A few months ago, Home Depot started replacing Bosch power tool accessories with Diablo power tool accessories.
Taking a close look at the different offerings, the Diablo spade drill bits appeared to be identical to Bosch’s, but in red and with slightly higher pricing.
Then, we stumbled across a massive launch – Diablo has kicked off not one but two lines of oscillating multi-tool accessories. The new Diablo OMT blades look to be nearly identical to separate product lines by Bosch (Starlock) and Dremel. As you might know, all three companies are owned by Bosch.
See Also: A Guide to Tool Brands and their Corporate Affiliations
But wait, there’s even more – Diablo has also launched a new line of impact-rated screwdriver bits.
Hmm, these look familiar as well.
At this time, the Diablo screwdriver bits look to be priced a little higher than Bosch’s, or at least the assortments I checked. Other than that, what’s different about them – a red sleeve instead of silver?
What is going on with Diablo and Bosch? This looks to be a BIG move.
The new accessories are on store shelves, but Diablo has yet to make any public announcements.
We reached out to Diablo 2 weeks ago, asking if an email Q&A or phone interview would be possible so that we could learn more about the new products, but they have not yet responded. I repeated our request for more information, and hopefully we’ll be able to learn more.
But, since we don’t have any official comments to glean insights from, let’s speculate.
What are Some Possible Reasons for Diablo’s Huge Out-of-Nowhere Expansion?
When the Diablo-branded Bosch power tool accessories first appeared, it was at Home Depot. It seemed reasonable to think that maybe Home Depot and Bosch/Diablo were seeking to expand and consolidate Diablo offerings there. Having more Diablo brand labeling, rather than Diablo for some accessories and Bosch for others, seems logical.
But Diablo oscillating multi-tool blades? Diablo jig saw blades? Diablo screwdriver bits?
Diablo did answer some questions about their new OMT blades (and we appreciate it!):
We are very excited to be entering this category. Our accessories fit all modern tools through the Starlock and Universal fit interface designs – no notable outliers. We are introducing new solutions to a category that hasn’t seen much innovation in years. Our radical new technology offers superior performance and life, along with the ability to elevate and expand cutting solutions through application specific blades.
The two separate accessory lines could get confusing, but it also means Diablo will have blades that are compatible with most tools’ tool-free blade change interfaces.
It’s not clear as to what radical new technologies or innovations are in the works, or if they’re referring to the new accessories that bear extremely strong resemblances to existing Bosch offerings. Or is there more to come?
There’s still the WHY?
Is Home Depot involved in this? Possibly to a minor extent, such as concerning which accessories will be featured in stores under Diablo or Bosch brands. But no, this doesn’t seem like a grand Home Depot merchandising strategy – this appears to be a Diablo Tools initiative.
In the same regard, I don’t think that this huge multi-faceted Diablo “expansion” would have been influenced by say a Lowe’s move to request Bosch accessory exclusivity.
Something is driving this, but what?
Bosch and Diablo have been facing mounting pressure from competitors, such as Milwaukee and Dewalt? Could this have prompted the new Diablo Tools accessory expansion? This seems possible, and the idea of expanding Diablo into a full-fledged power tool accessory maker could be a sound marketing strategy.
Is the increasing overlap between Bosch and Diablo power tool accessory lines a good thing?
There’s an even bigger question to ask: is this good for users?
If you’ve got any insights or theories, let’s hear ’em!
Buy Now: Diablo 14pc Bit Set via Amazon
Buy Now: Diablo 45pc Bit Set via Amazon
Compare: Bosch 24pc Bit Set via Amazon
Compare: Bosch 44pc Bit Set via Amazon
Bosch at Lowes and others online.
Diablo at Home Depot.
Bosch isn’t a full-line accessory provider at Lowe’s though.
Does Home Depot carry Bosch screwdriver bits?
This isn’t limited to big box retailers – Diablo has launched at Amazon and independent channels as well.
It seems to be a huge multi-category initiative with very many different SKUs, and so I really think this could be beyond the influence of big box stores.
It still is a strategy primarily driven by Home Depot not wanting to cross pollinate with Lowes.
Home Depot does not want product brands and SKUs that their primary competitors carry, to avoid price matching. First started noticing this when I was shopping for my first tools, trying to be smart about features, price, getting a couple price matches … you could take a competitors flyer and it get matched. That became less and less of an option. And, I have seen them refuse matching HD Online … because that is a separate entity. Like HD is not HD and somehow is a competitor … nope does not make any sense. Anyhow.
Distinct brands and private labels with the same import products rebranded that one can see under other names at other stores, minimize price matching and competing on price.
HD’s Online Sales seldom match any in store promotions. And frequently are far better prices if you keep track.
At least that’s my excuse for many “almost” needed tool additions.
I have never tried to get an online match from HD with elsewhere, I figure that is futile.
I do know that the instances where something Ridgid, Ryobi, whatever Home Depot specific brand gets a discount at HD online and while shopping, asking about it, … the HD retail store will NOT match HD online. So then if it so happens you can be stuck with no ship to store, $$ shipping, next week delivery …
Or the other way around, where flyer specials are not available online … or flyer specials can not be ordered for in store pickup.
The holidays are coming up. We will see if HD learned anything and is going to be more flexible considering the situation we’re all in.
What Lowes have you been shopping at? Bosch has the most consistently available consumables at that store.
Regardless, I think we’re ignoring the fact that Bosch already does this with every brand they own. I can get some of the same products with Vermont American written on it or NOS Skil.
The Diablo transformation is nothing new.
Diablo table saw and circular saw blades get heavily discounted on black Friday at the Depot. Some even 2 blades for the price of one.
I buy my years supply on that day. Some of the sales displays stay up through the holidays. I expect these to do the same.
I’m actually leaning the other way.
Non-Bosch people will be able to find Diablo supplies everywhere and put them on any brand of tool without worrying about looks or compatibility.
Bosch people will finally be able to go to a Bosch retailer and be sure to find Bosch tools. They’ll quickly pick up on Diablo as the first-party brand for supplies.
*PSST!* Stuart… Typo! “Hopefully we’ll be BALE to learn more.” Just above the giant header “What are Some Possible Reasons for Diablo’s Huge Out-of-Nowhere Expansion?”
*DESTROY AFTER READING*
Thank you! *fixed it*
I think it may just because Diablo has a better reputation. Diablo is the defacto standard for circular saw blades and is getting that way with recip saw blades. I think Bosch on the other hand has never really had that kind of reputation in the US market. If your a tool junkie that reads sites like this then you know that Bosch makes some pretty good stuff. But I’m not sure that the general buying audience sees them that way. They just don’t have the market presence in the US that some of the other big companies have. I think a lot of people associate them with jig saws and SDS drills, but that’s about it. If they have the option between one of the big 3 power tool brands accessories or Bosch at similar pricing they may gravitate to one of the other brands that they’re more familiar with. But maybe Diablo’s rep with making great blades will be enough to get them to consider buying their accessories over something else, even at a bit of a premium.
Agreed. Diablo has an excellent reputation with its saw blades and Bosch’s reputation is mixed, so I suspect they’re trying to leverage that.
Ultimately it comes down to the home depot. They have a propensity for exclusivity. Bosch wouldn’t bend to there request to pull out of Lowe’s so they, THD, penalized them by pulling their tools. You can’t even get any Bosch cordless tools on thd.com. as a response Bosch began repackaging many of there accessories with Diablo packaging to keep the business. Keep in mind that Freud is owned by Bosch international, not Bosch NA. In the end it comes down to the 600 pound gorilla, give em what they want.
I still use bosch jigsaw blades, I noticed home depot doesn’t carry them anymore so I’m stocking up through Amazon and lowes online. I have had the opportunity to use the Diablo jigsaw blades but I love the bosch ones. The Diablo blades are a bit expensive too and I just haven’t spent enough time using them to know what I know with using the bosch’s.. that is just one dumb application in using bosch that I favor
Up until this recent Diablo transformation, the most prevalent consumables have always been from Bosch. I don’t know how a consumer wouldn’t notice that. So much so, I always figured that they were so lazy with the power tool market because they basically own the entire consumables market here in the states.
That’s funny – I’ve always thought of the Diablo line of circular saw blades as the cheaper blades to the true Freud blades. As though the Diablo blades were developed to to compete with the crappy Yellow rimmed Dewalt blade price point.
Not really related but is Hart going to bring back their sledgehammers, framing hammers, mattocks, and other tools but with the new color scheme? Or were those products aimed at professions and don’t fall in line with their current aim of diy targeted tools which can be had at Walmart? I really liked their steel handled framing hammers, mattocks, and I was able to buy a discontinued sledgehammer recently. Recently a lot of their tools were removed from their website.
Meant to say “professionals” instead of “professions”
No, Hart is now Walmart and only Walmart. They pulled everything else out of Home Depot’s stores and website.
Darn thats a shame. Their framing hammer has a side striking surface and no other framing hammer I’ve seen has that and all the other modern features as theirs did. Same story with their mattocks and sledgehammers, more practical features than most other companies.
Be interesting to see what Bosch are doing in Europe/Asia where they have more market share, but I suspect Bosch are going to pull out of accessories and focus on promoting their power tools, then Diablo can be focused on accessories, and if marketed, and built, right, they could command a higher price.
Think many people think Bosch makes high quality bits etc, but not enough to make them change their power tool brand.
I am among those, yes. I agree with you. The only Bosch brand I have power tools for is Dremel. I have always known that Bosch makes better accessories than they do power tools. I own Dremel Rotary Tools, but they’re based on older patents that existed BEFORE Bosch bought the brand. So they have a Heritage for quality and efficiency.
Then you get into the bits at the end of a Dremel Rotary, or the Blades of a MotoSaw, the heritage tools, and only Dremel or Bosch brands make those bits with any sort of quality. Other brands make various packs of replacements, but they don’t have the sharpness, the precision, or whatever other element that the originals have to make them as good as they are.
So, yeah… When it’s a blade? I think Bosch Brands. When it’s a POWER TOOL? I go with my experience and go with DeWALT. Not because Bosch isn’t a good COMPANY, but because for MY LIFE, the investment in a DeWALT tool will delay how long the tool will last for me before I have to replace it. In the same way, I know that Bosch, Diablo, and Dremel blades are all more expensive than other companies’ blades, but the QUALITY engineering that goes into them is there.
And… I’ve gone wrong a little sometimes… There are some items that ONLY Dremel makes, but they are massively incompatible with other brands’ tools. Oscillating Crevice Sanders, and standard “Dremel Quick-Change” blades for Oscillating Tools… You need the tool-operated bolt on the bottom of the quick-change mechanism to use a Dremel-Only blade on a DeWALT Oscillating Tool. But, there’s not much you can complain about, since Dremel is the ONLY one that makes that attachment.
Honestly… I have yet to TRY Diablo on any of my tools… but I won’t shed a single tear about the price of going Diablo or Bosch for my Saw Blades. I’m happy with my DeWALT driver bits, and drill bits… but eventually I will go to something more specialized for some of that. Wiha and a few other impossible-to-find-elsewhere brands will come to mind… probably some Veritas Drill Bits, knowing my love of Lee Valley.
I have admitted before that Covid has slowed me down significantly with my tool use. So has caring for my sick, elderly Mother during this whole mess with the world right now. So, there have been a few wasted years when I haven’t checked off those times when I was able to go build something of my choosing, and used up the stock blades I own. I would then have had the chance to make a bit of money to splurge on, and upgrade to the likes of Diablo, Bosch, and I think fred or Stuart have recommended… Imperial? Blades for my Oscillating Tool? I already know my DeWALT samples from the initial kit purchase SUCK, besides the sanding pad. I have a few projects where I want to upgrade to longer-lasting blades for my Jigsaw, Circular Saw, and Reciprocating Saw anyways. Those are likely to be Diablo, now that I see this move Bosch is making to put Diablo at the forefront of their blade distribution.
I mostly like Bosch brand, but – I had TWO Dremel moto-tools which failed in the past month. Yes TWO in one month. The first, I attempted to repair, the second, in the trash immediately. No more Dremel for me. Proxxon is FAR superior. Made in Germany, not Mexico.
I can tell you that Bosch’s approach in Europe is to paint Freud (not Freud Diablo) saw blades blue and sell them through their channels. Whereas in the USA, they paint questionable chicom sawblades blue and sell it with edgelord branding through their channels.
I could see essentially merging Bosch and Diablo, then focus each brands presence where they’re most successful, say NA Diablo and EU Bosch. I suppose I’m unsure of how Diablo fares overseas, but in my experience I wouldn’t describe Bosch as having a “strong” presence here.
That makes a lot of sense. I’ve been twisted by my experience with using Dremel Rotary Tools. Dremel Accessories are Bosch-Made, and outshine everyone else’s alternatives. Despite the fact that I own DeWALT power tools, I think of my experience with sharper, longer-lasting blades on my Dremel tools, and the thought just transfers over that I want Bosch-Made blades on my DeWALT Saws.
Diablo is apparently being pushed to the forefront of the Bosch-Made family, so I suppose my forced delays in purchasing all these blades in the past is going to pay off by knowing the future is in Diablo for what I want, instead of Bosch.
Whatever the reasons Bosch is making, all I want to know anymore is, “Which Bosch-Brand is getting their top engineering attention?” At one point, I was close to switching out all my DeWALT Jigsaw blades to BOSCH Blades… Now I’m going to sit and wait to see how this change plays out… Am I going for those Bosch Jigsaw Blades? Or am I going to end up betting my Jigsaw’s health and efficiency on Diablo? I won’t say “Price doesn’t matter” here, just that a higher price will mean a slower purchase rate for me. If it’s their best, and it’s the ones I need, then the price is just something I gotta deal with.
But, yes… As much insight into WHY they’re pushing Diablo to the front of the line would be interesting to know. Do they want to save money on imprinting the same products, by reducing the number of lines they have to print on? IS it a North America versus Europe issue? Could it be a push into new Continental markets in Asia and Australia that is driving this decision? It WOULD be fascinating!
I use DeWalt as well, and while I do hold onto the blades that come with them for random uses/emergencies, I’ve made it a habit for a very long time to stock up on Diablo during father’s day, black friday, and holiday seasons when they’re heavily discounted at home Depot. The only thing I’ve tried Diablo that wasn’t head and shoulders above their competition is actually their cutoff wheels. They’re typically a budget option as far as I’m concerned, and seem like a “us too” product. To that point, I will say that I’m skeptical about how successful any plan to homogenize Bosch and Diablo will be for the presumed North America Diablo customers. Bosch has a good rep here, as you mentioned jigsaws and SDS come to mind, but Diablo is widely agreed to be the absolute best in most categories. So I’m concerned that if we end up getting boiler-plate Bosch accessories just rebranded as Diablo, it’s going to harm the Diablo reputation down the road.
In Chicagoland, you wouldn’t know that anyone but Bosch makes jigsaw blades and sds-plus/max bits and accessories. If it wasn’t for Milwaukee and MK Morse, you could say the same for recip blades. When they started making multimaster blades, they engulfed the shelves. They’ve got the beater general construction drill bits on lock, as well.
Based on a quick chat amongst ourselves Diablo has a pretty good name for blades and sawpaper and Bosch is kinda “meh” in general, so perhaps something there?
Is it just me or does the Diablo bit look much more rough than the Bosch one?
Sometimes I think I’ve seen that QC difference too.
But using Bosch mostly I can’t speak for very much careful comparative observation.
I’m a Dewalt guy but I use Diablo blades, never thought about buying Bosch bits, I would likely buy Diablo bits though. And this is why they are doing the change.
Same stuff, “slightly higher pricing”. Seems obvious to me- its a move designed to capitalize on Diablo’s reputation and make more money.
Always follow the money (and you’ll get the answer to almost ANY question).
Maybe I should buy some of their stock. Looks like a wise business move to me.
Unless we get some insight from Bosch – we can only speculate on the reasons – but many of the above ideas seem plausible.
I recall when Bosch acquired Freud. At one point Freud seemed to put their own name on “industrial quality” circular saw blades plus router bits – and still does, Then came “Freud – Diablo” on somewhat lower cost circular saw blades aimed at tradesman. Next we saw Freud-Avanti – on blades at a lower price-point. Lately I’ve seen some branded “Avanti-Pro” . At some point – the Freud name was de-emphasized and then dropped from Diablo – and the Diablo line expanded to include reciprocating and jigsaw blades – then abrasives. Now we see the Diablo brand being expanded further. I’m not sure if this has all been driven by Bosch’s marketing gurus aided and abetted by their customers or what.
someone allude to this above. there are so many that are one brand centered users . dewalt and milwaukee would be the top 2 offenders but pick you brand, bosch, makita, festool etc. if it has any other brand of power tool it isn’t seen in their arsenal.
diablo? non threatening to any any of those brand loyalist. no problem using a nd buying it and no grief from your buddies or the guys you work with.
This is a strange off-topic question… but you seem to know the term for when someone is “On one Team” for brands. Brand Centric/Brand Centered.
Is there a proper industry term for a LACK of Brand Loyalty? Where the consumer doesn’t buy based on the Tool Brand, but rather by whatever other reason they have for buying something? Genuinely, I am curious. I’m rather used to using my tools alone, so I don’t usually have my industry terminology up-to-date.
I’ve heard the term “Brand Agnostic” thrown around a few times, but I’m not sure it applies to this. Hell, I’m used to working in METRIC… I’m already at odds with the vast majority of industry users in North America. I’m not sure I have the right terminology here at all.
It does seem to be a Home Depot thing, since the same new Diablo bits/blades aren’t available elsewhere, and HD has been the main big box source for Diablo circular saw blades for a long, long time.
Going by the changes at my local store, it seems everything Bosch and then some was just re-branded as Diablo, and the entire power tool accessory aisle where all the bits and blades are hanging was completely redone to have all the Diablo and Milwaukee bits, blades, discs, sandpaper, etc. all on one side so it’s a wall of red accessories.
Besides relying on the pull of the Diablo brand name to sell Bosch cutting accessories, part of me also thinks it’s a more superficial change, with the red color selling to Milwaukee tool buyers, and HD being the main seller of Milwaukee power tools. Having a wall of Bosch-branded accessories sure didn’t make much sense when the stores barely had any Bosch power tools and no cordless ones at all.
I’d guess Bosch looked at their sales numbers and mutually decided with HD to forego the Bosch stuff at HD anymore and stick to Lowe’s and other retailers for the Bosch brand, and HD gets exclusive Diablo accessories that fly off the shelf to loyal customers. Win/win for Bosch and HD, and maybe the customers too if the quality is decent for the price.
Home Depot was doing a reset and wanted their Bosch consumables to be painted red and say Diablo on them. The end. The majority of jigsaw blades, recip blades and sds drill bits sold are made by Bosch and stamped with a bajillion different brand names. Freud/Bosch were probably like, “sure, whatever.”. Some random things aren’t direct Bosch reskins (the pruning blade), but, otherwise, it’s more of the same old same old….just a higher pricetag. As a bonus, they never had the Bosch impact bits, and Home Depot loves charging too much money for very poor bits from China, so, that probably made one of their buyers days. 🤪
Bosch is just finding outlets for its products in as many markets and price points as it can. As many others have mentioned, it can dovetail with big retailers desires to have unique SKUs even if the product is the same thing as a different SKU at a different retailer. Further, even if the same product from the same production line using the same design and materials–in other words, identical except for color and brand name–there are customers who will swear that one color/brand is superior to another color/brand. OEMs and retailers want to crack open the wallets of everyone who walks through their door and having a desired (or at least good enough) product at the right price point is essential toward that goal. It’s all about the money.
Since my HD store no longer sells Bosch anything. From where I am I see it as HD won’t carry Bosch branded anything – but already carried Diablo stuff. OK expand that – push Bosch to Lowes.
Which as grown in the last year. And at this point I can’t think of a bosch accessory you can’t get at Lowes but perhaps there is some.
As long as the quality is good I see no isses I buy diablo blades anyway.
Besides being black and having that plastic band they look completely different.
The marketing photos were taken at different angles.