It’s normal to assume that power tool brands are different and not owned by the same company. It may surprise you to hear that 5 of the 13 most trusted power tool brands are owned by the same company.
I have researched the most trusted power tool brands, who owns them and information on the ‘parent companies’. I’ve also shown the market share of the largest parent companies of power tool brands. This article describes who they own and gives information on each of them.
How can one company own another company?
It may surprise you to hear that companies buy other companies all the time. Whilst it may seem like brands are their own entities, often larger corporations own them.
You may have heard the term “mergers and acquisitions”. A merger is where two companies merge to form one bigger company. The Stanley Works/Black and Decker Merger is a good example.
The alternative is an acquisition where a company partly or fully buys another one. An example is where Stanley Black & Decker purchased the Craftsman Brand.
Graph of biggest companies, acquisitions and who they own.
13 most trusted power tool brands and who owns them
The Lifestory Research 2020 Study identified 13 brands as the most trusted in America. Here is a link to the report.
As you can see, Stanley Black & Decker own 5 of the top 13 brands. Stanley Black & Decker is a huge organisation with revenues of $12.74 billion and over 60,000 employees.
And it’s not by accident that Stanley Black & Decker own so many power tool brands. Mergers and acquisitions are the pedigree of Stanley Black & Decker. ‘The Stanley Works’ came into existence as a result of the 1920 merger of Stanley’s Bolt Manufactory.
Since 1937 Stanley Black & Decker have made around 30 acquisitions of other companies. Stanley Black & Decker use the ‘buy and build’ strategy by acquiring companies it can build out. Often buying companies results in much faster growth.
TTi Group (Techtronic Industries Company) is also a huge company although smaller than Black & Decker. TTi Group has revenues of $9.8 billion and employs over 48,000 people worldwide.
TTi Group also owns many brands including Hoover, Vax and Homelite.
List of largest parent companies and who they own
Now that we understand what a parent company is, let’s look at the largest parent companies and which tool brands they own.
Note: These companies are ranked in order of total number of power tool and tool sales. Stanley Black & Decker is listed as number 1 here but as a company, Robert Bosch is actually larger. This is because Robert Bosch also sells in many other sectors.
I’ll also talk about ‘global market share’ and ‘turnover’. Global market share is a percentage and determines what proportion of sales globally are made by one company. Stanley Black and Decker for example have a global market share of 14%. This means within their category, power tools, they account for 14% of all sales worldwide.
Turnover is expressed in dollars and is the total amount of sales the company makes per year. Note: this is different to profit and turnover only shows total sales.
#1 – Stanley Black and Decker
Global Market Share: 14%
Hand/Power Tool annual sales: $7.14bn
Number of employees: 60,767
We have already discussed the giant ‘Stanley Black and Decker’. We discussed how they are on the ‘buy and build’ strategy and how they own many power tool brands.
Here are some other brands they own: DeWalt, Stanley, Black + Decker, Bostitch, Craftsman, Vidmar, Mac Tools, Irwin, Lenox, Proto, Porter-Cable, Powers Fasteners, Lista, Sidchrome, Emglo, USAG.
#2 – Robert Bosch GmbH
Global Market Share: 12.2%
Hand/Power Tool annual sales: $6.2bn
Number of employees: 398,150
Robert Bosch (also known as the Bosch Group) is a huge company and they don’t just sell power tools. The company is split across for sectors: mobility, consumer goods, industrial technology and building technology.
There are also over 350 subsidiaries across 60+ countries. A subsidiary company is a smaller company controlled by a holding company.
In 2003 Robert Bosch GmbH combined its North American power tool and accessory divisions into one organisation which formed ‘Robert Bosch Tool Corporation’. Here are a list of some brands they own: Bosch, Diablo, Hawera, Rolatape, Beissbarth, Dremel, OTC, RotoZip, CST/Berger, Freud, Robinair, Vermont American.
#4 Fortive Corp
Global Market Share: 11.8%
Hand/Power Tool annual sales: $6bn
Number of Employees: 17,000
Fortive Corp spun off from Danaher in July of 2016 and following this became part of the S&P 500. The S&P 500 is a list of the 500 largest publicly incorporated companies in the US. 2020 marked the third year in a row that Fortive has been a part of the S&P 500.
Here are some brands Fortive operate: Fluke, Hennessy Industries, Tektronix, Anderson-Negele, Matco Tools, Qualitrol.
#5 Techtronic Industries Company Limited (TTI Group)
Global Market Share: 9.88%
Hand/Power Tool annual sales: $5.04bn
Number of Employees: 48,028
TTI Group is headquartered in Kowloon, Hong Kong. They produce power tools, hand tools, outdoor power equipment and floor care appliances. Notably TTI was the first company to produce heavy-duty cordless power tools powered by lithium rechargeable batteries. They are also well known for producing high quality brushless tools. See here for the difference between brushed vs brushless motors.
The company has been listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since 1990. TTI have also made a number of acquisitions and one of the most well known brands they own is Hoover.
Here are some of the other brands they own: Milwaukee, Empire, AEG, Homelite, Dirt Devil, Vax, Stiletto, Ryobi, Hart and Oreck.
A house brand is a brand name used exclusively by a retailer. Prices are also typically less than similar competing products.
How are in-house brands cheaper? Generally it’s because house brands save on marketing costs. They also have great leverage in buying power. Take Home Depot’s house brand Husky for example. Husky spends very little on marketing and advertising. Home Depot also has a huge amount of buying power in the Power Tool space. This means they can order lots of tools regularly, making their supply costs cheaper.
Typically house brand tools are ordered from another manufacturer and made to order. For example – Home Depot could contract Black + Decker to manufacture 20,000 jigsaws branded as Husky.
Home Depot House Brands
Who Makes Husky Power Tools
Husky was founded in 1924 and is a line of hand tools, pneumatic tools and tool storage products. Pneumatic tools require an air compressor to work – here’s an article on how to choose an air compressor.
It’s tools are manufactured by: Stanley Black & Decker, Western Forge, Apex Tool Group and Iron Bridge Tools.
HDX is also a Home Depot House brand. The difference between HDX and Husky is in quality and price. Husky are more expensive and compete with other house brands like Craftsman (Sears) and Kobalt (Lowes). Husky offers a lifetime warranty whereas HDX does not.
HDX also covers many different markets as well as power tools. For example they have trash bags to store tools, whereas Husky is almost exclusively tools.
Lowe’s House Brands
Who Makes Kobalt Tools
Kobalt is a line of hand tools and power tools owned by the home improvement chain Lowe’s.
Unlike Husky tools, Kobalt has many suppliers for different categories of tools.
Up until 2011 Danaher Corporation manufactured most Kobalt hand tools. When this agreement ended Lowe’s switched to different suppliers. JS Products of Las Vegas produces mechanics hand tools. Screwdrivers are produced by Great Neck and cordless power tools are produced by Chevron. 2020 onwards miter saws are manufactured by Rexon Industrial Corp. Taiwan.
Menard’s House Brands
Who Makes Masterforce Tools
Menard’s own the Masterforce brand. The Masterforce catalogue includes power tools, pneumatic tools, hand tools, accessories, storage products and outdoor products. All Masterforce tools come with an unconditional lifelong warranty.
Masterforce tools are almost all rebranded. This means the manufacturer for Masterforce tools is changed often. Menard’s has many contracts with suppliers and these contracts are sometimes short lived.
All Masterforce hand tools are USA made by Apex and screwdrivers are made by Pratt-read.
I hope you have found this article insightful and that you now understand more about who owns who.
If you’ve got any suggestions or questions please feel free to comment below.