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With DeWalt jumping into the hand tool business with both feet, it’s not surprising that we’d see Milwaukee’s interest in expanding their current power tool range increase as well. But a press release this week suggests that their hand tool efforts will mirror their power tool line’s laser-narrow focus on the needs of specific tradesmen — specifically electricians, HVAC folks, and plumbers. This year’s planned expansion will include “quick adjust reaming pliers, tongue-in-groove pliers, aviation snips, and a non-powered PEX/tubing cutter.”

The release also mentions “a family of 6 in 1 tools that will reduce the number of Hand Tools needed to complete common applications such as reaming pipe, cutting nails, pulling wire, cutting bolts, and more,” specifically to be released in the form of linesman’s, diagonal cutting, combination wire, and long-nose pliers. The tools will all be “drop forged, machined, and treated to resist rust” and will feature over-molded grips.

In basic description these sound very similar to most tools currently targeted at these professionals, but as we all know the quality lies in the details. And this is a seriously tough market to break into. Professionals, in our experience, are pretty brand loyal, and none of the power tool manufacturers (even those with serious pro-level brand recognition) have yet conquered hand tools — though they’re all trying pretty hard. We look forward to seeing these tools and putting ’em to the test.

Quick question, though: What would it take to pry you off your existing brand? Or are you already primed to give power tool manufacturers a shot at your hand tool bag?


12 Responses to Milwaukee to Expand Hand Tool Line

  1. putnameco says:

    Durability is my number one priority when spending my tool dollars.Nothing worse than spending my hard earned dollars and having a tool break or wear out shortly after purchasing it.If a tool can’t stand up to day to day wear and tear for at least a year or two, I have a really hard time justifying its purchase.
    After that, I look for tools that make my job easier or that allow me to produce a better product.If I’m not working as hard,I can usually accomplish more in the day and if I’m building it better it will both insure continuing work and allow me to charge a greater fee. Third, I look towards keeping my fellow countrymen employed, if my customers are unemployed, they won’t be hiring me to do any work for them.
    For the majority of my hand tool needs I purchase Klein, Channellocks, and Knipex and an occasional Snap-on, or S&K I don’t really feel that I’m particularly brand loyal, I just try to buy the best tool for the job.

    Make a durable tool, that makes my life easier, and produce it in America.

  2. Bill says:

    “Third, I look towards keeping my fellow countrymen employed,”—I whole heartedly agree with this. Went to Home Depot today (what else is new)you’d be surprized how many hand tools are made in USA. for example tri-squares, mini pry bar sets, sure not million $ tools but every bit helps.

  3. Mike says:

    The problem is just about every tool brand has tools made in China. How will they stand out any diferent. Tiawan made tools are superior to Chineese made.

    • putnameco says:

      Re: Mike says:
      The problem is just about every tool brand has tools made in China.

      Try Channellock, Knipex and Klein, I don’t believe any of their hand tools are Chiwanese, although some of Kleins other products are of Asian origin.

  4. TominDC says:

    Like PUTNAMECO, I have not hand-tool brand loyalty as the rainbow of handle colors in my toolbox attest. However, I am a big fan of Milwaukee powertools, and that will cause me to look at their offerings before making a future purchase. So, there might be an advantage to expanding into tools that do not plug in.

  5. fred says:

    Having bought more plumbing and carpentry tools over the years – we probably have more Ridgid, Reed, Wheeler Rex, Channellock and Stanley hand tools than many other brands – but as others have said – Knipex pliers and Wera screwdrivers have been creeping into our tool carts and boxes much more of late (and we might give NWS a try). Milwaukee was always a chosen source for power tools and accessories. Their foray into plumbing tools – with their dual platform Pex expanders have all but supplanted our older Wirsbo/Uponor tools. So – if they produce a few specialty tools that look like they will increase productivity and stand-up to jobsite rigors – we’re likely to try them out. I have a set (8, 10 and 12 inch)of their adjustable reaming pliers on order at Amazon (not quite availble yet for shipping)to do just that.

  6. Paul says:

    Milwaukee stuff is still well made, but a lot of it comes out of china. So for most of these hand tools I doubt you are getting a truely premium product.

  7. jesse says:

    Really, who needs them? We’re already drowning in cheap Chinese tools. Every American brand seems to have them. Enough already.

  8. Coach James says:

    Unless these tools are made in the USA, I will stick with Chanellock, Wilde, Pratt Reed etc.

  9. pete says:

    i thought i would love their folding utility knife, but it feels too bulky, with the knife sticking out way to far to have good control or pressure. my goto knife has been a 4 yr old husky folding (homedepot), only issue with that one is the bladelock pops open if you cut in deep. don’t have that problem on the milwaukee.

    also, i noticed a extreme variation in manufacturing quality, where the homedepots that i visited had different batches, all cut, ground and assembled differently, often poorly. i had to pick and choose to find one that worked correctly

  10. Sean says:

    IDEAL tools are made in the USA, and have had a chance to work with a few of them lately. Awesome stuff, and for some reason they are not on a lot of the big MADE IN THE USA kicks that Klein and snap on are on. There are lots of made in the USA tools out there, but as usual, advertising and popularity and gimics sell tools. Channel Locks are CALLED channel locks, Klein’s are called Kleins for a reason…. They made the best slip joint pliars and lineman pliars available.

  11. zaid says:


    i need many hand tolls

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