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Writing about (and talking about writing about and talking about talking about writing about — you get the idea) tools all day, we hear a lot about branding, especially from those who work in the field. You’d be flat amazed by how much effort (and cash) goes into training you to Pavlovianly think “BOSCH!” when you see blue power tools or “DEWALT!” when you see yellow ones. So when a company changes the color of tools, it’s usually a much bigger deal than you might suspect. Hence why we took notice when we started seeing green tools from Stanley.

I know. You’re probably thinking: “Why the hell are you babbling about the color of tools? I just want the damn thing to work. I don’t care what color it is!” And you’re not wrong. In fact, that’s the idea (at least officially) behind the green tools: Stanley’s R&D folks discovered that the green tapes are easier to see than the classic yellow-and-black, so they produced a whole line of ’em. As far as I’m concerned, that’s pretty cool. If you can see green better than yellow, hell, make ’em green. Or fluorescent orange. Or glow-in-the-dark pink. Whatever gets the job done.

(I bet folks would be less likely to steal the glow-in-the-dark pink ones.)

But what do you think? Try to be painfully honest here: Would you buy a green tape over a yellow one if they’re functionally the same otherwise?


21 Responses to Stanley High-Vis Green

  1. Bajajoaquin says:

    Is it that people can see the green tape better, or is it that DeWalt has done a better job of branding than Stanley in recent years, and they are more identified with yellow and black?

    This is marketing and branding, after all. It’s not like the answer is really the answer.

  2. Mike47 says:

    Some years back the safety-oriented people concluded that lime green made for a better color for fire trucks. Some departments changed over to the great new color. Now, years later, the consensus is it wasn’t all that great after all, and most municipal departments have changed back to what they used previously.

    Conclusion? Lots of people like to chase new trends.

  3. Blind says:

    Last I heard, yellow on black is the highest contrast combination for our eyes to pick up. Supposedly there is something about green light seeming brighter to our eyes than other pure colors though, so who knows, they might be on to something, or not. Like Baja says, marking is probably it.

    And I would totally buy pink tools. If you have no issues with the color (I kind of like it really) it basically ensures that you will always know which stuff is yours and people won’t take it.

  4. Ramone Fuego says:

    Green = Hitachi

  5. Chris says:

    Ramone: No, green = Kawasaki 😉


  6. Julian Tracy says:

    Probably the real reason is that they are now introducing a complete line of Bostich branded hand tools – a lot of the Fatmax stuff is being re-branded at Bostich. Had to make the Stanley stuff separate from that stuff…


  7. Michael says:

    I’ve got Komelon tapes in 12′, 16′ and 25′, all readily available and about 30 yellow ones somewhere. Though I hate Ryobi in green.

  8. Cameron Watt says:

    I painted all my tools pink once but they were still “borrowed”….at least they were easier to spot around the shop.

    ….and green is John Deere!

  9. Michael says:

    There is John Deer green

    and then there is “I like to shop for pillow shams” green (ryobi).

  10. kdp says:

    Green – easier to see around the jobsite or easier to see on store shelves?

  11. Pat says:

    Green = Greenlee. They look a lot like the line of Greenlee hand tools.

  12. Chris says:

    I think it is definitely a combination of branding and visibility. If the functionality were the same I guess it is just a matter of color preference.

  13. Thomas says:

    Green = what? (I’m red green colorblind, looks bout yellow n’ black to me 🙂

  14. A.Crush says:

    Somewhat of an odd move, since Sears recently made it’s entry-level eVolv tool lineup colors similar green and grey. The green/black looks cooler, but is still green.

    I’ve gone out of my way to get hi-Vis tools. Craftsman used to make a line of neon orange handled stuff, some of which I manged to get before it was discontinued. I’ve got a rare set of neon green Craftsman screwdrivers that look bizarre next to the regular ones. It’s definitely functional, since you can see the tool a lot easier, and you’re less likely to lose them, too. I like neon stuff just because it looks cool, or more modern/futuristic than the ‘ol standby plain stuff. The bad? It’s so uncommon, when you break it or need to trade it in, you’re stuck getting a standard one.

    However, almost all of these ‘green’ tools from Stanley are just redesigned made in China tools, some of which don’t seem to carry their usual warranty. The color move makes some sense because there’s a LOT of brands using yellow these days, and the tool displays like the one pictured in Lowe’s definitey stand out, BUT as hardcore tool guys, we know what matters: the quality of the tool, and the warranty behind it. As much as I like neon stuff, I probably won’t be getting any of these since A) I already have some if not all of the tools Stanley makes in this lineup and B) I try to avoid non-USA-made no-warranty tools unless they are a killer deal that is too good to pass up.

    If the only tools on the market with a lifetime warranty were pink, then you can bet I’d use pink.

  15. DDT says:

    I read in a colour theory book that Green is the first colour people see when they walk into a room.

  16. phil says:

    Like DDT says:
    I read in a colour theory book that Green is the first colour people see when they walk into a room.
    There’s a reason for that…our eyes are most sensitive in the 555nm (green) area of the visible light spectrum. When you look at the visible light sprectrum the eye tends to go straight to the green first then it sort of scans the range of color from that, from the cool blues to the hot reds.
    I’m sure that’s just one reason that the marketing departments love to try on green once in a while.

    I always thought of the green Stanley line as consumer line stuff.

  17. fred says:

    Seeing green! Maybe its just millions of years of evolution starting with our ancient ancestors out on the plains of Africa – where spotting a patch of green meant food and water.

  18. Celia says:

    Green is the cheapest color of plastic going around in the Peoples Republic.

  19. Peter says:

    to:Chuck Cage
    where did u find it ? I still see yellow stanley handtools in homedepot last week.
    the cost is cheaper !!
    Do u think that those sets are in lower quality?

    I also visit Stanley web site, the main color is still yellow.

    Anyone know the answer?

    to : Julian Tracy

    Stanley have dewalt brand now, and it is yellow too……..


  20. Steve says:

    Since DeWalt and Stanley are now the same company I am sure it has more to do with brand differentiation than anything else. Yellow = DeWalt, so Stanley has to change.

  21. Squidwelder says:

    I don’t give a crap if my measuring tape is Barbie Pink and my hammer is Turd Brown. As long as the tools do the job they’re designed to do every time I use them, I can deal with Raver Camo screwdrivers all day long, even if they would be painful under a black light.

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