Southwire, a USA-based wire and cable manufacturer, is soon entering the hand tool market with a line of electrician’s tools.
Late last month there were a lot of online forum posts where Lowes customers reported seeing Channellock and Knipex tools were on sale as closeout items.
Knipex pliers and cutters are made in Germany (at least all those I’ve seen), and Channellock pliers and cutters are made in the USA. Early tool sightings report that Southwire’s electrician tools are made in China.
There is no further information about the new Southwire tools from either Lowes or Southwire, but a product launch countdown can be found at Southwiretools.com.
It has been said that all the tools and meters are being replaced with the Southwire brand (Voltage Hazard via Electrician Talk forum), but the complete changeover has not yet happened in our area.
Lowes lost Klein when they signed an exclusivity arrangement with Home Depot, and it looks like they’re voluntarily clearing the shelves of all Channellock and Knipex tools. According to some customer reports, Greenlee and Ideal tools might be replaced for the new brand as well.
I sincerely hope that the reports and rumors don’t turn out to be true.