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According to Advertising Age, the AutoWrench was one of the most sought-after tools this Christmas, largely because of Black & Decker and Home Depot’s heavy TV and print advertising.  According to Ad Age:

“Black & Decker declined to disclose sales figures, but the wrench sold out quickly at Home Depot’s 2,127 stores.  ‘We sold everything we bought by Christmas,’ said Billy Bastek, a hardware merchant for Home Depot.  (Sales are ‘loco,’ a Spanish-speaking sales associate in a New Jersey store told a consumer unable to find the wrench at two Home Depots on Dec. 23.)

The article also mentions finding one of the wrenches for a buy-in-now price of $57.99 on eBay two days after christmas.

Besides the fact that we’ve had a bit of fun with the AutoWrench — and the inventor, who’s a very nice guy, by the way, reads and comments from time to time here — this article’s worth checking out because it gives you a glimpse behind the “magic curtain” at how tool companies promote their tools.

How Black & Decker’s Wrench Stole Christmas — And Other Hot Products [Ad Age]


6 Responses to Advertising Age on How the AutoWrench “Stole Christmas”

  1. eschoendorff says:

    This is a typical gift tool. i wouldn’t be caught dead with one, but that’s just me.

  2. JP says:

    Gift Tool, yes… “typical”….. I don’t think so….
    “I wouldn’t be caught dead with one”, “typical” statement…
    Has anyone seen the GGRINCH? Where’s that confounded Grinch…

  3. Kurt says:

    Just listend to this guy on Podcast #21. Pretty interesting. I could easily see this as a useful tool. Sometimes you just have 1 hand free to work a wrench, and this would be really nice for that. Not to mention a slew of handicapped people who still want to actually get work done in the shop/garage.

  4. Paul Grage says:

    Autowrench sucks! It is made out of cheap pot metal and the jaw action is weak and sloppy. I have seen $1.00 chinese wreches tougher than this thing!

  5. Ray says:

    if you want a good quick adjusting wrench, get a crescent with the sliding adjuster. it’s just as easy to work as the autowrench, but grabs tighter, is lighter and more compact, considerably cheaper, and doesn’t require batteries. I’ve tried both, and the crescent is my favorite go to adjustable wrench.

  6. Turner Joy says:

    I agree with Ray, I already had an Autowrench and found the Crescent at Walmart for like 12 dollars. Its faster,smaller and it gets a tighter grip. There are the intangibles that are mostly opinion but I think it is a nicer feeling and looking tool also.

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