Hand, power and trade tools grow through innovation and safety
With the U.S. hand and power tools market set to grow by 4.8 per cent annually, to $13.1 billion in 2016, Freedoniagroup.com recently reported this is a turn around from declines in sales in America from 2006-2011 and will no doubt be a reflection of what can be expected on the Australian market in the months to come. Globally the value of the power tools market was USD$27.58 billion in 2015, with the market expected to reach USD$46.47 billion by 2025, according to futuremarketinsights.com, with some of the latest trends seeing power tools outpacing hand-tools as more DIY’ers use power tools to accomplish tasks. While growth in the U.S., Chinese and Indian hand, power and trade tools markets are expected to come mostly from the recovering construction industry, this is also a refl ection of what is happening in the Australian market. Growth in the Australian market is also expected to come from not only new housing, but also continued popularity of DIY, particularly in cordless tools with consumers hoosing these tools over corded. In the power tools market an obvious key trend towards Lithium-ion batteries continues, with users preferring the light weight and enhanced run-time over Ni-Cd technology. Safety features are also popular in power tools with Hitachi Power Tools Australia continuing to design tools with the end user in mind. Its latest brushless cordless angle grinder, the G18DBAL, was specifically designed with an array of safety features, including kick-back protection, paddle switch and overload protection to an anti-vibration side handle. Key trends in the hand tools category include improving safety and saving time, with multi-function tools particularly growing in this segment.
German designed WERA tools has also released several time saving alternatives onto the ustralian market, with the company designing original products never seen before. WERA sales director overseas, Ralf Josch, said although WERA does produce a screwdriver and a ratchet, it is not an everyday screwdriver or ratchet. “WERA designed a laser edge to the head of its screw-
driver. Th is allows the screwdriver to actually grip the socket, so you can let go of the screwdriver without it falling to the ground. So it is not just a normal screwdriver because it does not fall out of the screw and it is not magnetic,” Mr Josch said.
“It is not only the innovation we implement but the materials we use, which are very strong and undergo more stress on the steel than a usual screwdriver. Each tool grip also has a patented handle designed specifi cally to fi t into the palm of the hand,” he said.
WERA has also launched its innovative tools in a ‘take-it-easy’ colour coding system, so users can easily refer to size and tool shape. WERA’s ‘hold it’ function for sockets is also proving popular, where each WERA socket with this capability allows the user to temporarily grip the bolt or screw when plugged into the socket, without it falling out.
Mumme Tools announces new leadership
One Australian tool manufacturer that has continued to grow and evolve since its inception in 1936 is Mumme Products, with the Mumme brand maintaining its commitment to providing quality manufactured tools that ‘do their job’. This year the Mumme Products brand is celebrating 80 years of manufacturing hand tools in Australia. The Mumme family have
produced forged hand tools in South Australia for three generations and are Australia’s leading forged hand tool manufacturer. The business started during the depression of the 1930’s when the late Bill Mumme, a tool smith, was having difficulty finding work. He began forging copper soldering irons, for the defence industry. Soldering irons remained the principal priority of the business during WWII as part of the war effort.
Bill’s sons, Chris and Des, joined in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, and began to diversify into other forged tools such as wrecking bars and crowbars, with its bars still made the same way as they were back then.
Chris and Des Mumme took over the business in the late 1970’s, and continued to develop the range of products. Des retired in the late 1990’s and Chris’ sons Adam and Matthew took on principal roles in the business. The Mumme brand has grown dramatically over the years, especially since the late 1990’s. The business has acquired several Australian manufacturing brands, including the Lock Tool Company, Evro Tools, James Watt Tools and Melville Ladders, whose products have been incorporated into
the Mumme Products range.
Mumme Products tools are now exclusively specified for use in many mine sites, councils, defence contracts, and are well-loved by builders, contractors and home handy persons.
More recently Mumme Tools was pleased to announce the appointment of a new managing director, Greg Lowe.
Known for his passion for Australian manufacturing and commitment to growing the business and leading the organisation forward, Mr Lowe has a background in the automotive parts manufacturing sector.
Recently he spent the last eight years as general manager of TI Automotive, a manufacturer in the automotive industry supplies area.
Steering the growth of the Mumme Products brand, as well as growing the distribution of its sister company’s products, Klein Tools, Mr Lowe has already begun to implement many positive changes to the business in order to grow the brand.
Kincrome maintains momentum
The new Kincrome air tools range is just one of many recent launches by the company, with the range designed specifically to offer the tradesperson, industrial user and DIY enthusiast, a comprehensive range of air tools.
Recognised by the trade as a leading industrial and commercial tool brand, Kincrome continues to stock an extensive range of pneumatic products including air compressors, air tools and accessories.
The Kincrome air tools have been built to last, are covered with a two-year warranty and have been relentlessly tested and proven in the field, with attention to quality, reliability and the ultimate in performance, according to national account manager, Marcus Alexander.
“The air tools range includes over twenty class leading products, including impact wrenches, powerful air hammers, die grinders and air riveters,” he said.
Key points on the air tools include:
• No ‘Test & Tag’ required on each tool, only the compressor.
• Economical – only one power source is required, the tools are generally cheaper than power equivalents.
• Durable – power tools are prone to burning out when jammed.
• Safety – electrical hazards are less likely to exist when using the tools.
• Ergonomic – lack of electric motor means smaller, lighter tools.
• Ease of use – infinitely adjustable in speed, more compact with less internal moving parts.
• Versatile – can be used in any country regardless of the power source.
• More powerful – more power and torque, consuming less energy than equivalent power tools.
• Power to weight ratio – an air tool is generally half the size and weight of an equivalent powered impact wrench.
• Run cooler – electric motors are cooled by the dirty ambient air, air tools cooled by the filtered and dried air supplied by the power source (compressor).
• Less affected by dirty environments – as above, clean filtered air is supplied to the tool at all times unlike electric grinders/sanders that draw the dirty dusty air to cool them.
The range includes: impact wrenches, ratchet wrenches, straight and angle die grinders, cut-off tool, angle sander kit, random orbital sander, hammer chisel set, air grease gun, needle scaler attachment, composite air drill, reversible drill, air hydraulic riveter, air body panel saw and several air fi lter/regulators.
Kincrome also recently introduced a new limited edition pink work-
“It is a great little range which we are all really proud of and we look forward to seeing how the
market receives it. This is something new for Kincrome and we believe that there is an opportunity to develop a customised range targeting women that work on the tools every day. Although this was not exclusively advertised as a Mother’s Day promotion, we believe that it was the perfect time to launch such a promotion to help support the release of our new pink products,” he said.
The range includes: a 134 piece workshop combo kit, eight metre tape measure, chest and trolley combo, 48 piece pink socket set, magnetic stubby holder, pink drinks cooler, as well as pink storage with port-
able Bluetooth speaker.
“We have done our best to create a mix of traditional Kincrome items which we are famous for and also a few promotional items to appeal to the
masses,” Mr Alexander said.
Adding to its comprehensive range of vehicle storage is Kincrome’s new
1600mm gullwing truck box, designed to target price pointed competitors in the market. The 51099 gullwing truck box is designed with many features including: chequer plate
steel construction, UV stabilised white powder coat, dual sided reinforced doors with dual gas struts on each door, stainless steel T-handle locks (keyed alike) and a 130 litre storage capacity. “This is a low profile designed unit and is ideal for mounting behind the cabin of utes and trucks. Th is is only a promotional item for now, however, if it is successful like its predecessors (51096 and 51097) it may just become core,” Mr Alexander said.
As part of its constant evolution of products, Kincrome has reviewed its range of
soft storage products.
“As part of this review we have achieved lower price points than our current range while increasing the quality of each product compared to the previous superseded models. Th e most notable change is that we have upgraded the materials so that the bags are made of much stronger and tougher 1680D (Denier) polyester across our new bag range, which means they are much less prone to splitting or tearing,” he said. “Other changes include the new colour scheme with two tone inner/outer fabric colour, extra padded shoulder straps, thick stainless handle for comfort, additional side reinforcement for greater rigidity on the K7421 tote bag, removable internal dividers in the K7420 mobile bag, soft hip pad for extra comfort, and PVC reinforced lids for strength and easier access on the K7422 wide mouth bag,” Mr Alexander said.
The range includes a mobile utility bag (700mm), tool tote bag (450mm) and wide mouth bag (500mm) with many more exciting bag options arriving shortly.