As Ben posted yesterday, Hitachi Power Tools has changed their name to Metabo HPT.
This morning, I received a press release from Metabo, basically saying that the name change won’t affect their brand at all.
On March 12th, Metabo’s sister company Hitachi Koki USA., Ltd announced that they will be changing their name in North America from “Hitachi Power Tools” to “Metabo HPT”. This change reflects the new partnership with KKR. This does not affect the original Metabo brand at all.
The original Metabo brand is well known as a supplier of professional tools for industry and craftsmen. Metabo is famous in the US market for its range of outstanding angle grinders which are recognized as the industry’s best in terms of power, productivity, durability, quality and safety. They’re also a worldwide leader in battery technology with the LiHD platform. The Metabo brand will continue to focus on Industrial Metalworking, Building Trade and Renovation, MRO, Concrete finishing, welding supply markets and does not sell its products through the home centers. Sales forces and marketing initiatives will be kept separate, as will the company headquarter in West Chester, PA.
“The Metabo Industrial brand will continue retain to its strategy and the focus on professional users and trade partners. We will continue to come up with innovations like our new LiHD battery pack with 8.0 Amp-Hour capacity and a power of 1,400 Watt (12 Amp corded equivalent). That’s a new world record for 18-volt batteries with 10 cells”, says Joseph S. Smith, President and CEO at Metabo US.
Hitachi’s name change wasn’t a hasty decision. Personally, I think that Metabo HPT might lead to some confusion in the future. What happens when (not if) users think that Metabo and Metabo HPT tools, battery packs, and chargers are interchangeable? When they find out they’re not, which will be the hard way for some – after a purchase – those users might be soured on the brand.
There are benefits to the name change. The biggest impact will be that Metabo HPT can operate as they choose to. Well, Metabo HPT in North America, and HiKoki overseas. When a company licenses a brand name, such as if they continued under Hitachi Power Tools, they would be subject to guidelines and limitations imposed by the Hitachi brand.
I’m sure they debated long and hard about whether to go with Metabo HPT or HiKoki here.
With Metabo compelled to send a press release reminding everyone that they’re not affected by the Hitachi brand name change to Metabo HPT, I get the feeling that they will be impacted by the name change, in some way or another.
A few years ago, Dewalt’s new cordless platform was called 18V XR in Europe and everyone else outside North America, and 20V Max here in the USA, Canada, and Mexico. The explanation was that Dewalt 18V and Dewalt 18V XR would be too confusing for Americans and their neighbors.
I think we all realized that 20V Max is all about 20V sounding bigger and better than 18V. I tried to give Dewalt the benefit of the doubt, but the fact that there’s still a lot of confusion about this has made it hard to believe this wasn’t a major reason behind the decision.
Anyway, my point is this – Europeans didn’t seem to have any trouble seeing the difference between Dewalt 18V tools and newer 18V XR Li-ion power tools. Surely if they weren’t very confused by this, then we won’t be confused by Metabo vs. Metabo HPT. Right?
Eventually, Dewalt did come out with an 18V to 20V Max adapter.
Here’s the potential problem, though.
Here’s a Metabo 18V battery pack.
Here’s a Hitachi battery pack.
Here are Hitachi tools with MultiVolt battery packs.
And a Metabo drill with an attached battery pack.
There are a lot of differences. But there are similarities, in that both batteries use slide-style battery packs.
Technology is bleeding between both brands. Word is that there’s a Metabo Triple Hammer impact on the way, building upon Hitachi’s technology.
This Metabo and Metabo HPT branding will get complicated. My first instinct is to think there are some compatibility ties between the brands, similar to how Dewalt 20V Max XR is now used for their more brushless tools, or Milwaukee M18 and M18 Fuel is a differentiator there.
My thoughts are that there will have to be some sort of adapter, or that the Metabo HPT brand name will be short-lived here.
The intent is to leverage a familiar name that can help propel the brand forward.
In a world of new branding acronyms, suffixes, and labels, will Metabo HPT cause more confusion? Or will it cause just a little confusion, balanced by reasons why HiKoki wasn’t a good choice for our market?
There’s Metabo LiHD battery packs, Metabo Ultra-M LiHD battery technology (as mentioned in the press release).
Will users, or more importantly – potential customers, be confused by Metabo HPT, Metabo HPT Multi-Volt, and any other branding coming over from the Hitachi Power Tools side of things?
My increasing worry is that it will be a big mess, until or unless there is the creation of a battery-tool commonality. That is, the best thing that could happen will be if Metabo and Metabo HPT somehow came out with either a common battery interface, or a way to use either brand of batteries with either brand of tools. But if that were to happen, what happens to existing users of either platform?
To avoid potential confusion, or at least to the best of their ability, Metabo HPT will have to make efforts on product packaging and in online descriptions. Metabo might eventually have to do so as well.
To help you see how I’m seeing things, imagine if Stanley Black & Decker rebranded some of their brands. Let’s say Porter Cable became Dewalt PC. What kind of chaos do you think would follow? Exactly.
Apex Tool Group has brought several of their hand tool brands under Crescent branding. Snap-on does this. “Blackhawk by Proto” is another example. But those are hand tools. With cordless power tools… I don’t think there’s just the potential for confusion, I think that confusion will be all but guaranteed.
Let’s say you’re an industrial user flipping through a catalog. You add some Metabo tools and Metabo HPT tools to your next order. Maybe several of them, if you supervise a couple of technicians or teams. Wouldn’t you expect for those tools, batteries, and chargers to all be compatible with each other?
What if you order one of those Metabo one thousand dollar multi-bay chargers, and a slew of the new Metabo HPT 3.0Ah compact battery packs, or Metabo HPT Multi-Volt tools and batteries?
There are strengths behind the new brand name, and good justifications behind the decision. I’m sure there are good reasons why the HiKoki brand name was avoided here.
The brand was Hitachi Power Tools here, or just Hitachi, and known as Hitachi or Hitachi Koki elsewhere. Maybe it was considered that HiKoki was too different for our market, that maybe creating a brand new name would have even been a better call.
One cannot say that the HiKoki isn’t “English-sounding” enough. Well, you can. But look at brands like Ryobi and Makita. Why couldn’t HiKoki enjoy similar acceptance?
I keep coming back to the same idea in my mind. What if Porter Cable became Dewalt PC? I can’t say for sure what the public perception will be in response to Metabo and Metabo HPT confusion. But I can tell you with absolute certainty that Dewalt and Dewalt PC would be bad – real bad.
A Metabo 18V battery pack costs how much? $105 for 2.0Ah and $101 for 3.1Ah via a 3rd party Amazon seller.
What about Hitachi, sorry – soon to be Metabo HPT? $42 for 3.0Ah, and $29 for 1.5Ah. What will happen when Metabo HPT applies their battery pricing strategy to higher capacity tools?
It’s easy to believe that someone will want to buy Metabo HPT 3.0Ah battery packs for $40 to pair with their Metabo tools. Or maybe they want a Metabo HPT tool and buy the bare tool option (if there is one) to go with their Metabo tools.
Confusion can be avoided, but it’ll take a lot of work. In the short-term, that means effort that could be better spent on promoting tools and cutting-edge cordless technologies will have to be spent on emphasizing that Metabo and Metabo HPT are not [currently?] cross-compatible or connected in any way.
If my Dewalt and Porter Cable example doesn’t work, let’s pretend that Milwaukee Tool purchased Makita Tools, and rebranded them Milwaukee MPT, without changing anything about either brands’ tools or battery packs.
I had some concerns about the Hitachi Power Tools to Metabo HPT name change, but this mornings Metabo press release really drove it deep.
Metabo not affected by the Hitachi brand name change to Metabo HPT
Unfortunately, I have the strong feeling that this will be their opinion, and that this name change absolutely will affect both brands. It will be very interesting to see what happens. I’m hoping for the best, but it’s clear there are many challenges ahead.
Personally I am excited. New and innovative tools from Metabo and Metabo HPT along with upgraded battery technology can only be positive for the industry as a whole. I am not invested in Metabo or Hitachi (Huge Milwaukee Fan) however I would not hesitate to jump into another brand as well to compliment what I already have.
Paul W Thomas
Ray I agree I have always been a Milwaukee fan, vbut; they are owned by China, Need I say more. I will not after 5 decades buy China, if I can get away from them, Nixon made a huge mistake when he started this , now look at what we got.
I just ordered a Metabo angle grinder and is awaiting shipment. I was fine with them keeping Hitachi as a brand and Metabo, separate.
My own personal experiences with both Metabo and Hitachi have been stellar. I have never bought anything make by Hitachi just because of the ridiculous colors the brand uses, same exact thing with Ryobi. Ive always viewed Metabo as a super premium brand only possibly out done by Hilti or Festool, depending on what you need. Having said that, if the newly rebadged Hitachi, oops I mean Metabo HPT, changes to using the standard Metabo colors on their tools and not the ridiculous, toy looking builds and colors of past Hitachi stuff, I wouldnt think twice about picking one up and giving it a try for myself, especially if they retain the traditional Hitachi budget friendly price tags, and Lifetime Warranty.
If anything Hitachi’s green seems less offensive than the sea of yellow, red, teal, orange, bright greens and blue etc. Power tools are used for serious things, but just about every brand has gravitated towards making their tools aesthetically *fun*. I could understand why someone could think Ryobi’s green is a bit much, but Hitachi? Nah.
I so agree. I love the green. Better stock up before they redesign! Lol
Interesting that Metabo seemed compelled to issue a press release with disclaimers included. I guess they want to protect their brand identity and do damage control. But is this a case – as Shakespeare said; “Methinks the lady doth protest too much?”
With other brand lineups (Dewalt, Porter Cable, B&D – or Milwaukee, Ridgid, Ryobi) the issue of licensing the brand names was apparently less of a factor – when the companies (or brands) were acquired by the new parent organization. I guess KKR and Hitachi were unable or unwilling to cut a deal to keep the Hitachi (or some close variant thereof) – so now there may be some market confusion.
My understanding is that they didn’t want strings attached. When a company licenses a brand name, the licensee has to run all kinds of business decisions through the brand name owner.
Let’s say I licensed [brand name] and created [brand name Guyd]. I would be limited to what I could say there, as a condition of the licensing.
For a company like Hitachi, or Metabo HPT (it’s going to take time to get used to this name), licensing the name from Hitachi likely stifled their growth and marketing efforts in some way.
Moving past the Hitachi brand name seems to have been necessary to move forward in the direction and manner that the company wants to.
I think you nailed it Stuey. I don’t get the point with even bothering with Metabo HPT. I mean why not just swallow the bullet and adapt/absorb Hitachi’s tech and innovations to the Metabo brand and just call it a day? Call it Metabo here and Europe and Hikoki overseas in Asia. I think they could get a lot more people to jump ship under one big universal brand rather than making a Dewalt (Metabo) and Porter Cable (Metabo HPT). People are going to buy whichever brand (Metabo or Metabo HPT) that offers the most cordless tools, innovation, and that are available on store shelves.
Do they think Metabo HPT is going to compete with likes of Ryobi? I mean how many sales do they think they can steal away from a low priced company that has easy to find products and a huge lineup already? Seems foolish to me to keep this as two different brands especially when they have the same name. I guess I’m missing something.
I agree to everything stuart said and do believe it will sour a lot of people on both lines when they make a purchasing mistake and feel theyr e being deceived by branding and marketing.
as DI, Above Said,Integrating the brand’s is the best way to make it work, or at Least instead of hpt use an acronym people are familiar with ( like pro) and make the styling and color completely different. Also any media and marketing will require very obvious banners and such.
A similar thing is with greenworks ope. They have multiple voltage platforms and g-max (i think)is a newer battery tech within same voltage that is non compatible. I know I’ve looked at this stuff on Amazon and it took a bit of research and effort to decipher it all
Part of ryobi s extreme success is the choices they made to retain compatibility with their batteries across their one+ line. Even at some performance loss for newest tools on very old batteries which most consumers can accept and understand.
Considering The Complaints i Read from, mostly Less Knowledgable diy type, Consumers About fairly obvious things. this will probably not go well.
This will confuse the heck out of the average consumer like porter cable did with their 18v/20v line changes.
Upside is the average consumer isn’t likely to ever see an actual Metabo tool.
You cannot simply merge brands, either. Metabo is known for their metalworking tools, and Hitachi for their nailers. Hitachi has been pushing forward into cordless tools, too.
John’s Metal Fab shop might have a lot of Metabo tools, while Jason’s Custom Cabinetry Company might have a lot of Hitachi nailers, maybe an impact driver or other tools, too.
Their brand identities are well established. I spoke with people at Metabo and Hitachi, and both brands known their strengths and they know where they’re headed and want to head.
These are two companies that should exist side by side. It cannot be one universal brand because the tools are developed and supported by two completely different companies.
Stanley Black & Decker has different operations – they (seemingly) focus on hand tools and storage in Connecticut, and power tools in Maryland. The brands fully integrated years ago, without merging completely. Now, with new brands under SBD – Irwin, Lenox, Craftsman – there’s more transitioning as well.
Hitachi bought Metabo more than 2 years ago. https://toolguyd.com/hitachi-acquires-metabo-power-tools/ . It seems that maybe this was done to strengthen Hitachi’s eventual sale of Hitachi Power Tools.
KKR bought both brands more than a year ago. https://toolguyd.com/hitachi-power-tools-and-metabo-bought-by-usa-based-kkr-private-equity-firm/
There hasn’t been a lot of integration that I can tell, but there is, or will be, some cross-pollination of technology.
This is a complex situation with no clear path to forge ahead.
What would I have done, if in a leadership position at Metabo, Hitachi Power Tools, or KKR? I have no idea! It’s a tough situation, no matter how you look at it.
But if you ask me if I think that “Metabo HPT” is the best way to push forward, I might say no. Is HiKoki the better name? I don’t know that either.
IF this is to be one brand for two companies, we will need to see the commonality or compatibility in battery packs that the similar names would suggest.
Now, how can that be done without upsetting current users?
“You cannot simply merge brands, either. Metabo is known for their metalworking tools, and Hitachi for their nailers. Hitachi has been pushing forward into cordless tools, too.”
Right but there is no Hitachi nailers anymore if they aren’t using the name Hitachi or can’t. So are they renaming the nailers Metabo HPT nailers anyway? Metabo HPT table saw?
“These are two companies that should exist side by side. It cannot be one universal brand because the tools are developed and supported by two completely different companies.”
Ok but then why use the name of the metalworking one in the other brand? Shouldn’t you further differentiate the two with two completely different names. Would be like having Dewalt and Dewalt PC (Porter Cable). Oh and the batteries don’t work across both platforms. “Uh… wut?” said the uninformed consumer when buying a Metabo HPT kit to expand upon his Metabo cordless lineup and now having to return his Metabo HPT kit in anger. In this case HiKoki would have made more sense (IF they plan on having two separate companies) as a way to differentiate sectors and they can’t use the Hitachi name without getting permission on things.
“IF this is to be one brand for two companies, we will need to see the commonality or compatibility in battery packs that the similar names would suggest.
Now, how can that be done without upsetting current users?”
They can make a cheap effin adaptor for sale or figure out a way to cross use a common battery pack across multiple old and new platforms. They’re paying engineers… I’m sure they can figure this crap out somehow I mean if they really don’t want to piss off current users. You would think they would do all this BEFORE releasing these new multivolt batteries though UNLESS the multivolt eventually somehow becomes the defacto battery and something Metabo branches off of. I don’t know. Just throwing darts at the wall here.
I mean I get that they’re two different companies specializing in different areas but having separate battery platforms that can’t be cost effective for KKR.
This will undoubtedly negatively affect a large portion of both companies’ new customers.
I think the problem will be when people are considering tools they would discount Metabo HPT because it is the 2nd rate line of tools for the company. I can hear it (and think it myself) don’t get the HPT, get the good stuff, the regular Metabo. They would then choose another brand, like Dewalt or Makita, because they want best a company produces and the compatibilty of a wider range of tools. IMO they should bring it all under one name and platform, or come up with a new name, and not HiKoki.
I also think this is going to cause confusion. I remember when Makita tried to do a low cost sub-brand called Mactek. It was intended to compete with the Ryobis of the world. All it did was degrade the Makita brand and eventually it was phased out of the US. If history is a guide, this is nearly the same situation. Cut the crap out of the lineup, decide if you’re pro or consumer, and get under one brand umbrella. Can’t serve everyone with one brand. Never works. B&D and DeWalt…Acura and Honda…Metabo and Metabo lite doesn’t work and will confuse users and hurt Metabo long-term.
^This. Funny I was thinking of it more as Metabo and Metabo Jr.
Exactly. Up til now I was considering some Hitachi stuff and I already have a bunch of nailers. I won’t be buying anymore cause I don’t buy anything jr. Go big or go home.
That’s a tough decision to be in for Metabo. I don’t see an easy way out. I think it’s probably best long term to use a separate name for the Hitachi line up. So it look like they are buying all but the name going forward. Hopefully Metabo knew that they were getting into and factored that into the acquisition price.
Some mentioned merging the two technology together. Easier said than done. That mean completely abandon one or two battery platform. What about existing users? I don’t see how that is a good idea.
To throw another issue into the ring…I think the confusion between metabo and metabo HPT is valid, but I the relationship between Hikoki and metabo HPT is just as confusing and I think metabo HPT is avoiding that issue.
At least Dewalt, Makita, etc, have a standard brand name across the world. There are going to be Hikoki only tools, metabo HPT only tools, and tools that both companies sell under the different brand names, but look almost identical.
Who’s building and designing the tools? Hikoki or metabo HPT. To quote a part of the press release I didn’t cover:
“Products will retain current brand identity: …They will be made by the same people, in the same factories, with the same specifications and focus on innovation that customers have come to expect.”
Many of the MV36V tools are already out under the Hikoki name. metabo HPT isn’t going to set up their own manufacturing for these products, they’ll be made by Hikoki.
Then again maybe it’s an advantage, you know how we all get upset every time a Bosch tool comes out in Europe and we complain how they’ll never release it here. metabo HPT just has to say that’s an Hikoki product, not a metabo HPT product.
That seems like it could be analogous to the relationship between Ridgid and AEG.
But Ridgid power tools, like Ryobi seem to be mostly brands that are sold at Home Depot. CPO seems to sell Ridgid power tools – but mostly (unless I’m mistaken) reconditioned ones. Other sources – look like Grey Market to me. Ridgid ProPress and other powered plumbing tools do seem to be sold through other outlets. The licensing of the Ridgid brand name – that relates Emerson, Home Depot, TTI and possibly other OEM’s has always been a bit arcane to me. To further confuse things, Home Depot uses the Ridgid brand on things like garden tools where the OEM is Ames – and there are several other HD tool sku’s with the Ridgid brand and different OEMs.
Ridgid pro power tools are comparable, except I believe all batteries of same voltage are cross compatible and ridgi d pro power tools are very expensive and not something a homeowner is likely to know exists let alone try to buy. I don’t think there’s any crossover either. I believe there are currently drills, impacts, grinders with both hitachi and metab o brands so unless they abandon a bunch of tools, which they wont, it will still be confusing. I do prefer a slightly different brand to the current custom of making a cheaper version on same that you have to significantly research to know the difference.
I would love to see makita or dewal t market their bargain tools such as the $100 drill kit as “dewalt HO” (homeowner) for example. Same battery compatibility and more honest, transparent marketing that wouldnt water down the brand as much. Easier for consumers, the same way companies differentiate brushless tools.
Damned if you do; damned if you don’t.
Interesting thoughts about the conundrum. I think they should have gone with hikoki where not metabo and kept just two brand names going forward. Having “metabo” written on anything not compatible with a metabo battery pack is just a Really Bad Idea.
Even though I don’t think much of the name Hikoki that we will get, there will definitely be less confusion with that than between Metabo and Metabo HPT.
I think the real question for is, why the name change at all? Ad the corporate blurb/reason doesn’t really make a lot of sense to me. Its sort of like changing from Corvette to Croquet!
In fact, I believe that the name change will affect overall sales negatively for quite some time. So the real question for is, why the name change at all?
Oops, didn’t edit properly before posting.
What part of my reasoning do you disagree with?
Haha. Nothing at all Stuart, just posted my thoughts as an add on rather than discussion.
HPT – Hitachi Power Tool?
If things stay the same there will be confusion, especially if they attempt to gain market. Outside of pneumatic nailers and miter saws, the only tool I’ve seen from either is the cordless framer from Hitachi. It’s something I’m tempted by, but with this development I’m not sure. In Canada neither seems to have much presence. Hitachi used to be bigger but really seems to have disappeared. Metabo I only see online.
Having the same name with similar colors seems like a really terrible idea. A quick glance and it’s Metabo that sticks out in both cases. Depending on how things are advertised and promoted, I can’t see how it wouldn’t be confusing. I guess the M18 is similar but at least they’re compatible with another, and I think that’s the key. Grabbing the wrong one wouldn’t be an issue if it just worked.
Simple, Metabo Professional Power Tools for the real professional, use it to make a living people, and Metabo “Home” Power Tools for the DIY, handyman type. The lineups won’t be in the same retail settings, for the most part, and the only ones that will even know about it are those in this type of setting. Home owners at the big box will just wonder what ever happened to Hiatachi?
Hitachi/Metabo HPT isn’t targeting home users, at least not with most of their newest cordless offerings.
What about all the Hitachi I see at Menards? Cordless and corded they have been carrying them for quite awhile. Are they not going to be getting the new tools then? … BTW I have been very happy with the Hitachi 12″ compound sliding miter saw that I picked up a couple years ago there, on sale, with rebate, etc.
Menard’s is pushing their Masterforce cordless line pretty hard around here… Green tools as well. Not Hitachi green but green nonetheless. That and (some) Bosch are front and center.
And their new line of Masterforce toolboxes should be mentioned I suppose. A large selection and man are they nice.
I think the entire name change/mashup will take years to settle and sort itself out in the marketplace. Whether a contractors supply, Amazon or the Depot.
Maybe they should keep the original two brands separate color schemes??? Hmmmm.
Also to the Japanese-sounding name point. Yashica became an America success after the original name was changed from Yashima. Phonetically speaking. Sorry for the puny pun.
Personally I like HiKoki best. But I speak (at this point probably just survival) Japanese as a second language. I’m sure they recognized the similarity to what would be Romanized as hikouki (very slightly longer “oh” sound in the middle, kind of like an accent, not a change to the actual pronunciation of the “o” when the “u” is added), which means airplane. They’re pronounced exactly the same except the airplane takes just a touch longer to say. Hopefully that makes sense in print. Much easier to say it than write it.
I don’t speak any Japanese but I also like the Hikoki name. It’s unique and with that the potential to be a good brand name.
Unless Metabo have some plan to unify them together at some point, I don’t see how picking a similar name for an entirely different platform be a good idea long term. Especially when both of them have cordless tool that are incompatible.
As a contractor. We will keep what metabo tools we have but not upgrade or buy new ones, and we will not be buying Metabo HPT either, we will just switch to bostich nailers which are better anyway….definitely not get involved in a very confused company. It’s a shame for metabo…what will happen is contractors will buy up what hitachi guns are around and that’s it……….when PC went to SBD it died….only prosumers buy that junk, where PC was once the king, even their routers aren’t what they were. PC had the best sawzalls ever, Milwaukee couldn’t compare to them ,back then….
I hope SBD returns Craftsman to a made in the USA company but I doubt it, most of the time companies that merge or get bought just suffer …
Did they do focus groups around names? I wonder.
To me, HiKoki sounds too much like “hokey” which does not suggest quality. Yes, it’s not a conscious association, but it might be there for many people. Pair that with the fact that Hitachi tools were an unpopular color, though the best for the money in some cases. I’ve used their sliding miter saws and own the chop saw and they are great, even the budget one. The drills are great, and batteries affordable. But somehow they did not go over big, perhaps it was perception. Except for a few things like nailers, they were the unpopular kid on the block. Red, Yellow and Blue are the really cool kids and Teal is more sophisticated and laid-back. So maybe Hikoki sounds hokey at least to U.S. ears.
OTH, I associate Metabo with Hilti, even though that may be a misplaced association in terms of the qualities. Hilti is the rich “old money” kid on the block, and pals around with Festool, who is nouveau riche . Metabo hangs around them hopefully. Though he doesn’t really make the grade. But all the other kids don’t know that.
Anyway, that’s my take on why the focus group wouldn’t like the name HiKoki. Giving tool companies personalities while waiting for spring. . . 😀
Hitachi never appealed to me because the styling looks like toys and I think the hikoki name would reinforce that for “merikans”. I imagine they did focus group testing before making the decision but I wonder if they asked all the right questions.
I think the press comment is right that the HPT badge won’t affect the original Metabo brand, but it will almost certainly cause issues for Hitachi’s customers here in the US.
Metabo is a strong brand name, but Hitachi has it’s own identity in the US and I think it’s a bit silly to toss that out the window.
Best case would be to make them like Ford and Lincoln or something. Separate brands that have their own strengths
Hitachi = Nailers
Metabo = Grinders
And then other tools like impact drivers could enjoy some degree of cross compatibility across lines.
What I find troubling is that neither Metabo HPT, nor Metabo are no longer subsidiaries of Hitachi Ltd of Tokyo, Japan.
What kind of R&D and engineering power does KKR bring to the table, compared to the mega-conglomerate Hitachi Ltd? Very little, I would surmise.
Technologies developed by Hitachi for other industries regularly spilled over into Hitachi Power Tools.
Time will tell, but I’m afraid that a great brand has been lost. In the meantime, I’ll be stocking up on what’s left of the beloved green tools.
The only difference to your analogy of Dewalt and porter cable is that with a small adjustment you can make the batteries interchangeable with both as well as black and decker and a few others and before people argue for the umpteenth time I’ve done this dozens of times with a 30 second modification. I do however completely agree with your thought process on metabo hpt being very confusing and causing many problems (which is exactly how I ended up here).
Joseph C. Little
I’m really upset everything going China.
German engineering is among the Best.
Even Hilti went China.
I guess most of Metabos Grinders are manufactured in Germany. I don’t have a grinder from Metabo. But most masons and sculptures say they are the best period,!
I have a 20 year oldMetabo Jigsaw going strong still.
As others have pointed out, Hitachi > Metabo HPT has been a bad marketing ploy. It seems like some chest-thumping narcissist at Metabo made this decision without much business thought.
They can rectify this mess by quickly adding new tools to the line up and compete with Milwaukee & DeWalt. For example, an 18v Pex expansion tool, portable shopvac, band saw, … Otherwise, people like me who had been invested in the Hitachi 18v line begin to flirt with Makita.
I don’t trust Hitachi any more.
Hitachi Chop Saw from Princess Auto. $159.99cdn
To my surprise was not a Hitachi tool at all, made by Alltrade, an economy Chinese tool marketing company using Hitachi Licence logo and colour. A really weak motor. I used it for three days and then sold it on Facebook. POS.
Well, I loved hitachi tools when they were hitachi. Now we have this Metabo HPS bull and it is not anywhere near the quality on the old hitachi stuff now. As for Metabo, these tools are ruining the reputation for them now as I’m sure china wants a full buyout of the line to only continue making far inferior tools. I own all kinds of brands up into festool even and older Metabo that are great tools. This new stuff is garbage. period. Thanks again you communist a$$holes for making sure people of limited means have to replace their old good tools that died with your junk. They know what they’re doing. They’re buying names and selling junk so the only choice you have is to buy more junk which makes them money because they make most of it. I used to work in a factory here in the good old USA where we built Milwaukee and DeWalt, from parts that were made in america (sorenson electric was the most common of these companies to manufacture their electrical components), cast parts came from michigan and ohio while plastic parts came from the southwest. but it was all made in the usa. that was 25 years ago. Now go and try and find an american part for any of them. It’s rare to say the least. Hitachi was a japanese company that got bought out by a chinese company and they went to hell just the same. It sucks not being able to get good tools any more. Maybe I should start my own tool company….no dollar amount could buy me out because I’ve had money and it feels nice, but in the end it corrupts.
You are mistaken, Hitachi was not “bought out by a Chinese company,” they were acquired by KKR, a global investment company that is headquartered in NY.
Were are the tools made ny? You wishing
They commenter said that the company was bought out by a Chinese company, which is incorrect. The brand is now owned by an investment firm that is based in NY. This has nothing to do with where the tools are made.
I have always loved hitachi pneumatics and that got me into their corded and battery tools. About a year ago my trailer was broken into and “everything” was stolen. So in rebuilding my tool collection I decided to go all cordless, and went looking for hitachi… after going to my third store looking for hitachi, I pulled out my phone did a quick google search and found they had rebranded to metabo, and read something about Metabo being better known, thought that was stupid, but having had great success compared to every other brand I can easily buy I stuck with them… and bought 3k worth of tools so I could finally finish my kitchen. So tonight I went shopping online to give family gift ideas for me and googled metabo and saw something really exciting on the metabo website about “CAS” and metabo batteries are going to anchor all these devices, my batteries are going to work in all these! I made the right choice going with metabo! But that battery pack just looks different… something is off… how come the metabo tools all look different than mine… they can’t possibly be rebranding again… Ooh a hedge trimmer… how is this not available for ordering anywhere… wtf! How come none of these tools are available, no “buy now” links?? My tools are metabo right? I go and get a battery and notice the hpt after the metabo… are my tools obsolete??!! Thanks to you I’ve since googled metabo hpt and I’m fucking pissed I’ve wasted my time on this shit, I can’t ask family for anything, they would probably buy the wrong shit just like I tried too. Thanks for the article Stuart.
Metabo is Made in Germany. Metabo HTP is not it is a lower grade tool. I distribute for these tools.
Metabo HPT is not a “lower grade tool.”
Metabo definitely ain’t no Hitachi, that’s for sure. I’ve bought and owned plenty of Hitachi nail guns over the years and have always been satisfied with the product. They’re not in for repairs very often and you can usually get a couple years out of em before having to repair something. I’ve bought 3 metabo guns this year and every single one is having to be repaired for mechanic issues. Air leaking from trigger to the point it doesn’t have enough pressure to fire a nail, firing nails as soon as it’s plugged into a hose, firing nails without engaging the safety. Bought the second one because the first one had to get fixed within 3 months, bought the 3rd cause a new guy started 2 months ago. Not sure the quality of their other tools but for framing air nailers, no more for me.
It’s the same nailer, made at the same plant, by the same company. You can take an 18v framing gun from 2018 marked “Hitachi” and an 18v framing gun from 2021 marked “Metabo HPT” and dissect them. Every part and component will be identical. Nothing has changed it’s still the same company, i.e Hitachi Koki based out of Japan.
Came here as a client of hpt to see if Metabo CAS batteries are compatible with Metabo hpt multivolt tools 18v and 36v
The confussion is real, I thought Metabo hot will be included in the cordless alliance but it seems to not
No, because if they did that, all of their customers would be furious, especially in their primary market in Japan and east Asia. Everyone who’s been buying Hitachi, Hikoki, or Metabo HPT for the last ten years would be forced to add a new battery system.