Chicago Electric Power Tool Reviews: Is Chicago Electric a Good Brand?

Chicago Electric Power Tool Reviews: Is Chicago Electric a Good Brand?We’ve seen and read a lot about Chicago Electric power tool reviews, and it piqued our interest. The brand seems to make a lot of different power tools. You can find their tools in hardware stores and online. But how do these tools compare to other big names in the industry?

Chicago Electric Power Tool Reviews

Most people haven’t tried out Chicago Electric because consumers tend to stick to the same brands when choosing their power tools. And changing from one brand to another is not common.

Chicago Electric is a mid-range brand in terms of quality, so it’s another brand you’ll want to consider when buying a miter saw, table saw, impact wrench or other power tools.

Who Makes Chicago Electric Power Tools?

Harbor Freight Tools

Image via JJBers

Harbor Freight Tools is the manufacturer of many exclusive brands, including Chicago Electric. Harbor Freight is a massive company, founded in 1977 and operates over 1,000+ stores across the United States.

The company employs 20,000+ people and originally started as a mail-order tool business.

The company continued to grow and now brings in over $5 billion in revenue annually. A key selling point for Harbor Freight: quality tools at ridiculously low prices.

Quality is said to be the company’s obsession, and they have state-of-the-art labs that put each tool through a long list of tests. The tests are intense and designed to ensure that when you need to use one of the brand’s power tools, you can be confident that it will work.

Since Harbor Freight cuts out the middleman with their own line of tools, they’re able to offer:

  • Higher quality products.
  • Lower prices.

Where are Chicago Electric Power Tools Made?

When you want the cheapest prices, China is the go-to option. Chicago Electric’s tools are all made in China to keep costs down. Some of the parts or tools may also be made in Taiwan. Harbor Freight’s many different tools brands are primarily made in these two countries.

Tool Range

There are a lot of different power tools offered by Chicago Electric. You’ll find these tools used by carpenters, mechanics, builders and of course homeowners that take the do-it-yourself approach to home maintenance or building projects.

Contractors and amateurs alike will like the tools offered by Chicago Electric. The tool types that you’ll find are:

  • Electric cutout tool.
  • Oscillating multi-tool.
  • Compound miter saw.
  • Impact wrench.
  • Planer.
  • Polisher.
  • Angle grinder.
  • Reversible drill.
  • Reciprocating saw.
  • Circular saw.
  • Tile/brick saw.
  • Hammer drill.
  • Palm sander.
  • Jig saw.
  • Die grinder.
  • Drills.

You’ll find a variety of routers and table saws, circular saws and sanders and a slew of rotary tools. The company also sells accessories that can help make your project go quicker and more efficiently.

Every tool is different, but you’ll find some with accessories attached to them that make it easier and faster to get the job done. For example, one of the miter saw options has a laser guide system that will ensure that you make precision cuts.

There are also sharpeners and other accessories that are sold by the company.

Chicago Electric has over 150+ tools and accessories to choose from. But are these tools any good?

Are Chicago Electric Tools Any Good?

Quality is really what you want to look for in a power tool. A lot of the low-priced brands will have their tools work for a few weeks before dying out in the middle of a job. Chicago Electric isn’t a very well-known brand, but it is growing in popularity.

In terms of quality, the brand is comparable to Ryobi and SKIL.

A lot of consumers also compare this brand to Craftsman, but the price range is so different that it’s really hard to compare. We found most of the Chicago Electric tools are about a third to one-half cheaper than Craftsman.

The quality is great, and you’ll find that the tools are highly reliable.

You can use these tools for most home and DIY projects without much concern that they’ll break or that there will be an issue with them. The brand doesn’t provide the same quality as say, Makita, but they’re in two completely different price ranges and classes of tools.

Chicago Electric is a tool brand we would recommend to any homeowner or a minor contractor that will not be using the same power tool day-in and day-out.

Consumer Reviews

Reviews are really where we learn a lot about the brands we purchase from. We will note that reviews can often be skewed, with most people only reviewing when they have a complaint, but it really depends on the product.

When you read hundreds or thousands of reviews, you can see a clearer picture of the quality that Chicago Electric offers.

The company is not a high-end brand; they’re more in the mid-range.

Key benefits that consumers boast about are:

  • Price. You can’t beat the price of these tools, and this is the key benefit that you’ll find. Chicago Electric’s tools are simply more affordable, and the tools can fit into anyone’s budget.
  • Quality. Don’t expect these tools to last for decades, but you can expect them to last for years.

When looking at reviews, you’ll find some complaints of a bolt or screw missing on occasion, and a quick call to the manufacturer will rectify this problem. A lot of consumers claim exactly what we have been saying: for the price, it’s very hard to beat Chicago Electric.

The tools are durable, they’ll last for years and they won’t cost a small fortune like DeWalt or other high-priced brands.

Overall, consumers that understand they’re paying less for a slight dip in quality will appreciate Chicago Electric’s lineup of power tools.

Top 3 Chicago Electric Power Tools

Chicago Electric Power has a portfolio of great power tools that are well-priced, low-maintenance and should be in every homeowner’s garage. Below are our picks for the top 3 Chicago Electric power tools.

1. Chicago Electric 67631 Rotary Rock Tumbler

Rock tumbling is a major hobby for some consumers who want to be able to smooth out the rocks that they collect. Chicago Electric’s rock tumbler provides key features that allow for quick and easy tumbling.

Chicago Electric Power Tools 67631 Rotary Rock Tumbler, 3 lb

This model features:

  • 3-pound capacity for rocks of all sizes.
  • 120V, 60Hz motor that is powerful.
  • Plastic components to keep the weight at 7.2 pounds.
  • Quiet operation with low speed to keep rocks from damage.
  • Around 16 RPM or 3 – 4 seconds to complete.
  • 4.5-inch diameter drum.

Last update on 2020-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

When operating a rock tumbler, you’ll be able to smooth rocks and precise stones with ease. A slow speed and 60Hz motor allow for less rock damage and better overall smoothness. Placing gems inside of the tumbler is easy thanks to the generous 4.5-inch diameter.

Operation is relatively quiet – you’ll always hear some humming from a rock tumbler, and the unit is designed to be operated 24/7. One user claims that they had their unit running for a year straight without needing to replace the belt once.

If you have used rock tumblers before, you know that belts almost always need to be replaced every six to eight months if you run the unit day and night.

Chicago Electric has engineered this tumbler to withstand continual usage and operate at the slow, steady speed that a lot of precious stones need to not be damaged when smoothing.

Heat is always a concern with rock tumblers because heat will cause bearings to dry up and can cause damage to rubber components. But this unit’s slow speed allows for cool operating speeds that allow you to run the tumbler for long periods of time without concern of internal damage.

Instructions and a schematic are also provided that enable you to quickly get started with polishing your rocks and precious stones.

2. Chicago Electric 6 Amp Reciprocating Saw

Chicago Electric’s reciprocating saw is one of the best value-for-price items we’ve been able to find. The saw runs on 6 amps and has a rotating handle that makes operation in tight spaces a breeze.

Chicago Electric 6 Amp Reciprocating Saw with Rotating...

This model features:

  • 30-degree shoe plate pivot that provides added stability.
  • 7/8-inches stroke length for cutting larger pieces.
  • Rubber grip that absorbs vibrations and makes usage more comfortable.
  • 1/2-inches twist-lock that allows you to rapidly lock and swap blades.
  • Variable speed trigger to slow or speed up the cutting process.
  • Switch lock on the trigger for added safety and security.
  • Five positive stops for great precision when cutting.

Last update on 2020-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications:

  • Weight: 6.9 pounds
  • Dimensions: 18” L x 3-7/16” W x 6-3/4″ H
  • Bare-tool: Yes

The reciprocating saw operates with six amps of power to provide added cutting power to your tool. Handle rotation can be achieved with five-position stops that include:

  • 45° (left)
  • 90° (left)
  • 45° (right)
  • 90° (right)

When pulling on the trigger, you’ll be able to control the speed of the saw from between zero strokes per minute to 2,500 strokes per minute. Slower speeds may not seem ideal to some users, but they’re very beneficial when cutting through thicker, tougher material.

The material that you cut that’s thicker will often need more finesse and slower speeds to cut through better.

You can achieve the precision cuts and more importantly, fewer snags when operating the saw at 2,500 strokes per minute the entire time.

Keep in mind that this is a bare tool. What does this mean? It means that you will have to purchase the blade and a battery for the unit. Since you’re the one purchasing these attachments and parts, you’ll have greater control over the sharpness or the blade and the longevity of the battery.

You will need the right saw blade for your cutting purpose.

Users that want to cut through nails will need a short blade with more teeth and made from the proper material to cut through nails.

User-friendly, this reciprocating saw, in our opinion, is one of the most best-priced reciprocating saws on the market.

3. 12 Inch Double-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw

A compound miter saw is one of the most versatile saws that you can have in your garage or workshop. When you’re cutting, the 12-inch double-bevel miter saw will provide you with clean cuts and straight lines thanks to the laser guide included.

12 Inch Double-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw with Laser...

This model features:

  • A powerful 15-amp motor that makes cutting thicker material a breeze.
  • Laser guide that enables clean, straight cuts.
  • Dual linear rails that provide added stability for cleaner cuts.
  • Dust bag that is designed to collect dust as you cut for less cleanup.
  • Storage hooks that allow you to mount the saw.

Last update on 2020-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Specifications:

  • Weight: 52 pounds.
  • Bare-tool: No.

Chicago Electric provides one of the most complete miter saws on the market today. The unit is not only powerful, but there’s also a trigger-activated laser guide system that allows you to visually make clean cuts without any guesswork included.

Accessories that are included are massive, and this sets this unit apart from many of the bare tools that the company offers. You’ll find an array of accessories are included in your purchase:

  • Fence.
  • Clamp.
  • Extension bar.
  • Adapter.
  • Cord storage.

Designed to make precision miter, bevel and cross cuts, the saw can go up to speeds of 3,800 RPM. When operating at high speeds, it’s better to cut through softer material while slower speeds are best for cutting through thicker materials.

The unit can produce a 45-degree bevel to the left or right, and miter stops are available at the following degrees: 0, 15, 22.5, 30 and 45.

Cord length is a generous 6-1/3 foot with a cord storage system that makes storing and using the saw safer. As a budget saw, this is one of the better miter saws that comes packed with features but requires a better blade than the 60T that comes in stock to perform finishing work.

Is Chicago Electric a Good Brand?

There’s a lot to like about this brand. When we were researching Chicago Electric power tool reviews, we found that most reviews were very positive. You’re paying a lot less for your power tool while enjoying a better overall quality thanks to the manufacturer selling the tools directly to consumers. For the price, the brand is exceptional.

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