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Tools of the Year 2021: Power Tools

We searched the latest innovations from manufacturers for a tool chest of necessities on the farm and ranch.

This is the Power Tools category of the exclusive Successful Farming "Tools of the Year" program that highlights innovations and must-have tools and shop supplies for your farm operation. These tools will help you get the job done.

Our editor selected one tool as an “Editor’s Choice” and other tools as “Recommended” in Power Tools; Hand Tools; Ratchets & Sockets; Metalworking; Shop Supplies; Lighting; Workbenches & Tool Chests; and Shop Essentials.

Here is the list of the 2021 winners in Power Tools.

Editor's Choice Tools of the Year 2021

Milwaukee impact wrench
Milwaukee

High-Torque Impact Tools Retire Air Tools

Over the past two decades, battery-powered tools have steadily increased their power, readily replacing most air impact tools. Now the introduction of Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel 1-inch D-Handle High Torque Impact Wrench puts air impacts to bed entirely. 

Delivering up to 2,000 foot-pounds of maximum breakout torque and 1,900 foot-pounds of fastening torque, the Model 2868-20HD easily handles 2-inch and larger bolts. Operating off an 18-volt battery platform, the tool employs a brushless motor running at between 0 and 1,200 rpm delivering 0 to 1,440 impacts per minute in four mode settings.

When equipped with an M18 REDLITHIUM HD12.0 battery pack, the impact wrench has the run-time to install up to 200, 1¼-inch bolts. The wrench also offers a special Lug Nut Mode that can be enabled via Milwaukee’s One-Key app that prevents the overtorque of lug nuts by automatically shutting off the tool within the targeted torque range of 350 to 450 foot pounds.

Milwaukee will introduce an extended anvil version of the tool this year. The 2868-20 (tool only) retails for $799. Go to milwaukeetool.com.

Tools of the Year 2021 - Recommended

DeWalt band saw
DeWalt

One-Handed Cordless Band Saw

Made for one-handed cutting, DeWalt’s 20-volt Atomic Compact Bandsaw offers a 1¾-inch cut capacity but weighs just 6½ pounds. It features a variable-speed trigger (with speeds from 150 to 380 feet per minute), speed dial, and LED work light. In addition, the bandsaw is designed with an integrated hang hook allowing users to hang the tool between cuts, and has an LED light to help illuminate the cutting area. As a bare tool, the Model DCS377 retails for $199. Go to dewalt.com.

Makita Grease Gun
Makita

10,000-psi Maximum Greasing Pressure

Makita set a new standard in cordless grease gun capacity with the 18-volt Model LXT, which operates at up to 10,000 psi with a maximum flow rate of 10 ounces per minute. Grease flow is controlled with two speed modes, low speed (high-pressure) and autospeed.

Modes can be adjusted by a speed selector with additional control through the variable speed trigger. Features include an air bleed valve to assist in faster pump priming and LED work light. A lock-on button provides convenience during longer work periods, and a lock-off will prevent the tool from accidental start-ups. The grease gun is designed to stand up on its own or can be used with a shoulder strap for user convenience.The model XPGO1Z (tool only) retails for $239, which includes a 47-inch-long flexible hose. Go to makitatools.com.

Milwaukee Ratchet
Milwaukee

High-Speed Ratchet

An ideal tool for working in tight spaces, Milwaukee’s M12 Fuel ¼- or ⅜-inch drive ratchets offer the fastest operating speeds in the industry at up to 450 rpm, backed by an impressive 35 foot-pounds of torque, which rivals the performance of many pneumatic ratcheting tools. This cordless ratchet can also be used manually without engaging the motor, allowing users to break loose and snug tight fasteners that require more torque. 

The Model 2567-20 (tool only) retails for $179. Go to milwaukeetool.com.

Snap-on Wrench
Snap-on

Long-Neck, Heavy-Duty Impact Wrench

Snap-On’s 1-inch longneck (17 inches in length) impact wrench puts up to 1,200 foot-pounds of working torque on the job using twin impact hammers for added durability. But for nut-busting works, the tool can turned out a maximum 2,500 foot-pounds of torque. Features include three forward speeds and full-power reverse as well as a padded ergonomic side handle. The 30-pound Model PT2500L retails for $2,675 which includes a one-year warranty. Go to snapon.com.

See our other categories of Tools of the Year winners:

We welcome both your feedback and nominations for 2022!

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