At the beginning of the year I posted a survey on 18-volt tools and within a month 880 people responded. The survey was set up so answers could be separated by trade. Of those who responded, 42 (4.8%) clicked the box for finish carpenter. 42 not a particularly large sample, but as someone who spent 20+ years as a finish carpenter there’s no way I would skip covering that trade.

The tables below contain finish carpenters’ responses to the following three multiple choice questions.

  • Which 18-volt tools do you currently own?
  • Which do you wish you owned (that you don't own now)?
  • What is your favorite brand of 18-volt tools?

Links to the results for other trades can be found at the bottom of this page.

Finish carpenters are crazy about cordless tools and are always thinking about the next purchase. Their ownership of and desire for drill/drivers, circ saws, impact drivers, recip saws, and hammer drill/drivers is on par with that of builders and remodelers. It’s not till you get down to cordless jigsaws that you see a difference. Finish carpenters are more likely to own cordless jigsaws than other trades and want them more than other trades; only 11% don’t have or want to have one of these tools.

Their ownership of cordless oscillating multi-tools is high and yet for every finish carpenter who owns a cordless OMT there is one who doesn’t who wishes he did. About 35% of the finish carpenters said they had or wished they had a cordless power planer. That’s more than other trades, which makes sense given the likelihood of their needing to fit doors and scribe trim and cabinets. It also made sense that 68% of finish carpenters have or wish they had a cordless finish or brad nailer.

None of the finish carpenters who answered the survey owned a heated jacket but 25% wished they did. It sort of makes sense; if you choose a trade that involves mostly indoor work then you’re probably not a fan of the cold.

Of the finish carpenters who answered the survey only 19.3% had or wished they had a cordless caulk gun. That’s a lower number than for builders, remodelers, and repair carpenters. Way to go guys—if you fit those joints tight you don’t need much caulk!

Milwaukee’s 18-volt tools are less popular with finish carpenters than they are with builders, remodelers, and of course—electricians. It makes sense that DeWalt and Makita would do better with this crowd; their cordless tools have traditionally been smaller and lighter than Milwaukee’s. Yes, Milwaukee's cordless tools are frequently more powerful, but power is less of an issue for finish carpenters than it is for other trades.

The links below will take you to the results for those particular trades: