I have had good luck with Rockwell and Mastercraft which is a Mernards brand. The guarantee is solid with the Mastercraft. BTW, I really hate shopping at Menards. They have a high turnover of staff and staff with kids who don't have a clue of what they sell or where to find what they sell. As the economy tanked, their crew is much better but as soon as housing takes off, look out. Back to topic and off rant.. I have gotten a lot of good use from Sears 18v C3 lithium combo tools. My woodworking is home carpentry.
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the name has nothing to do with tolls that last, its the construction, most tools that have bearings instead of bushings will last
and the metal its made out of
Depends on the tool.
Craftsman's power tools are mostly off-brand Black & Decker consumer drek, and definitely do not carry the lifetime warranty. Their non-power hand tools are fine middle-of-the-road stuff and generally do have the lifetime warranty (the major exception being torque wrenches, which you wouldn't need for woodworking.)
For others... "best" depends in part on what your budget is. There are tools I drool over but will never buy because I can get 90% of the way there for 50% of the price and my own skill level doesn't justify the difference. Then there are others where the quality of the tool affects your ability to develop the skill.
There are also plenty of cases where two "equivalent" tools each have unique advantages and disadvantages other than price, and best depends on what matters to you and what you're doing with them.
Basically: This is not a short-answer question. I'm relying on a combination of advice -- on a tool-by-tool basis -- from friends, from one store whose employees I trust (their staff don't always agree with each other, but the willingness to admit that is part of why I trust them), from subscriptions to several woodworking magazines and the reviews and advice appearing there... and I'm resigned to the fact that I'm eventually likely to replace many tools with better tools, when what I'm doing justifies it.
i like the craftsman and dewalt tools myself. if i remember right, craftsman has a lifetime warranty
it really depends on what you want to do with the tools.