Power Tool Warranties

Posted by on May 8, 2006

For years now, power tool manufacturers have held fast the “Industry Standard” 1 year warranty. Well, that isn’t the case any more. In fact, 2, 3, and even 5 year warranties are offered by many of our manufacturers now. But are they pulling a fast one here?

While I generally agree that the longer warranties provided by Makita, Bosch, Hitachi and Milwaukee are a nice step in the right direction, they’re also not really doing much for the customer. It is true that they’re giving a warranty that is longer, but it doesn’t cover anything more than manufacturing defects. Normally, when you see something that isn’t being manufactured properly, the problem will show up within the first few uses. If it doesn’t show up then, it probably won’t show up for a very long time.

The only time we see failures after 12 months with any consistency is one of two cases.

1) There is a recall about to happen / has recently happened.
2) The breakdown was from wear and tear or abuse, not from a manufacturing defect.

So on the surface the longer warranties look great. But when you dig a bit deeper, there’s not a whole lot of substance to them. It’s just another game of chess, and we’re being treated as the pawns. Even so, I don’t think they should get rid of the longer warranties. I’d just like to see them start to cover a bit more.

3 Responses to Power Tool Warranties

  1. RedBaron

    I agree with you about warranties only covering manufaturer’s defects. However you don’t mentiond Ridgid’s Lifetime Service Agreement. True it is not a warranty but they do cover wear and tear not just manufacturer’s defects and offer free repairs and free replacement batteries. Also Bosch recently added a new product protection plan and battery coverage.

  2. Anonymous

    You overlook only one item—-_RIDGID! This warranty covers everything except physical abuse by the customer……Really

    Batteries, switches, motors, clutches, chucks, chargers, everything, even normal wear items!

    Only at Home Depot, true, but worth the trip.

  3. Brian Mark

    You’re both right… I wasn’t including consumer grade products. I was only commenting on contractor grade. And I’d disagree with you on the “worth the trip” comment, anonymous. Nothing is worth a trip to that store to me.

    Bosch is also covering a bit more, although the details are still a bit fuzzy.

    My point is still that most companies are offering longer and longer warranties against manufacturing defects and not covering many “real world” reasons for tools breaking down at all.