warm during the cold winter and the pigskin design provides increased durability.

Milwaukee Gloves

Milwaukee Impact Demolition Gloves - XL
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KINCO Lined Premium Grain Pigskin Palm Work Gloves (Large)

Sweatshirts and Hoodies

The Milwaukee hoodie is wind resistant and is made of a 75/25 cotton/poly blend for added comfort. The Eskimo hoodie is a good option for braving the elements while still remaining stylish with it’s vintage hockey design.

Milwaukee Hoodie

Milwaukee Heavy Duty Gray Pullover Hoodie - Large
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Mens Black Ice Box Eskimo Hoodie, L

Shop more gift ideas at Acme Tools.

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