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?