Global Electric Power Tools

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Tools

This study examines global supply and demand for electric power tools. Historical data (2009, 2014, and 2019) and forecasts for 2024 are provided for power tool demand by product and market on a country-by-country basis.

Figures for electric tools are also presented by power source (plug-in, cordless) and by type, including:

  • drills
  • saws (e.g., circular, reciprocating)
  • sanders, polishers, and grinders
  • other electric tools, such as hammers, impact wrenches, planers and routers, and screwdrivers
  • parts and attachments (e.g., batteries, battery chargers, chiseling tools, drills chucks, driver bits, dust collection systems, router guides, sand belts)

Excluded from the scope of this study are:

  • air compressors
  • chainsaws
  • engine-driven tools
  • hand tools such as manual screwdrivers and saws
  • hydraulic jacks
  • hydraulic tools
  • machine tools such as CNC equipment
  • nail and staple cartridges
  • pneumatic tools
  • powder-actuated tools
  • table and wall-mounted saws

Power tool demand by market is presented for professional and consumer markets. The professional market is further segmented into construction, motor vehicle aftermarket, and industrial and other (which mainly consists of manufacturing applications).

Demand by product and market is presented in dollar terms. Demand in value terms is shown at the manufacturers’ level and excludes distributor and retailer markups.

Battery Innovation

While power tool design and manufacturing technology is well known and the power tool industry has generally not been considered technology-intensive, product innovations are still a key part of the industry. This is because technological changes are driven by competition on the part of power tool producers as firms attempt to increase their customer base with more powerful, user-friendly tools. In addition, power tool product developments are impacted by other industries (e.g., batteries and electronics) and by environmental regulations.

Cordless electric tools have been the primary focus of technological improvements in power tools in recent years. The shift from nickel to lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries has greatly improved product performance.

Lithium batteries have several performance advantages over nickel, including:

  • higher energy density
  • lighter weight
  • longer lasting charge
  • more rapid power discharge
  • smaller size

While they have largely established themselves as the preferred technology at this point, lithium-ion batteries do have some disadvantages, specifically their greater volatility compared to other battery chemistries. This volatility can be overcome with battery monitoring circuitry to prevent overcharging or overheating

Tools

North America: Electric Power Tool Market Size

North America includes the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Demand for electric power tools in North America totaled $7.4 billion in 2019, accounting for 31% of the global total. The region has a sizable economic base, and sales relative to population size are further boosted by:

  • high urbanization rates and a large construction sector
  • the prevalence of advanced manufacturing, including motor vehicles
  • high rates of motor vehicle ownership, supporting demand in the motor vehicle aftermarket
  • cultural enthusiasm for DIY activities in household maintenance and repair

The US is the largest power tool market worldwide and dominates regional demand trends, although the Canadian and Mexican markets are significant as well.

Demand by End User

Demand for electric power tools can be divided into the professional and the consumer segments:

  • Professional users include carpenters and construction workers, electricians, landscapers, manufacturing employees, mechanics, and utility workers.
  • Consumers purchase tools for general automotive and household maintenance applications, hobbies, and major do-it-yourself (DIY) projects.

Professional users purchase the majority of electric power tools in value terms due to their need for more durable, value-added tools. Because they use tools more consistently than consumers, professionals also must replace tools more frequently. Given the intensity of their tool use, professionals are often willing to pay more for better quality tools since the initial investment often pays off over the long run through better performance and longer tool life.

The professional market can be subdivided into construction, motor vehicle aftermarket, and industrial and other uses, with durable goods manufacturing comprising the largest share of the last category.

The consumer market accounts for the smaller share of electric power tool demand and generally encompasses a narrower range of product types than the professional market:

  • Consumers are typically more price conscious and rarely have the need for expensive, high-performance tool systems.
  • Intensity of product use in the consumer market varies significantly worldwide, as economic and cultural factors can have a major impact on the level of DIY activity in a nation.

Strong advances in industrializing countries will support gains in the professional market. Consumer markets in these countries will also grow quickly, but will remain underdeveloped, and the bulk of consumer sales will occur in mature higher-income countries. As a result, sales to consumers are forecast to continue growing more slowly than those to professionals.

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