Lowe’s and Chervon have announced the exclusive launch of a new line of FLEX cordless power tools, describing them as cutting-edge tools aimed at professional users.
FLEX cordless power tools will be available at Lowe’s website starting in April 2021 and will also be available at Lowe’s stores nationwide this spring.
Following this introductory launch will be “a multi-year rollout of more than 100 FLEX platform-compatible tools.”
On April 12th, 2021, at 8pm ET, there will be a FLEX Face-Off, where the brand’s new offerings will be compared against competing brands as a way of showing off their high-performance designs.
Flex will be a 24V cordless power tool system, and they’re targeting PRO users.
Lowe’s Bill Boltz, executive vice president of merchandising, says:
As the New Home for Pros, Lowe’s is committed to offering the very best quality, durability and product innovation for today’s most discerning builders, contractors and trade professionals.
This FLEX launch allows our customers to find the latest innovation in our tool department with a brand that will strengthen the industry and how people work.
At this time, we know the launch will include the following FLEX cordless power tools:
- Drill/driver w/ turbo mode
- Impact driver w/ quick eject
- 7-1/4″ circular saw
- Reciprocating saw
- Angle grinder
We also know that the tools will focus on brushless motor technologies.
FLEX Cordless Drill with Turbo Mode
The new FLEX 24V cordless drill will be the platform’s most powerful drill, delivering 1400 in-lbs of max torque. FLEX says that, when combined with the turbo mode’s 2500 RPMs, the new drill will deliver dramatically faster results.
The FLEX cordless drill will also feature a brushless motor and anti-kickback technology.
FLEX Cordless Impact Driver with Quick Eject
The new impact driver is said to deliver unrivaled torque, power, and speed, and a quick-eject feature allows for faster one-handed bit changes.
There will be 3 speed settings and a self-tapping screw mode for greater fastening control.
FLEX Cordless Reciprocating Saw
The reciprocating saw is said to be designed to deliver power and performance, and can cut up to 50 4x4s with on a single 5.0Ah battery charge. It has a keyless blade change mechanism with quick-eject feature, meaning you can remove a hot blade without having to touch it.
A Shockshield vibration suppression is said to reduce vibration by up to 40%, providing for improved control.
Why is This a Big Deal?
Chervon is the company behind EGO cordless outdoor power tools and Skil cordless power tools, and they also design and manufacture power tools for other brands.
With FLEX, Chervon is taking their Li-ion, brushless motor, and power tool tech and know-how and has set their sights on the professional cordless power tool industry.
Lowe’s and FLEX are promising cutting-edge cordless power tool tech, and there’s an ambitious roadmap involving 100+ FLEX tools.
FLEX is promising “industry-leading lithium-ion and brushless motor technologies with 20 percent more power than competitors and up to 50 percent faster charging.”
They are focusing on “tools made for the trades” and delivering “the absolute best in terms of power, run-time, and recharge time.”
There will also be introductory benefits – any FLEX tool, battery, or charger purchased in 2021 will be eligible for a limited lifetime warranty with registration.
We’re partnering with FLEX to explore their new 24V cordless power tool lineup when it launches next month, and so my intent was to keep this post strictly objective with any personal thoughts and opinions left out. Still, there’s a lot to be excited about.
What I find especially exciting about FLEX is their confidence. They are claiming that FLEX is the next generation of power tools for tradesman and pro tool users.
They’re promising “unrivaled power,” and features that will improve user experiences, such as turbo mode and anti-kickback tech in the high performance drill, and a quick-eject blade mechanism in the reciprocating saw.
As much as I don’t like using the phrase, “disruptive innovation” comes to mind. Look at the presence and reputation that EGO has built up in the cordless outdoor power tool industry. With FLEX’s access to advanced and innovative power tool and Li-ion tech, and Lowe’s being their exclusive retail launch partner, their entrance is going to make waves in the tool industry.
In coming weeks we will be deep-diving into the new FLEX cordless power tool tech. If you have any questions, please let me know!
FLEX Face-Off Teaser Video
I’ve been saying Chervon needs a high end “Pro” brand of their own for a while now. Looks like they finally launched it instead of buying another. Interesting.
FLEX is a German brand.
They did buy it. Flex is/was German made brand.
I honesty haven’t been impressed with their lacklustre efforts pushing Flex in the US. It seems, currently, we get all of their budget crap, the giraffe, the polishers and not much else. And then , randomly, this happens. Flex already has a cordless lineup, so it’s like a flashback: Metabo HPT 2 Electric Boogaloo. 🤨
But what’s this set up gonna cost…??
Ego basically built their brand from the battery tech.
Just on the surface, 24v versus the 20/18v of the competitors is going to be a pretty big improvement. That said, you don’t always need the power. If you’re installing 30 cabinet hinges it would be nice to have a lightweight battery instead of needing a whole different drill and battery system.
M12 FTW. After playing with the 3/8 stubby, i bought in hard. The lineup is great and if I ever need more power, a few 20v or corded options can supplement.
20v is the same as 18v. Not until you jump to 24v is there an increase in actual voltage. Just in case you think Dewalt has a slight edge over Milwaukee. If you have M12, just stick with the red
Kind of a silly thought process just to keep all tools one color lol Not like the m12 batteries run m18 tools. All brands have some edge over others.
It was clearly over your head what stick with the (any color) meant.
The point is, it would be ridiculous to buy into several different brands then have multiple chargers and batteries that don’t work for all your tools, unless you work in a trade and one particular brand and model of tool is so important to your productivity that you stray from your invested brand to gain that.
I uses to have dewalt set that people would envy. Till I tried the flex impact. It was way better. I sold all the dewalt. Except for table saw, sds, planner. Milwalkeee and metabo guns, makita track variations, bosch corded sanders, all flex standard tools, some kobalt for tools tgat I don’t really need.im not not impresses with dewalt
M12 tools are awful for precision things like installing cabinet hinges. Their e-clutch is not precise at all.
Koko The Talking Ape
I guess none of my M12 tools have an e-clutch. What is it and why doesn’t it work well? Thanks!
The drill’s clutch gives a user more control over the amount of torque applied to a screw to prevent sinking a screw too deep, stripping out the head of a screw, or even breaking a screw shaft. The clutch automatically disengages the bit from the motor when the torque on the bit exceeds a preset value.
On most cordless drills, you move the “mode” switch from drill to screw and twist the numbered ring behind the chuck, with 1 being the lowest torque and going up from there.
The clutch is the specific feature that differentiates a drill from a driver; the drill has no clutch and simply engages with maximum torque all the time, while the driver can be adjusted. Way, way back in the corded tool days, these were actually two separate tools, but for the last 25 or 30 years, they’ve been combine as one on cordless tools, which is why you see cordless tools labeled as “drill/driver”.
Since torque is proportional to current, if you’re measuring and controlling current (which all brushless motor drivers do), you can simulate a clutch by limiting the current to different, set amounts. So you’re adding software and a ring/knob/something to set the torque limit (= current limit), instead of adding a mechanical clutch.
I haven’t used a driver with an e-clutch, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it has a different “feel” than a mechanical clutch.
Kizzle is probably talking about an electronic clutch. Basically, instead of the standard old fashioned ring clutch mechanism; the computer handles it and just shuts the motor off when it senses you’ve hit the desired torque limit. Festool has had them for years (and still do it best). Fein and Metabo followed suit. Bosch have them but the implementation is a bit different.
I pretty much would only use electronic clutch equipped drill/drivers in my snotty baller days. Currently, at my current job, it’s absolutely unnecessary.
to clarify this, you mean that SOME OF the m12 tools are less precise than you wish. I have 2 different m12 tools with physical clutch in view right now from my desk. If you go for the parts of the line that are designed for the work you are doing you will find that they have a huge variety. I believe there are 15(+-) tools in the m12 line designed to spin a bit at high speeds. A key issue is that 24 torque settings spread over a large torque range means a larger gap between settings. That’s why they specifically make lower speed and lower torque tools for precision work (including physical clutch on some). That said I don’t need you to like M12 tools, just prefer that you don’t misrepresent them with blanket statements.
I dig my M12s. I’ve bought in hard as well and probably about to buy harder. I had all but 3 of my DeWalt 20V tools stolen this past weekend with most of my 20V batteries along with my Ryobi 18V hammer drill and my trusty 10+ year old Ryobi 18V circular saw.
Since I already have M12 ratchets, impact wrenches, cut off tool, multihead installation tool and a few others with batteries, thinking of just replacing the lost stuff with smaller lighter weight M12. They should do 95% of what I need and either revert to corded gear or pick up some Flexvolt stuff that will run off my OPE batteries. I already have the Flexvolt trimmer and blower and really like them as well….
Totally agree, as owner of a small construction company my job is heavy on punch list work… the reality is that today 80% if the jobs I do (and I bet most people) can be done with a 12 volt quality tool like the m12 line. I can take more tools with me in less space… batteries small enough to power my heated hoody!
Yes, there’s still some jobs that we need big power and full size high power is important, vacuums, sweepers, yard equipment, etc< but I find that the market is probably over served up top. The amount of big voltage tools I have, I use flex-volt, like table saw, dust extractor, is small compared to the amount of compact tools I use… yet other then Milwaukee and some dewalt items I see very little compact tool effort
Sir, I am with your comment on this issue. Ridgid is owned by Milwaukee, and gets semi-last gen Milwaukee engineering. About 3 years ago I had a bunch of Red stolen, and for financial reasons got Ridgid, and have been impressed throughout. the 5 and 6Ah batteries give me lots of runtime, and I haven’t brought out a corded saw for much of anything in 3 years. The torque is great, and Building a deck last year, my impact ran so long and much one 105 degree afternoon that I smelled electrical damage. Put it aside, and grabbed be backup, thinking this one is toast. WRONG, THE NEXT MORNING I COULD NOT DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN THE TWO.,… and still using both as needed. Why have more than one reliable brand in the box, or more than a single brand of charger, or batteries?
That is incorrect, Ridgid is NOT owned by Milwaukee.
While Ridgid cordless power tools at Home Depot are designed and manufactured by TTI North America, a division of the same parent company that owns Milwaukee Tool, TTI North America and Milwaukee Tool do not interact with each other at any level as far as tool engineering is concerned.
That’s silly. No, 24V vs 18V is an improvement but when tools need a lot more current, the majors have been moving to 40V or more so not enough to really matter versus consolidating a tool collection around one brand and voltage.
However, if you are just doing cabinet hinges, they could make a 24V pack out of 14500 cells instead of 18650 or really whatever size cell they wanted. Then again, if you are doing cabinet hinges enough that it matters, you have built up enough arm strength that a ~2Ah 18V-20V battery is a trivial weight, no real reason to get upset about an ounce or two difference. Yes the lower weight helps but far moreso in overhead jobs done all day long, not merely cabinet height. I have done jobs like that, and, it doesn’t really matter a couple ounces one way or the other.
24V, 12V, 18/20V, 60V flexvolt, 36V…
All of these are just a single variable in Watt’s law (Power=Volts x Amps), and a higher current can easily offset any advantage one platform has in rated voltage. Motor efficiency is going to be a big part of that picture too.
That said…higher voltages require smaller conductors to transmit the same amount of power, and higher voltage platforms do typically have the advantage of having additional individual cells in parallel. Since the safe discharge rate of one of those cells is finite, more cells in parallel means more potential current for the tool to work with.
That doesn’t really mean that you need to increase the voltage to reach that point, though. You can always add another series of cells in parallel while maintaining the original voltage.
If we have electrical engineers out there smacking their foreheads, feel free to correct if I got any of that wrong. I am but a lowly HVAC tech.
You’re correct. The proof is Milwaukee M18 vs DeWalt 60v.
This is a 24v Max, 21.6v nominal system like Kobalt and Hilti (Hilti markets it as 22v). These systems don’t seem to get any more power than Milwaukee and DeWalt get out of 18 volts (20v Max).
That’s funny, I just saw this on the Belts and Boxes YouTube channel by chance. I’m interested to see what your impressions are. I thought it was interesting that SkilSaw’s cordless line wasn’t developed more; instead favoring a new brand. I suppose having Skil and SkilSaw cordless lines would ultimately be pretty confusing, but it is more of a trusted name than a new brand. On the other hand, Kobalt’s 24V line has been developed very well, so I’m excited to see what the Flex line holds.
The issue with building out the Skilsaw TrueHVL battery platform to include things like drill-drivers, impacts, grinders, etc is that the batteries are massive (48v). They’re great for heavy duty circular saws, but they would be a “no go” for anything that’s one-handed. I haven’t seen any indication that the “Skilsaw” brand is being phased out, but I agree that it gets a bit confusing. I would think that a Skilsaw cordless miter saw and table saw using the TrueHVL battery platform are being considered. That would seem to make a lot of sense.
It would have been nice if Chervon had made the Skil OPE (40v), Ego OPE (56v), and Skil TrueHVL (48v) batteries all the same voltage and cross-compatible. And it would have been nice if the Skil PwrCore20v and Flex 24v platforms had been cross-compatible. I understand that can muddy up the brand marketing, but it sure would be nice for the consumers. Oh well.
“I understand that can muddy up the brand marketing”…actually, it would be practical for the consumer to have some cross platform battery systems between brands, even if it is the same parent company.
In Europe they have the CAS system (Cordless Alliance System). The better known brands to most North Americans are Metabo (non HPT) and Mafell, but the some other brands can be found readily in various European countries, and some other brands less.
This means that you could have a drill/impact combo from another brand, that maybe you got a good special on, or are readily available in your area, but if you need a more specialized tool, like one of Metabo’s many fine sanders, you don’t need to worry about buying into a new system. You just by the tool and use your existing batteries.
Imagine if TTI, parent company of Milwaukee, Ryobi, and Ridgid decided to market them as they are now, separate companies aimed at different markets (Pro, home DIYer, or beginner), but they could all use the same battery. Or what if Dewalt (as well as other SB&D) systems, got together with Bosch or Makita and decided they could market or make whatever tools they want, just share the battery interface. For the consumer, that would be amazing.
I understand that for Chevron, they already have established platforms for EGO, Skil, and the higher end Skilsaw. But I think they are missing out on AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW UP THE OTHER BRANDS IN NORTH AMERICA, and maybe get a strong foothold in a market that they are way behind the leaders. If they introduced Flex using the same platform as Skil for the smaller tools, then if they decided to make a crosscut saw or table saw, they could use either the same platform as the 48v Skilsaw or 56v EGO for these tools. This could give them some quick market share and boost all their brands…and would be super convenient for the end-user. If your EGO batteries, which till now were only good for the outdoor equipment could now be used in table saws, miter saws, dust collection systems and vacuums, as well as anything else that needs 1 or 2 high voltage batteries. You have EGO outdoor equipment and want a cordless table saw, you can buy a Flex tool only table saw.
This could be a marketing revelation for them
Skilsaw’s cordless line might continue to be developed.
I also wondered why we never saw a line of compact cordless power tools from Skilsaw, but consider the impression the brand makes. When you think Skilsaw, you think high-powered circular saws and other such tools. Would users ever associate Skilsaw with cordless drills, impact drivers, or other types of cordless power tools outside of circular saws?
If they were marketed correctly and with similar hoopla to this FLEX release…the pro tradesman may be more apt to invest in a known brand with a reputation such as SkilSaws as opposed to a relatively unknown brand such as FLEX
In all honesty. Most folks outside the trades would just assume Skil and Skilsaw were the same brand.
I guess they’ll use their alien technology but they might be little late to the dance, people who use power tools for a living don’t usually buy new tools, if you go on jobsites you still see a lot of nicad powered tools out there, the only ones buying new tools are youtubers who make money on their videos so they buy new tools to compare and most them don’t even use them for a living
This must be regional. Around here most of the guys get the latest stuff. Just more efficient therefor more money.
A lot of truth to this. I was shocked with I saw dewalt 18v ni-cad stick batteries pulled out of a plumber’s tool bag. He spent so much time swapping batteries, looking for one that had enough charge left to do the job, he would have saved time running to the store to buy 20v tools and batteries. It made me a little grumpy that I was paying by the hour while he used worn out equipment.
“Contractors” come in every shape and form. Calling yourself a professional does not always make you one – nor are all decisions made by professionals always completely thought out. To be fair – may of us were taught by experience or upbringing to try to get the last ounce of value out of our possessions. Or we just might get comfortable with a tool and procrastinate about changing. Sometimes this can become an obsession – like walking around with holes in your clothes whilst having brand new attire sitting in the closet.
In our businesses we certainly tried to eek out the most value that we could out of our tools – but were cognizant of when it was time to move on. Alexander Pope is oft quoted:
“Be not the first by whom he new are tried, Nor yet the last to set the old aside.” It is sometimes sage advice.
Excellent quote, fred. Thanks!
““Contractors” come in every shape and form. Calling yourself a professional does not always make you one – nor are all decisions made by professionals always completely thought out.”…I like this comment.
A little bit off of Fred’s point, I have often seen on many forums, someone will give an answer and then qualify it by saying something like, “I am an electrician and have been doing this way for 30 years”
Fact is they have been doing it wrong for 30 years. Maybe not against code, but by what the trade considers to be best practice, that person is not doing it right.
I used an electrician in this example but plumbers, framers, general contractors, auto mechanics and pros of all kinds, some call themselves pros and others simply are.
I haven’t seen a nicad tool on a jobsite in a decade. I’m sure it depends on the trade but a typical tool has a working life of less than 5 years, so I’m not sure how you would even still have tools that old being used.
dewalt 18v nicad batteries are still easily available. cheaper if you get the rebuilt ones. The math doesn’t actually work out as far as I can tell, but its not that hard to keep 18v running.
As a contractor if I use better tools than my competition, it gives me a leg up. We frequently complete jobs in fewer hours/days so even though our hourly rate is much higher than average, we still win more bids. For example when it comes to setting large (thousands of pounds) equipment with jumbo (1″) sockets old school is to use an air compressor and air wrench. Milwaukee cordless high torque impact guns put out more peak torque and it cuts off a lot of time not fooling around with hauling out the extension cords, the air compressor, and oiling the much heavier impact gun, plus time to put all that stuff back away again compared to just “grab and go” with the Milwaukee for the same job.
Plus look at the image it gives. Not only is it a time waster but there is no way in the world that any contractor that is on their tools every day is going to have a “core” tool like a NiCd drill that isn’t worn out after 10+ years of service since those haven’t even been on the market in a decade. So it has to be coming from a pawn shop or flea market. If they are cutting corners on the tools they use, what OTHER corners are they cutting? Where are those nails/screws/bolts coming from? Would you trust anything coming off their trucks? Not to say that this is happening but you also usually see lots of other signs like way too many “helpers”.
You can’t be living in the united states. Here, no, pros are not lugging around old used nicad, rather they just keep using their bought-new nicad as long as they continue to work, then buy new Li-Ion based.
It is so absurd that you suggest new tools are bought by youtubers. Hint: Pros wear out their tools, and batteries, and at some point it makes no sense to keep buying NiCd batteries when even the tool manufacturer no longer makes them so you would be stuck buying third party.
No, nobody in a 1st world country buying tools or batteries today, should have anything to do with NiCd. I have used them for a living, back when they were NiCd, and don’t care to go back to that era at all.
Yes, some of them still are.
I’ve met a couple of installers in recent years who are still rocking Dewalt 18V NiCad drills. The last one – and this happened a month ago – will likely go Li-ion when his drill bores its last hole or turns its last screw.
I work for a low volume manufacturer. We have almost all dewalt drills on the floor. A surprising number of 18v tools are still being used but about half are now 20v as the old ones die. The 18v live a surprisingly long time drilling holes in steel all day. I noticed today some of the tools had dates they were bought on the bottom and ones from 2012 are still going.
Interesting that they’re creating a new brand instead of using one that already has a good reputation like Ego. Plenty of brands have different voltage platforms.
Can we stop proliferating battery platforms at some point?
I mean, enough already.
When things plugged into a wall, at least w/in a country – everything just worked.
Now, with everything coming w/out a cord – the batter platform is essentially craziness that doesn’t help the planet or the people really – does it?
It’s because the real money is in the batteries. all the major brands batteries are just filled with exactly the same samsung 18650 or 26650 batteries in it. these cost about $3 each for the 18650’s when bulk purchased retail. add in a housing and a circuit board and they are easily making 200+% on the batteries. if they all shared in platform design then you would see them all cannibalizing each other’s profits. that’s why battery adapters are becoming sooo popular. you can buy cross platform adapters all over amazon and ebay, or you can easily find FREE models to 3d print your own adapter. I am currently running 4 different brands of cordless tools on the same 1 brand’s batteries.
Yeah, I get that the cells are all bulk cells that don’t cost hardly anything. Its just a shame that the “freedom” of batteries has in reality caused a different set of headaches that have significantly higher costs and consequences than “whoops, I tripped over the cord again”.
Computers have, started to settle back into a single connector (USB-C, in all its flavors). I wish that we didn’t have to rely on 3-rd parties to “save the day” here.
And – while we are talking about this – why isn’t there a charger for these platforms that has a USB-C PD port on it, instead of prongs at the end of a cord? It would let them have even fewer SKUs. And, since that port can deliver/receive 100W of power – its WAY more power than is needed to charge any of these battery packs. You could use the same charger plugged into the Wall, your Car, or even Solar Panels (b/c you would buy your own USB-C PD Power Supply or Cable, that you could easily tie into any of those options).
100W barely even cuts it for the first stage of rapid charge on a lot of basic 5S/2P pack using 18650s. ex: Makitas fast chargers have required up to 150W since they were introduced in 2005.
You’re not doing battery technology any good by kneecapping it to a 100W max charge rate. USB-C is fine for consumer electronics, not power tools.
My Makita DC18RD has the following outputs:
7.2v – 18v @ 9A
5v @ 1.5A
Chargers use more energy the lower the charge in the cell.
If you look at almost all of the top rated chargers for 18650/21700/etc they only draw 5V @ 1A per cell max; the newest one with the fastest charging rate draws 5V @ 4A max.
For a single battery pack – 100W is plenty. Is there a case for higher wattage – sure. But – the last time I recall this discussion going on here, people told me I was crazy to suggest that it was fine to fast charge batteries all the time. Everyone thought that the best thing to do was to use “standard” charging. No one seems to care how fast they drain their battery packs, but they all seemed to want to baby their packs when charging.
lol, no I don’t want them deciding I”m going to charge over USB-C to save on their product cost then end up with a craptacular result.
Please, nobody ever depend on USB-C. It’s a joke, a very fragile socket meant for disposable phones and if you don’t recognize that, you don’t use tools or anything at all really, much at all.
USB-C is the weak link in any device for how fragile that little connector is, pushing itself and the cable to the max.
I never said that they shouldn’t have other choices – just that the default minimum product that serves the most options would be to use USB-C as a cheap basic starter charger.
Current USB-C sockets are clearly not the peak of ruggedness – that’s easily solved. Those 2 prongs sticking out of every single thing that we plug into walls are easily bent and destroyed when stepped on – we all seem to keep using those just fine…
Also – just announced USB-C 2.1:
The biggest change by far in the new spec is support for USB Power Delivery at up to 48 V and 5 A—multiply the two and you get 240 W DC. Prior to the ratification of the new EPR standard, USB-PD was limited to 100 W (20 V at 5 A).
USB 4.0 will support charging at 200 watts. Maybe then we’ll see wall warts phased out.
That’s fairly goofy and just no, I don’t want the added height, clearance issues and balance setting tool down from some goodball 3D printed adapter, which often reduces available current too.
If you bought 4 different brands of cordless tools then you just didn’t plan well and ended up spending more time (=money) or real money than it was worth.
Don’t be silly, the rest of us have real work to do.
I assume the 24V batteries won’t be compatible with the Kobalt 24V batteries.
That’s usually the case, but I wonder what the downside would be for either Lowe’s or Chervon if Kobalt and Flex had some 24v cross compatibility? Any sales cannibalization would still feed the same mouths.
The upside would be greater interest (for me anyway) in both platforms.
Yes, you and I might think it’s a no-brainer that would, in the end, increase the sales of both lines.
But I doubt they’ll do it.
Yeah that would make too much sense, because then they’d be recognizing why ryobi beat kobalt hands down despite the voltage handicap… but to be fair, # of tools had a lot to do with it too.
I was going to ask how the cross compatibility with the Kobalt branded items are. for 24V.
outside of that Flex name has been around a while but I always saw it in paint and refinishing systems. Flex sanders, flex Polishers. etc. One of the most highly regarded auto buffer systems is from Flex.
I’m only slightly surprised they don’t push Skil pro or something like that. Either Way should be interesting? Makes me wonder what shop space will be changing. I notice the lowes near me has little Bosch stuff anymore other than accessories. and they made alot of room for Spyder stuff.
SO I guess we have Craftsman/Dewalt vs Kobalt/Flex. interesting.
They probably aren’t using “Skil Pro” because the professional grade Skil is “Skil Saw”. The problem with that is the name doesn’t work well with tools that aren’t saws. Also, most of the industry uses a different name for pto grade tools because they don’t want to associate a consumer grade brand name with their pro grade stuff.
I wonder where Lowe’s will find the shelf space. Quite a few cordless Metabo HPT and Bosch tools on clearance at more than one Lowe’s near me.
Ive tried to warm up to Metabo/HPT but the power Rangers Ray Gun styling just looks silly and dated.
If only Metabo HPT tool sets could be assembled into monster robot warriors for justice, then maybe.
Bosch is clearing out all of their old tools to make room for all their new tools coming out.
I’m assuming the presence of 24V is once again primarily to get around the 18V (aka 20V) patents TTI has to avoid the royalty.
Please share more about the TTI patents around 18v?
Milwaukee basically owns the patent on using a 18v lithium ion battery in a power tool and everyone has to pay them a royalty to use it. TTi sued Chervon and most others in 2014 for this.
Thank you, I don’t remember this; most patents expire after 7 (or 10 years (?)), think in the late 90’s – early 00’s when DW ruled the radio/charger market.
I wonder if MKE has updated the patents to continue the royalty payments by other tool companies (I assume TTI sued Chevron over the use of Li-Ion in the Ego line and not a power tool?), the patents could be expiring soon or the other tool companies have created a work around for Li-Ion battery tech.
Google tells me MKE did not sue DW or Makita but “smaller” tool brands (Chevron, Snap-On, Festool and others), I wonder (as others have speculated) did DW & Makita pay royalties to MKE.
There are a lot of areas where brands could potentially cooperate with each other.
It looks like Black & Decker’s patent on radios with built-in charger has expired (https://patents.google.com/patent/US7043283B2/en). Prior to that, did brands license the tech, trade permissions, infringe, or design work-arounds to avoid infringement without having to pay licensing fees?
Some arrangements are known, such as how Sortimo/Bosch L-Boxxes license Festool’s parent company patents on modular tool boxes. But most arrangements are not public knowledge and probably won’t ever be.
You are deluded. That is not enforceable, too much prior art and I’ve seen this nonsense posted by you before so please stop.
Literally, almost every brand does this voltage without constant litigation. One lawsuit does not turn into fact, your remembering trivia is not worthy of mention.
2,500 RPM? I do like that, miss it from corded drills.
Try a Metabo cordless drill, their top of the line LTX-3 drill cooks at, like, 3800 RPM.
so typically but not 100% the case faster RPM helps with cleaner hole surface finish. top and bottom not in the tube.
also as you move over to drilling metal it helps with starting and getting holes into metals. Hence the Metabo drill mentioned below.
HOwever rpm is not really an indicator of how well it functions. it might bog down too much in say walnut and not be that useful for some.
Very true, higher speed generally means lower torque. Also RPM specs are pretty much always measured under zero load. You can have two drills – one with a 2500RPM max speed and one with a 2000RPM max speed – put them under load, and they both could spin at the same speed, say 1800RPM.
As with any cordless tool, specs never tell the full story.
I’d like to see how it does, should be a little more torque with the extra cell. I generally use bits on the smaller side (woodworking) and can be patient and let the drill do the work if there isn’t much torque.
In an ideal “all else is equal within reason” world, yes, the higher voltage has that benefit, but in the tool design and marketing world, Kobalt did it already and where not hailed as the winner for having the extra battery pack cell.
However with all else equal, including the quality of the cells which has been one of the weaknesses of kobalt, the one extra cell “could” (but wasn’t effectively) be leveraged for 20% more power or runtime, especially as the brands transitioned to brushless designs, but ultimately that just isn’t needed, 18V is enough for tools that need it and tools that need more, benefit more stepping up to 40V or more, not just the 4V difference.
There is no way that this is good news for kobalt 24v owners.
How so? Flex will be the PRO line like Milwaukee/Makita, Kobalt will take on Rigid, and Skil will battle it out with Ryobi.
Lowes can become a Chervon house and kick the big red eye sore of Craftsman out the shop. The only real question is if Lowes could stand to lose DeWalt if SBD gets mad and pulls their line.
Skil never had any chance against ryobi because they didn’t expand their tool line enough. Ryobi can’t be beaten in the homeowner/prosumer space.
Chervon vs B&D Craftsman? It does seem like a reasonable competition, except that Chervon is pitting these against Dewalt, the next tier up from SB&D.
I don’t see getting “mad” as a problem, rather it will be sales #’s, who gets shelf space.
Flex brand has an uphill climb. They will only beat the established majors if they offer same or better quality at lower price. Lowes, meh nobody in their right mind buys based only on what Lowes stocks, unless Lowes is the only hardware store in town, and then for pros that need an immediate replacement to carry on working on a jobsite, opposed to the average sale which is done more at leisure rather than immediate need to get a job done.
When Lowe’s brought in the Craftsman brand, everyone figured that Kobalt was toast. However, they continue to release new Kobalt 24v tools. And Kobalt and Flex are owned by the same parent (Chervon).
I heard/read somewhere that SBD more or less coerced Lowes into carrying the Craftsman brand in order to keep the Dewalt brand. I’m wondering how well the Craftsman brand is selling at Lowes, given just how much floor space they’ve given the brand.
What we could be seeing is Lowes moving towards pushing out SBD (Dewalt and Craftsman) and aligning themselves further with Chervon (Kobalt, Skil, Ego, Flex). That would give them coverage from the consumer grade up through the pro level and 3 options for cordless lawn equipment. And they could easily go back to the Kobalt brand for hand tools.
If I’m Bosch, Makita, or Metabo/Hitachi, I’m not too happy about seeing Flex show up. Craftsman has already eaten up a lot of the shelf space that those once occupied. The recent addition of Skil cordless and now Flex is just further eating away at shelf space.
Makita is tied to Home Depot, not Lowe’s.
Bosch doesn’t have a big footprint at Lowe’s stores, and neither does Metabo HPT/Hitachi, at least not outside of nailers.
It’s too soon to see if or how things will change at Lowe’s, but I think there’s definitely room for Flex.
Look at Home Depot’s cordless brand focus for a moment. During the winter holiday shopping season, the cordless emphasis was on Dewalt, Milwaukee, Makita, Ridgid, and Ryobi.
Home Depot has Dewalt Atomic. Lowe’s has Dewalt 12V Xtreme. Craftsman vs. Ryobi and Kobalt vs. Ridgid are reasonable matchups. Skil enters the mix as well.
On the pro side, what did Lowe’s have to match up against Milwaukee and Makita? Bosch didn’t have a strong showing this year, neither did HPT. Flex could potentially be the competitor Lowe’s has been looking for.
Competition is good for everyone.
If you step back and look at the big picture, Chervon brings a lot to Lowe’s – EGO cordless outdoor power tools, Skil cordless tools and outdoor tools, and Flex. They also manufacture Kobalt 24V cordless power tools.
This isn’t very different from how Stanley Black & Decker has Craftsman, Irwin, and Lenox hand tools at Lowe’s, or how TTI has Milwaukee, Ridgid, and Ryobi at Home Depot.
Flex aims to provide compelling pro-grade power tools. Lowe’s aims to provide a full-breadth lineup of cordless solutions.
Chervon does a lot of OEM work, and this gives them ownership of their developments. There are a lot of tools and innovations that no longer exist because Chervon did not have their own labels at the time to launch them under. This is no longer the case.
Agreed. At the Pro level, only DeWalt is making any sort of money at Lowes. People just aren’t interested in Bosch or Metabo HPT, and the shelf space given to them shows it.
Outside of DeWalt and Makita. Home Depot is very much a TTI house. Lowes on the other hand was more a SBD house, but essentially dropped the “good, better, best” model when they scrapped Porter Cable and Black and Decker in favor of Craftsman. And being forced to feature Craftsman is definitely hurting the Kobalt line.
Bringing in Flex as another Pro line shores them up as a Chervon house. And makes it harder for SBD to force Lowes to dedicate shelf space to their line just like in Home Depot.
I’m looking forward to this. Flex is not a bargain brand, or even mid tier. It is a high end line of tools at a premium price point, I would say even more so then Dewalt or Milwaukee. I hope the batteries are compatible with the Flex line of cordless polishers. I really like the build quality of Flex as I have their 3401. I was looking into their cordless polishers but didn’t want to buy into a new battery system just for a polisher….but if they start to add other cordless tools to the mix then that makes it more palatable.
A couple folks have referenced chervon’s battery tech. I know nothing about it, can someone share what they are doing better?
Hey Aaron, check out the FLEX faceoff on 4/12 by signing up at https://www.flexpowertools.com/faceoff or go to http://www.egopowerplus.com.
Generally, it comes down to cooling and temperature regulation. If engineers can keep Li-ion battery cells cool, they can bump up the charging rate and squeeze out max performance and power delivery. Chervon has focused a lot of attention on batter pack thermal management.
Their EGO batteries, for example, features phase-change materials that helps to dissipate heat.
Let’s talk about water. It takes a certain amount of energy to raise the temperature of a liter of water 1 degree. It takes a lot more energy to melt ice into water or boil water into steam.
Battery cells heat up during use, and that heat needs to be controlled.
Consider someone who has a fever. They might be able to power through a low-grade fever, but a high-grade fever is often debilitating and can be dangerous. Taking a bath is sometimes a good way to shed some of the excess body heat.
Now consider a battery. It can transfer some of its heat to its surroundings. But, there’s a limit as to how fast this can work, and how much thermal energy can be dissipated in this manner before it loses efficiency.
With a phase change material, a much greater level of thermal energy can be dissipated from the battery cell.
A certain amount of energy will increase the temperature of the phase-change material, and then a lot more energy can be absorbed and trapped in the material as it changes phase, such as from solid to liquid.
The details are kept secret, and we haven’t dissected any EGO battery packs for a closer look yet.
huh. I expected something like milwaukee’s marketspeak but actually this was interesting enough to make me do more research. Teardown video with Barnaby… Each cell sleeved in phase change cooling, “impervious to the elements” “you can take the battery and just… throw it!” “left out in the rain/snow entire winter, held its charge”
Actually I think I’m sold on this.
Just when it seems Lowes has really gotten behind their 24V Kobalt line. My local store finally rearranged their cordless displays and gave some floor space to the Kobalt line. Plus it seems the line has matured and rounded out. If I wasn’t already invested in another line I’d give it a serious look. Why bring in yet another 24V line? Especially one that i think most people haven’t ever heard of.
Because Lowe’s wants some of that Milwaukee/ Makita professional grade cash flow that Bosch and Metabo aren’t giving it. If it weren’t for DeWalt, Lowe’s would have very little Pro Grade income.
How many “pros” are gonna leave their current platforms to invest in a maybe?
I doubt many established ones. But if they can perform like Milwaukee at a better price point, maybe the new breed of apprentices who will become future pros? Everybody has to start somewhere right?
Essentially I still feel this is a move by Lowes to stop Stanley from bullying them and the shelf space they are forced to give to Craftsman to keep DeWalt. Lowes doesn’t need a Milwaukee killer as much as it needs a DeWalt competitor.
I’m honestly surprised Makita doesn’t get in on Lowes to cut into DeWalt’s profits. They aren’t beholden to a parent company, and would certainly sell better than Bosch and Metabo/Hitachi.
They are working their way into tractor supply from what I understand so maybe lowes will be next.
Kobalt cordless, Skil, Skilsaw, Ego, and Flex are all owned by the same parent (Chervon). Looks like Chervon and Lowe’s are aligning themselves in the same way that TTI (Ryobi, Ridgid cordless, Milwaukee) and Home Depot are aligning.
In an odd way, adding Flex to Lowes may be good for the longevity of the Kobalt 24v lineup. It may not be good news for SBD (Craftsman and Dewalt) or for Bosch, Makita, or Metabo, though.
I can definitely see pros switching to this brand if the power/speed/torque claims are accurate, especially if the price is right. As a light DIY user, it’s probably not worth switching for me, unless they roll out some nice woodworking tools. I’ll be interested to see how compact the tools are.
Pros also prioritize durability and longevity, may even prioritize it over performance.
It’s Barnaby!!!!!!!!!!!! I haven’t seen him in a while!
Its a bloated market to try an establish a new name. It might have been interesting to have seen Chervon use EGO’s name to expand into a tool line. It would be interesting to see EGO’s existing batteries power something like a table saw, miter saw, wet/dry vac, water pump, planer, large band saw, etc.
A new platform … so exciting! /not
Rigid had it, and abandoned it.
Kobalt has it …
And so this Flex line with multiple numbers of tools planned to be released short term, cannot be good news for Kobalt owners.
Unless Lowes is going to position Flex like Milwaukee, and use Kobalt like Rigid with too few tools in the arsenal.
God knows I don’t need another cordless tool line, but those look pretty nice. EGO has pretty constantly bested Milwaukee, Makita, and Dewalt in the OPE categories. They can do some real damage if they get aggressive in converting pros. Interesting though they are going for a 24v platform rather than 36v on an all new tool lineup
Flex is know for its automotive polishers, especially its cordless random orbital car polisher FXE15. I wonder if these will use the same battery family.
Too much platform proliferation with very limited or no added benefit. If you offered new tools that do new things or in more effective ways or are high value, low cost, perhaps there is some white space in the market. Lowe’s is more like a fruit of the month club- a new brand killing an old one seemingly week in and week out. That may have been fine in the days of the cord but you are DOA in a cordless environment absent a serious value prop as you destroy customer trust.
Unless already tied to a different platform, investing in anything other than Milwaukee would be folly as the market sits today. If new motor or battery tech breakthroughs happen, then all bets are off.
Chervon’s US headquarters has had EGO FLEX SKIL in big signs on it since they moved in. Flex is on a dark red background. Seems like they had this in the works for a while as Flex was only a brand of high end grinders and polishers for Chervon, at least in the US, before this announcement. (Flex is a former German company Chervon purchase in 2013, their color was red until this point.)
I’m interested in what the “Limited Lifetime Warranty” entails. Not a fan of retail-exclusive brands in general but this at least looks promising. They should definitely make the batteries compatible with Kobalt, seeing how they’re the same voltage/manufacturer/exclusive retailer.
I also like the simple black/white color scheme. They should have a gimmick where you literally have to flex in order to access turbo mode on the drill or likewise access higher-end features.
Chervon owns Flex, not Lowes, so it will likely be sold at other retailers or at least it’s not a true store brand, it’s like Ryobi.
“Lowe’s being their exclusive retail launch partner” notice the way this is worded. Lowes is the exclusive “retail launch partner”, that doesn’t mean they can’t add retailers later, according to this language, they are just the only retailer at launch.
exactly, just like ego was exclusive to homedepot, until they weren’t. It would not surprise me if the whole ego hubub with homedepot was because they were coming out with the flex line and homedepot didn’t want to pay for exclusive rights to that.
So when this hits stores – who loses shelf space? See Ya SBD Craftsman (Reduced), Consolidate Kobalt (Made by Chervon as well I think), Bye-Bye Bosch (Which I will hate), Move Aside Metabo?
In the stores around me, there was a lot of Craftsman and Kobalt carry-over from the Holidays. SBD’s Craftsman strategy was horrible.
To me this seems like a Joke. Pro users don’t use brands they can only source at one place. Even more so if that place is a box store. If a product isn’t sold through lumberyards and trade supply stores, it will never see pro adoption. Maybe that is their long term goal but I doubt it. The local Lowes near me has always tried to have that in house low cost brand, for a while it was the porter cable stuff then the Kobalt, both of which have been gone from mine for over a year. Lately they have a ton of the craftsman. This is just a Kobalt 2.0 which was only just a homeowner line in my opinion. Great for drills and saws and the basics, maybe a vacuum or floodlight, but you rarely see expansion into more trade specific tools like pex expanders, power planers, joist drills, SDS drills and such. I could be wrong and that would be great, but I am not holding my breath. maybe they can make the battery platform work with their outdoor stuff which I know nothing about, then they could tap into that already installed user base.
Bet that they are going to have a line that matches DeWalt/Milwaukee/Makita. It probably won’t be available at launch but they are fully invested in FLEX at this point. None of the companies launched 100+ tools in the beginning, Chervon knows what they are doing and they manufacture for years OEM pro graded tools for big names and you’ll be surprised if you knew the brand names. They are going to have something up their sleeves..
Maybe your right and if they do compete I am sure I will have a bunch of them. I am simply stating that I seriously doubt it. Brand loyalty goes out the window a bit went you buy a lot of tools for business and we have a lot in a bunch of different battery platforms that we use. But I don’t see an inhouse brand at lowes being a game changer in the professional market. I am picturing more Ryobi then Festool. Though I understand chevron bought flex the german tool manufacturer. They are known for their grinders but little else.
Bill Boltz. Best name ever for an Executive Vice President of Merchandising at Lowes. That can’t be his real name, can it?
To me, this makes sense….
SBD has basically made it necessary for Lowes feature Craftsman if it wants to keep them happy and DeWalt in house. This in turn infringes on its very own Kobalt line. SBD can’t force Home Depot to do this since they already have two house brands in Ryobi and Rigid. So SBD’s only action for it’s other brands is Lowes.
By bringing in “good, better, best” options from Chervon, and having its costs aggressively compete with the SBD line. Lowes won’t be “influenced” to display a certain amount of shelf space to little red (We all know Milwaukee is Big RED, lol.)
I get it though, SBD “HAS TO” make Craftsman work. There are 900 million reasons why. I just think Lowes doesn’t want to be told how much shelf space should be devoted to whom. And if Flex proves a good seller along with DeWalt, SBD will have to chill out.
I think it will be hard to establish a new brand. Dewalt, Milwaukee, and Makita have big followings already, Bosch a little less so. I like the idea of more competition in the high end tool space, but what I would really like is some one to more aggressively take on M12.
For power tools the local Lowes has, a full aisle of Kobalt, a full aisle of Craftsman, a full aisle of Dewalt, Bosch and Metabo share an aisle, Porter cable still has an end cap with 1 or 2 tools , the gave the old Bosch end cap to Skil Dewalt Craftsman and Kobalt all have end caps ontop of the aisles. I’m guessing either Metabo or Bosch gets the boot or is left with porter cables old space, or craftsman. Those seem to be the slowest sellers at least.
I’m surprised there seems to be so much pessimism at launch. First, this is a new power tool line from an established manufacturer. More competition: not usually bad for consumers. This isn’t just slapping a “CAT” label on a generic power tool.
Second, this is supposed to be a premium tier power tool – that’s somewhat unusual. Homeowner/hobbyist power tool platforms seem to spring up somewhat regularly. Genuine Dewalt, Milwaukee, Makita, Bosch competitors not so much. So this is something different.
This isn’t a concern exactly, but I really don’t know what to think about Flex vs. Kobalt 24v. I thought Kobalt’s newest lineup was a sort of jump into pro-grade value tools. Stuart’s reviews were very positive and the move seemed to signal ongoing interest in Kobalt development. This could be a move away from that, but I’m not so sure.
Ridgid and Milwaukee seem to have a healthy coexistence – and Ridgid is an odd duck in some ways. Often offering pro-grade performance and novel tools, yet never seeming to cannibalize Milwaukee. Milwaukee is the leading-edge performance line, where Ridgid is usually more budget-friendly – yet while Milwaukee’s best beats Ridgid, Ridgid offers tools that beat many Milwaukee offerings. There’s overlap.
This announcement is exciting. I’ve got lots of questions. I look forward to Stuart’s review.
I’m really pessimistic about anything with Lowes as an exclusive partner. Lowes just keeps burning through brands and it is hard to believe them each time they bring home a new boyfriend home and tell us they love this one for real.
Chervon has put good value in the kobalt 24v, but has yet to bring out a compelling pro grade full tool line. They told us they would upend the market with their skil prosumer stuff a couple years ago and then forgot about it. It seems like they have all the parts to create a full line and it seemed like they were trying for it with the kobalt xtr but now I fear betrayal again if they are taking those energies away from the existing line and put them to flex instead.
I believe that they can fulfill this promise, I just don’t see a history of them actually wanting to. If cordless tools have a 5-10 year life, require faith in the long term of the ecosystem, and are bought based on word of mouth then they need to be willing to fail for 3 years just to prove they can. Chervon definitely have room for it and the strength to compete. I’d love to see a competitor to red and yellow, and I’d love to see it at more than just Lowes.
More than just Lowes? That’s not how house brands work. It’s the reason Milwaukee, Ridgid, and Ryobi are exclusively at Home Depot for TTI. I can’t fathom why an independent Makita would saddle themselves with one chain around where I live.
What we are seeing now is perhaps the infancy of Lowes becoming a Chervon house line. SBD has no store loyalty, and if Home Depot didn’t have the TTI line, they’d probably force HD to carry Craftsman too.
That’s the thing though… Milwaukee isn’t a HD exclusive they just aren’t at lowes. How many brands are considered pro grade and are actual exclusives? I can buy Milwaukee or dewalt at a dozen sites in town and get them serviced at several. I’m not saying they should add this at HD but they need to at least get into acme etc. If they want to be a grown up brand. I don’t just want a warranty I want a local service center. Warranty is worthless if I have to mail it in.
TTI/MKE is exclusive to Depot in the Big Box Home improvement retailer space (Lowe’s & Menard’s), sure you can get MKE in the I/C (supply house) channel or a mom pop hardware store or a Farm & Fleet store, but no MKE in Lowe’s or Menard’s.
FINALLY a mass market high rpm cordless. Kudos to lowes
I don’t really see a need in the market for ANOTHER power tool brand and battery system. What does this bring to the table that Milwaukee and Dewalt don’t already have covered? In addition, all of the major brands have significant tool lineups to go with their battery platforms, what does this offer? A drill, driver, and reciprocating saw….yawn.
For a place Like Home Depot…nothing. For Lowes? It will give them a three headed “Good, Better, Best” option like HD.
People keep looking at this as just adding another brand when in fact this move is more designed to give DeWalt an in store competitor at the Pro level that Bosch and Metabo aren’t doing. It’s no fun having one brand dictate how much shelf space you have to give their offerings.
Do we need another cordless power tool brand? Well, I’m sure a lot of people said something similar about EGO back when they entered the outdoor power equipment space, and look at where the brand is now.
What I find especially interesting about this development is that there’s so much packed into it. There will be some new tools that promise to deliver more than the competition, a roadmap of future cordless power tools and tech, and the broader impact and context of the Lowe’s-Flex relationship.
Flex’s parent company isn’t a start-up naively jumping into a new market, they’re a big player with lots of experience, and they know what they’re up against.
There’s only so much that can happen in a 1-2 year introductory period, but what will the situation be like in 5 years? 10?
“What does Flex bring to the table?” is one of the major questions I’ll be asking of the brand and seeking to answer myself once the tools are in-hand.
Lowe’s doesn’t need another power tool brand. This is ridiculous.
wikipedia says the ‘Kobalt’ brand is owned by Lowe’s. It goes on to say other companies besides Chervon have made Kobalt branded items, e.g. hand tools and the new miter saws. There is no ‘Kobalt’ web site.
Home Depot doesn’t own Ryobi, they just have an exclusive arrangement to sell it in US/Can. TTI owns Ryobi. They also own Milwaukee and Ridgid but these all seem to be independently operated.
It seems from what Stuart is saying Flex is owned by Chervon.
I’ve always pictured Kobalt as two guys in the loading dock at each lowes store. One has a typewriter to do press releases and the other has a can of blue spraypaint.
This comment made my weekend, a real LMAO, thank you!
@Stuart, great post as always, it will be interesting to see how this brand makes out and affects the market. Thanks!
Right. Home Depot is Predominantly TTI. And with the addition of Flex, Lowes will become predominantly Chervon.
Meanwhile SBD sells to both chains.
Emerson owns the Ridgid brand name which came with their acquisition of the Ridge Tool Co. The name derives from North Ridgefield Ohio where the Ridge Tool Co. was founded in 1923. The company still focuses on plumbing tools. Emerson bought them in 1966 . Emerson had been the major supplier of Sears (Craftsman) table saws and other stationary tools. Sears threw them over for Asian manufacturers. So Emerson contracted with Home Depot as a manufacturer of table saws, vacuums etc. under the Ridgid name. Emerson also licensed Home Depot to use the Ridgid name for other tools that do not compete with their plumbing tools or vacuums. I suspect that Home Depot has contracted with TTI to produce tools (many that TTI sell under the AEG brand in Europe) under the Ridgid brand name.
Oh man. I keep forgetting that TTI only licenses the Ridgid “orange” line and Emerson is the actual owner.
Kobalt: A Lowe’s private label brand. Chervon makes most if not all of the 24V Max offerings.
Ryobi: The power tools and accessories division is owned by TTI. According to their website, the name is licensed for use by TTI.
Ridgid: The power tools are developed and produced for TTI for Home Depot and under a licensing agreement with Emerson.
Ryobi and Ridgid (power tool-related) offerings are exclusive to Home Depot, and not just in the context of home improvement retailers.
Effectively, Ridgid and Ryobi can be viewed in the same way as Kobalt, or as Craftsman was back when it was owned by Sears.
The difference here with Flex is that even if they will be launching exclusively with Lowe’s, Flex is not owned by Lowe’s. There is the potential for Flex to eventually be offered beyond Lowe’s, similar to how Craftsman tools are now available at Amazon and Ace. But, I would expect a very close relationship between Lowe’s and Flex, even if the exclusivity has an eventual end date.
Side note, I would remind readers to take a look at this post: https://toolguyd.com/dewalt-craftsman-stanley-vs-milwaukee-ryobi-empire-stanley-black-decker-tti-2018-financials/
Even though Home Depot does not own the Ridgid and Ryobi brands, consider that in 2018, TTI’s largest customer (presumably Home Depot), contributed an enormous percentage of their revenue in North America and overall. I’ll be taking a look at 2020 figures soon, but it’s unlikely for things to have changed much.
Home Depot sells other brands, and some of TTI’s brands are sold outside of Home Depot, but the two companies have an enormously tight relationship.
The dynamic between Lowe’s and Flex won’t be apparent for some time, even if it’s clearly defined behind the scenes but I think it would be safe to assume there will be a very strong relationship.
In my opinion, this exclusive launch relationship between Flex and Lowe’s is the BEST approach and one that will benefit both parties. There are lots of paths their relationship can take over the next few years, and this still seems to be the best starting move.
Fortune Asia edition magazine from a month or so ago is your friend for this research, HD is TTI’s #1 US customer.
Without TTI or Home Depot stating this as fact, I still have to describe it as a presumption. In this case there’s no doubt of this being factual, but that’s not universally true.
Lowes has made some really good decisions lately bring in EGO and now adding Flex power tools. Will be a nice one two punch. Lowes is my go to store because I’m able to easily add veteran status to my lowes card making it super easy to get 10% off each purchase even online. Home depot is always a hassle when asking for military discount so unless a big purchase I don’t even bother.
Makes you wonder if Chevron “dangled” Flex as part of the deal to get Ego into Lowe’s?
Not to mention expanding their Fluke offerings, adding Knipex tools again, as well as Wiha and Ideal
black was a stupid color choice
And what color choice should they have gone to stand out as a new product amongst the competitors?
Red- Milwaukee, Craftsman, Skil
Blue- Kobalt, Bosch
Yellow- Dewalt, Bostitch
Orange- Black and Decker, Ridgid
Neon Green- Ryobi
Green- Metabo HPT
Grey- Porter Cable (At least until they go completely out of business.)
We’re literally left with Hot Pink, lol. I think Black was a fine choice. Might not be high viz, but it will be sleek looking.
Dude a lot of contractors like the stem batteries and some of them are lithium so they are getting pretty good runtime, and what are you having contest on the jobsite oh I got my screw in faster than yours, and most of these guys you see on YouTube don’t even do this for a living their tools look brand after they tell you they tell you they beat the hell out of it, you should be more concerned the country of origin your tools are coming from
There was an interesting post about COO a little while back. I can’t find it or I would just link to it. It spawned lots of discussion.
Stuart – I noticed there’s no tab for editorials in the navigation bar. Is that something that could be added (or maybe that’s intentional )?
With limited space in the top menu, there was never really a good place for an editorial tab.
So if you google Flex 24v tools. There are a bunch of Lowes links that have prices on them.
Looks like their 24v brushless drill kit will sell for $199 with a bag, (2) 2MaH batteries, and a charger.
Basically if their performance claims are true. This pricing will force the other “Pro” level makers to step up and aggressively price the same or offer better value.
So are these FLEX power tools real new products? or are these just re-branded KOBALT 24V max tools?
The fact that they are Lowe’s exclusive and 24V makes me wonder.
I see a lot of professionals on here arguing about basically red versus yellow. My preference is DeWalt and at this point I have invested quite a bit of money in those tools. I have everything from an impact to miter saw. The new flex stuff would have to be impressive as hell and inexpensive in order for me to change over.
Hey Stuart, did you happen to see the video Monday night? What did you think?
At an hour and a half in length, I’d like to take it all in but it’s going to have to be done piecemeal.
Really thinking about getting into this line in due time.
Looks like the Flex tools are available now.
Those are interesting listings! It’s funny they don’t show the inline 6 1/2” circular saw, since it’s one of their flagship innovations so far. The whole page looks like someone used a monochrome filter or something; definitely a different approach from a lot of other major brands.
I’m sorry, I have absolutely no faith this is a professional brand. This reads like typical marketing BS.
YOu throw Lowes into the mix and it’s even worse. Lowes hates Pros.
Switched from a perfectly good set (6 pieces) of Dewalt 18v tools 3 years ago to 20v XR (at least a dozen tools). I gave the 18v stuff to an apprentice (he bought a 20v adapter & still uses they tools). I’ve got an M12 3/8 Fuel ratchet for my shade tree mechanicing (Dewalt doesn’t make one) & bought an M12 driver for the wife (I hate the Milwaukee bit ejector), along with a couple spare batteries. I ’m not looking for another platform for at least another 7-10 years.