As we reported the other day, Home Depot stopped selling Estwing hammers. However, there aren’t gaping holes on the shelves; there are other tools already in their place.
It looks like Home Depot completely purged Estwing products from their stores and website, suggesting to me that there’s a lot more to this story. However, more information is not yet available.
I asked Estwing, and a customer service rep replied that they don’t believe Home Depot is selling their products anymore.
I tend to take snapshots of interesting tools and trends when browsing the aisles at home centers and tool stores. Most of the photos of Estwing tools in this post were taken in 2021 or 2022, making them at most around 2 years old.
In this post, let’s take a look at the Estwing tools that used to be sold at Home Depot until recently, and the tools that replaced some of them.
But first, here’s something interesting and potentially relevant.
Estwing’s 22oz steel-handled hammer is no longer available at Home Depot stores or online, but I found this Ox Tools 22oz framing hammer listing on Home Depot’s website.
The Ox hammer isn’t available in stores, but there are exactly 5,000 units available for shipping right now. Large numbers like this, or patterns, such as 10 products each with 150 units in stock, usually suggest that Home Depot recently received a new shipment.
A lot of framing hammers have similar designs, but I found this to be curious.
5000 units x $24.98 is nearly $125,000 in Ox 22oz smooth-face framing hammers inventory. They also have exactly 600 units of the milled face version.
Meaning, it looks like Home Depot just started selling Ox Tools framing hammers.
The Ox hammers aren’t emphasized on Home Depot’s website, and are lower in their on-site search results, suggesting that could merely be a coincidence.
Delving deeper, it looks like Home Depot added many new online-only Ox listings beyond hammers and striking tools, weakening the chances of correlation. Even so, it raised an eyebrow and seemed potentially relevant to bring up.
Finding Ox Tools listings at Home Depot surprised me, as I thought the brand had been developing ties with Lowe’s. As the saying goes, you cannot dance at two weddings at the same time, at least not unless you’re a top-tier brand such as Dewalt. Even then, you will rarely find the same Dewalt tools at both Home Depot and Lowe’s.
As for Home Depot’s in-store product selections, I have been seeing an increasing number of new Crescent hammers. Could these have taken Estwing’s place?
That’s possible, but the new Crescent hammers started appearing a couple of months ago, when there were still plenty of Estwing tools still at Home Depot stores.
Most notably, there are new anti-vibe and wood-handled Crescent framing hammers.
I first noticed Crescent’s new steel-handled framing hammer this past November, and their wood-handled framing hammer a little earlier.
In this photo from about 2 years ago, you can see there are Estwing drilling, engineer, and mini sledge hammers on the pegboard wall at Home Depot.
The steel-handled Estwing shown here was made in the USA, and the others were made overseas. At the time of this posting, you can find the USA-made version at Amazon for $30, and the imported fiberglass-handled hammer for $20.
Now? The Home Depot store I checked had a single Milwaukee Tool drilling hammer and a large selection of Crescent drilling and engineer hammers.
It seems that Crescent’s drilling and engineer hammers are new-to-market products.
The Milwaukee drilling or engineer hammer isn’t new – I first spotted them in-stores back in August of 2021.
I also spied a new Crescent blacksmith hammer.
As shown in this slightly older photo from 2-3 years ago, Home Depot used to carry Estwing pry bars. I am particularly fond of the prying bar with an I-beam-style handle. I posted about this model a few years ago.
Home Depot also used to carry Estwing nail and molding pullers.
I’ve seen Dewalt and Miwaukee pry bars at local Home Depot stores for a while now, but the Crescent nail pullers and pry bars appear to be brand new.
The Crescent 14-inch model has 47 reviews and ratings on Home Depot’s website, all of them posted within the past few weeks. Only one is marked as a “verified purchase,” with the several dozen others all being “free product Seed program” reviews.
To me, this indicates the nail puller was a new and strategic product launch. Home Depot and their suppliers always seem to be very selective and deliberate about what they send out to their Seed free product program reviewers.
It seems that Home Depot recently added a lot of new Crescent tools to their catalog, such as this demo hammer. They’re not showing up in many online searches yet, suggesting they are very new.
Conduct your own Google search for the Crescent CHSDEM22 demo hammer to see what I mean. Throughout all of the internet, there are just 14 Google search engine results for this model number.
Their “VibeGuard” handle style is also brand new. Most if not all of the new Crescent steel-handled hammers at Home Depot feature this handle style.
Home Depot used to carry Estwing’s USA-made steel-handled ball pein hammers.
In recent years they also had wood-handled ball pein hammers. If don’t recall if this was a domestic or import product.
Looking at the tools in the background, they also had Estwing dead blow hammers, and tack hammers.
As mentioned the other day, Home Depot used to carry Estwing double-face rubber mallets, in addition to standard mallets with large black or non-marring rubber heads.
Home Depot also used to carry Estwing axes.
Estwing makes fantastic rubber mallets. I’ve started buying European replaceable-face rubber mallets, but will always keep an Estwing mallet or two in my kit.
There’s a smaller Estwing double face hammer that I haven’t seen in-stores recently, but that’s not a big deal. As with other brands, Estwing product selection and availability has varied at my local stores over time.
There were also curved claw nail hammers in different sizes. These were my favorite, in 12oz and 16oz sizes.
Although there seem to be some patterns, there has always been some overlap between Home Depot’s hammer and striking tool selections, making it difficult to gauge for certain which Estwing tools were directly replaced.
If you wish to buy Estwing tools, you can still find them at Amazon, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, and many other retailers.
Reminder: Please keep the comments section polite and civil. No politics!!
Who is the parent company of Crescent or are they independent?
Apex Tool Group, which is in turn owned by a private equity group (Bain Capital).
At one time Plumb was the brand name applied to hammers sold by Ames, then Cooper (after they acquired the brand from Ames) and then Apex (when Cooper was subsumed into Apex) . Now I guess – since Crecent (once primarily known for wrenches) is perhaps a better-known brand than Plumb – Apex is branding their hammers “Crescent”.
So when a purge like this happens, where does all the stock end up? Did we miss a huge sale? Or does it just trickle away?
It’s been clearancing out over the last month plus. Picked up a pry bar for 75% the other day
Was at HD over the weekend and saw a bunch of estwing hand tools in the clearance area for 50% off or more. Snagged a bunch of stuff for under $9
I guess home depot went the route of home cheaper Again they take a quality product and take it away and put in more c*** on the shelf
My Lowe’s store has had tables of clearance items before, and I’ve seen piles of clearance tools in the pro section before.
Home Depot usually has limited clearances, but that didn’t happen here, at least not that I’ve seen.
In the other post, in between the toxic comments, someone claiming to be a Home Depot associate said their store was instructed to collect and dispose of all the Estwing tools.
I guess the missing comments from the HD employee in the other post probably have the most weight. Often if a store doesn’t blow them out at clearance prices (the cheapest option/less lost) there will be vendor buybacks. Not many stores that aren’t going under do this anymore, but sometimes stock will be sold to a liquidator or at auction…places like Cripes Distributing or any number of buyers/resellers. Most big changes like this come at some cost to the retailer.
It looks like they are also replacing a lot of the Fiskars outdoor tools with some off brand.
It is being replaced with Corona garden tools
Interesting. I like Corona’s pruners and loppers *way* better than Fiskars.
The switch may indeed be an improvement.
I’m (or more correctly my wife) is not a big fan of what she has seen of Fiskars current offerings. We feel that they may have slipped since they moved production mostly to China. She has a Fiskars telescoping pruner (9240) that she liked very much. So, a few years later, I bought her some of their gardening snips (7926, 9821 and 9931). She thought the later items were not good. It seems the 9240 was made in Finland while the others were made in China. Looking at reviews on Amazon I see that others also note some changes – not for the better and that the 9240 now made in China gets mixed reviews. My comments could be unfair – as they are based on a very small sampling – and many other Fiskars items get mostly good reviews on Amazon.
With Corona (Venapri Group) they seem to get good reviews for their loppers and hand pruners (secateurs) on Amazon – but my wife really likes those from Felco (made in Switzerland) and ARS (made in Japan).
I have a Corona tree pruner and recently replaced the blades and think it’s an excellent product
I have a very old pair of Fiskars hand pruners that is still perfectly serviceable, and two of the newer ones where the blades shattered within days. I returned one set for a replacement and it shattered as well. I can’t speak as to where it was made, but the culprit is undoubtedly cheap inferior steel.
“crescent hammer” really just feels wrong like “skil drill”
It feels totally off from what I think of as their brand expertise. It seems like a misuse of the brand to me, like if DeWalt started making professional grade toaster ovens
You’re quite right. We tend to associate some brands with the items that they either pioneered or for which they were best known. In the 1960’s through ’70s – when I was equipping my home shop – besides Sears-Craftsman – there were 4 brands catering to the professional and serious woodworker customer. Black and Decker still produced professional tools across the then corded lineup. Their competition came mostly from Milwaukee, Porter Cable, and Skil – all having catalogues with drills, routers, saws etc. While each was a full-service brand – Milwaukee may have been best known for their Sawzalls and Hole-Hawgs, Porter cable for their routers, planers and sanders, and Skil for their circular saws. Dewalt – having been acquired by B&D in 1960 was still on its “journey” to becoming what it is today. B&D and Craftsman tried to cater to the broader market – everything from basic homeowner tools up to tools for professionals. Porter Cable and Skil also introduced some budget tools while Milwaukee tried to stay at the higher end. Anyway old codgers like me might call a hex key an “Allen Wrench” , any adjustable wrench a “Crescent Wrench”, any reciprocating saw a Sawzall” or any circular saw a “Skilsaw” – just as incorrect as calling all tissues “Kleenex” or all copiers “Xerox”.
I do think that sometimes we can get the wrong idea, however.
I remember when I was a kid my father had some Disston branded tools. No, these were not fine woodworking saws but rather whatever cheap junk was being hawked under the brand name in the 1980s. I remember a small steel toolbox whose latch would never stay shut meaning you had to be sure keep a nail, wire, or similar in the latch otherwise it would randomly empty its contents while you were carrying it. I recall a nail set which seemed to bend more easily than nails. There was also some kind of pistol-grip keyhole saw, handle made from potmetal, with a garbage-tier blade. I grew up associating the name Disston with junk–at the time I was completely ignorant of the saws that Henry Disston had made long before.
Handsaws for which Henry Disston was known had lots of competition. Quality was probably all over the place – but really good ones from makers like Atkins and Disston still survive – along with junk made in the 1970’s and ’80’s. Stanley hand planes followed a similar path – with shoddy taking over from the good, better and best of the prior years.
With mass produced planes – there was an epiphany when Lie-Nielsen started up in 1981 (Maine) slowly giving serious new woodworkers a choice for quality plane buying – with need to find and restore an old Stanley or other quality vintage plane. Veritas (Lee Valley) has done the same for Canadian plane manufacturing.
The market for quality western style hand saws – has been a bit less kind. I bought some saws from Wenzloff & Sons in 2009 but their company did not survive to compete with offerings from Lie-Nielsen and Veritas.
I do not own any (yet), but speaking of traditional western pattern wood saws, Bad Axe Tool Works is making some very high quality models in the USA.
I still have and use my dad’s 1960’s Disstons. Not planning on giving those up for anything.
While I never owned one – many folks say that the Disston D115 – with skew back and made from English spring steel – was at or near the top of the list of hand saws made in the USA. It was made until the early 1950’s .
And on the other hand, Bosch makes more high end professional kitchen appliances than they do construction tools.
Gotta remember that now brand names are a false front to what the company is and does…
I wouldn’t call it a false front; Bosch is diversified, and so are other brands.
Bosch makes e-bikes, automotive parts, MEMs sensors, and all kinds of other products. And yes, kitchen appliances too.
This is not quite correct. Bosch started in the late 1800, early 1900’s, making tooling and engine components. Bosch before and after WWII was always big in Europe, mainly with tools, engine and later automotive components.
Like many companies, they branched out to other products, including kitchen appliances, which were available in Europe for years before coming to the trendy NA market. Same goes for their tools; they were available for many years, possibly decades before coming to NA…not sure when, maybe 1950-1960 era.
To this day, their biggest market is automotive products and tools, not kitchen appliances.
I did not see Stuart’s response, I was responding to the previous (Gary Blessing) comment. Stuart’s response is much more in line…at least to what I know.
Must be a big blow for Estwing. I hope they can weather this blow.
For the consumer, I suppose it depends if the new stuff is good. The “vibeguard” handle sounds interesting. I wonder how it compares to Stanley/Proto anti vibe.
Estwing has been forging tools in the USA for decades. The process of making a claw hammer out of a bar of wrought steel is complex, innovative and capital intense. The competition pours molten steel into a mold and finishes the part with extensive cosmetic corrections. A low capital but labor intense process.
I recently bought an Estwing 16 oz. claw hammer for around $20 which I thought was unusually inexpensive for a premium forged product.
I guess the few per cent saved per sub par hand tool x the millions sold won the business for a foreign manufacturer. I wonder if the person responsible for pulling the string on that deal actually thought of any consequence beyond saving a few cents.
All of the hammers sold at Home Depot are forged (just like Estwing). The only difference is the country of origin.
They are not a one piece forging like Estwing, nor are they made with American steel like Estwing.
I think that you’re over emphasizing how hard it is to make a forged product, like Lenny pointed out the new Crescent offering is forged as well. There’s just not that many folks out there snapping steel hammers apart on a regular basis unless they’re no name pot metal. We’ve seen this approach a lot when it comes to wrenches, and it usually comes down to them being within spitting distance of US products within normal use parameters. You’re also under emphasizing the cost difference between the two options, 20oz steel hammers are $30 for Estwing at Lowe’s now and the crescent is $26 at HD. I’d wager that the profit margin on the Crescent is higher as well. Over the span of a production run that works out to a lot more than a few cents.
Its perfectly fine to be passionate about a brand or a country of origin, but it helps to communicate accurately.
I hope they make it, too. Losing the exposure in such a giant retailer will no doubt be a significant blow.
Agree that forging isn’t necessarily all that expensive. Plumb and Estwing and Vaughn were bringing us affordable high quality hammers for decades. What is most often the big difference in hammers from overseas is the quality of the steel – but the real crux is the time and expense of proper hardening and tempering, which is a significant portion of the cost to manufacture and is where most cheap hammers skimp. First time you ever flake a spall from a hammer and have it lodge in your skin you’ll appreciate the better (normal) quality – marred and dinged faces and such are usually just an irritation.
They should invest in some automation or quality control on their finish grinding. I love Estwing and Klein, but their final grinds are complete garbage. It looks like a 3rd grader was given the keys to the shop on a lot of their hammers and pliers.
Apex tool company has been getting more and more present in Home Depot. From Cresent to Gearwrench. And less at Lowes. Will see how these turn of events play out. We saw this with EGO.
I’ve been using an Estwing hammer and nail puller aka cat’s paw for 40 yrs and I ain’t never had a problem, and made in the USA., F*** u Home Depot for giving up on a great tool and Born and bread in the USA.
Keep it civil, please.
I hope Home Depot didn’t get it’s feelings hurt!
I hear ya man, the censorship on here is getting ridiculous. I’m pretty sure a bunch of grown tradesmen can handle some rough language, and if ya can’t it’s clear you haven’t spent a moment on a real jobsite.
I have 2 rules. Be civil towards each other, and no politics. Unofficially, try to keep things PG 13.
These rules have been enforced for 14 years, and the comments sections have been better for it. Time and time again the consensus has agreed. I believe you are the first or maybe second person to argue against them.
Don’t like it? There are plenty of other places you can soapbox about politics with whatever language you please.
One reason I’ve been coming here for 10+ years is that the comments are constructive and free from the language and derision on other forums. I’m not a saint and use foul language regularly, but there are times and places. All of us are capable of expressing ourselves without it. Let’s keep this place one of those places where the atmosphere is easy going and constructive, and we can get away from the places that add to the stresses of our day.
I also think it’s not too much to ask people to be civil. It isn’t so hard to make our points, assuming we have one, with decent language.
I’m new to posting but have been a passive reader for a while. Just a +1 in support of your moderation approach, Stuart. So many online boards for all types of subjects have become unreadable because of language, political detraction, etc. taking over seemingly every thread.
This board is a pleasure to read because the comments stay on the topic of tools and nothing more.
The comments in that other post were shut down because a couple of Home Depot-bashing comments quickly led to commentors complaining about “stolen presidency,” “republicons,” anti-capitalism rants, political rants, cursing and personal attacks against other commentors, and they eventually started telling each other to jump off bridges.
So yes, be civil.
I haven’t always been on side with Toolguyd editorial takes, or even the most civil of commenters, but the reality is this comment section is a generally pleasant experience, free of the toxic division that tends to cloud many similar forums and social media. Took me a bit, but I’ve realized over time that these rules have a lot to do with it.
Yeah, some of these articles, like the outsourcing of American jobs and products do tread into political territory, and while it might seem desirable to have a deep dive on that, it never ends well. I think Stuart does a great job of getting people thinking about what is for sale and who/where it comes from, without letting the site become a cesspool.
This is the only website where I actually read the comments. All of them, often.
All of my bread has been born in the USA by American farmers. I have never purchased foreign bread here, even the so-called “french” varieties. I like to think of it as Freedom Bread.
Indeed! There is NO reason for it to be anything else BUT civil.
I think Estwing are very good I’ve got two Estwings, those big home stores are always trying to cut costs, I live in England we have OX tools here their quite a new brand, I don’t think their very good,
I have an ox tool molding pry bar. It’s heavier than it should be with almost no spring or finesse. I never use it and it turned me off of their other offerings.
HD is firing their own customers when they drop American made products.
Sears switched to imported junk and what good did it do them?
Sears had a totally different problem by being the department store in the middle, not high and not low end and having a an owner who was not born as a retailer. If he had grown up working in Macy’s or Kmart and understanding how to buy and sell Sears might still be here. It doesn’t matter where Sears got their products, they had the wrong products and the wrong prices for many years and just went downhill
Sears was starting the death spiral before Eddie took them over (which is how near-dead K-Mart technically bought them out), but he sure didn’t help.
They had by far the lowest re-investment rate of any retailer in the 2000s/10s.
Such a shame, there was so much wasted potential, brand loyalty, and footprint with the Craftsman, Kenmore, and to a lesser extent, DieHard brands.
How do we all know that HD is the one moving here?
I’ve reached out to both entities and have not received any information as of yet.
There are many times where the supplier does not agree with the retailer, or they get a better deal somewhere else, along with an exclusivity clause.
None of us know exactly what happened here.
Regardless of that, it doesn’t make sense to stop buying from an entire store with millions of other products we use on a regular basis for one brand not being carried.
We only know the *what* and not the *why*. We might never find out unless an insider shares insights.
The ‘insider insides’ of HD and Estwing is this: HD leases out retail space to vendors – sometimes HD buy from the vendor… Setting didn’t want to pay a higher price on the lease end of things and has pulled out from HD. HD has filled the void with another manufacturer/ vendor and has a term of X years on the space or untill otherwise noted from either party. Amongst all that, HD was open to negotiation on the retail space and have struck a deal at this point.
Dennis thank you for your support and passion for Estwing and “Made in America “ back bone.
I work for Estwing going on 39years. Estwing is coming up on is 100 yr anniversary soon.
100 years !!! HD lost out . Our name sells itself, we will survive 100 more . We are a small company supplying the World. Sorry if I’m gloating a bit but we are the standard of quality to beat.
Thank you guys for all the work you do – hot, heavy, dirty work for most, I know. I don’t suppose you could comment any on the situation with HD?
Politely, I will say that the finish quality on many of your hammers has been slipping for the past few years. Sometimes it doesn’t matter but I’ve seen some pretty bad claws…often it’s just superficial imperfections in grinding, elsewhere around the head and junction with the handle. I guess Vaughn hasn’t been much better lately, though. For ball pein hammers I’ve moved to a few other brands because neither Estwing nor Vaughn seem to care about doing the ball end correctly anymore. A couple years ago I picked up the leather handle 20oz rip at Lowe’s and I had to go to two stores, sorting through I think 12 or 14 hammers, before I found one that looked good/normal…quite happy with it, though, and just love the leather grip for nostalgic reasons mostly.
I wonder if those tools you were looking at were the ones thst were made over seas?
Nope. USA and flags all over them.
Geez, an American flag! MFR’s find and use any loop hole to put a flag on it.
MFR’s believe the same as PT Barnum.
Franco, not sure what you’re getting at. The hammer was made in the USA as usual for Estwing and was clearly marked so (flag(s) notwithstanding).
@KevinA. Thanks for chiming in! And thanks for being competitive in this benighted ROI/Bain Capital centric era.
I too try to support US sourced products and companies whenever I can.
I hope you guys keep up the good work for another 100+ in spite of HD’s penny wise pound foolish decision!
Estwing has always been of the highest quality, and is a standard brand in construction.
Estwing is overpriced just like Milwaukee and their respective product. Don’t get me wrong – Milwaukee and Estwing makes great products. However, there productions are usually overpriced by about 40% and up, plus or minus compared to other name brands.
When sales don’t account for your costs (overhead) from a retailers perspective or the wholesalers being that they rent space, then changes need to be made or business goes under.
I live in Rockford, IL, and am proud to have Estwing in my community! I collect old Estwing tools as I find them and plan to restore them. I love my hammers and hope Estwing has a big 100-year celebration! Does Estwing give tours? I would love to see the manufacturing process.
Bought my first Estwing framing hammer in 1973. Still as good as new and I’ve done a lot of work with that hammer. I’ll literally past it on to the next generation. Great products.
I always thought a crescent hammer was just a misused adjustable wrench… More US brands replaced by imported crap, and that Crescent “demo hammer” looks ridiculous. Not sure what Estwing has been doing lately, maybe they shoulder some blame here, but looks like a downgrade across the board for big box selection. Again.
Not all imported tools are crap. For instance – I like the small Dogyu (Japan) pry bar that I have better than ones from Estwing or Vaughan
Ones from Shark (Tagaki Tools – Japan) may also good – but quality may have changed over years.
I’m with you there are plenty of good imports out there, but I think IronWood has a point: The Made-in-USA tools are being replaced by crappy imports more often than they are replaced by good quality ones. We didn’t get Dogyu or Shark pry bars to replace Estwing on the shelf at HD, we got something worse.
I have lots of good imported tools. I wouldn’t be complaining if HD replaced Estwing with Picard. My favorite nail bars are the original Japanese Shark bars, now sadly also replaced by junkier Chinese versions.
I have been a hardware manufacturer’s representative for over 40 years now, and I am willing to bet that Milwaukee and Cooper Group (Crescent) were able to use a rebate structure to pry that business away from Estwing. When I go into a Home Depot, as a customer, I am going to ask every manager I see; “Why are you replacing Estwing with that import crap from China (Crescent). And, I would like to encourage everyone else to do the same thing, too.
I seriously doubt the floor managers have any input with corporate or control/knowledge over product partnerships and sourcing. All you’re going to manage to do is annoy another long-suffering retail employee.
So how else will Atlanta suburb based “managers” ever hear feedback? Maybe here and online but where else? (And please don’t just say “sales” as most people in that big box general retail environment are impulse buyers).
Actually, if managers get a couple of complaints, it’s nothing. If they get a lot of complaints, then it is in their best interest to let their boss (regional manager or director) know.
Managers always hear complaints, but when there are many on one topic, they have an obligation to tell the higher ups.
Not to be pessimistic, but complaints mean nothing to retailers. What they look at is what shoppers are buying or not buying. Actions speak louder than words.
Again, a few complaints, no. But when there are enough, the higher ups do want to know. Whether the higher ups do something, that depends on the situation.
How will a retailer know the reason for not-buying unless the customer tells them?
Do you ever fill out the survey on the bottom of the receipt? That is how corporate hears directly from us.
Agree. Having done several retirement stints in the big boxes, I can confirm the manager’s limited role outside of being someone to blame if the beans don’t add up. The managers I interacted with wouldn’t care a whit about reaction to corporate decisions.
OK, I can’t speak about HD, not having worked there. But, I am currently employed and was also previous employed by Fortune 500 corporations.
The companies I worked for, and the vast majority of any large corporation (10 billion + yearly revenue) work on the triangle; customers, employees and shareholders. They will talk all day (publicly) on how important their employees are. They will tell you how important their customers are. In closed door meetings, they only care about the shareholders.
Managers, are in a crap position; they get it from both sides. They get complaints from customers & employees on 1 side, and then complaints from the higher ups.
HD, being as big as they are, want to know about anything that can affect the bottom line. Small stuff, they do not want to be bothered with. But anything which, many customers complain about, they would want to be made aware of.
I do not think dropping Estwing will make a difference. But, just citing this as a possible example. Say they garden and outdoor dept have been increasing about 5% year after year. But since dropping EGO, again, I doubt this to be the case, but 2 or 3 straight quarters go by and the increase was only 1-2% or even declined by 1-2%.
Mid level management, sales directors and reginal VP’s, would investigate, is the market saturated or is there another reason. They have to because the higher execs want to know. So they ask managers what is going on. (actually, they do not have to ask managers; managers are already told to report anything that is possibly affecting business).
Back to the small picture. On the sales floor, a customer asks a sales person, oh, you do not carry Estwing anymore. Maybe also how come, but that is usually it. People that make complaints to the manager, or a large amount of customers complaining to sales people, to the point that they bring it up with the manager…in the case of Estwing, I personally feel would be small. People on this board or similar tool boards don’t count because we are maybe a 1-2% slice of people that buy and are tool fanatics. The huge majority grab a hammer, price being most likely the #1 factor, and buy it.
Going back to EGO, probably not significant enough, but could be close. many homeowner’s, that don’t know much difference between Dewalt, Milwaukee and all the other brands, went to EGO. It was new and looked like a great alternative to gas. This could be enough for more customers to complain to the manager, some stating, I will be going to Lowes and probably do my other outdoor and gardening purchases at Lowes.
I do not know the numbers, but HD was ready with their “own” Ryobi 40v system, covering most of what EGO had. But anyone who already had 1 or 2 EGO products and wanted another tool or more, could create the scenario where enough complain and go to Lowes.
What happens is, at least at my company, the mid management report the decrease because many stores have reported a high amount of complaints from existing EGO customers. When putting the numbers together, as many store managers have stated a larger than normal customer complaints about no longer having the brand, if you are a store manager and have NOT stated that many customers have complained, then you get asked, how come?
At my company, the manager that is an aberration would get walked into a room ( a break out room) and “grilled” as to why his numbers are down like everyone else, but no complaints.
I am painting a scenario that exists very much in corporate America. I am not sure if HD stores are owned and managed by HD corp, or if they are individually owned. This for sure makes a difference.
If the stores are owned and managed by Corporate HD, then for sure, managers will be held accountable for reporting anything that can affect sales.
the machining on those crescent pry bars is atrocious. claws and Jaws and scraper blades are all uselessly thick. the estwing bars, otoh, are beautiful.
and I can’t stand the handles on milwaukee’s steel hammers… ridiculously narrow. I’m surprised that they haven’t improved them with a gen 2 version.
real bummer to see this development.
I recently purchased a crescent pro compound action diagonal cutter that developed 1/4” play in the nose off a loose sleeve connection in the compound joint. The blades look perfect, but after only 2-300 cuts, I worry this is going to have a catastrophic failure if I try for a nail. Have not been able to reach any customer service.
This is one of the (many) reasons I keep coming back to Toolguyd. Reading Tim and Blocky”s comments gives me good feedback on their real experiences with a tool and company. I love that my Estwing hammer and nail puller are made here and I’m very happy with their feel and build quality. If I have to replace or buy another hammer or nail puller, I’ll look at the Crescent with the information I’ve gotten here and make an informed decision whether to buy or not. If their business model is to sell tools with less emphasis on build quality, I might try a new product and if it isn’t up to snuff, I will return it. And search for a better made product.
I love “rough” language and have used it in regards to things I’m not happy about, but some situations, like in this comment section, around my mother etc., it isn’t respectful to make others uncomfortable. Or to be in a situation where there are rules. I worked at a woodshop and sawmill where the owner didn’t allow cursing, gossip and complaining. If there was an issue then it was a problem to solve. If I didn’t like the rules, I shouldn’t take the job. Or stay on a forum. I have plenty of people that I can and do, curse about what bothers me. Mostly, for fun. Life is too short to waste being upset about things I can’t change. That job was a great teaching lesson about respect and being professional.
30 years ago I was talking on a pay phone behind a 7 11 when I saw a framing hammer lying on an off ramp from I-5 I saw a tractor trailer hit with every tire. Times being what they were and having a propensity to fix broken things, after the phone call I went around the fence and picked up my first Estwing hammer, a 24oz framer. It wasn’t mint, it was well used and ran over by a semi, but I used it for a couple years then passed it on to my son who still has it. Too bad for HD that I won’t be able to continue to buy my favorite beating and bashing tools from them anymore. I will find a new store before I find a new brand of hammer.
Do not depend upon big box retailers as a reliable source for tradesman quality handtools. If you are unfamiliar with a handtool category and want a tradesman quality handtool to make a job the easiest, research what tool a tradesman that makes his living from that tool uses. With few exceptions its not the brand or model that’s on the shelf at the big box retailer.
Businesses that supply THD, Lowe’s and any big box retailer basically have to have bidding wars with their competition to get on the shelves. Also, if its not carried in store, but is available online, it drop ships from the manufacturer which can be a substantial added cost for the manufacturer. Think labor to pick, pack, and ship one hammer. Home Depot isnt doing that. Sometimes it’s just not economical for these businesses to be in these stores.
Also, THD tends to have some of the lowest prices. Many other retailers now have web crawlers that check competitors pricing for price matches. This also drives down the price that the smaller business can charge these retail giants. This is why you’ll see different configurations of the same product across retailers, they’ll be just different enough to not be eligible for price match.
Sometimes it just more economical to stay out of the big box stores.
Both HD and Lowe’s at on time or another have closed out hammers. I bought many at greatly reduced prices. I go to garage sales and have a good collection of Estwing bought usually at one or two dollars. The thing I really scored on was when Lowe’s closed out their Knipex tools.
Nobody has anything against estwing, unfortunately they can’t make stock, simple as that… simple business
I know for lowes, OX stepped up big time… the dynamic company is going to win deals, simple as that
Is that really true? I don’t recall seeing any Estwing shortages at Home Depot, Lowe’s, elsewhere, or online. I’ve never seen Estwing holiday displays, which tend to require a lot of production capacity overhead, but the same is true for many established brands.
I keep hearing that some retailers impose notoriously unfavorable terms on promotional orders, and so I don’t blame any brand for foregoing them.
It’s important for a tool brand to be dynamic, but that’s on top of quality and differentiation.
Many Ox Tools products look to be easily replaced by those from any number of other tool brands, but the same cannot be said about Estwing, which is what makes this a concerning and newsworthy development.
I’ve been swinging a 20 Oz Estwing smooth face for over 30 years. I currently own 4 or 5 and will not switch. I frame, finish trim, roof, and demo with the same hammer. I like the Depot more than the other 2 ,but this may bite the Depot
I do find the trend of knocking what’s left of the US made tools off the shelf kind of annoying. I’m sure Milwaukee and Husky make a*fine* pipe wrench, but it’s always been irritating to me that our Home Depot carries Ridgid’s full line of foreign offerings, and yet I’ve never seen one of their pipe wrenches in stores (arguably the tool they’re famous for- and one of the only ones still made here).
Let’s say that a restaurant offers salmon and tuna. The salmon dish is 20X more popular. The restaurant wants to start offering halibut after a supplier makes a compelling case for it, and decides to take the tuna off the menu to make room.
How can this be avoided, prevented, or reversed? i) the tuna supplier can strengthen their sales pitches, ii) customers can get their salmon elsewhere and demonstrate strong demand.
Almost every time I post about USA-made products, there are critics that complain about the price and point out the cheaper import options. They say things like “you can find the same thing for less at the dollar store,” or “I’ll wait for the knock-off on Amazon for 1/10 the price.” USA brands need to step up their game, and shoppers need to demonstrate demand with their purchasing decisions. That’s what it will take to break the trend.
I think I may just be too old for my shell. I wasn’t driving until most of Sears’ Craftsman manufacturing had moved overseas and the only US stuff I could find were single sockets and the Acetate handled screwdrivers. Unfortunately, my father was never really a handyman, so I didn’t have any great tools to inherit (he did manage to source a 300pc Craftsman Industrial Mechanics Tool Set for me just before the SB&D buyout, though).
I know I can get the Ridgid pipe wrenches (and all sorts of other tools) online, but I’ve hated that ecommerce has become the only option for so many things. Nothing about it has ever felt convenient to me. I think about all of the weekend projects I did back in high school where I could just run down to the hardware store, find what I needed, and finish up on a Saturday or a Sunday. Now if I even think of a project after Tuesday, it’ll have to wait for the following weekend since so many things that used to be standard shelf stock now have to be ordered online. In the event someone does have the tool I need locally, it’s an import being sold at the price point the US tools used to sell at. I’d happily pay the extra $5-20 for the quality US/Japanese/German version, but no one stocks them around here. My options then come down to paying full price (often times plus shipping) for the tool online and having to wait, or checking the pawnshops and finding what I’m looking for used for a fraction of the price.
To be clear, I know there are plenty of quality Taiwanese and Chinese tools that have come out over the last couple of decades- but when their prices rise the way they do, that extra money is going into the pockets of the guys in charge and not the folks doing the work in the factory. I’m willing to pay more for the USA/Japan/Germany label because those worker’s earn a much more livable wage. If the company is using cheap labor and gouging on prices- even if the tool is quality- it’s hard to want to support.
I am amazed that Ace and true value are still in business but they have found their niche. I used to look for several unique hardware items and could not find them except on Amazon. And if you go into Ace and true value there’s hardly any electric tools because of the capital investment to show 100 different products. Unless it’s Christmas you won’t find an electric drill and in local hardware store. I tried to buy battery powered small drills several times and had to either go to shock of all shocks Amazon or harbor freight
I do, too, but anymore what concerns me more often is finding the quality replacements. US-made is not a guarantee of quality but generally it has always been good if not excellent…very often not the case anymore with import and sometimes you just can’t find a suitable substitute (or not easily). As bad is that some designs have totally disappeared via management decisions or whatever, and don’t look like they’ll come back.
My HD stores do carry a few of the Ridge US pipe wrenches but I’m sure they sell a lot more of the Husky and the other cheap ones. Easier to find the Ridge at real suppliers. Milwaukee does make excellent pipe wrenches with sharp jaw teeth and pretty durable steel for those, too (and replacements available if you can find them). The Husky ones I looked at all had dull-ish teeth but they weren’t the worst.
Reed and Wheeler-Rex pipe wrenches (also USA-Made) are even tougher to source locally. I’m not sure what incentives HD gave to Emerson for the licensing of the Ridgid brand name – or if they have any control over what HD gets other OEM’s to produce under that brand. But I can imagine that it confuses many customers.
Ridgid brand plumbing tools are still made by the Ridge Tool Co. – an Emerson Subsidiary. I believe that most of their product line is still made in Ohio. Ridgid vaccum are still made by Emerson. Most other Ridgid small power tools are made by TTI. Other Ridgid branded items at HD come from OEMs selected by HD.
Mike (the other one)
I guess Apex Tool Group forgot that they already have a hammer brand. It’s called Plumb.
Maybe Estwing hammers last too long, and they wanted stuff that needs to be replaced more often to keep customers coming back.
The Plumb brand survived since just after the Civil War. It fought off attempts by a company called Plomb to usurp its place as a hammer manufacturer, was acquired by Ames in 197, sold to Cooper ten years later and then became part of Apex when Cooper Hand Tools was spun off into Apex in 2010. But I guess that Apex thinks that the Crescent brand (started in 1907 – not 1869 like Plumb) is better known and has more buyer appeal for HD and other mass market customers.
Ames bought Plumb in 1971 – not (197) during the reign of emperor Septimus Severus
There’s still a decent selection at my local Home Depot just outside of Toronto in Canada. They have a bunch in stock, and more items listed online. Not Estwing’s complete line, but all the popular stuff. I checked in store last week and none of it was clearance priced.
I said something similar in the previous post. I presume it means HD Canada is a separate entity when negotiating these types of contracts.
Have to keep an eye out though – sometimes we here in Canada are just a little slower to adopt the USA trends.
Lots of hammer manufacturers. Stiletto, Boss, Milwaukee,Dewalt,Stanley, Wilton,Irwin,Klein, to name a few. Some hefty pricing on hammers nowadays.
Plenty of Estwing at Blains Farm and Fleet.
HD is a business and a publicly traded company which means it has to produce profits for its shareholders even if it means of eliminating USA-made products in favor of cheaper chinese-made products. If I need an Estwing or Vaughan, I go and check out my local City Mill, Lowes or Ace Hardware. If not, Amazon.com or Harry J. Epstein’s. Yes I’ll go out of the way and spend more for Made in USA beacause it’s worth it and I’m supporting my fellow Americans.
Oh yeah, I was looking for the Estwing molding puller a week ago and couldn’t find it…SAD!
I’m a contractor and it’s one of my best friends. Fits nicely in the back pocket and so useful compared to anything else out there. I always try to find USA tools if possible. 🇺🇸
Im an Eastwing hammer loyal customer. I’m a retired master carpenter of 55 years, before nailguns. I was on a job finishing windows for a new lumberyard and a Eastwing Rep . Showed up offering to custom fit us up with hamers. What he did was take our job, with me a finish carpenter, matched by my size weight and swing, he made me a 15 oz. Finish , not even available today. I found I could swing all day and not get a sore arm. I hang drove roofing, finish and framing nails. I could keep up with the framing carpenters.today I still have my hammer. I will only buy Eastwing
The brand is actually Estwing, but point is taken.
Stanley used to make wood-handled claw hammers in at least 3 grades.
They called the low end “Handyman” – the better ones “Jobmaster” and their best “100-Plus”. The Handyman had heads that were painted black. Jobmasters had polished polls and were said to be tempered – handles looked to have been selected more carefully. The 100-Plus head was fully polished and tempered – with an octagonal rather than round profile at the neck and an adze eye. The 100-Plus handles were made from straight close-grained wood with the grain oriented so that your striking force was exactly along the grain. The price differences correlated.
It has been obvious to me for years now. Both HD and Lowe’s have been consolidating brands. And not necessarily to the brands who offer the best quality in tools and supplies. Look at sanding disks or saw blades as a recent example where I walked out and ordered stuff online and had to wait for several days to finish a job. My personal opinion is that these places are only willing to carry items with high margins and are entering into huge contracts with a very limited supply base.
Are you saying that HD didn’t have the saw blades you were looking for? They carry everything from one time use, cheap junk, up to top tier name brands like Diablo and Milwaukee.
I wouldn’t list Diablo as a “top tier” name. They’re a good value mid-tier. Even the parent brand Freud considers them that way, and they certainly don’t even come close to a top-tier blade brands like Ridge Carbide or Forrest.
Depends on the context. Construction applications? Yes. Fine cabinetry? No.
Even just in construction, I’d think Lennox a higher-tier name for sawsall blades, CMT better in router bits, Bosch better for jigsaw blades, etc. Diablo is a reliable and affordable do-it-all brand in blades, but never the top.
Freud Industrial is the up-market version for most of the Diablo line.
I don’t think Freud makes circular saw blades. Many years ago, they made only top tier router bits (as did CMT). As everyone wanted to get into everything, Freud released the Diablo line for saw blades. I can’t swear to this, but when the first ones came out, they were made in Italy like the router bits. Then, like a lot of MFRing, they moved to China.
I haven’t bought a Freud router since late 90’s, so I am not even sure the router bits are still made in Italy.
Anyway, to each their own, but I agree with Stuart, for construction and contractor work, the Diablo blades are as good as their main competitors.
The do make Avanti blades as a more economical choice, and they are pretty decent also.
Bosch better for jigsaw blades? Diablo is a Bosch company. Unless you have explicitly experienced differences between the two brands’ blades, I’d say it looks like they come off the same production lines.
Home Depot carries Diablo router bits. Lowe’s carries Bosch. Are there any measurable differences between them?
If you need a more premium option, there are brands such as Whiteside.
There are 3 general tiers of construction-oriented power tool accessories. Non-branded generic accessories, entry-priced such as Craftsman or Ryobi, and mid-priced professional such as Diablo, Dewalt, Milwaukee, Lenox, and so forth.
Brands such as Forrest are beyond the typical scope of construction or general purpose tasks.
Diablo doesn’t have to be the best of the best to be a top-tier brand in their product categories.
Nothing really new here. If HD were to carry all the tools and brands that were even remotely popular – their tool section would take up the entire store. They carry what sells and makes them money at some profit margin that they think fit. If their computer inventory systems say that something isn’t selling well enough or making them enough money, then the likely switch to something else. If a supplier won’t or can’t meet their terms and conditions, then they likely look for another who will. If it appears that they are moving down-market to lesser brands or models – then I suspect that’s in reaction to what their customers are buying and/or what makes them more profitable. There is a chicken and egg thing here – in that if they don’t carry it, they can’t see if it sells – and conversely what’s on their shelves is the only stuff that they can sell and give them sales data. It’s hard to collect data from lost or non-existent sales or about customers who no longer shop with you – so I’m not sure they will be able to definitively know what impact replacing Estwing will have on sales and profits – but I suspect it will be a minor ripple.
What gets me is that people are acting like this is home depot’s fault. HD didn’t have anything to do with it. Estwing didn’t want to play ball. They had to go. That’s business. Get over it. It’s a gd hammer brand! Who?! Cares?! Who the hell takes something like this personall? Shot out. For real. Over a hammer brand. Man, come on
I see exactly why the comments were taken down on the other estwing post.
Sir, this is a tool forum. We love our tools.
I like Home Depot. Better than Lowes
But I’ve been swinging an Estwing 20oz for 20 years. Doesn’t matter where they go, I will continue to buy Estwing products.
Because they are the best. I hope they stay that way (doesn’t always happen, looking at you Carharrt)
I used Estwing steel shafted hammers for years and am now paying the price with CMC joint arthritis in both hands requiring surgery. Stick with hammers that have some shock absorbing qualities.
HD is now emphasizing its own Husky line much, much more. This is true not only in the general tool section, but in the garden tools area as well.
Crescent also seems to have a greater presence than before, and Milwaukee, which has had a dominant presence in the power tools area for a long time, seems to have gained some shelf space in the hand tool section, now that Estwing has been eliminated.
You can only scratch your head as a consumer as to why, but obviously they had a good business reason for the change.
This seems similar to what Lowes did with Klein some years back, which also made me scratch my head.
So now you get to go to Lowes for your Estwing tools, and HD for Klein, assuming you want to go in-store to get them. Otherwise, you can order just about anything from Amazon and just have it dropped at your front door.
Buy American buy Estwing quality not garbage
A number of the Estwing tools were imported.
I have two Estwing axes and two hammers. I’ve always thought they were a good value for the money, and I absolutely bought them because they were made in U.S. It’s disappointing HD isn’t carrying them any more, but lately I find myself at Ace more and more often, despite the sometimes higher prices.