As you might have seen in our Tool Brands: Who Owns What? guide, Stanley Black & Decker owns a lot of tool brands.
Sometimes it can be unclear how these brands are positioned. Back when Stanley Black & Decker had their luncheon press events – ah, I do miss those – they would show a presentation slide describing the different brands as being aimed at consumers, tradesmen, residential contractors, “sophisticated hobbyists,” commercial contractors, and so forth.
With a lot of overlapping brands, it can be helpful to understand how all the different SBD tool brands mesh together.
In this chart put together for investors, it shows Stanley Black & Decker positioning for most of their Global Tools and Storage brands, plus Craftsman, Irwin, and Lenox – recent brand acquisitions that are still being integrated into SBD.
The Y axis has markers for Opening Price Point, Middle Price Point, and High Price Point, OPP, MPP, and HPP, respectively.
The X axis is separated into consumer, tradesman, professional, and automotive/industrial user categories.
Black & Decker: Unsurprising, Black & Decker is target towards consumers at lower pricing.
Bostitch: Pro users slightly under middle pricing.
Craftsman: A wide range of tradesmen and pro users at a little higher than middle pricing.
Dewalt: Pro, automotive, and industrial users, at mid to high pricing.
Facom: Industrial and automotive users at high pricing
Irwin: Tradesmen and some professional users at entry to mid level pricing. (That’s a little surprising, that it’s being positioned below Stanley.)
Lenox: Professional and industrial users at mid to high pricing
Mac Tools: Industrial and automotive users at high pricing.
Porter Cable: Tradesmen and pro users at entry to mid pricing.
Proto: Industrial and automotive users at high pricing.
Stanley: Trademen and pro users at just over mid level pricing.
Stanley FatMax: Professional, automotive, and industrial users, at just under mid level pricing.
In some cases, it seems brands should be grouped together, but are arranged in alphabetical order, such as Facom, Mac Tools, and Proto, at the top right of the chart.
Others are surprises, such as how Stanley is positioned above Irwin. That they’re positioned well above Irwin might only be a consequence of having to fit a lot of data in a single chart. Still, Stanley > Irwin. Craftsman being just above Stanley isn’t really surprising.
One thing that does surprise me is seeing Craftsman span much of the chart horizontally, indicating that the brand will be aimed at nearly all users, except for the least demanding consumer market.
However, I would have thought Stanley to be targeted towards consumers, since they seem to be marketed towards consumers. With that in mind, I think the chart should be loosely interpreted. Even so, it does give rare insight into what the folks at Stanley Black & Decker think of and intend for their own brands.
There are a few other things that the investor materials brought to light.
In describing “Industry 4.0” happenings, they show an intentional trend towards localized manufacturing. There’s also a chart that shows their goal to bring the North America figure from around 40% in 2010 and 50% in 2017, to around 60% in 2020 and beyond.
“Make where we sell… Buy where we make… Leverage Industry 4.0.
“Advanced Automation” will be a part of that, but someone goofed, and instead of posting an image of an industrial robot, they show a toy robotic arm, the OWI robot arm kit, which can be found for ~$45. Here’s what I want to know – which of SBD’s tool brands will they use to put these little guys together with? =P
Hmm. Innovation, with an arrow connecting a Stanley FatMax tape measure to a rendering of a Craftsman tape measure.
SBD has already pledged to bring Craftsman tool production back to the USA, and I AM SO EXCITED FOR IT!!
I spy an image of the “Made in USA: All Craftsman sockets are wrenches are proudly made in the USA” scan I took from a 2008 Craftsman tool catalog.
I created that scanned image for this post: Open Letter to Craftsman and Sears – Why Ax Professional and USA-Made Tools?! nearly 5-1/2 years ago, where I gave Craftsman an earful.
The Capability to build upon legacy? That sounds good, but…
Capability is one thing. The willingness to do so, and return the Craftsman brand to its USA-made roots?
Yes, yes, yes, yes! But stop teasing, and please tell us more!
I’m going to be completely honest here – I’m not quite sure what this means. Does this “Acquisitive growth trends” chart show how each major SBD brand benefits or grows resulting from the Craftsman, Irwin, and Lenox brand purchases?
If so, I’m surprised to see such a huge bump-up for Dewalt, 71%. I suppose they can potentially benefit from some of the Lenox tool offerings, such as Lenox pipe wrenches, cutters, and other plumbing tools. Will Dewalt adapt many Lenox offerings in order to better compete with Milwaukee in several currently under-served product categories?
What will the next year or two bring for Dewalt?
Dewalt is pursuing a Cordless Jobsite (as are most if not all other professional cordless tool brands).
This is how things looked.
And this is what the opportunities landscape currently looks like.
The Future of FlexVolt: 15+ new tools and 20+ accessories expected in 2018-2019. They also plan for “continued expansion into small gas engines market” and will “validate technology expansion in larger gas engines, a ~$3B+ market.”
15+ new tools and 20+ accessories? What do you think they’re working on?
The toy robot arm captioned “Advanced Automation” is a fantastic catch … no analyst will figure that one out.
With regard to the Acquisitive Growth Trends slide, all they’re saying is their previous acquisitions have resulted in sales growth for the listed brands … and that same team is now planning to tackle its recent acquisitions.
Interestingly, in their most recent presentation, there’s a slide titled “Near Term Growth Catalyst” tying Flexvolt with Craftsman, Irwin and Lenox.
I can’t waitnfor 15+ more Flexvolt tools
Interesting article. Thank you for posting about it.
Now, as one who has not been fond of SBD’s handling of what I call ‘heritage brands’ in the past, I am fearful for Irwin and particularly Lennox going forward.
Lennox made about the best hacksaw blades I have ever used. I don’t want them going the way of Irwin/Vise-Grip.
Proto hand tools may be their pro brand but it’s image is firmly in automotive mechanics. Irwin used to be the all American trades brands for pliers and similar tools. Along with Craftsman I hope they bring Irwin home for hand tools.
I know all this is tricky. These mega-branded companies are really looking for cheap distribution routes and customers that buy millions of dollars of tools at a time. I fear what the end user wants may be a third or fourth consideration. Still glad to seeCraftsman coming home.
my thoughts they are going to degrade the Lenox and Irein line likd they did PC. PC used to be a respectable brand.
Yea, I agree and I think “Craftsman should come over Stanley tools hands down”!
?S,B&D please don’t make junk for Craftsman or Lennox! These are brands I’m proud to own. I know Sears has tarnished the Craftsman name some, but I still love their hand tools. Not to mention their new awesome looking tool cabinets. ?????? Go Craftsman USA!
Their idea of Stanley doesn’t match with everyone else’s idea of Stanley. It’s the B&D of hand tools with good tape measures and decent hammers. There are few “Professionals” that use Stanley sockets, screwdrivers or pliers…comparable to the amount off “Professionals” that use Harbor Freight tools in the same categories.
All the good tape measures and decent hammers come from the FatMax side of the company anyway, which is listed separately. Which makes stanley equal with the cheapest Chinese brand walmart sells, which coincidentally sometimes is Stanley!
Their “flagship” brands the company is named for, Stanley and Black & Decker, are carried in Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, Home Depot, and just about every hardware store, home center, and retail store that sells tools. They are about as mass-market entry-level consumer-quality tool brand as it gets.
I do like the regular ‘ol Stanley LeverLock tapes a whole lot more than anything in the FatMax line, so I’d say FatMax is just a branding to make stuff seem more professional.
Speaking professionally, a carpenter who works for me likes the leverlock, Most of us prefer the fat max though. Good tapes.
In general I think most pros think stanley/dewalt is going downhill. Milwaukee, on the other hand, is killing it.
I know the construction and materials of the FatMax stuff is supposed to be better, and the tapes are sometimes thicker/wider and have more standout, but I can’t stand the thumb lock mechanism they use, and the bigger, wider tapes are so bunky and heavy, not really what I like to carry around or use.
I’ve heard that DeWalt is going downhill for a long time. The stuff still keeps getting bought like crazy, especially for those in trades. I agree Milwaukee is going at it hard, but brand loyalty is a heck of a thing, and as much as some guys knock DeWalt or have problems, they still keep buying the tools and batteries.
I’ve had great luck with Dewalt, except for a few premature battery failers and their faulty automotive⚡️ battery chargers, anyway mine is only good for a pretty paper weight. ? they should be recalled.
I think you made a typo where you listed Irwin in the description of Irwin, in reguards to it’s ranking.
Wow, quite the write up. I like the longer informative reads for . Thanks
Thanks! Sorry, I meant Stanley.
I would have thought that Irwin and Stanley would have been on-par, or Irwin positioned higher.
I’ve liked some of the Irwin tools from recent years, ignoring for a moment that most weren’t made here, and hoped to see some of the stylings survive the acquisition.
I enjoy these posts too. =)
THe flexvolt thing is sort of what I would expect or have been expecting. Flexvolt OPE, and things like a concrete saw fits that mold too.
Still say craftsman name might as well go away but I liken it to a generational thing.
I’ve heard from a local rep that there will be a powered wheelbarrow, similar to the 18×2 Makita, and a 120v cut off saw out next year. Also a different full size 10″ 120v table saw.
Dewalt is leaving other brands in the dust this the only company truly innovating
I don’t know about that. Pretty much everything they are talking about is already available through other vendors (primarily Makita) except the cordless table saw, and a lot of their tools seem to have been made as a direct response to other brands tools (so those other brands would be considered the real innovators imo). TBH I prefer the Makitax2 platform over the flexvolt one. That is because I use custom adapters so that I can use one brand of batteries across multiple brands of tools.
I disagree. DeWalt’s innovation is shown in the power of a flexvolt battery that maintains backwards compatibility. Without the huge investment into a new platform. For instance, if I was new to Makita’s x2 platform, I would actually need 4 batteries to stay running indefinitely. Also, the ability to run on either battery or batteries like the miter saw is a fantastic and innovative solution.
The Innovation though, relies heavily on a whole new battery platform which to me in some ways is a step backwards and lacks some characteristics of true innovation.
A cordless job site is a great a goal, guys love their flexvolt and I have not a negative thing to say about it. The innovation is there.
But forcing your consumer to a new battery or tools that don’t work without this new batt, to me, it’s crazy. It’s crazy how many people just went with it.
Some brands chose to go 2x18V for their higher performing tools, but this can be a limitation. Mixing battery packs can lead to less than ideal performance, and that might be factored into the design of the tools.
Starting with a fresh platform allows for predictable and maybe even higher performance.
Part of FlexVolt’s appeal, in my opinion at least, is that the battery packs are compatible with 20V Max tools. One-way compatibility is better than nothing.
You can use the same charger if you want to, too, which also makes things easier.
One could argue that Milwaukee’s 9.0Ah battery pack offers similar power potential, while also offering full (or near-full) M18 tool compatibility.
But for reasons previously discussed, I think that FlexVolt has an edge.
To me, it doesn’t seem that Dewalt is trying to force their users to the FlexVolt platform. Some of their FlexVolt tools seem to have been adapted into 20V Max tools, such as the brushless circular saw.
Others, like the framing saw, and certainly the 12″ miter saws, might remain FlexVolt-only offerings. That’s how they can assure strong performance, performance that just won’t be possible with existing or feasible 20V Max battery packs.
New gaming consoles are often not forward and backwards compatible. New computer CPUs aren’t compatible with older motherboards. Every few years there’s a new RAM standard that won’t work with older motherboards.
Sometimes more power, performance, or capabilities just cannot be easily made to be backwards compatible. You cannot always have both.
I know that the engineers and product managers are happier with the new form factor. It releases their constraints and allows them to push into new product categories.
I had hoped we’d see a 10″ portable table saw this year, but that didn’t happen. I’d almost bet that we’ll see one next year. And if not, I’d guarantee that it’s something they’re working on.
A 120V Max 10″ portable table saw, one that can be cordless or corded, will be fantastic. You can’t do that with a 20V Max battery. Maybe you can with 2, but you know that someone’s going to try to power it with low capacity battery packs and then blame the saw when it doesn’t cut very well or for very long.
With a FlexVolt battery pack, you can be sure to get the performance that the engineers designed the saw to deliver. Tools designed around 2x18V-class batteries are either going to have compatibility limitations, or be designed with broader power options in mind.
I would argue that Dewalt should have come out with their 20V Max to 18V adapter sooner, but I don’t think anyone would argue that 18V was a superior system than what we have today with the 20V Max platform.
Similarly, while there are grumbles about FlexVolt tools not being able to work with 20V Max battery packs, I think Dewalt showed great consideration in making the battery packs capable of delivering 20V Max and 60V Max voltage levels.
Adam, I think you got it backward. The FlexVolt system offer about the same backward comparability as the X2 system albeit with less flexibility. You can not run a flexvolt saw using the 20v max battery.
So even if you already have your 20v max better, guess what? you’ll need some new battery for the flexvolt miter saw. Not so with the X2 system. Flexvolt battery will always be bulkier than the non-flexvolt battery because there is a minimum number of cell that are required to be in there. To me that’s another disadvantage.
There are certainly some advantage to the flexvolt system when there is a need to step to a higher voltage but the higher the voltage that can be step on to the bulkier the battery will be at a minimum. The big question is whether there is a real need to step to the higher voltage or would something like X2 or X3 be sufficient. The cost for 2 battery or the cost for one flexvolt battery should be similar for a given total wattage. So for real world usage, I see little advantage to the flexvolt system.
They have just about killed Mac. tools after buying out. No dealers no support.. Too bad they had some good products.
What are you talking about?
you’ve got to be kidding me. That would be an unusual opinion on any jobsite I go on. I’m a big makita 18v fan, and Bosch for corded, but if any company is really moving the needle it’s Milwaukee. I probably own close to 2k worth of 18v Makita, but I’ve still started buying Milwaukee, it’s that good now.
The one thing most of us agree on is that Dewalt has gone to hell.
Made in USA = Made by robots in the USA. Welcome to industry 4.0
Value added is still (US) value added. Like the giant Milwaukee blade making facility Stuart posted about a few months ago.
Our old worn legacy (US) plants just weren’t updated to keep them state of the art. Even the Germans are addressing these issues decades later. But they’ve got us to look at.
Wall Street and lazy owners. And here “we” are.
There were videos everywhere about it a year or two ago, it’s not ‘robots’. Final assembly of ‘shells’ and a bunch of manned QC is done on specific tools. Not really defending it, but they were at least transparent about what the label means.
In unrelated news, I read today that Ryobi was officially bought out by Kyocera? They’re absorbing all japanese and chinese manufacturing, but leaving the design plant in Maryland alone, or something? I’ll dig for the link.
Wow, that is interesting. And surprising. Jut found this after reading your post.
I read something about that earlier too, but that the North America TTI activities wouldn’t be touched.
I don’t think I have ever posted about Ryobi’s Asian tools. Kyocera also recently bought Senco.
So as I read it then, Ryobi’s cordless tools under TTI wont be affected and will continue as is?
That makes more sense, Stuart. The way the article I read was worded was a little weird from my perspective, because it didn’t specify what part of Ryobi was purchased, but that operations in maryland would be left intact.
This article confirmed a number of things for me:
Craftsman was purchased since they had the brand recognition and was a perfect target for the SBD grand plan. Where will these be marketed now that Sears days are numbered?
Black & Decker as a brand does not seem to be trying very hard.
I don’t understand having both FACOM & Proto representing the high end. FACOM seems just so expensive.
Yes, and for those of us who are just old enough to remember, B&D used to have several lines of products. The first Dewalt power tools(not figuring in the radial arm saws which is all Dewalt really made before acquisition) were little more than re-badged B&D Industrial tools. Those were flat grey and black colour and we’re not as appealing as the cool new Dewalt Yellow. B&D actually knew/knows how to make tools of goodmquality. They’ve just positioned it at the bottom.
Facom. I don’t know if any of their hand tools are made in France anymore but they used to be that nation’s version of SnapOn. I don’t know if their mechanics tools were at the same build level as Snappy but they were VERY good. With all their acquisitions and subsidiaries like Factor SK North America, I am completely unsure of their current level of quality.
Should have read; Facom SK North America. Stupid auto correct.
Yes, made-in-france Facom are the very highest level of quality available anywhere. Compare to Snap-on (maybe Facom is better), Hazet, Gedore and other top of the top brands. Don’t know if their quality decreased significantly on their moved to the orient lines.
Luckly, I got a real sale on an distributor of old-stock Facom: got lots of their great tools for a real sing! Their pliers are my personal favorites (above Wiha, Knipex, etc).
I don’t understand the distinction between tradesman and professional. It’s also interesting seeing that they’re trying to position porter cable as professional, when that brand has such a low-end consumer reputation.
I’m guessing a tradesman might be an individual user who has to buy their own tools and who might be a little more price conscious, and a professional might be part of a larger business with a tool buyer and independent budget.
Maybe their differentiation might be akin to residential contractor vs. new commercial construction.
Typically tradesman tools are professional tools, but are specific to a single trade. Case in point; I haven’t seen a plumber yet that carries linesmen pliers. So it is baffling to me as well how they categorized the chart. I would love to know their definition of tradesman.
The most hopeful thing is the slide showing they’re being made aware of how much “Made in USA” matters to the legacy of Craftsman tools, and potential customers.
I wonder how much that awareness will come into play with other brands.
Stanley Black & Decker could do a lot with Irwin if they brought Vise-Grip production back to the USA, particularly DeWitt, Nebraska. They could move that price point up over the MPP and position USA-made Vise-Grips as a premium product rather than an overseas-manufactured bargain offering. Newell-Rubbermaid could have done the same thing and kept the DeWitt plant open and just charged a higher retail price, but they went cheap and decided lower manufacturing costs and a lower quality product at a cheaper price point would be more profitable.
Hopefully Stanley Black & Decker really is aware of how much the legacy of their brands matters and decides to do the right thing with Craftsman and Irwin. I share the doubt of others going by what has happened with Porter-Cable, but now’s as good a time as any to get it turned around and if nothing else, they’ll have to learn the hard way if they mismanage the brands.
It really would suck if Lenox & Irwin suffered the same fate as porter cable. Irwin lost a lot of clout when they shut down the DeWitt plant. Sears ruined craftsman due to Eddie. Lenox has always been a quality product. I hope that sbd doesn’t mess that up. We’ll see if tradition means something to sbd. But the problem is that we now rely too heavily on foreign materials to make American products. Quality has taken a nose dive across the board. This wasn’t the case when craftsman, Irwin, etc were %100 American made. From the rivets to the handle to the packaging. It was all made here or at least someone other than China. That sense of pride is all but extinct being that the new generation of owners only care about profits and what they deem as an acceptable product as opposed to a quality product. Which we as consumers have suffered from in terms of quality as well as the American factories that provided that quality which gave us a sense of pride in Made In the USA. If sbd really takes the tradition and sense of pride seriously, I think they will make the right choice for Craftsman, Lenox, and Irwin. If they decide to go with “global materials”, then they will suffer the same fate as porter cable or worse. It would be so much greater if they could stay away from the “with global materials”. Those 3 words are what will make or break their target markets for Lenox, Irwin and especially Craftsman.
Please pick one name and stick with it.
I couldn’t agree more. American companies need to wake up. Americans are hungry for high quality over low price. The Germans are hip to this and are killing it. How often do hear “German Engineering” touted in advertising, even in something as simple as a razor blade. What about American engineering?! Want to make America great again? Make it here again.
I really Really like DeWalt!! But I Love Craftsman…. Made In USA Craftsman that is. It was old school America at it’s finest. I’m so happy SBD is up for the restoration of an icon. Thrilled really.. If they bring back the magic, I’m buying what they’re selling.
It gets rather convoluted with all the overlap.
Irwin has a lot of cheap stuff but their NWS rebranded pliers are amazing. My go to since the demise of Klein. By demise I mean complete suckage, I know they’re still around.
Craftsman will be interesting. Sears definitely did some damage to the brand so while the older generation may still remember their hayday, I’m not sure the younger ones will be as onboard.
I find the small engines drive interesting. I take that to mean actual engines, powered by gas. So like generators, OPE, and the like. That seems like a very different venture from anything under their umbrella. It could shake things up, but a big yellow Genny…. That’s weird. Could be interesting to see what they do with it tho.
What “decline of Klein”? Moving their manufacturing to Texas as cheaper state to do business from? Or the various Made in Taiwan multi bit tools?
Just curious. (And I’m a big German tool fan/buyer but I still gravitate to using my Klein stuff.)
Oops. “The “demise” of Klein”!
Great article and comments. It will be interesting to see how distribution of the brands plays out. Doubtful HD/Lowe’s will let too much of the lineup compete with the other brands (Milwaukee, Bosch, Husky, Kobalt, etc.).
Kinda bummed to not see Blackhawk on the chart…hope that doesn’t point to an end. Maybe its “included” in Proto, fingers crossed.
I think Blackhawk wasn’t explicitly mentioned for the reason you said, because it’s really Proto Blackhawk.
It’s difficult to parse the overlapping brand categories.
How I see the brands from a consumer’s external viewpoint:
Black and Decker- Low grade homeowner tools.
Stanley- Mostly cheap junk tools on par with B&D. Excludes some tape measures and hand planes.
Craftsman- A mix of decent tools. Stupid gimmicks. And Chinese junk.
Porter Cable- Advanced homeowner power tools. Big upgrade from B&D
Irwin- Upgrade from Stanley. Better materials. Sometimes.
Stanley FatMax- Tape measures and hand tools. Varying quality.
Dewalt- Pro/Tradesman level power tools and accessories. Upgrade from PC.
Bostitch- Pro/Tradesman level air tools.
Lenox- Pro/Tradesman level cutting blades.
Mac – Pro Automotive/Industrial
Proto- Pro Automotive/Industrial
Facom- Pro Automotive/Industrial
Obviously any of these can be interchanged to get a job done. Having B&D on the side doesn’t stop a pro from drilling a hole or whatever. But these are my brand perceptions.
Agree! Hoping SBandD would see it that way. ? they need to make more improvements in category 2. Restore Craftsman to the glory it used to be and improve Porter Cable. Take the Stanley name off Bostitch and get it out of the discount mart. ?
I guess only time will tell. I have such a bad taste in my mouth after what Sears did to Craftsman….it would be hard to get behind them. But, if they reopened an “Industrial” or “Professional” line I might get excited. SK, Wright, and others are putting out some great stuff at a very reasonable price point. At any rate, if Craftsman can offer solid quality at a midrange price point, I think a lot of people would be interested.
All of my old corded power tools are Craftsman Industrial. I’d Love to have a line like that again. Or use Professional. I have several Craftsman Professional pliers, cutters and such. I’m partial to the Industrial name though… I suppose it’s just what I grew up on.
I agree with you on SK. What isn’t Craftsman in my toolbox is SK.. Cornwell is also making a huge push again. I see their tools and toolboxes on some of the MAVtv series shows. The making of the Cornwell/Kennedy toolboxes was pretty neat. All of this also makes me wonder if we’ll see Craftsman sponsored events in the future. I know they sponsored late model/sprint car racing the last 2 years. Will that continue and how about stuff like Nascar or Nhra where there is current DeWalt promotion and sponsorship.? Would it be more beneficial to push Craftsman seeing as they will offer more than just tools? Stuff like snowblowers, lawn equipment and much more are also in the mix for SBD here. It will be exciting for sure!
I only own 1 Facom tool, it’s a flat screwdriver made in france. Its the best hand tool I’ve ever had. I don’t know the actual quality of their tools.
I only own 1 Facom tool, it’s a flat screwdriver made in france. Its the best hand tool I’ve ever had. I don’t know the actual quality of their tools.