We recently posted about the new Dewalt Atomic cordless drill and impact driver, and then followed up with coverage of Dewalt’s announcement of the 6-tool launch schedule.
Dewalt says that their new Atomic Compact Series cordless power tools are smaller than select existing models, while being more powerful. That’s in regard to the new brushless drill and impact driver. Full details about the “coming soon” saws and oscillating tool are not yet available.
I wrote to my [awesome and patient] Dewalt contact a couple of days ago, asking about whether the new Atomic cordless power tools would be available at Dewalt dealers. They said that the Dewalt Atomic cordless power tools would be available at “Home Depot and independent channels.” I asked whether this means Home Depot, Lowes, Amazon, Acme Tools, and other typical Dewalt-carrying retailers, but have not heard back yet.
Now, a banner appeared on Home Depot’s website, describing the new tools as “exclusive.”
Well, isn’t this interesting.
The Home Depot marketing banner says:
New Exclusive Dewalt Atomic Compact Series, The quality of 20-Volt MAX in more compact, more powerful designs.
“Exclusive?” That’s a very important word.
A few months ago, Stanley and FatMax signed an agreement with Home Depot, making the retailer the exclusive online and in-store home improvement retailer for these tool brands.
At this time, Stanley Black & Decker is doing a whole lot of promotion at Lowes, tied to their new Craftsman hand tools, tool storage products, and cordless power tool lines. Amazon has finally started carrying some of the new Craftsman outdoor power tools, but their selection is dwarfed by what’s happening at Lowes.
Starting a few months ago, some readers heard that Lowes would be phasing out Kobalt tools, replacing them with Craftsman offerings. I expressed disbelief about this, and while I have yet to see it in person (I’ll check again today), I have not yet seen any such Craftsman-replacing-Kobalt changes at my local Lowes stores.
There are pieces missing to this puzzle. I quite frankly still do not understand what Dewalt is going after with their Atomic Compact Series of 20V Max cordless power tools. What we know so far about the tools is conflicting. There are indicators that it’s an entry-priced tool line, based on the early tools’ on-paper specs as well as the marketing language and comparisons, but there are also factors supporting the claim of the tools being compact.
The new Dewalt Atomic circular saw and reciprocating saws, for instance, could potentially be of strong interest to general users. But for the drill and impact driver options, the pricing doesn’t agree with what you get, or the tools that they’re being compared to in Dewalt and Home Depot marketing.
This Home Depot promotional banner might not be a big piece to the puzzle, but it potentially provides much-needed background context. It also introduces another big question:
What does this mean?
I have learned enough about the tool industry over the years to know that this is important, but there are insufficient details to fully understand the big picture. So, let’s discuss.
You might also be asking why is this important? That one’s a little easier. The cordless power tool industry is big, and Home Depot is a major player. This new release didn’t happen in a vacuum, and Home Depot describing and potentially carrying the Atomic line as an exclusive could have influence on other tool brands such as Milwaukee and Makita, or retailers such as Lowes.
As of the time of this posting, Home Depot is the only source for Dewalt’s Atomic cordless drill and impact driver. No other Dewalt dealer, distributor, retailer, or source appears to have them listed, let alone in stock.