When buying a new power tool, you can find yourself having to choose between a lot of different brands. But if you ever decided to look at these brands more closely, you might have been shocked to find out that the most popular tool brands are owned by only a handful of companies. As tool manufacturers have gotten bigger and bigger, they have bought up many of the smaller brands. Now, only a few companies control the majority of the hand and power tool market.
In this article, I will show you the relationships between the various brands on the global hand and power tool market and give you insight into the tool industry as a whole.
On top of that, I have added a searchable database of tool brands to this page that contains a variety of useful information. You can use it to look up your favorite tool brands, who owns them, where they operate from, and much more!
Before diving in, I will point out that this article mostly covers hand and power tool brands, as these are what we use as DIYers. This also kept the writing manageable. Extending this article to include manufacturers and brands of all types of tools would have been close to an endless task.
What is the value of the hand & power tool market?
Estimates on the size of the power and hand tools market vary, but a rough approximation gives a total value of $52.0 billion, as of 2019. $29.8 billion of that comes from power tools, whereas the other $22.2 billion originates in hand tool sales.
This estimate was made using three industry reports. The reports approximate the size of the power tool market in 2019 from $25.5 billion to $32.2 billion. These three numbers were averaged to get a ‘final’ estimate of $29.8 billion in power tool sales.
Hand tools, on the other hand, are estimated to have generated $22.2 billion in sales worldwide in 2019. Adding these two numbers together gives us a total of $52.0 billion.
Both markets were estimated to grow by 3.1% to 5.5% annually, over the coming years. Due to the recent COVID pandemic, however, it is safe to assume a decrease in growth in the near future. This is mainly due to challenges in the supply chain (availability of raw materials, transportation disruption) and in production processes (factory shutdowns).
Top hand & power tool manufacturers worldwide
Despite the many different brands of tools that you can find in the hardware store aisles, there are not that many companies that make these tools. Over time, tool manufacturers have acquired smaller brands and merged together. This has given us the situation we are in today: a small number of giant corporations that dominate the tool market.
Looking at the numbers gives us a clearer picture. Based on the 2019 revenues in the hand & power tool market, the five companies listed below are responsible for $27 billion of sales. That is over 50% of sales worldwide!
Let’s take a closer look at these five companies and see which tool brands they own.
1. Stanley Black & Decker Inc.
- Origin: USA
- Founded: 1843
- Hand & power tool revenue (2019): (US)$10.1 billion
- Market share: 19.4%
Stanley Black & Decker is not only one of the biggest tool manufacturers on the planet, but it is also one of the oldest. Founded in 1843, it started out as a bolt manufacturer and was known for a long time as The Stanley Works. After a merger with Black & Decker in 2010, the company got its current name: Stanley Black & Decker.
Nowadays, the company is headquartered in New Britain, Connecticut. It has acquired a variety of other companies over the past decades and as a result it now produces many different types of power tools, hand tools and fasteners.
You will find that a lot of popular tool brands are actually made by Stanley Black & Decker. The long list of brands they own is a big part of their global success. Some of the most notable brands owned by SB&D are:
- Black & Decker
- Irwin Tools
- Mac Tools
- Porter Cable
- Powers Fasteners
2. Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd.
- Origin: Hong Kong
- Founded: 1985
- Hand & power tool revenue (2019): (US)$6.8 billion
- Market share: 13.1%
Techtronic Industries is a relative newcomer on the power tool market. Founded as recently as 1985, the company has made quite a name for itself after acquiring well-known household brands like Ryobi, Milwaukee and Hoover.
Techtronic’s focus on purchasing smaller companies and helping them grow has proven to be successful. In 2019, the company reached worldwide sales of over USD 7.7 billion. Headquartered in Hong Kong, Techtronic employs over 30,000 people worldwide.
The main focus of Techtronic lies on power tools, hand tools, outdoor power equipment and appliances, such as vacuums. The brands the company currently owns are:
- AEG Power Tools
- Dirt Devil
- Milwaukee Tool
- Techtronic Industries
3. Robert Bosch GmbH
- Origin: Germany
- Founded: 1886
- Hand & power tool revenue (2019): (US)$5.6 billion
- Market share: 10.8%
Robert Bosch GmbH, or simply Bosch, was founded in 1886 in Stuttgart, Germany. The company is best known in Europe, but manufactures a wide range of products that serves the entire global market.
Aside from power tools, Bosch focuses on automotive parts, home appliances, electronics, security systems and more. Only a fraction of its massive 77.7 billion EUR revenue comes from power tools, but that fraction is still large enough to put the company in third place on this list.
The company’s power tool division focuses on high performance cordless tools. These can be hammer drills, cordless screwdrivers and jigsaws, but also landscaping tools such as hedge trimmers and high-pressure cleaners. Aside from selling under its own ‘Bosch’ brand, the company also owns the following power tool brands:
- Vermont American
- Origin: Liechtenstein
- Founded: 1941
- Hand & power tool revenue (2019): (US)$2.9 billion
- Market share: 5.6%
Hilti started out in 1941 as a small family company, but has since grown to become a trusted global business. The company started out in Liechtenstein, from where it still operates to this day.
The company’s products are most used in the construction market and are targeted towards professional end users. It specializes in measuring and detection tools, anchoring systems and power tools, such as hammer drills, cordless electric drills, demolition hammers and power saws.
Hilti is one of the few brands that has remained independent and only manufactures tools under its own brand.
- Origin: Japan
- Founded: 1915
- Hand & power tool revenue (2019): (US)$2.7 billion
- Market share: 5.2%
Makita is a power tool brand that almost every DIYer has heard of. The company started out in 1915 by selling and repairing transformers, motors and lighting equipment. Nowadays, it specializes in cordless tools, power tools and accessories.
While Makita is based in Japan, it operates factories all over the world. These manufacturing plants are located in Brazil, Mexico, Romania, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Dubai, Thailand and the United States.
Almost any type of cordless and power tool is sold by Makita, always under its own Makita brand. Some examples of Makita’s products are cordless screwdrivers, impact drivers, drills and jigsaws, but also cutting tools, angle grinders and even gardening equipment.
The hand & power tool revenue numbers that are listed with each company were obtained from the companies’ 2019 annual reports and investor relations reports.
For Bosch’s numbers, some estimates had to be made. In its annual report, the power tools revenue is combined with the household appliance revenue to form a single ‘Consumer Goods’ revenue. Looking up the approximate value of the household appliance portion and subtracting it from the total ‘Consumer Goods’ revenue gave the approximate revenue for power tools.
The market shares are calculated using the companies’ hand & power tool revenues in combination with market data from the industry reports mentioned earlier. These industry reports are also not 100% accurate, so the market share percentages will have some error in them.
In short, I recommend take these numbers as a best estimate instead of an absolute truth.
Tool brand database
There are, of course, notably more tool manufacturers out there. These companies have a smaller revenue just by themselves, but when you combine them, they are responsible for a significant portion of the total market revenue.
Some of these companies have their own fair share of brands, whereas others only manufacture under a single brand. Examples of other tool manufacturers you might be familiar with are Chervon, Husqvarna, Illinois Tool Works and Snap-On.
To make it easier to figure out who owns your favorite tool brand, or to look up which companies own a lot of brands, I have created an easy to use database below.
You can search and filter in it to look up tool brands, parent companies and their accompanying information. Just like the rest of this article, it focuses mostly on power/hand tool brands for DIYers, industry and construction professionals.
- Established: 1941 (82 years ago)
- Headquarters: La Vergne, Tennessee, USA
- Target customer: Professionals
- Parent company: JPW Industries Inc.
- Company type: Private company
- Established: 2004 (19 years ago)
- Headquarters: Suzhou, China
- Target customer: Homeowners
- Parent company: Positec Tool Corporation
- Company type: Private company
- Headquarters: Nanjing, China
- Target customer: Homeowners, Professionals
- Parent company: Chervon Holdings Ltd.
- Company type: Private company
While this database contains the biggest companies and most well-known brands, it is definitely not all-encompassing. With so many brands out there, I am sure that some have slipped through the cracks.
My goal is to keep the database as complete and up to date as possible, but with the frequent acquisitions and mergers in the tool market, this will be a challenge. If you find any incorrect data or missing brands/companies, please let me know in the comments and I will make sure to update the information!
When buying power or hand tools, it can be difficult to know which company you are actually buying from. Most popular brands are owned by a parent company, and that parent company typically owns a lot of other brands.
As a result, you might have a lot less choice when buying tools than you think you do. With five of the biggest corporations owning brands that cover more than 50% of the market, you often buy from the same handful of companies.
Using the database on this page, you can quickly look up any tool brand or parent company that you are interested in and get any relevant information that you need.