I’m getting a bit worried here – Estwing’s website has been down for several months now.
After seeing the same “Coming Soon” message for several weeks, I emailed their general sales address, asking if this was being done to prepare for a major tool launch or announcement. I was told the following:
Yes we are adding a few new tools to our inventory, but our website is really shut down for upgrading. We are not sure when it will be back up but hoping soon.
That was nearly 5 months ago, and there haven’t been any changes yet.
Looking at Estwing’s Facebook page, there are a couple of comments suggesting that users and customers have also been having difficulty getting in touch with them:
Al: You’re still in business?
Sara: Wish we could get ahold of an actual customer service representative…
Al: Great stuff, but what’s up with the Estwing website? Its been down for quite a while.
Gary: I guess Estwing is too busy to reply to inquiries – so sad.
Jean: What’s happening with their website ?
Estwing doesn’t appear to have stopped manufacturing or shipping tools. Since they sell to retailers and not end users directly, they might not have thought twice about shutting down their website while it’s being redesigned.
Given my experiences with Estwing quality, I doubt that there would have been many warranty inquiries in this time.
They said that the website is down while it’s being upgraded, and I am inclined to believe them. But, it’s been at least 6 months now.
I ordered an Estwing hammer for my father last month, and would do it again. I’m curious and confused about how long their site remains down, but it has not yet changed my views on the company.
I have been ignoring the part of me that likes to speculate. “Is Estwing being acquired? Has Estwing already been acquired?” But they said they’re just upgrading the website, and that’s what I believe. Hopefully their web design team gets things built and polished soon.
I noticed this myself a while back. I hope everything is ok there, and that we’re not looking at another US company lost to the far east.
I have their 12 and 16oz straight claw hammers and they’re excellent for my needs. I’m sure there’s better, but they would be far beyond the line of diminishing returns for me.
That is alarming. Estwing is like the Channellock of hammers. 😄 solid performance for reasonable prices.
I have a few Estwing striking tools, they’re all good. A 6 month website shut down is long past normal though.
The vast majority of companies don’t like to be down for even an hour. Six months is unheard of. I can’t even imagine what would cause someone to be down for that long.
Maybe the “employment opportunity” they refer to is a web designer 😀
It’s possible. A former employee could have crashed the site and destroyed any backups on their way out the door. I have no idea if that’s what happened here, but it has happened elsewhere.
Guess that makes this page the defacto interim estwing page. Please submit your queries, comments, warranty claims below.
Now I’m worried. Sure, Eating isn’t D2C, but having a website is like having a phone line these days. And frankly not that challenging for a going concern.
I’d be truly heartbroken if something happened to them…it’s just been a slaughter in the hand tool space for US manufacturing. I have several Estwing hammers and axes, and they’ve been excellent.
Sounds like a botched update to me that they don’t have the resources or care about enough to fix. Six months can get a bare bones site up if you want it.
And they don’t respond to questions about a warranty claim for failed lacquer on a hammer. Impossible to get in touch with them. The quality of what was on the shelves seems to have slipped, too. Not good signs.
They do seem to be doing some marketing online through JS Products (aka JCS & Company) of Las Vegas Nevada. I think JS is the owner of the Steelman brand of tools (tools under their own name and an OEM for some Kobalt Tools)
Their products are manufactured under license by JS or so says the website you tagged.
Poking around I didn’t find too much useful info but did find:
In April 2019 they were planning a $10M expansion + a 10% increase in headcount — https://www.rrstar.com/news/20190406/estwing-plans-10m-expansion-30-more-jobs
In March 2020, in compliance w/Illinois State Lock-down, they were to close down through mid-April due to COVID-19 — https://www.rrstar.com/news/20200323/estwing-manufacturing-co-closes
Per the WayBackMachine, their “Coming Soon” website started somewhere between 2/3 and 4/16/21.
I suspect its a legit problem, just about every major vendor in the welding industry I deal with and especially those using a DOSS based system did a major upgrade late first quarter or early second quarter of this year. My understanding was the systems were not able to be secured from and showed signs of attempted infiltration from some of the ransom ware stuff floating around. It wasnt the general website that was the problem, it was their vendor portals. As one rep told me when I said why the sudden rush, you heard of Colonial Pipeline, well they decided to skip the upgrade!
These are the big boys, one was basically down for 2 months to the point if we needed to order it was faster to email our rep and let him get it entered than trying to use our vendor portal.
Web servers are usually Linux machines or sometimes Windows. It’s very different than manufacturing or civil infrastructure computer systems. As long as you have databases and static files backed up, you can move to a brand new server very quickly.
They probably don’t have an in house web designer. Meanwhile the whole world is pushing to the web because of COVID, so yeah, it’s gonna take awhile.
I can get (meaning hire it done) a relatively simple, but VERY NICE website “built” in 3 days for $12-1500…
If there wasn’t something else in play that they aren’t willing to disclose, they could have had something simple up and running within a few days.
A website is a company’s lifeblood– something’s amiss and I bet it won’t be good for the end-user if you like their stuff.
A company’s reputation is too important to let go (like when you can’t file a warranty claim).
I absolutely guarantee this is going in a bad direction and I don’t believe for one second that things are fine and they just haven’t gotten around to fixing their website.
Agreed 100%. Even if there was some major catastrophe that rendered the old site completely unusable and irreparable there’s no excuse why a basic site couldn’t be created and put up quickly. This implies serious problems on many levels.
Vendor portals require a lot more security than a simple website. We order millions of dollars over those portals, and there is a lot of info that does not need to get out
Clearly. But even a semi-functional website without vendor portals enabled is better than what they have now, which is nothing. This isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition, and even 1990’s hand-coded HTML is better than what they have now. They can throw up something in the interim with limited functionality while they sort out the complex problems.
Maybe Great Star bought them too like they bought out S-K.
When he decides to sell, there’s a line out the door of hella deeper pockets than Greatstar, ready to make an offer.
Interestingly, the temp site is just a Shopify site.
A website would seem to be a requirement of being a modern business, but it’s not. In fact, I’d argue that there are more than a few businesses that would do well to forgo a website that does anything more than give contact information. I often encounter websites that are clearly not maintained and have outdated information. If a company can’t adequately maintain their web presence, then they may be better off without a website.
Website works for me. Estwinggear.com
That website is for “licensed” items from JS Products. Doesn’t really make a lot of sense to me. Kinda seams like the owners of Estwing are up to some shinanigans and/or financial trouble. Really hope not.
Yes I noticed that while trying to look up some camping hatchets.
FWIW, we drove past the plant in Rockford a month ago, and i do remember seeing vehicles in their parking lot.
Just checked and the website is back! Maybe they heard you talking Stuart??
Thanks! Ha – I KNEW that would happen!
I emailed the president of the company with a link to this discussion yesterday. It took a bit of googling to find the right one. They don’t make communication easy.
I live in Rockford and have not heard anything re: Estwing. I assume like everyone else they are still recovering from the pandemic.
The website is back up! Now I’m curious. Stuart any way you can try to figure out what that was all about?
Unfortunately, this is a mystery that I’m unlikely to unravel.
My dad worked for Estwing from 1949 till his death in 1982. I have a scout ax he gave me as a child, and would like to get the leather handle refurbished. They used to do that for free. Hope I can still get it done.