I had previously answered questions about which is the best cordless power tool brand and which is the best cordless power tool brand for DIYers. This week, I wondered, which is most popular?
It started with a question posed to a renovation team at Ikea whose cart had both Dewalt and Milwaukee cordless drills and other tools. I’ll talk about their response another time. After that, I revisited Google Trends, a tool that allows you to compare search engine activity trends for different keywords and search parameters.
It has been a while since we looked to see the latest Google search trends, and I thought maybe a fresh comparison of Google search results can show us which brands are most searched-for these days. (You can thank Benjamen for putting the idea in my head today.)
A few keywords and some rearrangement to line up the default colors nicely, and we can see that Dewalt 20V has resulted in more search engine activity than Milwaukee M18.
- Bosch 18V
- Milwaukee M18
- Dewalt 20V
- Makita 18V
- Porter Cable 20V
What the chart shows is the relative search engine activity related to the search terms.
What the chart shows is that in the United States, “Dewalt 20V” has a slight lead on “Milwaukee M18.” There’s one meeting point for the terms, taking place in the second week of March 2019, and another time when they come close last August.
Update: As a reminder, don’t take the chart at face value. What it shows is the popularity of the search terms, and other search activity related to these specific terms.
“Makita 18V” is in very distant third place, followed by “Porter Cable 20V,” and then finally “Bosch 18V.”
One thing to remember is that the data comparison only looks at the specific search terms. If you change “Milwaukee M18” to “M18,” the Milwaukee search activity rises above Dewalt 20V search activity. But if you search for “Dewalt,” there’s such a large gap in search activity that everything besides M18 or Milwaukee M18 is a flat line with a 1% or less share of the search activity.
If you just search for “Makita,” it then jumps above “M18” and even “Dewalt 20V.”
I thought that “Brand 18V/20V” was a good way to create an apples-to-apples comparison, although there are still lots of uncertainties, unknowns, and potential errors to how the data is compiled.
Unfortunately, you can’t draw any solid conclusions from the data presented by Google Trends. Well, you can try, but I don’t think you could do so confidently. One would have to look at multiple levels of comparisons and basically sum up a lot of independent search terms with low overlap.
In other words, the data shows that “Dewalt 20V” is a more popular search term than “Milwaukee M18,” and “Makita 18V” is the focus of more search queries than “Bosch 18V” or “Porter Cable 20V.”
You could say that it appears Dewalt is a more popular cordless power tool brand than Milwaukee, but not with high certainty.
More Info(via Google Trends Query)
More Info(Modified Query with Quoted Search Terms)
Google Trends can be fun to play around with. For example, it seems that “Dewalt 18V” and “Milwaukee M12” are more popular search terms than “Makita 18V.”
Or, “M18 Fuel” vs. “FlexVolt.”
Worldwide, Makita is a more popular search term than Dewalt.
If you change the terms to “Brand cordless,” than the 5 brands still stack together with Dewalt on top, then Milwaukee, Makita, Bosch, and Porter Cable.
If you look at “M18” vs. “20V,” you’ll see slightly different trends.
It’s difficult to know how to interpret the data. For example, “cordless drill” vs. “impact driver,” will show the latter being a more popular search term, but that might not fairly represent the popularity of drills to impact drivers. “Dewalt drill” vs. “Dewalt impact driver,” might be easier or at least fairer to draw conclusions from.
I wonder if would still count if they misspelled Milwaukee when searching. That could possibly change the results slightly.
That’s why I don’t think simple conclusions can be made from the data.
How likely is a mispelling of Milwaukee vs. Dewalt or Makita?
On that note, I had to make 5 corrections yesterday to older posts. I searched for Milwuakee instead of Milwaukee, and a couple of mispellings from past years came up. So, it is possible there are more misspellings of Milwaukee than of other brands.
But also, there might be searches for Milwaukee 18V or 20V.
The search terms above, in my mind, represent focused search activity from users who know what they’re looking for. Someone who knows to search for Milwaukee M18 will usually know to search for Dewalt 20V, as opposed to 18V.
I think some people spell Milwaukee as Milwaulkee. When I first bought my Milwaukee tools, the internet was very new so Google didn’t have that much searches. As a home remodeler, I’ve used both brands and can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that Milwaukee has the better tool. I could be bias, but they seem much more rigid and have more power, comparing 2ah batteries.
And that’s one way to score sweet deals on eBay. Misspelled posting titles
For the top three, simply searching by brand name makes far more sense. What about FlexVolt, or Makita LXT? Sticking to brand name eliminates all that.
It doesn’t work for Bosch, but since you’re looking for the most popular power tool brand that doesn’t really matter.
Thanks for that heads up. Never thought to try that — since a lot of illiterate thieves who sell their stolen tools on eBay don’t seem to know how to spell very well. 8th grade drop out types, etc
Google auto corrects and ask you “Did you mean xxxxx ?” Then you’d click that so it gets counted, I assume.
I mistype Dewalt as Dewault all the time
You have used too many MilWAUkee tools that is why you write it as DeWAUlt… subconsciously you get “WAU” in every similar word.
He should try the search term “DeWaukee” , you gotta wonder how many hackers typed in that search term…..
I wonder how many U.S. consumers know that Milwaukee cordless tools are made in China, and not even made by Milwaukee. How would that change the chart.
A sales comparison side by side would be cool. Honestly surprised PC is so high. Woulda expected craftsman or ryobi to be higher then them.
Me too, presuming the chart indicates people are actually searching for PC more often than Bosch. Craftsman and Ryobi aren’t on the chart though, so we don’t know how they compare.
sales is my guess. Hey lowes has this PC thing on sale looks reasonable why is it over here not with the other tools.
hey siri/google – what is a PC _______
That would be my guess.
Here’s a comparison of Craftsman, Ryobi, Makita, Porter Cable.
I think google trend does some cross checking for related searches. The idea being people do misspeel, or like 20V vs 18V vs which ever.
Note in this running did you included searches for Flexvolt. Since that’s not 20V.
ANd I guess did you search for One Key or X2 also.
Milwaukee M18 Fuel vs. Dewalt FlexVolt
Interesting article and the results based on Ikea DIYers makes sense. Walk into a hard core construction site, Hitachi & Bosch will dominate the heavy duty segment. Esp Hitachi, they’re practically indestructible. Milwaukee has demonstrated the biggest lineup recently. If they can tighten up their quality control, they’d be on the right track.
I didn’t ask Ikea DIYers, I asked the workers who were renovating the walls and stands of a sales floor display.
The chart is from Google Trends for the mentioned search terms.
Actually this week I paid more attention on a site and It had more Dewalt.
I’ve been in construction for over 20 years and I’ve never seen a jobsite dominated by Hitachi or Bosch. I’ve rarely seen makita. Around here Dewalt and Milwaukee dominate our jobsites. We have a couple Hitachi tools, one makita, and a couple Bosch. We have probably 30 Dewalt and a few Milwaukee.
Likewise, I’ve never even seen Hitachi on any site, save for maybe once on a residential gig. Bosch isn’t entirely absent out here, but it’s not something you’ll see very often, and usually it’ll be in the hands of an out of towner on site for specialized service or something. It’s a mix of red and yellow for us, probably more red despite my preferences. There’s a good chance that a couple people on any site will be using makita, as well.
Not so long ago, Acme Tools ran a campaign named “Last brand standing”, where to vote you had to purchase something (and there were promotions for the brands.) Dewalt and Milwaukee were the finalists; Dewalt won.
I started using cordless tools when battery was still nickel cadmium (remember this) it was then no dewalt ,no milwaukee it was makita who was leading and had cordless tools that really function , I was wondering how come they become third in your ranking , dewalt should be last due to performance issues ,milwaukee could be first since it has more durability and makita a key player in innovation
It’s true, Makita kicked off the Li-ion revolution. Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep up with dependability. I had to replace Makita batteries annually. I no longer trust the brand. Although, they’re stick vac is unequaled.
It’s all subjective. Dewalt on a whole doesn’t seem to have performance issues, given their continued sales and reputation. Milwaukee is super popular even though I had 3 pos red tools before I went dewalt. If individual bad luck influenced market options, there’d be no power tools lol
There is a reason many tool brands exist. If you buy only one brand, you are bound to have some crap tools in there. No one brand makes every tool great. Dewalt is fine, not great, and popularity doesn’t mean everything.
I buy only one brand of cordless for most of my tools. I’m tired of multiple chargers and felt like lugging those around was almost the same as dealing with extension cords. I do make exceptions for tools like the Bosch rotary hammer because it’s more of a dedicated tool. You get the tool, charger, and 2 batteries in a case. If I know a job needs it I will make sure it’s charged. For smaller stuff I don’t really care if DeWalt has a better jigsaw than Milwaukee. Yanking the battery from my drill or impact and slapping it into the saw makes up for it.
What happend to ryobi?
There’s a max of 5 search terms per comparison.
Isn’t Google a world wide search. Which brand was the most searched world wide? Or did I miss it?
You can play around with the settings. Brands’ search popularity definitely change when you look outside the USA.
If I were asked the same question I would have made the same list as google. As others have mentioned, Porter Cable did surprise me however. I did see your additional info running PC against Craftsman and Ryobi. Thanks!
Why would you leave out Ridgid?
There’s a max of 5 search terms per comparison.
I’ve devoted big time searching Dewalt! Haha.
I think you are right that no conclusion can be made from that data. Sales are where you determine this argument.
Searching “Milwaukee tools” vs “DeWalt tools” vs “Makita tools” actually swaps the results from your searches for Milwaukee M18 and DeWalt 20V. Google Trends can be pretty interesting for figuring out what most people refer to something as. It would be nice if you could include a few options for phrase variations and group them all together though.
Further complicating things is that the tool companies don’t have a uniquely identifying name – if you just searched “Milwaukee” you’ll get contaminated results from searches that include the city. Search “Bosch” by itself, and you’ll get car parts and appliances lumped in there too.
I think DeWALT should buy Festool and Fein and just change their battery to DeWALT then that would the most popular brand…
Hey, we think something alike again, Altan!
Except, I think Veritas should be the parent company, call it a Canadian thing. and I think they should buy the DeWALT and Dremel brands AWAY from these other companies, taking their Battery and Ergonomics patents with them.
From there, just as Veritas does, license the manufacturing wherever it needs to be built, and form NEW license partners from across the EDC, DIY, and Industrial spectrum of products. Suddenly you get, not only people like Festool and Fein, but also Utilikilts, ScotEVest/TEC, and the likes of North Face, Columbia, NiteIze, and perhaps even LEATHERMAN, as co-producers of products with a mix of patents from both sides of the agreement. Imagine Portland-Made, DeWALT Utility Multi-Tools, using Leatherman folding patents, and DeWALT patented plier, screwdriver bit heads, and branded colours.
My DREAM team-up is this Veritas-Owned DeWALT/Dremel company with ScottEVest/TEC. Resulting in ScottEVest heated gear using small Dremel batteries as the power source, and DeWALT Heated Gear with the load balancing, tech-integrated pocket systems from ScottEVest, using DeWALT 12 or 20 Volt batteries to power the jacket.
As it stands right now? I don’t like what Bosch has done to Dremel, taking a long family tradition of quality and innovation, and turning it into the gimmick DIY Crafter brand it is today. And I REALLY don’t like what SBD has done with DeWALT… for so many reasons I don’t want to break anyone’s eyes trying to list it all… Needless to say, their Marketing department is on Drugs, and are screwing up the brand’s reputation with their users.
If Veritas is going to be the parent company they will behave like DeWALT I think, DeWALT makes so many different types of cordless drills and impact drivers and half of Veritas cordless tools would be different types of cordless planers! And the second problem is Veritas cordless planer would be probably £1000 as their hand planers are like £200-£300 🙂
And tbh I don’t care what Bosch has done to Dremel, Bosch has already made a cordless rotary tool similar to Dremel one and the point is you can use the same battery with other Bosch 12V platform tools, so I don’t see a point to see Dremel alive. Bosch has a lot of tools in 12V platform, like router, grinder and planer and many more. In 12V platform Makita and Metabo have updated their battery design to new version similar to DeWALT one, this type of battery is good as you can leave the tools in standing position, Milwaukee and Bosch has changed their design partially, which I believe they will change also by time. The only tool that I would say goes with round shaped (not the flat shaped ones) batteries is rotary tool, as you need to hold it in your hand comfortably, that is why I think DeWALT should make it with their 8V batteries as that platform has round batteries. Some of SBD brands like DeWALT, Mac Tools, Facom, Bostitch (in 12V platform) are using the same battery but not others like Craftsman, Black and Decker and Porter Cable while some none-SBD brands like Graco are using DeWALT batteries, this is strange… Craftsman and Porter Cable have made extremely good tools in the past. They have assimilated Elu into DeWALT also. If all these barnds use the same battery, there is no need to assimilate one into another one or change the quality of the brand. This is a big mistake SBD has done, Craftsman, Porter Cable and Stanley Fatmax batteries should be also compatible with DeWALT batteries, they can have lower quality batteries for these brands for lower prices but at least they should be compatible. I know Porter Cable or Craftsman have Cordless table top wet tile saw, but I don’t buy it, If DeWALT makes it compatible with DeWALT batteries or a DeWALT version of this tool then I will buy, so basically they sell one less tool to me, not just to me to some others also, if they want to sell more they should change this policy, They have made cordless Orbital Sander with DeWALT, Crafstman, Porter Cable, Stanley Fatmax and Black and Decker brands but I know they have also made some other types of cordless sanders with Stanley Fatmax and Black and Decker brands, and I also don’t buy them, I WILL BUY ONLY THE TOOLS WHICH WORK WITH DEWALT BATTERIS, so it is up to SBD now that they want to make money on us or not! I would ask the other guys to do the same to push them to think realistic a bit.
DeWALT Flexvolt batteries are huge, they have made a new version of 20V batteries the 8Ah one, DCB208 which is very good sized, similar to 20V 6Ah one (DCB206), looks the same size. I did send a link of that recently but now the link does not work, they have removed it probably, just when you google it you can see the image from the same website.
Just what we need along with all the other monopolies. Monopolies have always drifted to exploiting & abusing the customer base. If monopolizing tool manufacturing is the answer, it would be best to look at the historical record of monopolies. And then look at the current abuses & censorship by Google, YouTube, FaceBerg, and all the others. It never works out for the average guy standing at the cash register.
From personal experience, way back in the early 1990’s Makita was hands down top dog in the battery tool business, back when basically there were battery powered drills and that was pretty much it beyond flash lights. Then Hitachi came around. Dewalt and Milwaukee were popular for corded but little else.
This is by no means what I’d consider anything other than anecdotal but I’m a field service engineer. I basically go in everyone’s plants around the Carolinas and Virginia. Hands down the two most common brands I see are Milwaukee and Dewalt, with a strong edge towards Dewalt amongst industrial work crews. Yeah you see lots of say Hilti for instance for certain jobs (and we have a Hilti gun for concrete anchors too), and we have Greenlee for knockouts, lugs, and cable cutters. Milwaukee and Dewalt both offer those kinds of tools but the price tags and unknown quality push them out of the market.
I don’t think this Google search survey was a very scientific way to determine which tools are most popular by any means, and since most popular versus best performing are always going to slant to popular DIY brands like Craftsman & Ryobi.
Although few DeWalt fans will admit it, their batteries have spotty quality at best. In fact, the most dead batteries in my local Lowe’s recycling bin are almost all DeWalt. Industrial users could care less since buying new batteries & tossing burnt out batteries is a corporate write-off.
BTW, there are several YouTube videos on the simple tricks to reviving batteries that won’t take a charge. Most of them use DeWalt batteries in their demonstrations. Is that a hint of some kind?
All things considered, I have never had a Milwaukee, Porter Cable or Bosch tool die on me with years of commercial construction use. They just got old & sold or traded away. But I think Chinese manufacturers are deliberately using low grade parts for high use parts, such as bearing and gear assemblies.
A better survey would be to contact lots of tool repair shops and see what they say are the fewest tools they see for repair