Tool Talk 2

W hen you purchase a quality power tool, you can rightly expect to pay a premium price. But you can also depend on the tool performing well over a long service life. And if it doesn’t, you can expect an ironclad warranty. For the most part, that is exactly what you get.

In many cases manufacturers also offer 30- to 90-day satisfaction-or-money-back guarantees. Let’s look at the major tool manufacturers and their product warranties.

One thing to keep in mind about any warranty is that you generally must register with the manufacturer after purchase. Filling out and mailing a registration card that came with the tool typically accomplishes this. Often this can be done online. In most cases, you will also have to show proof of purchase when seeking repairs under warranty. For this reason it is more than a good idea to keep owners manuals, warranty information and sales receipts in a safe place. The more power tools you have, the more important this record keeping can be.

Bosch Power Tools offers some of the finest tools and best warranties in the industry. The basic Bosch warranty is a 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee, one-year warranty on defects in workmanship and one-year service protection plan.

Bosch also offers the ProVantage tool protection plan for Bosch Cordless power tools. This plan —for which you must register — offers free exchange of eligible Bosch tools for a replacement tool for any reason for one year for cordless tools, two years on batteries and 90 days on corded tools. The ProVantage program also offers free tool repair, if the customer elects to have it repaired. The work will be done within five business days. This extends for 2 to 3 years on cordless tools and 3 years for corded tools. ProVantage members also have a One-Call Resolution Hotline to quickly address problems with covered Bosch power tools – 888-919-7272. In addition, Bosch has repair service centers all across the United States.

DeWalt has an outstanding warranty program for tools purchased on or after January 1, 2004, that includes a 90-day money-back guarantee for a no-questions-asked full refund. Additionally, DeWalt offers a one-year free service contract wherein DeWalt will maintain the tool and replace worn parts caused by normal use, for free, at any time during the first year after purchase.

DeWalt also has a three-year limited warranty covering defects in materials or workmanship, excluding normal wear or tool abuse. DeWalt offers Customer Service at 800-433-9258. DeWalt has repair service centers all across the United States.

Festool has an interesting warranty program for some of its tools, including a one-year warranty. If you return the warranty card within 30 days with a copy of the sales receipt, Festool will extend the warranty period an additional two years for a total of three years of coverage. Festool tools with this warranty have a 1 + 2 warranty logo on the packaging.

According to Festool, “no tool remains in the hands of our repair professionals for more than 48 hours.” This should result in fast turn-around of a Festool in need of repair.

Hilti offers first-class service with a two-year (or 200 hours for heavy diamond tools with operating hours counter) no-cost repair service. This two-year warranty includes a pick-up and delivery service, servicing when indicated by the service indicator on the tool and functional check, adjustments and safety check after every repair. Hilti also offers a lifetime manufacturers warranty (excluding batteries) for repair or replacement due to defects in materials or manufacturing.

In addition, Hilti has a lifetime repair cost limit. After reaching the end of the one- or two-year no-cost period, you pay a maximum of 30 percent of the corresponding new tool’s list price in the event of a repair. This also includes a free pick-up service. The Hilti customer service toll free number is 800-879-8000. Hilti will fax a pre-paid UPS shipping label for returning tools for repair. Hilti does not require proof of purchase and strives to have repairs done within 5 working days or less.

Hitachi power tools are warranted to the original purchaser to be free from defect in materials and workmanship for a period of five years from the original purchase date, with a few exceptions. These exceptions include a two-year warranty on: band saw, drill press, scroll saw, belt and disc sander, planer and table saw.

Some Hitachi power tools have a one-year warranty period from the original purchase date: air compressors, concrete cutters, cordless gas nailers, grinders, batteries, corded hammer drills, demolition hammers, rotary hammers, chargers, cordless battery nailers and generators.

Hitachi recommends that the Owner’s Registration Card be returned within 10 days after purchase. Hitachi customer service can be reached at 800-706-7337.

Makita offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee where a tool will be replaced or purchase price refunded if you are not satisfied. In addition, Makita offers a one-year warranty that the tool will be free from defects from workmanship and materials. Some limitations apply, such as when repairs were made or attempted by others, the tool has been altered, the tool has been abused, misused or improperly maintained or repairs are required because of normal wear and tear.

Every Makita 18V and 14.4V LXT Lithium-ion tool is warranted to be free of defects from workmanship and materials for a period of three years from the date of original purchase. Makita LXT Lithium-ion batteries have a one-year limited warranty.

Makita factory or authorized service centers are located throughout the United States. Makita has a National Call Center at 800-462-5482.

Metabo power tools are warranted to be free of defects in materials or workmanship for a period of one year from date of purchase. Proof of purchase may be required and some exceptions — chucks and accessories supplied by Metabo Corporation — apply.

Metabo also offers its exclusive XXL Warranty. After registration (On-Line at your normal one-year warranty is simply extended to three years from date of purchase. This special warranty can also be applied to tools purchased from April 1, 2004. Metabo’s Services Hotline is 800-638-2264.

Milwaukee offers a five-year warranty against defective material or workmanship for all of their power tools, with a few exceptions. The warranty period for hoists, all Ni-Cd battery packs and Li-Ion battery packs below 18 volts, Work Lights, Job Site radios and Trade Titan Industrial Work Carts is one year from the date of purchase. There is a separate warranty for V-technology Li-Ion Battery Packs 18 volts and above.

Every Milwaukee V-technology Li-Ion battery pack 18 volts or above is covered by an initial 1,000 charges/two-year free replacement warranty. According to Milwaukee, this means that for the earlier of the first 1,000 charges or two years from the date of purchase/first charge, a replacement battery will be provided free of charge to the customer for any defective battery. Thereafter, customers will also receive an additional warranty on a pro rata basis up to the earlier of the first 2,000 charges or five years from the date of purchase/first charge. This means that every customer gets an additional 1,000 charges or three years of pro rata warranty on the V-technology Li-Ion battery pack 18 volts or above depending upon the amount of use. During this additional warranty period, the customer pays for only the useable service received over and above the first 1,000 charges/two years, based on the date of first charge and number of charges found on the battery pack via Milwaukee’s V-technology Service Reader.

Milwaukee has service centers all over the United States. Customer service can be obtained by calling 800-729-3878.

Ridgid offers a 90-day satisfaction guarantee from the dealer from which it was purchased for a full refund or exchange. The standard Ridgid warranty is for a period of three years from date of purchase.

In addition to the three-year limited service warranty currently included with Ridgid brand hand held power tools, stationary power tools, and pneumatic tools, purchasers of these products may elect for a limited time to receive a free lifetime service agreement. To accept this lifetime service agreement, you must register your product and submit proof of purchase to the manufacturer. Return address is on the product registration form. The lifetime service agreement provides the original owner of qualifying Ridgid Brand tools a lifetime of free replacement batteries, free service and free replacement parts subject to some limitations. The lifetime service agreement is available free of charge for a limited time. Customers have 90 days from the date of purchase to register tools for the lifetime service agreement. Customer service toll free number is 866-539-1710.

More information
Quality power tools are backed by some solid warranties. You can be fairly certain that if you pay top dollar for a tool, the manufacturer will stand behind it. In short, manufacturers want your loyalty and the best way to achieve this is to make durable tools and back them up with solid warranties.

Don Geary is a regular contributor to
Rural Builder magazine.

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