Tool Industry Behemoths: The Tool Companies Who Make and Own Most Tool Brands

Tool brand behemoths who own and make most tool brandsPressureWashr spent 56 hours investigating the global hand & power tool industry.

The goal was to find the tool companies who make and who own most of the tool brands you know and love.

All the research is boiled down into two useful infographics:

  • Graphic #1 allows you to quickly see the tool companies who control the global tool market cashflow (the top 4 control 48%)
  • Graphic #2 allows you to quickly check the parent company who owns each brand of hand & power tool

Below each graphic is an in-depth look how the data was found (tax forms, annual reports etc.) and any assumptions made. Enjoy.


Infographics updated: September 24, 2017

How the infographics were made – start to finish

The following public records were reviewed to source the info required to create the infographics:

  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) 10-K forms
  • Tool company Annual Reports and website Investor Relations
  • Tool discussion forums: GarageJournal.com, ToolGuyd.com/forums/, reddit.com/r/tools and reddit.com/r/buyitforlife
  • Tool company websites including About Us, History and Timeline pages.

All crucial information was captured in spreadsheets as detailed notes and tabulated data.

Then we began planning and creating the two infographics in OmniGraffle Professional – a diagramming and graphic design software by Omni Group. After many hours inputing logos & data, adjusting lines, circle sizes, colors & alignments the final result emerged. Here it is.

Moneymaking Tool Makers: The Tool Manufacturers Who Dominate The Industry

In this infographic, the size of each company’s hand & power tool revenue is shown by circle area. Stanley Black & Decker is inside the biggest circle because it has the largest revenue from hand & power tools. Close behind is Bosch’s hand and power tool business. And so on until we reach Positec, JPW Industries and Ingersoll Rand with the smaller circles representing their smaller respective revenues.

  • Use $5 billion, $1 billion and $500 million grey circles as revenue reference.
  • The faint grey circle border around the outside represents $98.6 billion (~BMW 2015 revenue).

Tool companies share of global market infographic

In-depth look at the 18 companies who control 91% of the $51 Billion global hand & power tool market

  • First, let’s look at how the global hand and power tool market value was arrived at $51 Billion.
  • Second, let’s look at the actual sales values of each company in the infographic.
  • Third, let’s talk about any estimates made to arrive at final sales figures.

How big is the global hand & power tool market?

To find out the dollar value of the world power and hand tools market 5 industry reports were used as data points.

1.) Future Market Insights – Power Tools Market Global Industry Analysis

In this $5,000 report the two following points are the key takeaways:

  • Global power tools (not incl. hand tools) industry to reach $36.2 billion in 2020 and $46.5 billion in 2025
  • 200 million electric power tools vs 88 million pneumatic

2.) Future Market Insights- Hand Tools Market 

Key finding from this assessment:

  • In 2014, global hand tools market accounted for $14.4 billion with 3.5% yearly growth expected

3.) Freedonia – World Power Tools

In this $6,500 Industry Study, these two facts were key takeaways:

  • Global demand for power tools to reach $32.9 billion in 2018
  • Cordless electric tools to experience most rapid growth

4.) Credense Research – Power Tools Market Growth, Share, Opportunities & Competitive Analysis

Key finding:

  • Global power tools market to reach $41 billion in 2023.

5.) Statista – Global Tools Market Value Share

Statista.com is a data analysis website that has a wide range of free and premium industry reports, statistics and analysis. The most interesting tidbit we found investigating hand and power tools is this:

  • In 2015, hand tools accounted for 35.1% of global tools market value with power tools at 64.9%

Conclusion on global hand / power tool market size:

Using the numbers above as starting data points and a spreadsheet with all the tool companies (who own and who make tool brands) 2015 tool sales as additional data points… The market size estimates are:

  • 2017 power tools global market is $33 billion
  • 2017 hand tools global market is $18 billion
  • Total 2017 hand and power tools global market: $51 billion.

Moneymaking tool makers’ company sales

CompanyHand/Power Tool SalesGlobal Market Share
Stanley Black & Decker Inc.$7.14 Billion14.0%
Robert Bosch GmbH$6.2 Billion12.2%
Fortive Corp.$6.0 Billion11.8%
Techtronic Industries Company Limited (TTi)$5.04 Billion9.88%
Hilti Corp.$4.3 Billion8.43%
Illinois Tool Works Inc.$3.6 Billion7.06%
Makita Corp.$3.5 Billion6.86%
Snap-on Inc.$3.4 Billion6.67%
Emerson Electric Co.$1.9 Billion3.73%
Apex Tool Group, LLC.$1.5 Billion2.94%
Hitachi Koki Co., Ltd.$1.2 Billion2.35%
Chervon Holdings Ltd.$630 Million1.24%
Textron Inc.$600 Million1.18%
TTS Tooltechnic Systems (Festool)$400 Million0.78%
Ideal Industries, Inc.$360 Million0.71%
Positec Tool Corp.$300 Million0.59%
JPW Industries, Inc.$150 Million0.29%
Ingersoll Rand Inc.$112 Million0.22%
Other (Home Depot, Lowe's, Harbor Freight Tools and sub $100 million sales companies)$4.67 Billion9.2%
TOTAL$51 Billion100%

Notes on tool company sales numbers

Most of the companies (who make and who own tool brands) sales figures are available in tax forms and company annual reports. But even with that information some estimations have to be made to arrive at the tools only sales numbers. Here are some notes how we arrived at estimations for the following companies.

Bosch – Our best estimate is $6.2B in tool revenue

The Bosch annual report tells us their Consumer Goods division had 17.1 billion euros revenue (~18.5 billion USD) in 2015. The division consists of power tools (drills, jigsaws, impact screwdrivers, lawn mowers, best pressure washers etc.) and household appliances (fridges, washing machines, dryers, ovens etc.).

The household appliances portion of the Bosch Consumer Goods division was a 50:50 joint venture with Siemens until Bosch bought out Siemens for 3 billion euros (~3.25 billion USD) in late 2014. That was for the 50% share that Siemens owned, valuing the total household appliance company at 6 billion euros (6.5 billion USD). The company reported 10.5 billion euros revenue in 2013. So what’s the 2015 revenue to give us the portion that is power tools? With a growth rate of 4% yearly the revenue is 11.36 billion euros in 2015 leaving  5.74 billion euros (~$6.2B USD) as power tools revenue.

Other – Our best estimate is $4.67B 

You’ll notice there is an ‘Other’ row in the above table. In that row are Home Depot, Lowe’s and Harbor Freight Tools. Since these companies don’t manufacture their own tools they were not included in the above infographic. However, they still collect substantial revenues from the global tool market with their home brand tools – Husky, Kobalt and US General, for example.

Within The Home Depot and Lowe’s financials you can see they both report more than $5B in tool category sales. Combine that with Harbor Freight and we’re at $12.4B. But a sizeable portion of this is going to external manufacturers and brands.

Looking at Home Depot and Lowe’s, we estimated both companies are collecting around $500M for home brands and $4.5B from selling other companies brands on their shelves. This estimate came from looking at their online stores portion of products that are home brand vs. external brands in the tools & hardware categories. When you include cost to purchase the home brand tools from the OEM and the consignment cost of the external brands’ tools, the cut they get of the total is probably around 30%. That gives Home Depot and Lowe’s somewhere close to $1.5B in global tool market revenue each. And leaves Harbor Freight around the same.

We believe this to be in the ballpark as you have to realize the OEMs and external brands are taking their share of the tool market revenue from the reported Home Depot, Lowe’s and Harbor Freight sales.

Tool Brand Behemoths: The Parent Companies Who Own Most Tool Brands

In this graphic, the outer rectangles contain logos of brands owned by the parent companies in the middle. Not all brands owned by the parent companies are in the rectangle – just the most well-known. Hilti and Makita only sell tools under their own names. Take a look. What brands owned by parent companies surprise you?

Tool brand behemoths tool companies who owns what brands

The findings show the tool industry is mature and highly consolidated. Two companies: Stanley Black & Decker Inc. and Robert Bosch GmbH sit at the top of the tool industry controlling 26% of the global market. They have gained this much control by aggressively acquiring the best most trusted tool brands. It is surprising to find out who owns and who makes well-known brands like Milwaukee, Ridgid, DeWALT and Craftsman.

Why is Home Depot, Lowe’s and Harbor Freight Tools included in this graphic but not the Moneymakers one above? 

Simple, it’s because of the ‘Tool Makers part of the title. They aren’t makers.

The Home Depot, Lowe’s and Harbor Freight are not original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) or original design manufacturers (ODMs). They are purchasing companies who form partnerships with OEMs and ODMs (like Stanley Black & Decker) to get their tools made for them to distribute under their own brand names.

In many tool categories these big-box hardware stores simply buy from an OEM and slap their Husky, Kobalt or Drillmaster stickers on the product for sale. In other categories, they approach ODMs with specific product specifications and then work with them to get the tool built to their specs. Exactly which categories of Husky, Kobalt and Harbor Freight tools are ODM or OEM is impossible to find in their tax documents or annual reports.

In-depth look at the parent companies who own all the successful tool brands

Check out the favorite tool brands each parent company owns. Below the image is a list of the brands and the location of the parent company who owns them’s Global HQ.

Stanley Black & Decker Inc.

Stanley Black and Decker parent company of these brandsSee the tool brands owned and made by Stanley Black & Decker:

  • Stanley
  • Craftsman
  • Lenox
  • Irwin Tools
  • Vidmar
  • Black & Decker
  • AeroScout
  • Facom
  • Proto
  • Porter-Cable
  • Mac Tools
  • Lista
  • DeWALT
  • Bostitch
  • CribMaster
  • Powers

Stanley Black & Decker is the largest tool manufacturer in the world with many well-known brands under their corporate umbrella. Their Global HQ is in New Britain, Connecticut.

Robert Bosch GmbH

Bosch parent company of these brandsYou can see the logos of the most well-known tool brands owned by Bosch here:

  • Bosch
  • Diablo
  • Hawera
  • Rolatape
  • Beissbarth
  • Dremel
  • OTC
  • RotoZip
  • CST/berger
  • freud
  • Robinair
  • Vermont American

Bosch’s Consumer Goods division sells power tools and household appliances. They own many brands in both industries. Their Global HQ is in Gerlingen, Germany. It is 9km west of Stuttgart.

Fortive Corp.

Fortive parent company owns these brandsWhat brands does Fortive make and own?

  • Fluke
  • Hennessy Industries
  • Tektronix
  • Anderson-Negele
  • Matco Tools
  • Qualitrol

Fortive Corp. spun out from Danaher Corp. in 2016 to become its own company. It is foremely the Tools & Measurement division of Danaher. It operates out of the Fluke Corp. headquarters in Everett, Washington.

Techtronic Industries Company Limited (TTi Group)

TTi parent company owns these brandsTTi is one of the fastest growing tool manufacturers in the world. Here are the brands TTi now owns and makes in their sprawling China based production facility:

  • Milwaukee
  • Empire
  • Hoover
  • AEG
  • Homelite
  • Dirt Devil
  • Vax
  • Stiletto
  • Ryobi
  • Hart
  • Oreck

TTi also makes products for other brands, including Ridgid. TTi Group’s Global HQ is in Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Hilti Corp.

Hilti parent company owns these brandsHilti doesn’t own any subsidiary tool brands. They make Hilti brand pro tools.

  • Hilti

Hilti is still a family owned company based in Schaan, Lichtenstein. They are known for their professional tools and are very popular throughout the world. Hilti has more than 23,000 employees.

Illinois Tool Works Inc.

ITW Illinois Tool Works parent company owns these brandsSee the tool brands made and owned by Illinois Tool Works:

  • Hobart
  • Buehler
  • Buildex
  • Ramset
  • reid
  • Spit
  • Tregaskiss
  • Paslode
  • Miller
  • Bernard

Illinois Tool Works is a global diversified manufacturing company with more than 250 brands and companies under its corporate umbrella. It has headquarters in Glenview, Illinois.

Makita Corp.

Makita parent company owns these brandsLike Hilti, Makita just makes Makita brand tools & equipment for DIYers, pros and general tradespeople.

  • Makita

Makita is a large power tool manufacturing company based in Anjo, Japan. They are well-known for their rechargeable power tools and were the first to produce a rechargeable drill. They introduced it in 1969.

Snap-on Inc.

Snap-on parent company owns these brandsCheck out the tool brands Snap-on owns and makes:

  • Snap-on
  • Bahco
  • Williams
  • Irimo
  • Lindstrom
  • Blue Point
  • CDI Torque

Snap-on is best known as the company / tool brand that visits you at work with a van full of tools for you to buy. They started as a socket wrench company and now offer a wide-range of tools for professionals in the automotive, aviation, marine and railroad industries. The Snap-on Global HQ is in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Emerson Electric Co.

Emerson Electric parent company owns these brandsEmerson owns these brands but gets an OEM (TTi) to produce the products.

  • ProTeam
  • Workshop
  • Ridgid

Emerson Electric is a massive company with a sizeable tools business. They are best known for their process-automation products and services (valves, regulators, measurement & analytical instruments). The Emerson Global HQ is in Ferguson, Missouri.

Apex Tool Group, LLC.

Apex Tool Group parent company owns these brandsApex Tool Group owns and makes a lot of brands in the tool and equipment industry. Here they are in logo form:

  • Crescent
  • Jacobs Chuck
  • HKP
  • Dotco
  • Wiss
  • Sata
  • Lufkin
  • Cleco
  • Delta Truck Storage
  • Armstrong
  • Master Power
  • Gear Wrench
  • Jobox
  • Weller
  • Allen
  • Belzer
  • Apex

Bain Capital owns Apex Tool Group. Bain also owns a large/majority number of shares in the following companies: Domino’s Pizza, Toys “R” Us, Burger King, Dollarama, Staples Inc and The Weather Channel. Bain bought Apex Tool Group for $1.6B from Cooper Industries and Danaher (formed company as joint venture of tool segments) in 2012. Apex Tool Group has headquarters in Sparks, Maryland.

Harbour Freight Tools USA, Inc.

Harbor Freight Tools parent company owns these brandsHarbour Freight buys their tools direct from manufacturer and then offer them as home brands for affordable prices. Here is a selection of the brands they own and sell under:

  • US General
  • Chicago Electric
  • Central Pneumatic
  • Central Machinery
  • drillmaster
  • HaulMaster

Harbor Freight Tools is a private company with headquarters in Calabasas, California.

Hitachi Koki Co., Ltd.

Hitachi parent company owns these brandsHitachi owns and makes Metabo and Hitachi tools. They bought Metabo in late 2015 for nearly $180 million.

  • Metabo
  • Hitachi

Hitachi Koki operates as a subsidiary to Hitachi, Ltd. Hitachi Koki manufactures and sells power tools and power equipment. It has HQ in Tokyo, Japan.

Textron Inc.

Textron parent company brands ownedTextron is a diversified manufacturer in aircraft, industrial and automotive products. Within their industrial segment they make tools and equipment and sell them under the brands shown here:

  • Greenlee
  • Jacobsen
  • Dixie Chopper
  • Sherman+Reilly
  • Klauke
  • HDE

Textron has headquarters in Textron Tower, Providence, Rhode Island.

Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

Lowes tool home brandsLowe’s sells a range of external brands in the tools & power equipment categories. They also own two home brands in the tool and equipment niche:

  • Kobalt
  • Blue Hawk

Kobalt is their mid-tier tool brand and Blue Hawk is geared towards beginners. Lowe’s has a massive 275-acre corporate campus in Mooresville, North Carolina. It was built starting in 2011 and is designed to be environmentally sustainable (LEED Gold Certified). Check out Lowe’s HQ here. One of the main features of the campus is a functional 7-acre lake. It is home to over 10,000 employees.

The Home Depot, Inc.

Home Depot tool home brandsThe Home Depot owns two home brands in the tools category. They also exclusively sell brands of power tools and equipment such as Ryobi and WORX. Overall, they have sales of hand and power tool/equipment over $5 billion per year.

  • Husky
  • HDX

The Home Depot has Global HQ in Cobb County, Georgia. It is a large building but not a corporate campus type setup like Lowe’s has. The Home Depot is the largest home improvement store in the USA, reporting 50% more revenue than Lowe’s (second biggest) in 2016.

Ideal Industries, Inc.

Ideal Industries parent company owns these brandsWell known for their screwdrivers and hand tools, Ideal Industries is the brand owner of Western Forge, Pratt-Read and SK Pro Tools.

  • Pratt-Read
  • Western Forge
  • SK Professional Tools
  • Anderson Power Products

Ideal Industries is based out of Sycamore, Illinois. Ideal Industries is now well-known for their Pratt-Read, Western Forge brands and SK Tools brands, which they acquired in three separate deals in 2010. It is rumoured they paid ~$50 million for Western Forge and a fair bit less for Pratt-Read.

Positec Tool Corp.

Positec tools owns these brandsHere are the tool brands Positec owns:

  • WORX
  • Rockwell

Positec is a tool manufacturing company with Global HQ in Suzhou, China and North American HQ in Charlotte, North Carolina. Positec tool brands sell at all the big-box stores: Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Walmart and Costco.

JPW Industries, Inc.

JPW Industries parent company owns these brandsSee the brands owned and made by tool and machinery parent company JPW Industries:

  • Jet
  • Wilton
  • Powermatic
  • Edwards
  • ProMax
  • Toolair

JPW Industries is based out of La Vergne Tennessee. It was originally known as Walter Meirer Manufacturing, Inc., and represented the tools arm of Swiss based Walter Meier AG. In 2013, Tenex Capital Management purchased Walter Meirer Manufacturing, Inc. and named it JPW Industries to represent the three main brands – JET, Powermatic and Wilton.

10 Frequently Asked Tool Brand Questions, Answered

While researching the tool brands people are most interested in some common questions kept showing up. Namely, the “who owns” and “who makes” the popular tool brands questions. Here’s a chart to show the total monthly searches for the combo of who owns plus who makes each of the top tool brands:

Total monthly searches for who makes who owns tool brands

Now let’s answer the 10 most asked questions about tool brands:

  1. Who makes Ryobi tools? Techtronic Industries (TTi) is the OEM for Ryobi. TTi owns the Ryobi brand of power tools in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. They are sold exclusively at The Home Depot in United States. Ryobi Limited, which sold the power tools businesses to TTi in 2000/2001, is a Japanese company that sells power tools, die castings, hardware and printing equipment in Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Africa
  2. Who makes Kobalt tools? Chervon the Chinese OEM (not Chevron the oil company) makes many of Kobalt’s power tools. In 2016, Lowe’s awarded them a vendor award in innovation for the Kobalt 24-Volt cordless power tools. Sunrise Global/Greenworks Tools is the OEM for Lowe’s Kobalt cordless 80-volt outdoor power equipment (they were awarded 2015 innovation award).
  3. What happened to Danaher the tool maker? Danaher spun out their tool and power tool brands and OEM capability to a company called Fortive Corp. in 2016. Danaher tools are now Fortive, essentially. Fortive operates out of the Fluke HQ just north of the Boeing Everett Factory.
  4. Where are Milwaukee tools made and who owns Milwaukee brand? Dongguan, China. In Aug-2004, TTi Group acquired two divisions (Milwaukee Electric Tools and AEG Power Tools brands) of Atlas Copco’s Industrial Technique business for a total sum of $627 million ($797 million in 2016 dollars). By 2004, all of Milwaukee’s tool production facilities had left Wisconsin for Mississippi. And in 2008, when TTi opened their massive Dongguan facility, the move for Milwaukee Electric Tools from U.S.A. to China was complete.
  5. Who makes Snap-on tools? Snap-on makes Snap-on tools. Snap-on is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and they make tools in their vast production facilities.
  6. Who makes Ridgid tools and who owns the brand? TTi Group makes Ridgid brand tools through a partner agreement with Emerson and their OEM subsidiary One World Technologies. They first entered into an agreement in 2003 for TTi to make Ridgid woodworking power tools (and have since furthered the partnership to other tool categories). Ridgid has been a subsidiary of Emerson Electric since 1966. The brand is targeted at plumbers and heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) trades.
  7. When did Stanley and Black & Decker merge? Officially, Stanley Works acquired Black & Decker for an all stock deal worth $4.5 Billion ($3.5B stock and $1B debt), which was announced in Nov-2009. The “merge” was finalized in Mar-2010. At the time Stanley Works owned the popular brands Stanley, Facom, Bostitch, Proto, Mac Tools, Vidmar (and others) and Black & Decker owned Black & Decker, DeWalt, Porter-Cable, Baldwin, Emhart, Kwikset, Price Pfister (and others). The combination of the two created a tool and equipment powerhouse valued at nearly $10B.
  8. Who makes Husky tools? Husky is a home brand of Home Depot. The tools are made by various OEMs including Stanley Black & Decker, Western Forge and Apex Tool Group.
  9. Who owns DeWalt tools brand? DeWALT is owned and made by Stanley Black & Decker. Black & Decker owned DeWALT since 1960. In 2010, when Stanley Works and Black & Decker merged the new company, Stanley Black & Decker, became the owner of DeWALT.
  10. Who makes and owns Craftsman tools? Craftsman tools are made in factories around the world. Depending on the tool category, it could be made in USA, Mexico, India, Honduras, Japan, Taiwan, China, Germany or France. Many manufacturing companies have been contracted to make different tools for Craftsman over the years. These include: TTi Group, Stanley, Apex Tool Group, Western Forge, Easco, Danaher and Pratt-Read. Sears, the creator of the Craftsman brand, never made Craftsman tools – they owned the brand. In 2016, Sears sold the brand to Stanley Black & Decker for $900 million. With the sale, it is more than likely all manufacturing of Craftsman Tools moving forward will be done in Stanley Black & Decker manufacturing plants.

Sources

  1. Stanley Black & Decker SEC Filings. www.StanleyBlackandDecker.com. Info retrieved 31-Jan-2017.
  2. The Home Depot, Inc FORM 10-K. www.SEC.gov. Info retrieved 30-Jan-2017.
  3. Lowe’s Companies, Inc. FORM 10-K. www.SEC.gov. Info retrieved 30-Jan-2017.
  4. Illinois Tool Works Inc. FORM 10-K (PDF). Investors.ITW.com. Info retrieved 29-Jan-2017
  5. Textron Financial Summary. www.Textron.com. Info retrieved 29-Jan-2017.
  6. TTI Group Financials. www.TTIGroup.com. Info retrieved 28-Jan-2017.
  7. Fortive SEC Filings. www.Fortive.com. Info retrieved 28-Jan-2017.

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