Comparing Manufacturer’s Warranties
Comparing Manufacturer’s Warranties
Comparing warranties between manufacturers has always been difficult, if not practically impossible. Yet we all have the same few basic questions with regard to each brand’s warranty. So here at Tool Box Buzz, we decided to ask the vendors themselves to answer those basic questions for you in plain English. And they did!
Here are the questions we asked
We figured that there are 14 questions that cover the bases as far as what we really need to know. So here’s what we asked each brand:
For each category o power tools that you sell (if there’s more than one), including batteries:
- How long are the warranty periods for?
- How do you require registration to be done, if at all?
- How long a time from purchase does the customer have to register?
- Must the receipt be kept?
- What do the warranties cover?
- Is the customer responsible for part of the repair/replacement expense?
- What are the exclusions?
- What will void the warranty?
- How do you get service (bring the tool to store, bring it to a dealer, send it to a repair center, etc.)?
- If to a service center, how many certified repair facilities are there in the US?
- Who determines if the tool is covered under warranty, and how do they do that?
- If the customer has to send it somewhere, who pays shipping charges?
- If the customer brings the tool to a store or dealer, will they get an immediate replacement?
- Is there an average turnaround time?
The Brands Covered
We got responses from 15 brands to which we sent those questions. We asked the vendors to respond in a standard format, and their actual responses are linked to by each of their names below (numbers after a brand name link to separate documents of the response).
- BLACK + DECKER
- Metabo HPT
- Paslode (1) (2) (3)
- Skil (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
IMPORTANT NOTE What follows is our necessarily very brief few-word synopsis of the vendors’ responses. It is not the complete vendor response. Nor does it cover all the details and subtleties. For that, you’ll need to click through the hyperlinks above. In some places, we put an asterisk (*) after a point to indicate that additional detail is found in that vendor’s response when that answer was complicated.
How long are the warranty periods for?
This is the most basic question and the starting point for most of our consideration. Of course, the devil is in the details, and the rest of the questions address them. But here’s where we all start.
BLACK + DECKER 2 years for tools and batteries
Bosch Corded tools – 1 year | cordless tools – 3 years | chargers (made after August 2020) – 3 years | batteries – 2 years | measuring tools – 1 or 2 years*
CRAFTSMAN 90-day money-back | 3-year limited
DEWALT 90-day money-back guarantee, 1-year free service, 3-year limited warranty on most tools. Batteries have 2 or 3-year warranties
Festool 3 years wear-and-tear
Hart 3 years
Hilti 20 year warranty | 2 year wear-and-tear
Makita 3 years Lithium-Ion Tool, Battery, Charger, and Pneumatic Nailer | 1-year general product warranty | 2 years emissions-related components
Metabo HPT HPT Materials and workmanship only, not wear-and-tear. Depending on type of tool: limited lifetime, 5 years, 2 years, or 1 year*. 90 or 30-days for accessory-type items.*
Milwaukee Power tools – 5 years | Equipment – 2 years | Batteries – 3 years
Paslode Cordless Two-Year Bumper to Bumper Warranty. Pneumatics (including Duo-Fast) 1-year Limited Warranty. Five years on molded parts for both (see * for details).
Porter-Cable Power tools – 3 years | batteries – 2-3 years
Ridgid 3 years | most items eligible for LSA
Ryobi 3 years | 40-volt tools – 5 years
Skil Corded handheld – 1 year | Benchtop – 3 years | Cordless/OPE/measurement – 5 years | batteries & chargers – 2 years
How do you require registration to be done if at all?
Registration — specifically failing to do so — has been the bane of many busy pros. We see here that most brands don’t require registration these days.
BLACK + DECKER Not required
Bosch Online or phone
CRAFTSMAN Not required
DEWALT Not required
Festool Not required (in the USA)
Hart Not required
Hilti Not required
Makita Not required but online recommended
Metabo HPT HPT Not required
Milwaukee Not required
Paslode Not required but recommended, online
Porter-Cable Not required
Ridgid Online or by mail
Ryobi Not required
Skil Not required but encouraged
How long from purchase does the customer have to register?
While registration isn’t required by most brands, it is always a good idea and making a habit of registering new tools is best practice. We highly recommend keeping a folder for each expensive tool with the warranty, registration, and receipt…and anything else that might be needed down the road.
BLACK + DECKER N/A
Bosch Corded and corded tools – anytime during warranty period | measuring tools – within 8 weeks from purchase
Festool Not required, but within 30 days is best
Metabo HPT N/A
Paslode Anytime during the warranty period
Ridgid 90 days
Skil Generally within 30 days to get full warranty
Must the receipt be kept?
Many manufacturers don’t require a receipt to be kept, and in many cases the tool’s date of manufacture will be considered the start of the warranty period. But see the note above about keeping a folder for each significant tool–it’s just good business sense!
BLACK + DECKER Preferred, but not necessary
DEWALT Preferred but not necessary
Hart No, but recommended
Makita No, but recommended
Metabo HPT No, but recommended
Milwaukee No, but recommended
Paslode No, but recommended, otherwise serial # is coded with date of manufacture and dictates warranty period.
Porter-Cable Preferred but not necessary
Ridgid No, but recommended, especially with LSA
Ryobi No, but recommended
Skil Yes (one-time exception)
What does the warranty cover?
Ahh, here’s where we get into the devil’s details. Note that most warranties cover defects in the manufacture of the tool, but a couple go significantly beyond that.
BLACK + DECKER Defects in materials and workmanship
Bosch Materials and workmanship
CRAFTSMAN Defects in materials and workmanship
DEWALT Year 1: Maintenance and parts are worn due to normal use | Years 2-3: Defects in materials or workmanship.
Festool Everything except consumables
Hart Materials and workmanship
Hilti 20 years material & workmanship | 2 years wear-and-tear
Makita Materials and workmanship
Metabo HPT Materials and workmanship
Milwaukee Materials and workmanship
Paslode Cordless – Everything (even if it falls off a roof) during the first 2 years; 5 years molded parts. | Pneumatics – One year on non-wear parts complex; 90 days on normal wearing, see table*
Porter-Cable Year 1: Maintenance and parts are worn due to normal use | Years 2-3: Defects in materials or workmanship.
Ridgid Materials and workmanship | LSA covers wear and tear
Ryobi Materials and workmanship
Skil Materials and workmanship
Is the customer responsible for part of the repair/replacement expense?
In all cases the customer isn’t responsible for part of the repair expense if the tool is covered under warranty…as it should be.
BLACK + DECKER No
Bosch No if covered under warranty
Metabo HPT No
What are the exclusions?
More of the devil’s details. There are significant differences between brands here, but note that most vendors disallow coverage if the tool is misused or abused, but some Paslode covers their tools regardless of what you do to them.
BLACK + DECKER Abuse, accidental damage, unauthorized repairs
Bosch Misuse, careless handling, misrepair
CRAFTSMAN Abuse, accidental damage, unauthorized repair
DEWALT Abuse, accidental damage, unauthorized repair
Festool Purchase outside USA
Hart accidents, misuse, abuse, neglect, alteration, modification or repairs by other than Authorized Service Centers
Hilti Wear-and-tear excludes abuse or non-intended use and some accessories
Makita Normal wear-and-tear, alterations, unauthorized repair, abuse, misuse improper maintenance, the improper operation*
Metabo HPT Unauthorized repair, non-conforming parts, normal wear-and-tear, abuse, inappropriate use, neglect, accidents.
Milwaukee Normal wear-and-tear, and abuse
Paslode Cordless – none | Pneumatics – see table*
Porter-Cable Abuse, accidents, unauthorized repair
Ridgid accidents, misuse, abuse, neglect, alteration, modification or repairs by other than Authorized Service Centers
Ryobi accidents, misuse, abuse, neglect, alteration, modification or repairs by other than Authorized Service Centers
Skil Warranty not transferrable
What will void the warranty?
There are some significant differences here; note that purchase outside the United States will void some warranties. We always recommend buying from an authorized dealer no matter your geographic area.
BLACK + DECKER Modifications, use outside a home environment
Bosch Misuse, careless handling, misrepair
Festool Modifications, misuse, use inconsistent with the intent of the tool
Hart Misuse, abuse, neglect, alteration, modification, or unauthorized repair
Makita See above
Metabo HPT See above.
Milwaukee See above
Paslode Cordless – non-U.S. purchase, improper use, non-authorized nails. | Pneumatics – see table*, also non-U.S. purchase
Ridgid Misuse, abuse, neglect, alteration, modification, or unauthorized repair
Ryobi Misuse, abuse, neglect, alteration, modification, or unauthorized repair
Skil Abuse, modification, unauthorized repair, purchase through unauthorized or third party seller
How do you get service?
The big differences here are mostly whether you can take the tool to a retail dealer or if you have to get it to a service center.
BLACK + DECKER Factory or authorized repair center
Bosch Ship to or drop off at Bosch service center
CRAFTSMAN Take to retailer
DEWALT Factory or authorized repair center
Festool Repair center in Indiana
Hart Get to repair center
Hilti Ship to repair center or bring to Hilti store
Makita Return to the repair center
Metabo HPT Bring or ship to the service center
Milwaukee Initiate service online or by telephone
Paslode Bring to authorized service center – or send back to Paslode.
Porter-Cable factory or authorized service center
Ridgid Get to repair center
Ryobi Get to the repair center
Skil Get to the service center
How many repair centers in the U.S.?
Most brands have hundreds of authorized repair centers in addition to factory service centers. The services you can get at a non-factory-operated center will of course vary considerably.
BLACK + DECKER 20 factory, 700+ authorized
Bosch 4 Bosch service centers | 400+ authorized service centers
DEWALT 20 factory, 700+ authorized
Hart 214+ independent
Makita 12 factory | 1500+ authorized
Metabo HPT 800+ authorized
Milwaukee 20 factory | hundreds authorized
Paslode 300+ authorized
Porter-Cable 20 factory | 700+ authorized
Ridgid 330+ independent | Home Depot tool rental centers
Ryobi 330+ independent | Home Depot tool rental centers
Who determines if the tool is covered, and how do they do that?
In all cases someone at the service center itself determines if a tool is covered. Of course, there’s no way for us to determine, or even properly ask, just how strict or forgiving that person will be…on that particular day.
BLACK + DECKER Service center review
Bosch Bosch Service technician
CRAFTSMAN Retailer review
DEWALT Service center review
Festool Festool employees
Hilti Serial number provides information
Makita Service center
Metabo HPT Technician
Paslode The service center
Porter-Cable Service center review
Skil Customer service, technician
Who pays shipping charges (if under warranty)?
This is an important detail. If you have to pay for a heavy tool to get to a service center, it may be easier/cheaper just to scrap the tool. Whatever the vendor’s policy, you always want duplicates of tools that will grind a job to a halt if they go down.
BLACK + DECKER Customer pays to ship to the service center
Bosch Bosch pays if, under warranty, the customer pays return charges if not covered by warranty
CRAFTSMAN Customer must bring to a retailer
DEWALT Customer pays shipping to the service center
Hart Customer pays inbound
Hilti if under wear-and-tear coverage
Makita Customer (one exception)*
Metabo HPT Metabo HPT
Paslode – Paslode pays both ways | Pneumatics – must bring to the service center, if sent to Factory, Paslode pays for return only
Porter-Cable Customer pays to ship to the service center
Ridgid Customer pays inbound
Ryobi Customer pays inbound
Skil Will recommend service location within driving distance; otherwise shipping pre-paid
If the customer brings the tool to a store or dealer, will they get an immediate replacement?
Most brands will offer a refund or replacement within 30-90 days of purchase. Some brands differ. We regard a refund as the same as a replacement since you can simply return a tool you’re unhappy with and buy a new one on the spot.
BLACK + DECKER Most retailers have a 30-day return policy
Bosch Yes within 30 days | 180 days for PROFACTOR rotary hammer*
CRAFTSMAN If under warranty, yes
DEWALT 30-day returns to retailers | 90-day returns for most tools at the service center
Hilti Yes for batteries, chargers, and some tools
Makita 30 days replacement or refund
Metabo HPT 30 days
Paslode Pneumatics – Store/dealer discretion
Porter-Cable 30 days at retailer | 90 days at the factory service center
Ridgid 90 day return to retailer
Ryobi 90 day return or refund at the retailer
Skil Depending on circumstances
Is there an average turnaround time?
All brands offer reasonable, if not extraordinary, turnaround times. Of course, these don’t include the shipping transit times. Again, make sure you have, or can easily get, dups of vital tools.
BLACK + DECKER 5 business days
Bosch 5 business days
DEWALT 5 business days
Festool 48-72 hours
Hilti Same day in, same day out
Makita 3 days
Metabo HPT 48 hours
Milwaukee 7-10 business days
Paslode 3 days
Porter-Cable 5 business days
Skil Goal of 5-7 days
We were surprised by how similar most warranty terms are, and of course very happy to see some of the extraordinarily generous terms of some brands in some areas. It seems that the manufacturers realize how important warranties are to most pro purchase decisions. As you would expect in a competitive industry, at similar price points the terms are reasonably close. Warranty terms aren’t the only characteristic that’s important in a decision to buy, but they can often make or break a decision to invest long-term in one brand rather than another.
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