When we review or preview a product here at Pro Tool Reviews, we do our best to include the details of the power tool warranty to help you in your decision-making. This is an important, yet often overlooked feature that you should carefully consider when investing your business’ or personal dollars in tools. If you’re trying to decide between brands with similar performance specs, understanding what makes a good power tool warranty could be the feature that helps you pull the trigger.
A Generous Refund Period
There’s a myriad of power tool warranty programs out there, but what should you expect? In general, you should always have between 30 and 90 days to return a broken tool for a full refund.
Having a period of time where you can return a broken tool for a full refund keeps you productive. While larger companies have multiple tools and budgets to replenish anything that finds its way to the tool crib for repair—smaller contractors need their tools working at all times.
One Year (or More) of Standard Warranty
The industry standard on corded power tools seems to have settled into about a year. Cordless tools have followed suit with some having three- and five-year warranty periods. Many companies limit the tool battery warranty to one year, however, some companies have raised that to between three and five years. In any case, high-end tools should be built to last. Most companies want to back up that claim of being “Heavy Duty” with a decent warranty.
Point of Contacts That Work
No warranty helps if you can’t locate the proper point of contact. That seems to be the biggest struggle with newer cordless power tool warranties. When a tool breaks, you need a phone number to call and a process to follow. If that process isn’t clear, the consumer has a warranty that’s difficult to execute.
The best power tool warranties have a phone number or online system that yields relatively quick responses. It should help you quickly troubleshoot the problem and determine whether a tool is, in fact, broken. If so, it should deliver an RMA quickly with clear instructions on how to get the tool sent in for repair.
The top end of the spectrum in both quality and price points should deliver a lengthier warranty. Manufacturers do not design mid- and lower-end tools to intentionally fail. They do, however, build them using lower-quality materials that make these products more affordable.
The trade-off is that the tool is not likely to last as long—particularly under heavy usage. It also typically comes with a shorter warranty period. That’s not to say that there aren’t some excellent mid-range tool values that will last a long time. As with most things in life, maintain and take care of a power tool, and it will last much longer.
Warranty Features That Matter
Obviously, some companies take their guarantees further than others. That brings a pretty good boost in confidence when you look to make a purchase. Differences in the accompanying power tool warranty features that go along with it, like service agreements, matter as well.
And the Best Power Tool Warranty Award Goes To…
Take the Ridgid Lifetime Service Agreement (LSA) for example. They start with a 90-day money-back guarantee. The actual warranty period is three years and covers repair/replacement in the event of manufacturing issues. This is spot-on for the industry standard. Then they take it to another world with a Lifetime Service Agreement. With this, they offer free service for the original owner for life, provided that you purchase the tool at The Home Depot. In addition to not paying any labor costs, you also will pay nothing for replacement parts, including when new batteries are needed!
But the Runner-up Has to Include…
Hilti offers a lifetime guarantee against manufacturing defects for many of its power tools. They also have a 2-year No Cost Coverage that includes service and wear-and-tear maintenance. At the end of that period, they guarantee that no repair will cost more than 30% of the original list price. If you’d rather upgrade, they’ll give you between $75 and $1,000 in trade-in value.
Other Good Power Tool Warranty Programs
There are other features out there as well. Makita advertises its Lithium-ion battery recycling program to be a better steward of the environment. Milwaukee extends their warranty out to five years for the tool. Milwaukee battery warranties differ based on the pack you purchased. Most carry a 3-year warranty.
On the outdoor power equipment side of things, Greenworks does a 4-year limited tool and Battery warranty. EGO Power+ has a 5-year limited warranty on their outdoor power equipment and portable power for personal, household use. They put a 3-year limited warranty on EGO POWER+ battery packs and chargers, but extend that to 5 years for their 10Ah packs provided you register it within 90 days of purchase.
Keep in mind that it is always in your best interest to register your tool when you purchase it. You also want to keep the receipt in a file (or stored digitally) should you need to have your power tool repaired under warranty. Most companies require you to prove your date of purchase to know if it is under their power tool warranty policies.
Remember, no company is likely to repair or replace a tool that has been damaged due to misuse or negligence. Take good care of your tools! Also, make sure you purchase power tools from an authorized dealer (we recommend Acme Tools or Lowe’s among others).
A final word of caution: do not let anyone but an authorized service center work on it or your warranty could be voided on the spot!
Let me encourage you to take a close look at those warranties when you purchase a tool. Dig a little deeper and see what kind of cost you may be looking at down the road if you need to replace or repair it. Take a few minutes to register your tool (usually online). Also remember to save your receipt—the warranty may cover you from having to shell out hundreds of dollars down the road.