With the merger of Stanley with Black & Decker it was only a matter of time before Dewalt utilized the production strengths and technology from the different brands to expand their offerings. The parent company as a whole is very strong in mechanics’ hand tools with brands like Mac Tools, Proto and Stanley all covering different markets and price points. Our guess would be the product managers at Dewalt really had a lot of options when it came to developing this line of hand tools. The result is a very nice line of mechanics quality tools aimed at construction professionals who would be on the go as opposed to working in a repair garage.
On the combination wrenches themselves you will see the Anti-Slip Design (ASD) which is a very nice feature used in their premium Proto products and can improve gripping power by 400% over standard designs. We got to see this in action as the Dewalt team lifted an engine block held in place by one of their combination wrenches at a very steep angle and nothing more than the ASD feature to keep it in place. Other premium features include 72 position gear in all sized ratchets, oversized handles, deep etching on sockets and flip up rails on the socket kits. It does not look like these products will be USA made so it looks like the Dewalt tools will be a nice midway point between the high end features that you might expect in brands like the MAC/Proto and cost savings in production you’d expect from the Stanley tools.
The products Dewalt will be launching initially are somewhat limited to socket sets in ¼”, 3/8” and ½” as well as combination wrenches and different combinations of all of them together. The granddaddy of the lineup is a 204 piece kit DWMT72165 setup that includes just about everything and will retail for $239 starting in a week or two online and June 1 in select Sears stores.
At these price points and with the full support of Stanley parent company behind them it is no surprise the Dewalt mechanics tools should be a high quality well thought out line aimed to construction professionals. What is very surprising to us however is Dewalt’s approach of going to market. Dewalt has made an exclusive agreement with Sears and Sears.com to be the only outlet these mechanic tools will be available for at least the first several months and possibly as long as the rest of 2013.
That means no Amazon.com, no Home Depot and no industrial supply houses will have these products, only Sears. This is very surprising for several reasons: 1) We certainly don’t think of Sears stores as the most direct route to get products to professional contractors. 2) This product will be the premium product over Sear’s own line of Craftsman Tools. 3) Sears has a premium line of “Craftsman Industrial” tools they don’t even sell in their own stores and would compete directly with these Dewalt products. 4) We would have to imagine this is going to severely upset Dewalt’s industrial supply partners who would love to sell these products to their professional construction customers, that will inevitably be asking for them but won’t be able to supply them.
We of course are not, nor would ever claim to be as intelligent as some of the folks who make these types of decisions and without question there is more to an arrangement like this than we will ever understand. If Sears is trying to rebrand themselves to professional contractors or Dewalt is using these products to get more of their other products into stores (or force others out), who could say? Good news is there are lots of Sears stores around the country and Sears.com will ship just about anywhere so if you are in the market for one of the Dewalt sets you won’t have to wait long to get your hands on them. For more details check out the video below from our friends at ToolSelect.com.