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This report includes data from 2011-2031 in 5 year intervals and tables featuring year-by-year data for 2018-2025.
This Freedonia industry study analyzes the $12.5 billion global consumer power tools industry.
It presents historical demand data (2012, 2017, and 2022) and forecasts (2027 and 2032) by product (electric tools, pneumatic tools, tools powered by other energy sources) and region (North America, Central and South America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia/Pacific, Africa/Mideast). Demand for electric tools is further segmented by product (drills; saws; sanders, polishers, and grinders; other electric tools, parts and attachments for electric tools) and power source (plug-in, cordless). The study discusses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study also evaluates competitive analysis on industry competitors including Bosch, Hilti, Makita, Stanley Black & Decker, and Techtronic Industries.
Global demand for consumer power tools is forecast to increase nearly 1.0% per year to $13.0 billion in 2027, while in real terms, demand is expected to decline. The high-income markets that account for the bulk of global demand hold limited short-term opportunities, reflecting the particularly elevated level of demand in 2021 and 2022. However, rising income levels and the expansion of the middle class in industrializing nations offer potential for growth.
Sales to Remain High Following Pandemic-Driven Surge
Global demand for consumer power tools increased rapidly in both 2020 and 2021, with these years representing by far the strongest year-over-year growth in recent history. While sales contracted slightly in 2022, the market size remained well above the 2020 level. Demand growth was driven by rising interest in DIY activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, as shifting behavior patterns led to increased spending on home maintenance and improvement projects.
While changing behavior patterns following the worst years of the pandemic are expected to be a negative for the consumer power tools industry – with homeowners increasingly shifting their spending back toward away-from-the-home activities – the continued interest in DIY activities will represent an ongoing boon to sales. Consumers who purchased entry-level power tools in 2020 and 2021 will provide an important target market for the sale of more advanced, higher value, and more niche tools.
Battery Power Penetrating Broader Product Ranges
The consumer segment of the power tools industry has been quicker to adopt battery power than the professional segment, and cordless products are now common in consumer-oriented product lines. Some segments – most notably electric drills – are already dominated by cordless models, leaving limited room for further market share growth. However, in other segments – such as sanders, polishers, and grinders – plug-in models have remained highly competitive to date. As battery technology continues to improve, offering longer run times and higher power levels, cordless models will become increasingly competitive in a broader array of product lines.
Growth in Industrializing Nations Requires Development of DIY Markets
While countries like China and India represent fast-growing markets for consumer power tools, sales in these nations will remain far below their potential due to underdeveloped consumer interest in DIY activities. In contrast to the US and many European markets, DIY is not seen as a popular hobby, and many consumers who could purchase power tools prefer to rely on hired labor. Efforts by Western DIY retailers to expand in industrializing nations have met with mixed results, and cultural attitudes will remain an obstacle to faster market growth. However, successful cultivation of interest in DIY could result in sales growth far faster than that driven simply by rising income levels.
Historical Market Trends
Consumer spending levels are the largest driver of consumer power tool demand. The market for these products tends to be concentrated in mature, high-income nations. Over the longer term, inflation-adjusted growth in consumer spending in these countries tends to be modest, leaving the market susceptible to year-to-year economic volatility.
Demand for consumer power tools is also driven by the level of interest in DIY home improvement and repair activities. In general, ongoing economic advances tend to expand the market potential for DIY-related products, as rising labor costs increase the appeal of handling home maintenance products without hiring workers. However, interest in DIY activities is also culturally driven to an extent, which has slowed the development of this market in countries like China and India.
In addition, changes in exchange rates and price levels impact consumer power tool demand as measured in US dollar terms.
Given the intense degree of competition among producers, pricing is a critical determinant of consumer power tool demand; in developing countries, it is often the primary purchasing criterion. A number of factors determine prices of power tools within a country, including:
trends in local inflation
intensity of local demand
local availability of supplies
Factors such as significant international trade activity and the extensive international production and marketing operations of the major suppliers work to push average power tool prices (adjusted for relative currency fluctuations) near a global average for any given product type and level of quality. There remains, nonetheless, variation on a country-by-country basis.
Prices of consumer power tools vary across product types, ranging from a few dollars for parts such as saw blades to several hundred dollars for high-performance tools. Especially dedicated DIY hobbyists may also purchase professional-grade tools with prices in the thousands of dollars. In general, electric tools, which are the most commonly used type of tool in the consumer market, are less expensive than pneumatic and other types.
Through 2027, global average prices for electric power tools are forecast to increase 1.8% per year, while prices for pneumatic and other tools are projected to rise 2.9% per year. Slower price growth for electric tools will be attributable to improvements in battery technology, with new batteries becoming increasingly efficient on a dollars-per-kWh basis.
Several other factors will serve to temper price growth:
Global production of consumer power tools is expected to increasingly shift to countries such as China, which has labor costs lower than those of high-income nations, as well as to other Southeast Asian nations, which now have production cost advantages over China.
Big-box stores such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Walmart can exert significant pricing pressures on manufacturers due to the volume of sales they register for many types of consumer power tools.
Other areas of innovation include improving tool ergonomics, which is often achieved by developing lighter weight tools with reduced vibrations. Ergonomic improvements assist in reducing user fatigue, which subsequently improves productivity. Often, innovations in these areas are first introduced in professional tools, since professional users operate power tools for extended periods, replace tools more frequently than consumers, and are willing to pay a premium for improved performance.
Lightweighting is a particularly important consideration for battery-powered tools, as the greater weight of these products represents a key disadvantage, slowing displacement of corded electric and pneumatic tools:
Cordless power tools increasingly use slide-mount battery designs in order to improve ergonomics and limit weight-related inconvenience.
Other lightweighting trends include the replacement of steel components with pieces made of magnesium or aluminum.
As improvements in battery technology allow for greater power at lower weights, power tool manufacturers will be able to offer battery-powered products for a wider range of applications.