by Clint DeBoer
Ever wonder who owns Craftsman tools? How about Milwaukee, Mac Tools, or Skilsaw? It may surprise you to know that only a handful of power tool companies own your favorite tools. That’s right, most tool brands fall under a parent company that also controls additional power tool manufacturers and brands. We break it down for you…with charts!
Note: RIDGID and RYOBI cordless power tools are licensed by TTI.
We didn’t include every tool company in this image. To be honest, we couldn’t fit them all on the page. We will, however, do our best below to include as many tool brand parent companies as possible. Starting with several of the largest makes the most sense.
Yes, Craftsman and DeWalt are Owned by Stanley Black & Decker
Stanley Black & Decker (SBD) turned heads when it bought Craftsman Tools in 2017 after Searsclosed 235 stores in 2015. The company owns many brands, however. Dating back to 1843 with a man named Frederick Stanley, the company quickly formed its roots. In 2010, it merged with another company that started in 1910—Black and Decker. As of 2017, the company maintains a $7.5 billion business in tools & storage alone. SBD brands include:
- Black + Decker
- Mac Tools
- Powers Fasteners
As it turns out, TTI owns Milwaukee Tool and a host of other power tool companies. It also licenses the RIDGID* and RYOBI names for cordless power tools (Emerson owns RIDGID). TTI stands forTechtronic Industries Company Limited (TTI Group). Founded in 1985 in Hong Kong, TTI sells tools all over the world and employs over 22,000 people. TTI is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and had worldwide annual sales of over US$6 billion in 2017.Their brands include:
- Milwaukee Electric Tool Co.
- RYOBI – licensed
- RIDGID (“Orange”) – licensed from Emerson
- Empire Level
- Dirt Devil
- Stiletto Tools
- Hart Tools
*As a general rule, Emerson manufactures “Red” RIDGID (plumbing) tools. TTI manufactures “Orange” RIDGID tools under license.
Wait, I Thought Bosch Owned Skil?
Not anymore. In 2017, Chervon acquired Skil Power Tool Brands from Bosch. This added two big brands to their portfolio: Skilsaw and Skil. Chervon started itspower tools business unit back in 1993, launching the EGO brand of cordless outdoor power equipment in 2013. In 2018, the company rebranded Skil (including the logo) and announced new 12V and 20V cordless power tools. Today, Chervon tools and products are sold by more than 30,000 stores in 65 countries. Chervon manufactures the following brands:
- Kobalt 24V (ODM for Lowe’s)
First off, Bosch Tools only represents part of the Bosch Group which includes Robert Bosch GmbH and over 350 subsidiaries across 60+ countries. In 2003 Robert Bosch GmbH combined its North American power tool and power tool accessory divisions into one organization, forming Robert Bosch Tool Corporation in North America. The company designs, manufactures, and sells power tools, rotary and oscillating tools, power tool accessories, laser and optical leveling devices, and range finding tools all over the globe. Bosch also manufactures the following tools:
- Vermont American
Husqvarna Group Brands
Husqvarna Group manufactures chainsaws, trimmers, robotic lawn mowers, and ride-on lawnmowers. The Group also makes garden watering products as well as cutting equipment and diamond tools for the construction and stone industries. They have a presence in more than 100 countries and employ over 13,000 people in 40 countries. Husqvarna Group also owns the following tools:
- Poulan Pro
- Weed Eater
- Diamant Boart
JPW Industries – Jet Powermatic Wilton
JPW owns several large brands including Jet, Powermatic, and Wilton. The company has its headquarters in La Vergne, Tennessee but also has operations in Switzerland, Germany, Russia, France, Taiwan, and China. They sell products in 20 countries throughout the world. Their tool brands include:
- Tool Air
Apex Tool Group has its headquarters in Sparks, Maryland, USA and employs more than8,000 workers. They operate in more than30 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Australia,and Asia. Annual revenues exceed$1.4 billion on the sale of hand tools, power tools, and electronics tools for the industrial, automotive, aerospace, and construction/DIY markets. The following tool manufacturers belong toAPEX Tool Group:
- Master Power
Armstrong(shut down in 2017) Allen(shut down in 2017)
Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), Emerson controls power tool manufacturers and products in the industrial, commercial, and residential markets. While TTI licenses the RIDGID name for power tools, Emerson controls the following tools (among others):
- RIDGID (“Red”)
TTS Tooltechnic Systems AG & Co. KG
Based in Wendlingen, Germany, TTS or Tooltechnic Systems owns Festool (electric and pneumatic tools), Tanos (not to be confused with the guy who destroyed half the universe), Narex, Sawstop, and now Shaper Tools. TTS is truly behind the scenes as it doesn’t really have appear to have its own website (at least not in the US) or an official logo. In bullet point format, its subsidiaries include:
- Shaper Tools
Yamabiko Corporation started in 2008 and has three core business segments: outdoor power equipment, agricultural machinery,and industrial machinery. Based in Japan, Yamabiko is a global company with major markets in Japan and North America, and a growing presence in Europe and Asia. Tool brands include:
KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P.)
KKR manages private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate,and more. In 2017 KKR acquired Hitachi Koki. Previously, Hitachi had purchased Metabo. Now, KKR owns the following:
- Hikoki (formerly Hitachi Koki)
- Metabo HPT (formerly Hitachi Power Tools)
Washington-based Fortive, a diversified industrial growth company, includes a multitude of Professional Instrumentation and Industrial Technologies businesses.Fortive employs over 22,000 employees in more than 50 countries around the world. Their numerous brands include the following tool manufacturers:
- Matco Tools
WernerCo manufactures and distributes ladders, climbing equipment, and ladder accessories under various brands. They also manufacture and sell fall protection products and jobsite, truck, and van storage equipment. The full lineup includes:
- Weather Guard
- Green Bull
ITW (Illinois Tool Works)
Founded over 100 years ago, ITW manufactures specialized industrial equipment, power tools, hand tools, and consumables. ITW operates in 57 countries with over 50,000 employees. They also have more than 17,000 granted and pending patents. ITW brands include:
- Red Head
- ITW Buildex
- Alpine, an ITW Company
In 1916, J. Walter Becker apparently started the IDEAL Commutator Dresser Company of Chicago from his mother’s kitchen. More than 100 years later, Ideal Industries serves technicians and workers globally. They serve electrical, construction, aerospace, and even automotive markets. You likely recognize several of their brands:
- Ideal Electrical
- Cree Lighting
- Anderson Power Products
- SK Professional Tools
Audacy Wireless(brought under Cree Lighting)
Sunrise Global Marketing
Sunrise Global Marketing manufactures Greenworks and Greenworks Pro tools.
Positec started in 1994 as an OEM manufacturer. They now own the Rockwell and WORX brands.
Who Makes Harbor Freight Power Tools?
Who makes Harbor Freight Power Tools remains a mystery—possibly because they may have switched suppliers in the past. Some have suggested LuTool, a company established in June 1999 supplies their power tools. LuTool has headquarters in Ningbo, China, and a North American office in Ontario, Canada. LuTool is owned by Gemay (Ningbo Gemay Industry Co Ltd) which also has its headquarters in Ningbo, China.
Not to be outdone, others have suggested Powerplus as the manufacturer behind the Drill Master, Warrior, Bauer, and Hercules lines of tools. Powerplus is a division of European company Varo with headquarters in Belgium.
We wish we could give a definitive answer, but Harbor Freight has remained tightlipped as to its power tool manufacturing partners.
What About Hilti and Makita?
Hilti and Makita are just Hilti and Makita. Hilti doesn’t have any subsidiary companies underneath them or a parent company over them. Makita, on the other hand, did acquire the Dolmar brand, bolstering its already-impressive line of outdoor power equipment tools. It’s pretty impressive the market share each of these companies enjoys!
Who Makes House Brands at Big Box Stores?
We can’t leave out the popular house brands available at those big-box retailers and home improvement warehouses. Note that many (if not all) of the brands below represent ODM or OEM solutions. That means the tools getspecified by the store but executed by another manufacturer. In other scenarios, tools are “offered” to a retailer and then manufactured in bulk upon acceptance of a buyer’s order.
Home Depot House Brands
- Husky (Stanley Black & Decker, Western Forge, Apex Tool Group, Iron Bridge Tools, and others)
Lowe’s House Brands
- Kobalt Tools (24V power tools) made by Chervon
- Kobalt Tools (outdoor power tools) made by Greenworks
- Blue Hawk (various OEM)
Menard’s House Brands
- Masterforce (various OEM)
- Grip Fast?
- Tool Shop?
While you may have thought you knew who owned all those power tool manufacturers, consolidation has changed the playing field. By far, Stanley Black & Decker demonstrates the largest buyout pattern. Companies like TTI, Apex Tool Group, ITW,and others also enjoy adding to their numbers.
Finally, if we missed any tool mergers or acquisitions, please leave a comment below. We want to keep this article updated—a much harder task than we ever imagined! Feel free to also reach out to us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
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