Lowe’s and Klein Tools have announced a new partnership that will “bring a significant presence for the iconic tool brand to the electrical and tool departments at Lowe’s.”
The new partnership will allow Lowe’s to “offer the widest selection of Klein Tools products anywhere in the home improvement retail channel.”
Klein Tools products will launch at Lowe’s stores and their website starting in the second half of 2023.
There will be “premium store placements across multiple product categories.”
The initial rollout will include hand tools and electrical test and measurement tools. This will be followed by a “multi-year rollout of new product innovations.”
Lowe’s executive vice president of merchandising, Bill Boltz, commented:
The addition of Klein will help drive excitement and traffic among Pro customers looking for market-tested innovation from a brand they trust.
According to press materials, the new partnership and product offerings keeps Lowe’s “true to their commitment to be a true business partner for Pros.”
Klein Tools’ President and COO, Thomas Klein Jr, adds:
This partnership with Lowe’s enables us to serve Pros with our wide array of products, including innovative new products designed to make work on the job easier, safer and more efficient.
The new partnership effectively ends Home Depot and Klein Tools’ exclusivity arrangement of more than 13-1/2 years. Home Depot has been the “sole home improvement retailer” for Klein tools since mid-2009.
Wow, I did not see this coming!
Lowe’s and Klein announced that they are “teaming up” to bring the “widest selection of Klein Tools anywhere in the home improvement retail channel.” In other words, this means a greater selection of Klein Tools products at Lowe’s than what you can find at Home Depot. That sounds good to me!
As Home Depot lost their exclusivity, does this mean they’ll now shop around for other brands, similar to what they did with EGO? It will be interesting to see what Home Depot’s response will be – if any. From what I have seen, no other brand offers as comprehensive a selection of electrical hand tools and accessories as Klein.
Another interesting takeaway is that there will be “premium store placement across multiple product categories.” This also seems like great news for Klein and tool users alike.
Good deal. The Ideal stuff they have now isn’t that great. Plus with the way Lowe’s clearances random things may be a good opportunity for some deals.
Happy the hear this. The Southwire stuff was never that impressive to me, personally.
Ruben Ruben Rivera
Southwire makes a good backup for Klein to me and am not saying that they are better than Klein. I speak for myself and those who can’t afford Klein. I have and own both Klein and southwire for reason that if I use my southwire my Kleins will not get stolen or have legs and go that route. People like me and you know that Klein is good stuff but would take Klein over southwire or any other brands that are cheaper than Klein. I been in situations where people fight for using my Kleins and they don’t even own them. They try to claim it their own and I have to step in and say that they are my tools and walk off with them.
Chris M Hartman
as an actual electrician, ill tell you that i rarely shop at lowes or Home depot unless is completely nessesary. That said, when it comes to my tools they are 99% Klein! and i hear you everyone wants to use my personal Kleins! they also know if they ever did, well lets just say they know to look and never touch! klein is the best and if you want to use the best buy them. hopefully Lowes does the brand justice! ill continue to buy nothing but klein at my electrical supply house!…lowes selling one good tool brand doesnt make every DIY guy an electrician!!!
I have a Southwire stripper that I like, but other than a single hole saw, I’ve never bought a tool from Lowes. I hope THD keeps Kline too, but good to know Lowes has it for the next time I lose my 11 in 1.
I’ve only bought the Southwire strippers, but I found them to be as good as my Klein’s and I love the fact they’re stainless and don’t rust.
And I have a lot of Klein.
I would like to know what is happening with Home Depot. Maybe in a few months or years we will find out. There’s no Lowe’s in my area, only HD, and the only alternatives are small hardware stores that usually sell the cheapest stuff they can get, or industrial suppliers that charge quite a lot and prefer to deal only with businesses.
How about Amzon.com?
Agreed. They seem to be losing alot of premium tool partnerships (at least at my local store) and replacing (subjectively) “Good” tool brands like Estwing, makita drivers, channelock pliers+wrenches made in USA levels, hammers, pry tools, pliers etc., with husky+made in China relabelled tools. Feels like a different items or category has been getting cleared from shelves at my local home depot for quite a while. Now its made in china husky on the low end, imported dewalt in mid-range, and made in china Milwaukee on the high end. Most times I identify a “best in class tool” these days for my buying, HD does not carry it. I end up on online retailers, or menards.
Try Flex for your cordless, carried through Lowe’s. I own 3 PCs now and have to say after owning every other brand of cordless
These are by far better. Drill driver,sawsall, hammer drill.
HD, has slowly been replacing top line with lower tier tools as well as there lumber
Big win for Lowe’s. I’m very curious to see what this means for THD. I can’t imagine them dropping Klein altogether, but stranger things have happened.
My assumption would be they start replacing specific products from their existing brands, rather than try and replace the entirety of Klein. This also doesn’t sound like a full exclusivity deal, so they’re not going to be forced to drop the bread-and-butter.
Particularly for their home-owner DIY customers I’d expect Milwaukee to replace a lot of the basic tools like non-contact testers and wire strippers (they already have them, but tend to be less prominent compared to Klein). Maybe we’ll see some Fluke stuff move from Lowes to HD as a result of Klein grabbing more real estate there.
Wiha and knipex would be awesome to be in HD. Their line of electricians tools are amazing.
lol, dreamers can only dream.
Maybe if they do as Bessey do and slap their brand name on some cheap crap just for HD.
Lowes sells Whia now. Started with bit sets last year. When i walked thru a couple weeks ago they had pliers screwdrivers and even bit ratchets.
Wiha can be bought online through Lowes. Often at a lower price than any local supply house
Northern Tool have Knipex tools.
What could replace Klein if that’s how HD responds? Maybe it wouldn’t be a single brand…
E.g. Knipex could replace the pliers and be a bit of an upgrade, albeit at a slight premium for some things, but they don’t have testers and screwdrivers, etc. Fluke has the testers, but not so many budget offerings as Klein. Milwaukee already has lots of hand tool presence.
Or maybe Klein’s breadth of offerings is enough of a differentiator that Home Depot will just be “forced” to go along with the new arrangement.
HD already carries Greenlee (Emerson subsidiary) so maybe we’d see more from them.
Ideal, perhaps. This news makes me wonder if Lowe’s will be nixing Ideal products as Klein fills the bays. I think a lot of this is interesting because these big-name professional companies don’t have a ton of items that appeal to the typical homeowner (and/or the stores only stock items that might)…the electricians and tradesmen I know pretty much scoff at the big box retail stores and buy their Klein tools and whatever else at their industrial suppliers. Greenlee seems to be much, much less popular than they were years ago, except for a few product categories. I don’t know if HD would be interested in Knipex in stores, but that might be nice….however their generally higher retail prices would likely quash it for most retail consumers.
I really hate all of this exclusivity nonsense. It hurts the general marketplace, competition, and thus consumers. Sometimes it works out for the manufacturer/retailer partnership with $$$ but overall I think it’s a bad thing. Right up there with skirting laws via MAAP bs.
“I really hate all of this exclusivity nonsense. It hurts the general marketplace, competition, and thus consumers.”
Agreed. I like choices and sales. I dislike some of Lowes practices, like their subs/installers…but then you can’t get Andersen at Lowe’s, only Pella. And Home Depot has poorly maintained lumber stock, and customer base that shits all over (theft, misplacing stock, etc). The floor space is taken up by Bright Lime Green, Red and Orange tools… oh and the pilfer cam chimes annoy me… I’m not up for stealing but the guilt implied has stopped me from buying… and off to KCtools, CPOoutles, Acme, etc., I go…
Off Topic; Home Depot has tools for today’s special deals. There is two Ridgid 4.0ah batteries, charger,bag for $79.00! They also have an unlisted special with four Ridgid 6.0ah batteries for$249.00!
They ran the same special at the end of January. I picked up that battery set for $79. Batteries are great, the charger is really cheap compared to the one I already had.
As an electrician, I’m supposed to cherish Klein Tools per industry norms…
I don’t think Klein makes that many good tools any more. Going through the apprenticeship years ago had me using Klein almost exclusively and seeing everyone else use the same was an everyday thing.
One day I found a brand called knipex and I’ve never looked back on any other hand tools. Sold all my Klein and (especially) Channellock’s for better made tools. People decried the warranty of the new stuff and how Klein couldn’t be matched for ease of replacements (didn’t matter to me as I don’t blow up my pliers as much as some people and supply houses that carried Knipex would gladly replace anything to keep your business).
Then came Milwaukee with their first generation of electrical hand tools that were inferior to Knipex and Klein for the most part, but have now caught up to be on par with any other electrical hand tools sold at a big box store. Milwaukee has (for almost my entire career) poured tons of money into creating trade specific tools for the MEP industries and it shows. You don’t see a work van anywhere that is decked out in Klein orange…It’s ALL Milwaukee red (packout, handtools, power tools, fishtapes, specialty trade specific tools, clothing, PPE, and the list just goes on).
Other unknown brands at the time are now gaining traction (NWS, WERA, WIHA, etc.) on jobsites and have become a normal sight. New brands have popped up that are trying to make a name for themselves at a lower cost but with similar performance (I’ve seen several apprentices with Harbor Freights “Doyle” brand hand tools that are holding up perfectly fine and seem perfect for an apprentice on a budget).
Klein started introducing tools made outside of the US years ago to save costs (especially things like flashlights, meters, and sensitive electrical equipment) that anyone on a jobsite wouldn’t touch because for most electricians it’s Fluke or nothing. Klein has improved their meters…but so has everyone else. There is an endless supply of copycat, knockoff, or odd named alternatives found on amazon that are easily comparable to Kleins offerings without the “Name” markup.
Klein’s presence in Home Depot is an odd one in my experience. All their tools are in a different section of the store (usually electrical aisles) were only tradesman are ever going to see them. Milwaukee is a one stop shop for everyone else that goes in for their first wire strippers. Every associate will point to the tool section without hesitation. So not only is Klein on a pedestal from a pedestrian point of view…that pedestal is also in a closet in the back corner somewhere.
I’m personally of the opinion that Lowes is where Klein goes to “die”. Look at EVERY electrical tool brand that has ever gone to Lowes and you will see Lowes is not consistent or persistent in brand selection and retention. Every brand gets clearanced off until they have 3 items of that brand (Greenlee, Ideal, Fluke, Knipex, Lenox, “soon to be” southwire, etc.) and the next “big” brand gets rotated in. I’m honestly surprised we didn’t see “Craftsman for Pros” as the next slot in (considering how much they want to shove that junk into every aisle).
All that to say, I’m not a Klein hater. I own several tools that are good for what they are or are good for the price. But tool/brand selection is so broad and nearly every brand has something better than the rest. I just think Klein’s heyday’s are behind them.
And if Home Depot does anything drastic in my opinion, I’d bet money on replacing the entire Klein section with Milwaukee.
1 out of every 2 pliers from them is defective, so, the Klein warranty is nice for that.
That’s funny, you made me think back and Klein is the only tools I had to “break in”.
Mike (the other one)
That’s a Lowe’s problem, not a Klein problem. They keep the electrical tools over on the electrical isle instead of with the rest of the tools. They do the same with plumbing and HVAC tools. They carry Malco tools, but no one notices.
However, Klein is a more well known brand than Ideal, Greenlee and Southwire, so they’ll be fine.
Hopefully Home Depot doesn’t start trying to push Southwire more and instead makes Knipex more available in store. It would be interesting if Knipex started making bags and pouches and pushing harder to electricians and compete with Veto. If they started making tool bags designed towards electricians and hvac techs but make the bags modular like the military bags with hook and loop or molele panels and dividers that let one compartmentalize and customize the inside and outside of the bags it could be quite interesting. Like a packout approach but towards tool bags, a market that isn’t as saturated as the modular tool box market that Klein is trying to get into.
Just slightly off topic, but Lowes is leaving Canada. Selling their Canadian assets to a venture cap company.
Wow, that’s pretty huge news! Trounced by Home Depot?
Unlear. They seemed to be in the black, but if their sourcing deals and all were separate like with Home Depot Canada it may just not have been more valuable to them than the $400+ million.
They sold Lowes Canada and Rona (which Lowes originally bought in 2016) to Sycamore Partners (who own Staples and a bunch of other brands/stores). The 450 or so Lowes stores there will supposedly be rebranded to Rona.
Please don’t give us another all Milwaukee isle at Home Depot.
I like Klein, they are fairly priced and good quality. Being at Lowes also is great.
Kleins quality dove off a cliff. I picked up one of their adjustable length screwdrivers and it feels like the cheapest tools of Aliexpress.
Just embarrassing. Doesn’t even work right with the shaft getting stuck.
One less reason to prefer the Depot, I guess. They still have that Milwaukee exclusive, but I’m not really in the market for more power tools most of the time.
The hand tool selection at Lowe’s has generally left me underwhelmed. There was a brief period where they carried Knipex, but that was so long ago. Which is too bad, because Knipex is my go to for pliers (seriously, why does Klein even make linesman’s that can’t grab onto a mad bar).
Heck, I was going to give the U.S.A. made Milwaukee linesman’s a shot after Rexel wasn’t stocking any Knipex on my last stop by, but HD had none.
So good for Lowe’s. Maybe they can work on making all my local stores less awful. Then I’ll consider seeing what they have going on. But if I walk in to find both self checkouts down and associates just walking right past the registers, forget it.
Your Lowe’s characterization seems like mine here in the Pacific NW. Must be a lack on the part of regional or most likely national “management”. And they all forget how easy Amazon is to order from at night when you realize you’ve left or lost something somewhere.
Just a heads up, Lowe’s still carries knipex in some stores. Seems to be market specific if it’s stocked on shelves or just online only. My local store has cobra pliers but not much else, they’re near the fluke meters and ideal stuff in electrical.
Ten years ago they clearanced out Klein for the Taiwan made Southwerth or whatever the brown logo-ed brand is.
I got some great deals on Klein nut drivers and screwdrivers, pliers, etc at the time.
Can’t say I’ve ever been too impressed with Klein screwdriver tips though.
Soft-ish “Tips” are my thought too.
But even so, short of my occasional actual Klein Demo Driver use, they’re at least better then Craftsmen at their Made in the USA prime.
Lowe’s stopped selling Klein at least in 2009, because that’s when Home Depot and Klein entered an exclusivity arrangement.
Southwire tools first launched at Lowe’s in 2013, 4 years later. Klein tools were long-gone by that time.
Southwire is not a small company, but their specialty is wire, such as Romex (their trademarked brand).
Lowe’s replaced Southwire tools with Ideal, Kobalt, and Fluke at the start of 2021.
BTW. I was in an HD yesterday afternoon between meetings nearby and wandering down the electrical isle saw a hang rack with a $50+ Combo set of Klein Slotted and Phillips screwdrivers at HALF price. That was weird. Too bad I have Wera, Felo and way too many Klein’s already.
But still. Maybe now that’s going to become a briefly common sight?
Christmas presents to be?
It’s funny looking at all of Klein’s cordless tools in orange wearing yellow DeWalt batteries.
Wonder if this why Lowes had the fire sale the Flex boxes this last week. Making room for those new orange Klein boxes.
I’d say there’s a very strong chance, but it’s not guaranteed. Lowe’s had a lot of Flex tool boxes for the holidays, and they could just be clearing out the space.
My number one question will be whether or not they will service Klein’s so called “lifetime warranty”
I have broken three Klein tools in the last year or so. First Klein says to return to original retailer. So, for one, home depot refused the return and said to contact Klein, despite showing the customer service folks the statement from Klein. Second time, my local electric supply house said some thing, amd third time, an online retailer said exactly the same. Both my local supplier and online guys said that regardless of what Klein says on there website regarding warranty, products must be returned to Klein.
So Klein requires multiple pages of paperwork, photos submitted, original sales receipt, amd then wait for an RMA and ship back to Klein. Just not worth my time. I’m in business for myself and get paid by the hour, so if I waste an hour dealing with this, it’s at a loss.
As an electrician and hvac contractor I have a lot of Klein tools, both for myself and others. There are some things I like enough that I will continue to buy regardless of the garbage service. But for most things I’ll look elsewhere until there is better support.
Time to find a different supplier. My local city electric gives me a replacement off their shelf and the handles the warranty BS.
It’s really the only reason I have any Klein at all.
They’re supposed to have started doing it with Milwaukee hand tools as well, the local rep started stepping up, I’m told, but I got burned early on with the 8-pack of screwdrivers. I only used/needed one, so gave the rest away. Later on tried to warranty it, and they said I needed to return all 8 screwdrivers for the warranty to apply.
Off topic, I know, I know.
Any insight out there as to the status of the craftsman V series hand tools showing up in Lowes?
I will be purchasing basic mechanic tools soon for myself and my son.
My old craftsman are still great, but I only have bits and pieces.
Gearwrench and tekton appear to be in our future as tools of choice.
Can elaborate? They’ve had V-series on the website, but I haven’t seen any in stores yet.
Generally, V-series are good tools and I feel they’re worth the money. They seem to essentially be Craftsman versions of Facom and USAG tools, which I really like.
This is a good thing, I think. I’m an electrician, pretty much exclusively use Klein hand tools at work. But I have tons of other brands too.
This may open range of products sold at the two boxes. I can say that HD has a decent amount of Klein in most stores (TONS in others), but these selections never come close to an electrical supply store’s selection.
Wondering if they will split up different product mixes between Orange and Blue boxes….certain testers and pliers at one, knockouts and strippers at other, perhaps???
Also wonder if this is actually a ploy at Depot and/or TTI to really get the Milwaukee electrical tools into more aisles at HDs….I can see it now…..the old 100 facings of Klein in electrical dept. being cut down to 55 Klein and 45 for TTI/Reds/whatever….
Curious to see how it all pans out.
Too bad it’s still not enough for me to want to go to lowes still lol.
Wonder if this move was forced on Klein by Home Depot? My guess is yes it was as Home Depot loves to squeeze the “turnip”
for every ounce of blood! There is no brand loyalty in todays market for retailers and their product lines. Double edged sword however because many product manufacturers deviously courted a relationship with China for profits and neglected the consumers regarding quality. I agree with another commenter that Lowes is the place where tool brands go to die! I rarely go into Lowe’s anymore even though there are quite a few in my location.
I suspect the Klein Mod Box system will be an exclusive to Lowe’s (and supply houses), during its initial launch.
Mod Box is supposed to debut later this year, and could its release coincide with Klein Tools returning to Lowe’s later this year?
Could the sudden clearance blow out of the Flex Stack Pack at Lowe’s just days before both the Mod Box system and the Lowe’s / Klein partnership announcements be more than just a coincidence?
Mike (the other one)
So I wonder if Ideal is having troubles. We know Western Forge, Pratt-Read are dead, and they sold SK to Great Star. I noticed a lot of Ideal’s pliers are now made in China, and the stock of Ideal tools sometimes seemed spars, making me thing they are having trouble meeting demand.
Explains why HD looked so picked over on the Klein tools a couple weeks ago.
I thought Southwire was already out at Lowes replaced by Ideal Industries a couple of year ago. Does this mean Ideal is history too?
In some way I hope Lowes begins to carry other big brands as well. Lowes is unfortunately viewed as 2nd to Home depot by many tradesman, but with this Klein agreement things could change. If Lowes began to carry Makita, particularly the XGT stuff, it would be absolutely amazing.
Home Depot has drank the TTI koolaid (Ryobi, Porter Cable, Ridgid, Milwaukee, et al) and Lowes has Stanley Black & Decker (Stanley, Craftsman, Black and Decker, Dewalt et al) but it’s time Makita finds a dedicated salesfloor in America. The endcaps and tool areas for Makita are seriously slim pickings nowadays. I don’t know if they haven’t been moving or if TTI has been putting the push on Home Depot to give more space to their offerings, but it’s sad to see Makita get shafted.
Lowes should definitely appeal to Makita, but Chervon may be trying to be the Lowes version of HDs TTI