Our old friend Harry Sawyer wrote a piece a few weeks back for Popular Mechanics imagining five (funny) fake products that could result from the Stanley/Black & Decker merger. Harry’s mashup of Black & Decker’s campiest holiday gags and Stanley’s popular products result in flights of fantasy like the AutoFat tape measure and the AlligatorVibe AntiLopper — great for yuk value.
But what if you mash up these corporate giants’ home runs? Read on past the jump for five serious results we’d like to see from the merger.
5. Serious Rotary Tools
Black & Decker’s 3-Speed rotary tool temps budget shoppers at just $26 — especially when compared to $54 for Dremel’s much more effective variable speed Model 395 at $54. It doesn’t take a creative genius to envision a Stanley-brand Dremel competitor — a fusion of Black & Decker’s basic model with DeWalt’s motor technologies. Price it around $40 and it’ll fly off Wal-Mart shelves.
4. Awesome Nailers
Bostitch and Porter-Cable already fight separately and successfully in the highly-competitive pneumatic nailer category. Could a combined effort (and combined product resources and technologies) propel the resulting hybrid up the market ladder?
3. Woodworking Tool Kits Containing Both Power Tools And Hand Tools
Talk about the ultimate holiday gift! How ’bout a $500 kit containing a circ saw, palm sander, router, chisel set, tape measure, screw driver set, and level — all Stanley-branded? Or how ’bout a $750 FatMax (or $1000 FatMax Extreme) version of the same kit with an up-scale router based on Porter-Cable’s awesome designs? For that matter, try letting your mind roam free with Stanley’s tool set model. What could you add to these from the newly-acquired companies’ rosters?
2. Updated Lithium-Ion Power Tools For MAC
Just like competitor Snap-on’s powered offerings, most of the power tools in the MAC line smack of re-branded also-rans only appealing to mechanics already financing a roll-away’s worth of tools. But lace those red drill/drivers with DeWalt’s lithium-ion batteries and battery managements systems and you’ve got a Snap-on killer tailor-made for the professional mechanic’s market.
1. A Serious, Mid-Priced Drill/Driver
Try this recipe: Start with Black & Decker’s low-price market and marketing savvy. Toss in DeWalt and Porter-Cable’s power tool manufacturing and design know-how. Now top it with Stanley’s management, quality control, and tool development teams. Simmer for about six months (in the hands of Stanley’s Discovery Team) and serve hot. Result: a reasonably-priced drill/driver option for non-professionals that’ll last more than a few months and actually get the job done.
And this is really just the beginning. Sure, we had a good laugh at Harry’s take. But we’re also seriously excited about what the merger means to the general public’s ability to pick up cheap, reasonable-quality tools outside of Sears. One thing’s certain: When you go holiday shopping this time next year, it’ll be a different environment altogether.