Wiha Tools has teased that they will soon be coming out with SoftFinish multi-drivers that are engineered in Black Forest Germany and Manufactured in Monticello Minnesota.
The new screwdrivers are said to include:
- 11-in-1 multi-bit screwdriver
- 6-in-1 multi-bit screwdriver
- conduit reamer
I am sure you are familiar with this type of screwdriver design.
Multi-bit x-in-1 screwdrivers typically feature a handle and reversible shaft that is loaded with double-ended screwdriver bits, and sometimes smaller reversible shafts with their own double-ended inserts.
This is a crowded space, and one with very strong and clear user favorites, such as the Klein 11-in-1 ($15 via Amazon).
It is unclear as to how Wiha’s new screwdrivers will compare.
Based on the limited information available so far, I would say that Wiha’s screwdrivers could be compelling if they’re priced competitively. I own several Wiha SoftFinish screwdrivers, and although they’re no longer in my primary tool box, the handle design is comfortable and reliable, and their screwdriver tips are reasonably durable.
When it comes to your tools, trust is the bottom line. Introducing the comfortable, versatile, new SoftFinish Multi-Driver collection from Wiha. It’s the trusted companion for whatever comes your way.
Price: $16 for the 6-in-1, $20 for the 11-in-1
Buy Now: 6-in-1 via Amazon
Buy Now: 11-in-1 via Amazon
Wiha USA has clarified that the handle is made in the USA and that the screwdriver inserts are “manufactured for Wiha by global partners.”
We have also learned that the new screwdrivers will not be a limited edition, they are being added to Wiha USA’s full line for the foreseeable future.
Wiha Tools’ USA headquarters is based in Minnesota, but to our knowledge their facility is only set up for product distribution and not manufacturing.
Digging deeper, here’s an October announcement:
Willi Hahn Corporation USA dba Wiha Tools and Aroplax Corporation are pleased to announce a strategic development partnership. The cooperation will focus on developing professional hand-tools for North, Central, and South American markets. The manufacturing and distribution of the product will be in Monticello, Minnesota.
The partnership expands Wiha’s global manufacturing footprint and creates additional opportunities to co-develop products utilizing Aroplax’s technical team and state of the art injection molding facility. The first products will be available at select distribution partners in December 2020.
This suggests that “Aroplax” is Wiha’s new USA hand tool partner, or at least for the plastic handles given the reference to their injection molding facility.
Mike (the other one)
Does Great Neck have a manufacturing facility there? I know they usually make entry level tools, but I think they make tools for other companies. Plus their OEM branded tools seem to be pretty good.
Maybe WSI Industries?
Great Neck makes/has made screw drivers for Kobalt and Tekton.
Pratt-Read (an Ideal Co.) was also a big OEM for USA-made screwdrivers – as was Western Forge before Ideal shut them down
Great Neck uses Pratt-Read for their US made hand tools including screwdrivers.
If it’s not prohibitively expensive I’ll for sure buy the Wiha 11-in-1. I have a well-worn Klein version and it’s pretty underwhelming. Rubber shifts on the handle, bits rust easily and to replace them (unless I’m missing a deal somewhere) they are like $4/ea (for a tool that’s $15 new). If I needed one right now I’d spring for the Lenox but knowing this is on the horizon I’ll wait.
Wiha USA has some promotions going on:
Klein rubber-handled screwdrivers always have loose rubber. I will never buy another. Pretty hard to beat hard plastic for durability- I don’t want any type of soft grip.
I’ve got several of the Klein 5/6-in-1, more than adequate for the usual household stuff, and I like them. If I had to do it again, I’d just go with a power bit handle and a bunch of those bits, which I have in a couple of more serious kits.
“engineered in Black Forest Germany and Manufactured in Monticello Minnesota”
That’s certainly a new catch phrase for COO
I’ve just received the new Milwaukee 2846-20 power supply/inverter from Acme. Its packaging proclaims that it was made in Vietnam and finished in China. I guess that should not be too surprising – since many battery cells are made Korea or Malaysia – then shipped to China for final assembly into a battery pack.
Roaming around Acme website – I noted that some Champion cutting tools are made in Brazil (no surprise here) – but more intriguing are COO’s on some saw blades listed as The Philippines and Kazakhstan.
Reminds me of Apple putting “Designed in California” on all their products.
I’ve seen some Milwaukee stuff labeled “Professional build in China…” (or something similar). The drill I just bought from them is made in Mexico. The impact driver is made in China.
As I’ve gotten older, bought a house, have great financial security and, started following sites like this; I’ve really started to pay great attention to COO. All things being equal, I definitely place greater weight on NA or EU produced goods over PRC and Taiwan. With that said, I have fine tools made in those other countries as well. Just a preference.
What I find really fascinating is when COO changes. I had some Nichols files that were made in the states. long-term loaned then to a friend. The newest one I bought is made in Mexico. I seem to recall some were made in China recently as well when I looked at the Depot.
IKEA is a great place to play spot the COO. Whatever your political persuasion, I think you can tell when tariffs or incentives impact this. We buy batteries from IKEA. The used to be made in Germany. Then, they moved to China. Now they are made in Belgium. We have a fry-pan from them that was made in Italy. Checked later and it was stamped “China”. Now, it’s back to Italy.
As Bob says below, font to wrap your head around how something can be made all the way around the world and shipped at competitive rates.
In the case of Apple they literally just can’t make* most their consumer products in NA. Zero infrastructure.
*On the other hand a very significant part of their Chinese assembled output is composed of products from all over the world. Including the US, Japan, Germany, South Korea etc. etc.
Their scale is crazy. I think they still assemble, some, of their Mac Pros in Austin. EU ones may be assembled in Ireland IIRC. Those are super niche products though, and as you said, full of components from all over the world.
I believe they still do. But I wonder how the introduction of the non Intel Apple silicon* chips will impact their outlier higher end Mac assembly plants?
*like they invented “silicon”?! ;-)~
Wonder if these soft grip handles are like the snap-on soft handles? Love the handle but not the price.
I’ve tried other soft handled drivers but the actual bit parts were so so. I think a x in 1 tool would probably be designed for light duty tho.
As a side note I always find it intriguing when I come across some out of the ordinary COO. Don’t think I have seen one from Kazakhstan yet. Sometimes it’s fun to try to wrap your head around how the tool was made all the way over there at a competitive rate and then shipped all the way over here to this market.
malco is in annandale, northwest of monticello.
enderes is in albert lea south of monticello. don’t know if they are still up and running.
otc is in owattona, again a little farther south
any of them within an hour or so of them and could be supplying them with parts. actually, they could all be involved. enderes could surely make bits, malco could do any or all of it and otc has chrome capacity for the shank. as far as i know the otc jimmy and lady foot bars are still made in mn.
Enderes went bankrupt as far as I recall. I believe that their assets were bought up by Vasco Inc. – a nearby business and the company renamed as Northbridge Tool LLC. – still using the name Enderes on their tools.
OTC is an acronym for the Owattona Tool Co. I don’t know when they decoded to shorten it up – but they are now a subsidiary of Bosch – and my old OTC pullers were sold under their full name.
I’d surely give them a look. interesting they would choose to make them here other than perhaps the idea isn’t popular in EU.
I used to work with a few German companies with US operations. In general they used to tell me it was 15-20% cheaper to make stuff here, and that savings went up when you figured reductions in shipping costs. If you have a lot of US customers and your product is mid to high range price wise it seems to make a lot of sense.
So Minnesota has officially become a cheaper manufacturing locale then Germany.
Mercedes Benz long ago moved significant Class 8 truck manufacturing to Mexico so here’s yet another take on the cost of manufacturing intended for the US Market.
Will wonders never cease.
Even in the EU – production costs can be telling. Probably why a lot of automobiles are made in Slovakia instead of France and Germany. I even passed by a Kia factory on my way from Brataslava to Krakow.
I also suspect that Wera’s cost for manufacturing in the Czech republic are less than in Germany – and surely Wiha’s costs for making some tools in Vietnam must be less than it would cost if they were made Germany
Because Wiha is off-shoring more and more and moving production from Germany. Even their Hex keys are being made in Poland now.
Starting at the top, I immediately went to Bondhus too. Was looking at them this AM to see if they sold any socket bits after having a horrible experience with some kobalt ones. While looking at their site, I noticed that they distribute Felo. Seems easy to make the jump from Bondhus -> Felo -> Wiha when you see Wiha + Minnesota. As someone who as eyed on of the Klein tools for years, I’d be all over this. Just don’t love that Klein handles so I never picked on up. I do like the feel of my Wiha drivers though.
Aroplex has a press release on their website: https://www.aroplax.com/joint-press-release-wiha-tools-usa-aroplax-corporation/
I just noticed that the screwdriver says Made in USA on the handle near the blade, so by law it must be all made in the USA.
Since the WIHA site several products in at the bottom shows a stubby version with 6 screwdriver bits for $19.78 and additional security and regular bits for 12. and 14. and change that should be the price neighborhood.
Last year I bought a ratching 2 position handle ergonomic screwdriver made in Germany for Sears for 15 bucks . It includes 25 bits that are imported ( likely China.) It works great and has good internal gears. I use it whenever I am in a tight spot and can’t use a tiny German ratchet.
Example: unscrewing a smoke detector from a vaulted ceiling
While my left hand is hanging on the ladder. Sometimes a cordless tool is too heavy. And does not fit in a.pocket.
I just checked and it is still available since they bought thousands from Sears years ago. I never saw It in America.
It is new old stock from a certain company in the Midwest that has long lost New tools. I also bought several speciality tools such as very long cabinet screwdrivers and American made craftsman cold steel chisels since shipping one tool is expensive
P.S. Your spell check hates kindle Fires.
I have a set of Wiha SoftFinish nut drivers in metric and they are very comfortable.
After purchasing a couple of their Craftsman branded ball grip drivers on closeout at Sears, I’ve been a convert to Vessel screwdrivers.
I’ve now got at least one of just about everything they make. Quality Japanese tools.
I’ll be in for one, got plenty of drivers but want to support something like this.
Definitely looking forward to giving their 11-in-1 a spin. I have a Klein now; the HF version is too thick for my normal use and the Lennox was just ok – I think the plastic actually started to spin first.
Klein better watch out if Wiha is manufacturing tools in the USA. A vast number of the new Klein screw drivers are being made in Asia.
The Wiha 11-in-1 probably won’t find a lot of fans; it’s noticeably bigger than the Klein. I ended up leaving mine in my toolbox at work.
There are two “made in the US” 11-in-1 screwdrivers that have almost the same pattern/design as the Klein – the Proto and Mayhew “Best Brand”
For the record, I know it’s a discussion from a year ago. But, cost is only a portion of the manufacturing in the US problem. Really, we just don’t make quality like we used to. Yet we still think that we should be charging prices like we do.
What happened around 1980? Japan absolutely began dismantling the entire US Auto industry overnight. 40+yrs later and they still are our pimp for anything with an engine and we are like their mid level crack head. The one that’s still kinda ugly but you can tell used to be cute.
Heck, even with the comeback as slight as it might be, for domestic vehicles, we literally paid them to teach us how they do it. How they began making vehicles for up to 30 to even 50% cheaper in some cases, and with reliability so far above and beyond anything we could even imagine at one time.
Take 1997 at random and count how many civics, accords, Camry, integra, Lexus, e.t.c etc. Still on the road…. you could count them all day. Yet, you could literally go months without seeing a 97 cavalier, Taurus, neon, e.t.c….. I’ll pay you a million bucks to somebody who actually owns a 95 Probe that still runs. Lol.
China manufactures cheaper than us, Taiwan better, Japan, Germany. Even countries south of us are beginning to. And we did it to ourselves. It’s evident everyday. It’s the average us citizen with that pathetic chip on his shoulder. You know, the asshole that protested amask to help keep his neighbors safe with no good reason.
It’s this: the US worker shows up 30 minutes late, takes a break 1/2 – 2 times more often than scheduled. Spends an extra 30 minutes on lunch. Stands around talking with other employees several times a day. Wants to leave 15-60mins early everyday. Then expects to be paid 8 hours AND a couple OT.
US Corps are paying the average worker in the United States 8Hrs for on average of ONLY ABOUT 2.5-3.5Hrs of ACTUAL WORK!!!!.
Think about that. The average worker in the US is paid 40Hrs for 12-18Hrs of work.
No wonder we can’t compete with other countries cost and yet they still beat us in overall quality now too.
It’s not really made in the USA.
The steel parts, blade and bits, are made elsewhere.
Poland? Vietnam? China?
“Subject to change” should be their new slogan.
(it’s what they often list as the manufacturing location)
KCTool and Chads no longer carry Wiha, just a few leftovers in stock.
Not a surprise. The 3rd generation of Hahn has a different vision.
Lower quality, lower price, increase volume, increase availability.
On paper it looks like a win, but then what sets time apart? Their history?
A nice story doesn’t keep the bit end from breaking though, not a win.
Correction to my post, despite to lower manufacturing standards, they really haven’t lowered the prices.