As a reminder, Dewalt and Milwaukee Tool are NOT owned by the same company.
A lot of you are of course saying “duh, of course, we know that!” but I keep coming across people asserting otherwise. I have had to correct reader comments on occasion, and I am also seeing similar misinformation on social media and online forums.
I probably need to make some updates, but you can refer to this post: Tool Brands: Who Owns What? A Guide to Corporate Affiliations for a breakdown as to which companies own which tool brands.
Stanley Black & Decker owns Dewalt, and Techtronic Industries (TTI) owns Milwaukee Tool. There is no notable crossover, partnership, or cooperative efforts between these companies.
This was all prompted by another recent reader comment that insists Dewalt, Makita, and Milwaukee are all owned by the same company. They’re not. And while Dewalt and Milwaukee have sibling tool brands, Makita is completely unrelated to any other tool brand.
There are also few parallels between Stanley Black & Decker and TTI’s corporate structures.
At Dewalt and Stanley Black & Decker, R&D efforts might cross brand lines. For instance, Dewalt T-Stak and Craftsman VersaStack tool storage products are largely similar. In these cases, the same storage team might develop products for both brands.
When it comes to Milwaukee Tool and TTI, there are collaborative efforts between Milwaukee and the brands they own – Stiletto, Empire Level, and Imperial Tool. However, the same is not true when it comes to Milwaukee’s sibling brands under TTI, such as Ryobi and Hart.
It sometimes appears that Milwaukee and their sibling tool brands work closely together, such as when Milwaukee, Ridgid*, and Ryobi all launch similar types of products in the same year, but we’ve asked several people and have been assured that it’s always just a coincidence.
* Ridgid isn’t really a TTI brand, but TTI develops their power tools under license for Home Depot. Here’s another link to my corporate affiliations post if you want to learn more.
So, there could be both dedicated and group efforts behind Dewalt’s tool developments, while Milwaukee tends to operate more autonomously. Neither approach is better or worse than the other, but this seemed like an appropriate place to discuss the matter. Personally, I find it interesting how the two brands can be so different behind the scenes.
I always ask the people who come up with these ridiculous facts, to say where they got their information.
Like when I hear a big box store telling a customer a 2ah battery last 2 hours in the drill. Well how long does it last in a saw, 2 hours? “Oh, no, not that long”. Then how does it last 2 hours in a drill, and what are you drilling, air? Obviously that salesman is set in his ways, but I will chime in and tell the customer that is garbage information.
LOL, I’m glad I’m not the only one who interjects into random conversations at Home Depot. The last time I couldn’t help it was when I overheard a lady telling her husband they wanted a brushed blower instead of the brushless one “Because this one has brushes and that one doesn’t have any.” 🤣
Facebook. That dumb*ss thing is going to be the bane of our existence.
In other news, dog bites man.
Can’t be, I heard the dog and the man are the same person.
Well that at least explains why you only see Milwaukee at HD lol.
“Ridgid isn’t really a TTI brand, but TTI develops their power tools under license for Home Depot. Here’s another link to my corporate affiliations post if you want to learn more.”
Wait can you explain the relationship between TTI, Emerson and Home Depot a bit more? Or was this a typo meaning Emerson electric?
The brand name is licensed from Emerson, with Ridgid power tools as a Home Depot brand.
TTI North America is the designer and supplier.
Home Depot is the exclusive customer/retail partner.
Emerson owns the Ridgid name, which they license to TTI for this.
Ridgid power tools are essentially designed and developed for sale at Home Depot. Their plumbing tools are separate from this.
Which brings you down a rabbet hole of the unrelated Peddinghaus brands that I constantly have to clarify. A bit similar to constantly having to clarify that Festool doesn’t own the Narex that makes chisels. :0
Since you mentioned it. Narex confusion is understandable. Before 1990 Narex was the state owned company in what is now Czech Republic, under which there were several tool making factories. After 1990 the company was privatized and split. What is today Narex.cz is owned by TTS, parent of Festool. They make fine power tools, but do not sell in NA. The hand tool making company is located in different town and is NarexTools.cz. It is much smaller LLC company. The two companies have nothing in common other than the Narex part in their names. Their histories are on their web pages in English.
So a bit more than anyone probably needs to know:
The name Ridgid derives from North Ridgeville Ohio where the Ridge Tool company was founded in 1923. They had a new style of pipe wrench with a solid hook jaw and threaded adjustment via a knurled nut that was captured in a solid cast iron body holding the opposing jaw. That style wrench is still the most popular pipe wrench design today in the USA and it superseded Stilson and Coes pattern wrenches.
In 1966 Emerson Electric bought the Ridge Tool company and acquired the trademarked name “Ridgid”
Back in the 1950’s and ’60’s Emerson was one of the major power tools suppliers to Sears for Craftsman tools like table saws . At some point Sears decided to shop for a cheaper OEM (starting in Taiwan) and threw Emerson over for other alternatives. Emerson for their part – negotiated one or more deals with the up and coming Home Depot. Part of that deal seems to have been having Emerson supply some tools like Vacuums to Home Depot under the Ridgid brand and possibly other stationary and benchtop tools akin to what they had been making for Sears. Emerson also licensed the Ridgid name to Home Depot to allow them to use it on tools outside of those for the plumbing trade. Emerson still retains the Ridgid brandname and its exclusive use on plumbing tools made by their Ridge Tool Company subsidiary. Home sepor contracts with various other OEMs (often changing) to produce things like Ridgid extension cords, drill bits, shovels etc. TTI (either under license from Emesrson or sublicense via Home Depot – produces the Ridgid line of small power tools (many looking like ones branded under the AEG name in Europe.
You can get a rough estimation of tool evolution from cartoons and comics – the older ones will have wrenches that are distinct from our current ones.
Hi Fred, thanks for all of the great info you provide. Very much appreciated!
I have a question about a comment you made down this thread:
“The last time I looked the RIDGID corded vacs had UPC’s indicating that Emerson was the supplier.”
So cool. Where can I get a UPC decoder ring?
So how does AEG factor into that relationship, given that it sells identical cordless tools & batteries to Ridgid-branded ones?
AEG is a TTI brand. Some AEG tools are offered under Ridgid for Home Depot, others are exclusive to AEG.
Ah never mind. I see that TTI owns AEG.
So perhaps Ridgid cordless tools are really just rebranded AEG ones, and TTI is double-dipping on the designs for NA & Euro markets separately. I definitely don’t know for sure myself, though.
I believe that the AEG brandname is owned by Electrolux AB and is used under license by TTI
“ AEG is a registered trademark used under license from AB Electrolux.”
But TTI also lists the brand in their corporate portfolio, and so it’s not quite the same as Ridgid, which is not in TTI’s portfolio.
Fred Beat me 2 it, the product line is from TTI but the name AEG is licensed
Currently, that is exactly what they are doing. AEG is an old brand and the spun off power tool division was well regarded. There was an AEG badged Holz-Herr belt sander that was very popular here (Festool snatched it up) but mostly their rotary hammers and drills sold well the USA. I believe Atlas Copco was trying their best to merge AEG and Milwaukee (they did merge their factory resources) but ultimately got out of the business and passed it into TTI.
This is a reply to the replies of your reply.
The AEG power tool company is 100% owned by TTI, purchased from Atlas Copco. The trademark “AEG” is what is being licensed.
The opposite situation is where KKR bought Hitachi-Koki power tools but did not want to license the “Hitachi” trademark.
AEG and Milwaukee came as a package deal from Atlas Copco in 2005.
In an interesting turn of events Ridgid bench tools (Mitre saws, the planer, the bench sander and table saws) are now made by Chang Type Industrial Co., Ltd. They are mostly rebrands of popular Delta models like the table saws and the Cruzer mitre saws. It’s a brand new agreement they aren’t making much of a big deal about because the lifetime service agreement is gone on these models. It’s called Ridgid NEXT, Lookie here:
RIDGID 10 in. Dual Bevel Sliding Miter Saw
The whole lineup is pictured in the 3rd image.
Seems Emerson isn’t using TTi for everything power tool related now.
I don’t think Emerson has much to do with it. I believe that Home Depot – who has the license from Emerson to use (on everything but plumbing tools) the Ridgid name – has just contracted with a different OEM. As far as I know TTI never made the bench tools for Home Deopt.
Its sort of analogous to what HD did with Ridgid brand extension cords. Once made by Cerro Wire in the USA , now being made by Exito Electronics in the Philippines
Makes sense. Could definitely be Depot doing it. I think Emerson still makes the corded wet/dry vacs, but I’m not sure.
You are probably correct. The last time I looked the RIDGID corded vacs had UPC’s indicating that Emerson was the supplier.
I wonder if this is a Home Depot brokered deal. Ridgid tools by Emerson are Red whereas the HD exclusive power tools are Orange.
TTI Home country of Origin is Hong Kong, currently under Chinese Oversight. Stanley Black and Decker, which owns DeWalt. Made in USA (with global materials).
Look up the TTI board of directors and tell me it’s under “Chinese oversight”. Hong Kong was an entirely different place when they set up shop there….and the way things are going I doubt they’ll be HQ’d in HK for much longer. I haven’t seen many Milwaukee tools that weren’t made in Vietnam as of late…
& we as consumer can buy stock in TTI and reap the rewards of the grow in tools sales & stock price.
Here is the link to an article earlier in 2021 about the Chairman of TTI.
Joe Galli (ex DW guy) tried to do what TTI has been doing for the past 15 years while CEO of Newell Rubbermaid without success.
I’ll have to admit, when I first saw the Red & Yellow image with this post, on your home page, I thought this was going to be an article about, “Who makes the best multi-head drill driver?”
My second thought was, “Does Stuart really want to start something?”
But then I read the title and article. Crisis avoided.
Spelling error, “by” instead of “but”: “I probably need to make some updates, by you can refer to this post”.
Thank you! *fixed*
But Ryobi and Milwaukee is the same company ……
This is discussed in the post.
Courtesy of Wikipedia:
“Ryobi Power Tools and Ryobi Outdoor Power Equipment are brands of Techtronic Industries, used under license from Ryobi Limited.”
Here’s a link to what else Ryobi does:
LOL – but if I recall I read an article somewhere that one of the VP. or higher ups at Milwaukee or TTI is a former SBD person who was on top of dewalt at one time.
or some variant of that. Might be leading to some of the issues you see.
Joseph Galli Jr
Multiple ex B & D/DW folks are w/ TTI “now.”
Steven Richman, Group President at Milwaukee Tool for nearly 15 years now, was previously CEO of Warner Co, and President of Skil and Bosch Power Tools before that.
Quite a few Milwaukee Tool people were lured away from Stanley Black & Decker around 14 years ago:
Shane Moll (President Power Tools)
Tim Albrecht (President, Hand Tools & Storage)
Paul Fry (VP of Cordless)
It’s interesting to look at decision makers’ histories.
A director at Makita USA, for instance, went from Stanley Black & Decker to Makita, then to Harbor Freight for 5-1/2 years, and back to Makita.
Luis A Rios
Wait, now you have me confused, I taught Hart was owned by Chervon who makes Flex not TTI, what gives.
No, Hart is a TTI brand.
Ok, so that settles all of the misinformation. Now if we just knew why Milwaukee doesn’t have a track saw? And will Dewalt make a Flexvolt router to compete with Metabo 36v plunge router?
Good questions, and now we need to know when the patent on the Domino runs out, and affordable alternatives will be available.
To a lesser extent (because of less popularity) the same is true for Lamello’s Zeta P2 system. Building take-apart furniture with the Lamello machine is nice and precise – but the full setup (machine, jigs etc.) cost me something north of $2500.
Sadly, with the global shortages prices just keep creeping higher. I noticed 6ah Flexvolt batteries have taken a jump in price. Maybe we will see some holiday sales on some items.
I’m afraid that many prices might first be pushed up by 20% so that they can be put on sale for 15% off. Just kidding – but last year’s Black Friday – Cyber Monday deals seemed a bit anemic to me – and I can’t see that this year will be better.
As for the various TTI brands independently developing their products, that may be true BUT, since they are under the TTI umbrella, it is highly likely that production facilities (if owned by TTI), intellectual property (patents, production methods, etc…), subcontractors or master contracts for things like batteries and other resources such as skilled facility managers and engineers are shared between the various TTI brands. Making most efficient use of skills and resources across brands is one way large companies make profitable businesses MORE profitable. TTI doesn’t acquire brands only to let them continue down the same path. They acquire brands and lines of business and hopefully grow both revenue and profits by efficiently using the all of the parent company resources at their disposal.
Stanley Black & Decker (SBD) does the same thing. One example is the production of DeWalt cordless lawn mowers using resources from MTD, a recently acquired SBD company.
After Milwaukee acquired Empire, we had a factory tour a year or two later, and were told that they made considerable investments in expanding and modernizing Empire’s capabilities.
It seems Empire might be leveraging some of TTI’s overseas production capabilities, and Milwaukee Tool is also leveraging some of Empire’s domestic capabilities.
However, none of Empire’s operations seem to be available to Ryobi or Ridgid brands.
Even with Milwaukee, Ryobi, and Ridgid tools being made at TTI facilities, the parts are different. There’s a misconception that Milwaukee uses the same parts as those found in Ryobi tools, but I’ve been told this is completely false.
This is in contrast to Stanley Black & Decker, where you can have common components or construction across their brands.
Sharing of parts, components or services between subsidiaries or even divisions within a company that operates across different jurisdictions or countries can have tax implications. So if TTI’s Ryobi were to supply engineering services or parts to TTI’s Milwaukee or vice versa the costs charged/fees paid might get complicated. Running a large business is not like running a mom and pop candy store.
TTi brands might not share development but they can allow the the other in house brands to develop something that would otherwise infringe on each other’s patents. At least between Milwaukee and Ryobi, there has been at least one “in house” patent dispute involving Ridgid though.
I wonder what percentage of TTIs revenue is through Home Depot.
In the US, the vast majority I presume. But that’s just a guess.
Found it! Almost 61% of TTi’s North American revenue is through Home Depot making up almost 47% of their worldwide revenue overall. One single retailer, exclusively in North America, accounts for almost half of all their business worldwide.
The last time I ran the numbers, North America sales contributed an even greater percentage of TTI’s total sales. https://toolguyd.com/dewalt-craftsman-stanley-vs-milwaukee-ryobi-empire-stanley-black-decker-tti-2018-financials/ At the time, TTI’s total revenue share for North America was 76.5%, and their largest customer (presumably Home Depot) contributed ~45% (calculated) of their total revenue.
For that year, (2018), Home Depot and Lowe’s combined contributed ~31% of Stanley Black & Decker’s total tools and storage revenue.
Yeah, it’s all in that ballpark, Home Depot accounts for almost half of TTi’s revenue. This will be fine for them so long as Home Depot doesn’t falter or have a falling out with them. It looks like they both understand how important they are to each other right now.
Well the TTI ,Ryobi, Ridgid relationship makes sense as to why Ridgid’s jobmax and Ryobi’s job plus multi tool heads are interchangeable between the brands
There is more crossover between Milwaukee, Ridgid (AEG) and Ryobi than TTI leads you to believe. We usually service our own Milwaukee tools (faster and cheaper to do it in-house) and there are large number of interchangeable parts between them. Some tools on occasion have had all the same internals with a different case. 10 years ago 90% of Ridgid tools were just recased versions of Milwaukee’s previous gen. tools. They are more unique these days, but a lot of the more specialty tools still share a large number of components.
Was expecting someone to post “Who’s on first ? What’s on second?…”😉
That’s why I like Makita, no nonsense, Makita owns Makita.
Sure it has been said a million times before. I wish brands under the same company would work more closely together. For example, why can’t Dewalt and Craftsman cordless tool formats be made in such a way that the batteries are interchangeable? DeWalt tools being more for the heavy duty users and Craftsman tools more for the home diyer, etc. Would give the flexibility to buy different tools for specific needs but not having to have multiple battery/charging platforms.
once again class, repeat after me, “businesses exist to create revenue and profit for their owners.” If a course of action doesn’t improve revenue and profitability, it should be avoided unless external forces (laws, regulation, market conditions, etc.) require it.
SBD has concluded that openly mixing DeWalt and Craftsman is not in their interest.
I’m not attacking you personally, but this economist drivel is the exact reason we have the problems we have in our economy and country today. It’s the same kind of bull that leads to statements like “everyone benefits from business bringing the best product to market for the least cost,” completely oblivious to that if not a single person in the US was employed, nobody could purchase the high value, low cost consumer goods.
No offense taken. I don’t know what type of work you do, but if you are in a position making decisions for your organization to generate profitable revenue, you would know that many times you are forced into making compromises that may not be the best for your workers, your community, your country but they are right for your organization. For better or worse many business decisions have adverse impacts beyond the business; however, the freewheeling, largely amoral, capitalist business community has brought us an incredibly panoply of consumer goods and the wealth for many, but certainly not all. It’s certainly possible to organize a community that uses less resources and spreads wealth more equitably but such a community will be unlikely to have the vast choices we have available to us. As a personal exercise, take a long hard look at where the revenue that pays your income comes from and ponder if you would have the same quality of life under an alternative economic system that you think would produce the kind of outcomes you think would be better for all. There’s no one right answer and I agree that our system has many flaws and it’s ok to look to change the system to try to make it better. However, I stand by my statement that businesses only exist to make money to pay the bills and provide owners a return on their investment.
Adam Smith ‘s Invisible Hand. I don’t like it but I can’t think of a better system 🙂
I really can’t see the point of correcting the info foolish people spout. What’s next – “Update: masks DO NOT cause cancer”.
Let the uninformed idiots be.
Most important thing to realize is that almost everything iz out sourced now, and imported. Like dewalt says made in USA with global materials. Thats the selling point for me. The money I spend on these tools at somepoint goes back into the us. Plus their tools are top of the line, and they have a wider variety of tools, and realease new products usually before other companies. Yes they outsource everyones doing that. But, the most important thing is that by buying dewalt or sbd, is that some of that money spent pays others right here at home. So to me dewalts always my first choice hands down. Especially in their innovation department. I always like to buy products that are ahead of the curve anyways. This is like comparing the iphone 12 to the Kyocera whatever they have…
That’s a valid opinion, but I should point out that Milwaukee Tool has also been heavily investing in new factories and the expansion of existing facilities, which means more jobs. They also produce power tool accessories, certain corded tools, and what I hope will be a growing list of new products in the USA.
Dewalt, or rather Stanley Black & Decker, has also been expanding their USA production such as with the upcoming facility in Texas.
Tracing “where the money goes” is not an easy task when it comes to either brands’ publicly-traded companies, but the fact is they both spend a lot in the USA, as do their employees who pay rent, own homes, buy groceries and consumer goods, and pay income taxes.
It gets even more convoluted when you consider the impact on stock price and who owns the shares. I own shares of several Vanguard funds. I believe that one of those funds includes some TTI stock. That fund had appreciated in value in the last few years. TTI’s stock also went up a goodly amount over that period – I suspect contributing to the increase in the associated Vanguard Fund. I use some my Vanguard holdings to produce the income that I live on in retirement. So – in this convoluted way some of TTI/Milwaukee’s income went into my pocket last year and will likely do so again this year.
Now that’s funny, to suggest Dewalt is ahead in any innovation curve. I’ve got quite a few Dewalt tools and generally they are of a pretty decent quality and built for hard work, but For the last 10 years or so, they’ve been followers in regards to tool innovation rather than leaders.
I’d give the innovation “prize” to Milwaukee for bring some very unique cordless tools to the market, and maybe Dewalt/Makita in 2nd place and Bosch dead last. (The big three “Pro” brands).
Dewalt has done some serious catch up the last year, but still their 20V lineup pales compared to Makita and Milwaukee in total breadth. And only just recently have they breathed any life into their 12v lineup – another area in which Milwaukee is clearly ahead compared to any other brand.
IMHO it’s a classic “6 of one, half a dozen of the other” sort of situation. As you said Milwaukee has been kicking Dewalt’s rear in terms of 12V tools, especially mechanic’s tools. That’s why I jumped into M12 a few years ago to complement my 20V Max: they had the mechanics tools I needed and Dewalt simply didn’t. On the other hand, I feel that for other than mechanic’s tools Dewalt’s ergos are far better than M12. And for other tools it’s hit and miss. Milwaukee is ahead in the big impact wrench department, but I’d take a Flexvolt recip saw, grinder, or circ saw over an M18 any day, and the Flexvolt 9″ cutoff saw is a clear winner over the M18. The M12 soldering iron is a joke–it has a plastic collar near the heating element which melts itself to death in short order. Youtube testing seems to show the new Dewalt compact impacts stomping the Milwaukees, but then again it’s about time as they’ve been behind in that game for many years. Dewalt has an alligator saw while Milwaukee does not, though we don’t get those in North America. Dewalt is ahead with big rotary hammers but but Dewalt doesn’t offer any real answer to MX. Meanwhile neither company makes a cordless bandfile while the lowly Ryobi does…..
IMHO both companies make some great tools, both make some stinkers, and there’s holes in both product lines.
IMHO of the big companies I see a lot of of the innovation coming from Makita. Where’s the Dewalt or Milwaukee or other brands of coffee maker? Powered wheelbarrow? Television? Makita makes a great bandfile, I bought one because yellow & red didn’t have them.
Some tool company needs to partner with Nespresso. I’d love me some cordless espresso. 😄
Oh my God! I had just mentioned to a friend. He said Bob Stanley’s plumber (who happens to use Rigid tools from both companies) overheard Bob and Ron Decker say they were leaving the SBD board and buying TTI. Decker wants to be a silent partner, though, so I think I’m calling this whole thing BS.
I just want to say: my furnace was dead this morning, it took 18 minutes to get an Egg McMuffin, and my wife went to be with her 80+ mother in the hospital on Friday. This little post made me happy, so I hereby nominate myself for the non-existant COTD (comment of the day). Thank you to all my fans, critics who make me better, but most of all, the writers.
Sounds like Jay Leno to me.
Except for literal nepotism these modern era convoluted brand ownerships, cross licensing arrangements and retailing channels are all extensions of past US corporate events.
AKA Sears at retail and everything else through Grainger and their smaller regionalized competitors.
Are they not?
Somewhere I saw an interesting article about the leadership at MKE coming from DeWalt and using the same marketing techniques that put DeWalt on the map in the mid-90s – When other companies were cranking out the same crap in the cordless tool market DeWalt started coming out with new tools and listening to the pros. I remember first cordless tools, then contractor tools then accessories – DeWalt seems to have rested while MKE has done the same thing they did and taking it to the next level- Meanwhile Makita is still there just cranking out good quality tools but nothing innovative since the LXT of 2007