Stanley Black & Decker agrees to buy Irwin & Lenox

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Forum topic by JayT posted 10-12-2016 04:58 PM 269 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4680 posts in 1632 days

10-12-2016 04:58 PM

Reported this morning: Stanley Black & Decker has agreed to purchase the Iwin and Lenox brands from Newell Rubbermaid for $1.95 billion.http

I wonder what this is going to mean for us as woodworkers. With SB&D being the parent company of DeWalt, I can’t imagine that they are going to want to keep multiple brands of similar items in production. Are the relatively recently introduced Irwin Marples saw blades going to continue? They have earned a good reputation, but compete directly with DeWalt’s Precision Trim series.

What about other categories such as twist drill bits, clamps, pliers, recip and jigsaw blades and numerous others?

I’d like to think that there will be some positives about combining the best ideas of the brands but don’t have that confidence after what happened when Stanley purchased Black & Decker/Dewalt several years ago. The competing brands of DeWalt, Bostitch & Porter Cable is what started the slide of PC to lower quality tools. Stanley decided to position PC as a step up brand that was better than B&D, but below DeWalt and Bostitch and ruined what used to be one of the premium woodworking tool brands. I’m afraid the same thing is going to happen here.

It’ll be interesting to see how it all shakes out over the next couple of years. What are your thoughts?

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

6 replies so far

View HickWillis's profile


43 posts in 80 days

#1 posted 10-12-2016 05:07 PM

Another link if you can’t get past the WSJ paywall:

One of my favorites quotes from the article:

The deal, expected to close in the first half of 2017, should result in annual cost savings of roughly $80 to $90 million by the third year after finalization, Stanley Black & Decker said.

That means they will pass the savings on to the consumer…right guys? ...right?

-- -Will

View Mosquito's profile


7925 posts in 1713 days

#2 posted 10-12-2016 05:07 PM

I hope things don’t change… Irwin and Lenox were two of my go-to’s for cutting blades

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View Fatherlewis's profile


28 posts in 46 days

#3 posted 10-12-2016 05:39 PM

My guess is that they leave it under the same name as it is currently. More market share that way, because there will always be people out there that don’t like DeWalt, or that don’t like Irwin. Not to mention all of the Irwin hand tools, that to the best of my knowledge, DeWalt doesn’t produce.

It would be silly to get rid of those competing brands because your big box stores(Lowes, Home Depot, Menards) carry different brands. I know Menards doesn’t carry DeWalt anything. They carry BD, Irwin, Bosch, and their in-house brand. Just a thought.

-- Zach, Ohio

View fuigb's profile


391 posts in 2378 days

#4 posted 10-12-2016 05:39 PM

Generally, consolidation is not a good thing for consumers: competition is lessened meaning fewer alternatives. For shareholders these can be quite a boon due to economies of scale, consolidated teams, etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if through my mutual fund investments I’m a shareholder on both sides of this deal (assuming that these are public companies) so I should be thrilled. But as a guy and as a consumer I’m less than thrilled.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View GFactor's profile


75 posts in 1020 days

#5 posted 10-12-2016 06:20 PM

Not to mention all of the Irwin hand tools, that to the best of my knowledge, DeWalt doesn’t produce.

Dewalt started making hand tools a couple of years back and have expanded their lineup dramatically. Pretty much everything comes in Black and Yellow now. Off subject, but their ladders look really sweet (and yes I bought one for the looks).

I agree that I doubt much will change from the current positioning, however, I do think the same exact hand tool will be available with different names and logos on it, to save on production costs. Unfortunately, more than likely, the name and logo of the tool will determine the price, not the quality.


-- To Steal Ideas From One Person is Plagiarism; to Steal From Many is Research…

View JayT's profile


4680 posts in 1632 days

#6 posted 10-12-2016 06:29 PM

Thanks for the link, Will. When I did a google search for the article, it allows the WSJ one to appear in full. Link to it or paste the address into the browser and it hits the pay wall. Oh well, the USA Today article includes some additional information, too.

Zach, Mos. We can hope that things don’t change too much, but past history leads me to be pessimistic. SB&D has proven over and over again that they will do anything for the sake of the bottom line and I’m willing to bet that will mean eliminating at least one line to reduce production costs. Maybe they keep Irwin hand tools and reduce or eliminate the amount of time they were spending on establishing and expanding the DeWalt hand tool line.

fuigb, my thoughts exactly. I don’t see this as a long term positive for consumers.

Gfactor. I doubt the ladders change. They are actually made under license by Louisville Ladders and the only difference, AFAIK is the color scheme and about a $20 premium to have the DeWalt name on the side instead of Louisville. There are quite a few other DeWalt branded categories that work similarly, such as tool pouches (made by Custom Leather Craft) safety products (manufactured by Radians) and rolling tool chests (not sure of the OEM, but it’s not SB&D).

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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