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I think it is human nature to want to have made the best tool purchases, and the cheaper brands challenge that. You need to know you made a good investment by spending more, and so people that spent 2x the price of ryobi, etc want to put a lot of emphasis on those differences.

I've owned some cheaper tools and some of the biggest differences have been overall weight, durability, and dust collectuon.

Ryobi also has an advantage of mass production compared to some brands
 
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For what it's worth (and this discussion is pretty played out so I feel random comments are fair game at this point)

I have a lower opinion of someone with a premium tool with zero idea how to use it than I do of someone with a cheap tool with no idea how to use it.

I'm also not talking about the learning curve stage either.

When you buy a top of the line tool, you should back that up with some skill.

People with a drill from ryobi, black and decker etc...it's zero judgment from me when you break those out once a year on Christmas eve to unscrew grandma because she got wrapped up in the Christmas tree again after a little too many wine coolers.
 

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For my cordless tools, I just went dewalt because they have an impressive lineup in terms of breadth of options, and I have a lot of friends with the same system, so finding used tools / borrowing tools is pretty easy. Getting the dewalt was not significantly more expensive than the ryobi, so it was fine with me. The top model dewalt drill did seem more powerful than the ryobi, so I could get rid of all my corded drills (except the sds hammer drill)
 
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