Hand tools such as hammers, screwdrivers, and levels are something that the average consumer only purchases once, maybe twice in their life; and, oftentimes hand tool manufacturers such as Craftsman, DeWalt, and Kobalt offer lifetime replacement for their tools. Industrial and professional sales aside, how does an industry maintain demand? Freedonia Groups recently conducted a study examining the United States hand tool market, and the following report was released in June of 2023. One of the major focal points of this report is the consumer markets, and it forecasts a slight decline from 2022 to 2027 following pandemic-prompted increased sales in 2021 and 2022.
- Powerful Competition – Hand tools must now compete with more electric tools than ever before! Battery powered multitools with interchangeable pieces and batteries reduce sales by eliminating the need for individual tool purchases.
- International Competition – Internationally made tools can often be sold at lower prices, and the increase in international brands on shelves provides more options for the consumer to choose from.
- Lack of Replacement Sales – Quality hand tools rarely need to be replaced, as they are often not used daily so they have little wear and have no additional components like batteries or wires to break or wear out.
- DIY – Those who choose DIY hobbies drive the consumer hand tool market, and a multitude of DIY television shows, videos, and blogs inspire consumers to take up DIY themselves.
- Convenience – Hand tools are easy to purchase online and usually easy to keep stocked in most big box stores.
- Affordability – Private label brands are reasonably affordable at stores like Lowes and Home Depot, making it easier for consumers to justify purchasing or replacing their own tools.
- Housing Market – the tight housing markets and high interest rates make it more likely for consumers to purchase fixer-upper homes or avoid purchasing a home by making changes to their current homes.
In 2022, the average amount of people that said they owned any type of tools was 66%. Though hammers and screwdrivers have remained largely the same for hundreds of years, consumers will continue to need them. Young adults moving out on their own for the first-time, first-time homeowner, and people picking up a new DIY hobby will continue to need basic hand tools. However, there will always be changes and improvement that shift trends and demand. To read more about hand tools in professional and other markets, check out Freedonia Group’s report, “US Hand Tools