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Black Friday Tool Blowout Thread

This topic contains 189 replies, has 24 voices, and was last updated by  Miamicuse 7 months ago.

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  • #705874

    GTokley
    Pro
    Madoc, ON

    I am also amazed that the Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals are still going. They should just call it cyber week.

    I did pick up a couple odds and ends yesterday on line, where i found a decent promo. I guess the extended Monday is not all bad

    I agree!

    I guess it doesn’t matter as long a person can find a deal. Everyone wants to get a deal.

    Greg

    instagram.com/gregtokley/

    #707624

    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Today I got an email from Lowes for a $50 off for $250 or more in store purchase till the end of the year for Lowes for Pros members.

    I remember some years back Home Depot used to send me $50 off on $100 purchases at year end as ProXtra members. Haven’t seen any of those anymore.

    #707640

    r-ice
    Pro
    Durham region, ON

    right now in canada, i am just waiting for boxing day sales, as black friday sales weren’t all that great this year.

    #707642

    Boschmanbrian
    Pro
    Montreal , QC, Canada

    right now in canada, i am just waiting for boxing day sales, as black friday sales weren’t all that great this year.

    I like good deals. But I’m definitely not going to be waiting in line or getting trampled on just for a deal. LoL

    #707645

    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Down here boxing day sale includes mostly left over Christmas trees LOL and decorative ornaments LOL.

    #707646

    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    Today I got an email from Lowes for a $50 off for $250 or more in store purchase till the end of the year for Lowes for Pros members.

    I remember some years back Home Depot used to send me $50 off on $100 purchases at year end as ProXtra members. Haven’t seen any of those anymore.

    I got that Lowes deal today also, I needed some ceiling grid for a job, worked the numbers to get the total to 251 and saved an extra 37 bucks. then the balance of the order was 500 so I ran that on a separate transaction and got my regular 5% instead of the 20%. Anything extra you can put in your pocket is a plus in my book.

    #707647

    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    OK here is a deal what do you guys think? The numbers look pretty good for what’s included.

    It is a Home Depot “Pro Xtra Special Buy Of The Week” Exclusive.

    $499 USD for the following.

    Milwaukee M18 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Combo Kit (7-Tool) with 4 Batteries, 2 Chargers, PACKOUT Rolling Tool Box, 2GAL Shop Vac $499 plus free shipping or in store pick up.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-M18-18-Volt-Lithium-Ion-Cordless-Combo-Kit-7-Tool-with-4-Batteries-Charger-and-PACKOUT-Rolling-Tool-Box-2697-26PO-0880-20P/308373202

    1/2 in. M18 Compact Hammer Drill/Driver (2607-20)
    M18 1/4 in. Hex Impact Driver (2656-20)
    M18 Circular Saw (2630-20)
    M18 Hackzall (2625-20)
    M18 Multi Tool (2626-20)
    M18 Work Light (2635-20)
    2 M18 3.0 Ah Battery (48-11-1815)
    M18 1.5 Ah. Battery (48-11-1812)
    M12/M18 Dual voltage Charger (48-59-1812)
    PACKOUT 22 in. Rolling Tool Box (48-22-8426)
    M18 2 Gal. Wet/Dry Vacuum with 6′ Flexible Hose, Crevice Tool, Utility Nozzle, HEPA Filter
    5.0Ah Battery
    Charger (0880-20P)

    You end up with two 3Ah batteries, one 1.5ah battery and one 5ah battery, with two dual voltage chargers.
    Hammer drill + impact + circular saw + OMT + hackzall + work light + rolling packout box + 2G vac.

    For me I bought the vac+charger+5ah battery during Thanksgiving for $150. So I can return that and the rest of the stuff basically cost me $350.

    The only catch is this is NOT FUEL, and it’s not brushless and not ONE-KEY. So I am not sure about getting the older stuff.

    The only thing I really need in this bunch is the hackzall, the 2G vac, and may be the rolling tool box is nice. The other stuff would be kind of duplicate but always nice to have backup tools.

    #707654

    Doobie
    Pro

    The only thing I’m looking to maybe get a deal on is at Amazon.ca for boxing day.

    Been contemplating for some time getting a video doorbell for a long time and I think I foundone I would like that would also work with the Amazon Alexa system which is another thing I’ve been contemplating. I have a feeling the Alexa stuff will be a boxing day item as from I read they had some sweet deals on them at Thanksgiving/BF.

    #707655

    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    The only thing I’m looking to maybe get a deal on is at Amazon.ca for boxing day.

    Been contemplating for some time getting a video doorbell for a long time and I think I foundone I would like that would also work with the Amazon Alexa system which is another thing I’ve been contemplating. I have a feeling the Alexa stuff will be a boxing day item as from I read they had some sweet deals on them at Thanksgiving/BF.

    Is “A”lexa with “A”mazon kind of like “B”rittany with “B”osch?

    #707661

    CB
    Pro

    The only thing I really need in this bunch is the hackzall.

    Then why not just get the Hackzall you say you need, the much NICER Hackzall (2719) while you’re at it, for only $159, instead of spending $499 on a bunch of deprecated, obsolete versions of older M18 tools that Milwaukee and HD are trying to get rid of, since vastly improved versions of each of those tools are far and away better than anything included in that kit.

    The Hackzall included in that kit (2625) is the $99 special, and feels like a toy compared to the 2719. Have you ever picked them up and felt these two different models of Hackzalls side by side?

    Toy:

    Tool:

    There is so much different between these two than just the fuel battery and brushless motor. Even though they both appear at first glance to be shaped the same, the ergonomics between the two feel entirely different in the hand.

    If you already have the M18 system, I’d bring your own battery into the nearest store that displays both versions, and try each bare tool out on your own battery, side by side, before deciding which is the best value to YOUR usage and hands. THAT will be the better deal.

    #707698

    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    @cb, all good points.

    This kit comes with a free 2 gal vac + 5ah battery + dual voltage charger. I bought this kit during Thanksgiving and have not used it yet. I think I paid $150 for it. So my first thought was with this entire combo at 500, I am really paying $350 for the rest of them minus the vac.

    The rolling case is interesting. I am already invested in another mobile tool storage solution, but an added rolling case for other needs may be useful. So with this one normally priced at $90, I am down to $260 for the rest of the tools.

    Out of the rest of the stuff, I would like a one handed hackzall. Yes I looked at the available options, there is a Bosch version of it, but it’s a dated brushed model. The Milwaukee line yes I have handled it at the stores, the FUEL version is quite a bit heavier and larger in the hand, I actually like the M12 version better, but the power and stroke length is obviously less, and I don’t want to get into the M12 line yet. Now I have only handled the M18 FUEL and the M18. I have never seen the M18 brushless non-FUEL version, and I don’t know if they have one. The rest of these tools I already have better versions of them, but it’s a bunch of new batteries and chargers too.

    I think I will pass on this, but for someone looking to get into the platform at the ground level it’s a good deal just because it’s a lot of tools and quite a few batteries and chargers.

    #707700

    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Now this one is all M18 FUEL and I might pull the trigger this time.

    M18 FUEL 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Combo Kit (3-Tool) with (3) Batteries and PACKOUT Case $399 + Free Shipping

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-M18-FUEL-18-Volt-Lithium-Ion-Brushless-Cordless-Combo-Kit-3-Tool-with-3-Batteries-and-PACKOUT-Case-2997-23PO-48-59-1850R/308373228?irgwc=1&cm_mmc=afl-ir-10451-456723-&clickid=wvbyAXxBST8oSg0TdcTLGXgIUkgR4zwhRTVa080

    1 Packout case
    1 hammer drill
    1 impact driver
    1 hackzall
    2 chargers
    2 5ah batteries
    1 6ah battery

    #707728

    CB
    Pro

    Much better. That kit caught my eye as well last week when I was tool shopping, and pausing on the fence between two new to me battery systems, attempting to answer two questions:

    1. Does Milwaukee have a cordless tool, of any kind, fuel or not, in either M12 or M18, that promises to pocket-cut pre-installed drywall as cleanly and as dust free as the Makita XDS01Z? (The answer was no).

    2. Notwithstanding the answer to question #1 above, does Milwaukee’s current and forthcoming collection of tools offer more problem solving or time saving utility in the kinds of tasks that I anticipate doing.

    I won’t answer that here yet. This is only the segue to explain why I was looking at Milwaukee M18 tools in the first place, and why during the course of that look see, I too, found this $399, 3 tool, 3 battery, 2 charger, 1 “PackOut” case package “deal” on what appeared to be the latest and greatest M18 FUEL tools Milwaukee produces.

    But there is a catch. There is ALWAYS a catch, and I was curious what it could be. The included tools are not quite the latest and greatest… but very close.

    Let’s take the impact driver as an example. The included tool is the 2853, which by Milwaukee’s claimed specifications, is the most torque-y-ist 1/4″ impact driver (2,000 inch lbs), in the smallest form factor (4.59″ body length), with the most available ampacity on tap (if using a 9 amp hr battery). What’s not to like?

    Well, it turns out that Milwaukee also makes the 2857, which has all the previously mentioned specs, but adds One Key. Big deal one might say… “I can see 100 feet around me, I don’t need One Key to track my tools.” Yet I recently learned that One Key does so much more than track tools like a Tick. The One Key software actually enables one to pre program the speeds, beats per minute, and the sequence of selected parameters in the operation of the tool itself.

    Keep in mind, as an aging Baby Boomer, I personally don’t want to have to use a cell phone to make my tools work. I can’t even remember where I put my cellphone half the time, and the other half the time I’m still trying to figure out how it works, and my phone is over 10 years old, which is pre historic in cellphone years. But I can easily see how a GenX’r or a millennial or GenY’r would find One Key useful, enjoyable, or even necessary, depending on their mindset.

    And here’s something else: The CEO of Milwaukee, Joe Galli, is 1,000% committed to the One Key system. In the most recent investor’s conference for TTI, Galli boasted about how much company money he has spent recruiting the smartest brightest boldest minds he can brige directly off the campus of MIT… with the mandate that Milwaukee is to become a technology company, where software is king, not just a tool company.

    Galli has a grudge. He himself was recruited off the Northwestern University campus to go work at Black and Decker in the 80’s. While at B&D, he dusted off a forlorn and long forgotten name from the history of power tools past… DeWalt… and transformed it into the most well known and instantly recognizable cordless power tools made… displacing Makita, who practically created the cordless tool category, in popularity by the mid 90’s. So swift was Galli’s meteoric rise to success at rebuilding a brand, he thought he should become CEO of the entire conglomerate now known as Stanley Black & Decker.

    Instead, the CEO he wanted to displace let him go. That CEO still has his job, but Galli was out on the street. Not for long, as offers poured in from all corners. Even Jeff Bezos offered Galli the top job running Amazon… which Galli took, for a short time. Eventually Galli ended up as Newman Rubbermaid’s CEO, but the board of directors fired him a few years later, which thoroughly humbled him, and it takes a lot to humble Galli.

    Galli is a force of nature. How does one take a dead brand from the annuls of history, and build it back to become not only one of the most well known names in the trades, but the most well known tool name among everyday households? At one point during DeWalt’s heyday in the late 90’s, the entire tool corral in any given big box store was literally glowing with yellow. I remember when Galli forced Home Depot to kick out and close out other tool brands to make more shelf space for DeWalt’s ever expanding line of tools.

    Notice now how the Home Depot tool corral is now glowing Lime Green? That’s Galli. That’s Galli’s aggressiveness. He took another forlorn and forgotten brand, Ryobi, and transformed it into a household name. Maybe not a tradesman name, but go into any Home Depot tool corral, and you will see 24 feet of Ryobi, 16 feet of Milwaukee, 16 feet of Ridgid… and only 8 feet of DeWalt. Ryobi will be first, leading the aisle, and DeWalt will be last. That’s Galli’s grudge.

    Galli, is running Ryobi, Ridgid, and Milwaukee under one manufacturing roof of TTI in China. Galli is positioning each brand to slightly different markets: Milwaukee to the trade specific vertical markets. Thus Milwaukee has PEX tools for plumbing. Milwaukee has hydraulic crimping tools for lineman electricians. And the marketing energy of Milwaukee is directed not toward residential construction, but toward vertical markets in the commercial industrial applications.

    Galli sends his people directly to utility companies, like Southern California Edison, with the edict to convince the entire utility company to “convert” to Milwaukee tools in every truck in the entire fleet. All the tools are switched out. Then the linemen start using the Milwaukee tools at home.

    Galli sends his MIT grads to downtown office buildings under construction, to follow, interview, and take notes from union tradesmen about what kind of tool they would like to have, or what they wish their current tool did. Then the MIT brains, some 1,500 of them that Galli has hired thus far, come back to headquarters and bust out their CAD programs.

    Galli referres to DeWalt not just as “the competition”, but as “the enemy”. Literally. That is the adjective he utters, even in investor conferences. “The enemy”. That’s a serious grudge right there, no doubt stemming from when he was fired from heading DeWalt, after putting DeWalt back on the map. Galli was a wrestler in high school and college. He is used to laying it all out there on the mat. He apparently upsets a lot of people working under him along the way, but his firing from Rubbermaid deflated his head just small enough to fit under Horst Pudwill’s (Chairman of TTI) vision of where TTI wants to be… number one in power tools, cordless power tools in particular.

    And that vision is now highly technological, software oriented, and One Key centric when it comes to Milwaukee power tools. So do you really want to spend $399 on brand new tools without the power and future functionality of One Key? Or is it worth it to spend $100 more and be really up to date with the creative solutions those MIT engineers are cooking up?

    By the way, my answer to question #2 above was no. I ended up choosing Makita, not just because Makita makes the tools I use and want to upgrade to, but because I like Makita’s business philosophy a little bit better. It doesn’t seem powered by rabid revenge. It seems sustained by a conservative and consistent ethical model of building quality and longevity in the tools themselves.

    Galli’s former brand, DeWalt, razzled and dazzled, and filled the tool corral to the point where there seemed to be no other choice, but at the end of the day, a deficit in quality worked it’s way into the product line, despite it’s dominant marketing.

    Perhaps Galli is using the Ryobi line to test some innovations in the homeowner space before porting over those features to the professional line. Perhaps Galli is positioning Ridgid to the middle ground of “prosumers”… tradespeople in the far more common carpentry of light residential construction, or advanced handy persons seeking long term value over absolute price. And Milwaukee is clearly positioned as TTI’s halo brand, funded in no small part by the tremendous revenues that TTI yields out of the more affordable and accessible Ryobi brand.

    Whatever Galli’s game is, he is certainly playing to win, and that might be a good argument to adopt one of his platforms in order to ride his wave of victory once again. In his own words, that will most certainly be software centric, using intelligent programming to eek more efficiency out of battery usage, and more control out of the operator’s usage. So if you can afford to buy into the M18 Fuel line, do you really want to ignore One Key?

    I’m ignoring it, because I don’t buy kits. Kits are always made to appear like a good value, and I suppose they often are to those who don’t sweat the details… but details are the very bars of my prison. Details are the prism through which I review just about anything. And, I’m not buying a system as much as I am buying a tool. It’s too bad that means running different batteries, but I want the best tool for the specific job, regardless of who makes it.

    #707751

    Doobie
    Pro

    By the way, my answer to question #2 above was no. I ended up choosing Makita, not just because Makita makes the tools I use and want to upgrade to, but because I like Makita’s business philosophy a little bit better. It doesn’t seem powered by rabid revenge. It seems sustained by a conservative and consistent ethical model of building quality and longevity in the tools themselves.

    I kinda see Bosch in that same model although they are very slow to bring tools they have overseas to NA unlike Makita.

    #707771

    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    1. Does Milwaukee have a cordless tool, of any kind, fuel or not, in either M12 or M18, that promises to pocket-cut pre-installed drywall as cleanly and as dust free as the Makita XDS01Z? (The answer was no).

    If the drywall thickness is 1/2″, possibly. In the M12 line, there is a 2522-21XC M12 FUEL 3 in. Compact Cut Off Tool, it can be fitted with a metal blade, a carbide blade or a diamond blade. It comes with a shroud for dust collection and depth control, the blade can rotate forward or backward, and it is a one handed operation.

    https://www.cpooutlets.com/milwaukee-2522-21xc-m12-fuel-3-in–compact-cut-off-tool-kit/miln2522-21xc,default,pd.html?ref=pla&zmam=31282435&zmas=47&zmac=722&zmap=miln2522-21xc&gclid=CjwKCAiA0uLgBRABEiwAecFnkxm5jaKNtKslCTE-WKKyQjIwG-c4hHOKl4UqqAI1g7vjeK6mvwC1_BoCzw4QAvD_BwE

    The downside is the maximum depth when the shroud is on is 0.6″, no more. So it will work with 1/2″ and probably 5/8″ drywall, but not 3/4″. This was the tool I was researching a few weeks ago and disappointed at the limited depth.

    #707772

    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    I’m ignoring it, because I don’t buy kits. Kits are always made to appear like a good value, and I suppose they often are to those who don’t sweat the details… but details are the very bars of my prison. Details are the prism through which I review just about anything. And, I’m not buying a system as much as I am buying a tool. It’s too bad that means running different batteries, but I want the best tool for the specific job, regardless of who makes it.

    I often wonder, why are there so many kits? Why don’t they let the consumer built my own kit then quote me a price? Even Denny’s has built your own breakfast! Why not built my own kit based on what I need. May be I want the brushed hackzall but the FUEL impact, and I want slim packs for the impact but 6ah for the hackzall. I could understand in the old days everything is in hard molded cases, but now everything is in bags so no reason to not be able to mix and match.

    Thanks for sharing the story of Joe Galli. I have heard about him before, but not to the details you went into. I do think both Ryobi and Milwaukee have incredible extensive offerings under his leadership. I did buy into the M18 platform so I hope they can keep up. One of the ONE-KEY feature I was intrigued by is the ability to lock down your tools at the end of the day so if it’s stolen from your truck, it cannot be used by the thieves or if it comes within range of another ONE-KEY app, it might even tell you where your tools are. Definitely there will be more and more usability improvements on the ONE-KEY but for now, I am not getting on the ONE-KEY.

    I have no idea what’s going on with Ridgid. It doesn’t come close to the offering from Ryobi and Milwaukee, almost seems like a forgotten step child of TTI. I don’t know why the Ridgid line is so limited, may be it has something to do with the brand name licensing deal with Home Depot and Emerson, that they one hand tied behind their backs.

    #707790

    Boschmanbrian
    Pro
    Montreal , QC, Canada

    I’m ignoring it, because I don’t buy kits. Kits are always made to appear like a good value, and I suppose they often are to those who don’t sweat the details… but details are the very bars of my prison. Details are the prism through which I review just about anything. And, I’m not buying a system as much as I am buying a tool. It’s too bad that means running different batteries, but I want the best tool for the specific job, regardless of who makes it.

    I often wonder, why are there so many kits? Why don’t they let the consumer built my own kit then quote me a price? Even Denny’s has built your own breakfast! Why not built my own kit based on what I need. May be I want the brushed hackzall but the FUEL impact, and I want slim packs for the impact but 6ah for the hackzall. I could understand in the old days everything is in hard molded cases, but now everything is in bags so no reason to not be able to mix and match.

    Thanks for sharing the story of Joe Galli. I have heard about him before, but not to the details you went into. I do think both Ryobi and Milwaukee have incredible extensive offerings under his leadership. I did buy into the M18 platform so I hope they can keep up. One of the ONE-KEY feature I was intrigued by is the ability to lock down your tools at the end of the day so if it’s stolen from your truck, it cannot be used by the thieves or if it comes within range of another ONE-KEY app, it might even tell you where your tools are. Definitely there will be more and more usability improvements on the ONE-KEY but for now, I am not getting on the ONE-KEY.

    I have no idea what’s going on with Ridgid. It doesn’t come close to the offering from Ryobi and Milwaukee, almost seems like a forgotten step child of TTI. I don’t know why the Ridgid line is so limited, may be it has something to do with the brand name licensing deal with Home Depot and Emerson, that they one hand tied behind their backs.

    I am guessing it’s an entry way for people to buy the kits with most of the common tools needed for general work. Then they hopefully get them to keep buying into the platform.

    @cb great read and good history of the man behind the tools. Thanks for the info.

    #707885

    CB
    Pro

    No problem… I think it is a fascinating study on the effectiveness of the sheer force of will that one man can exert on an entire industry.

    One can notice insights into what motivates people… by observing the transformation of the DeWalt, Ryobi, Milwaukee, and the partially licensed Ridgid brands under the leadership of one forceful individual.

    Adding names like “Fuel” to denote such an obvious “invention” like a battery level meter, and expanding the meaning and significance of the phrase “Fuel” to the point where the very expression “fuel” has now become a commonly used verb in cordless tool parlance to denote battery charge level, regardless of brand.

    Another cool and instantly memorable name… “Packout” this time converting a verb phrase “pack out” back into a brand trademark that is instantly relatable, leap frogging the more esoteric and less engaging names like “systainer” and “boxx” to something actionable. That Packout name is here to stay, and the significance of that freshly minted sub brand cannot be underestimated.

    Mining history and minting from existing sub brands… like Sawzall, evolving into Hackzall for the one handed version of the same… this is marketing brilliance at it’s finest. The kind of energy that inspires these mind searing, memorable sub brands is entirely absent from the any other master brand.

    How much traction did Bosch’s “Panther” series of reciprocating saws gain? How serious do any of you take Porter Cable’s “Tiger” sub brand of reciprocating saws? Yet “HackZall”, which didn’t exist prior to “Panther” or “Tiger”, has already risen to the level of being a verb in and of itself. Hey, will you HackZall that off right quick? Can you imagine anyone saying Hey, will you Tiger that off right quick?

    This is magic that makes or breaks businesses. This same guy, Galli, did the same magic for Black and Decker. I’ll let the findings of fact in a U.S. District Court (for the Eastern District of Virginia – 26 F. Supp. 2d 834 (E.D. Va. 1998) November 16, 1998) case from 20 years ago speak for themselves:

    FINDINGS OF FACT

    In 1990, Black & Decker faced a “very desperate position” in the market for professional power tools. (Tr. at 145.) “[E]nd user demand … had diminished to a point of major concern,” as Black & Decker had a market share of only eight percent compared to competitors with a brand share as high as fifty-three percent. (Tr. at 145, 194; PTX 1338.) The company was “losing any hope of competing” and was considering dropping its line of professional power tools altogether. (Tr. at 145 – 46.)

    *844 Joseph Galli, the new Vice-President of Marketing for Black & Decker’s U.S. Power Tool Division, concluded that the company needed to change its image in order to revitalize its position in the professional power tool market. (Tr. at 146.) Tradesmen thought of Black & Decker as a brand for homeowners and confused its finest professional tools with its consumer-grade items because they had the same color scheme. (Tr. at 146 – 47.) In contrast, “every [other] professional power tool company that had any significant segment of the market had [its] own distinctive identity” with Makita known for its teal blue professional power tools, Milwaukee known for its fire engine red colors, Bosch known for its royal blue colors, and Hitachi known for its bright green colors. (Tr. at 147 – 49.)

    Against this background, Galli decided to introduce a “new family of products with a new distinctive proprietary identity” that would differentiate the company’s professional power tools from its consumer power tools. (Tr. at 149.) The “DeWalt” line would have a “unique distinctive proprietary color and look” that potential purchasers could associate with high quality products specifically designed and targeted for professional users. (Tr. at 153.) A new color scheme would identify this flagship line, consistent with the advice of retailers who had made clear that color was a significant factor in product purchasing decisions. (Tr. at 154.)

    Black & Decker formally introduced the DeWalt line at a national sales meeting in late January, 1992. (Tr. at 156.) It began shipping the first wave of DeWalt power tools in the beginning of February. (Tr. at 156.) There were thirty-three different products in the initial launch, and the entire line used yellow as the dominant product color, “accented carefully by … black and the selective use of silver on those tools that had exposed metal components.” (Tr. at 153 – 56; PTX 700 – 05.) An industrial design team carefully decided how to paint each tool in the line so as “to give it the distinctive DeWalt identity.” (Tr. at 156 – 59, 175 – 76, 929; PTX 700 – 05.)

    Galli’s decision to use a yellow and black color scheme generated considerable controversy at Black & Decker. His boss laughed at the tools, calling them “bananas, canaries, [and] lemons.” (Tr. at 260.) None of Black & Decker’s competitors in the professional power tool market used a yellow and black color scheme, making his choice even more unusual. (Tr. at 261.) But Galli persisted, and at his direction, Black & Decker undertook extensive marketing efforts designed to promote the DeWalt look among professional power tool users. (Tr. at 160 – 63.)

    “SWARM teams” which consisted of company representatives who traveled to different cities in yellow and black vans or trucks visited construction sites in order to show off DeWalt products to professional tradesmen. (Tr. at 160 – 69; PTX 887, PTX 894, PTX 1342.) A separate sales force went to retail stores in order to familiarize customers with the new tools, while product displays, print advertising, and event sponsorships rounded out the marketing campaign. (Tr. at 168 – 71.) In 1992 alone, Black & Decker invested approximately fifty million dollars to promote DeWalt power tools (Tr. at 171), and by 1998 the line had grown to include 250 similarly-colored products (Tr. at 158 – 59).

    These promotional efforts consistently displayed a “yellow theme with the black highlights and the silver highlights,” so that customers would associate those colors with the DeWalt line. (Tr. at 172.) As Richard Rapuano, the Senior Product Manager for Black & Decker’s Woodworking, Drilling, and Fastening Tools, testified at trial, “all the different things that we were doing were either yellow, black and silver or yellow and black. And everything was emblazoned with the DeWalt logo to try and drive just the whole image.” (Tr. at 891.)

    Some of the advertisements that Black & Decker used also promoted the DeWalt line as having been “Made in the U.S.A.” The 1992 catalog that first introduced the new DeWalt products had “Made in the U.S.A.” logos throughout (Tr. at 223 – 24; PTX 700.) Similarly, the trucks that Black & Decker sent out to demonstrate DeWalt tools at construction sites often had “Made in the U.S.A.” decals affixed to their sides, as did a Busch Grand National race car that the company *845 sponsored. (Tr. at 219 – 20.) The purpose of this marketing campaign was to highlight the fact that of the thirty-three products that Black & Decker included in its initial DeWalt launch, thirty were manufactured in the United States. (Tr. at 212 – 13.) Although Black & Decker only produces approximately eighty-seven percent of its DeWalt tools in the United States (Tr. at 211), the remaining thirteen percent have had accurate labels indicating their correct country of origin at all times relevant to this case (Tr. at 283).

    Black & Decker took several other substantive steps to ensure that professional power tool users would associate the DeWalt look with quality products. It instituted a 1800 number that purchasers could call for answers to questions and help with application ideas. (Tr. at 159.) It also provided a year of free maintenance with each product purchased, guaranteed a 48-hour turnaround time on product repairs, and offered loaner tools in the interim “unheard of service breakthroughs” designed to cultivate a franchise around the DeWalt line. (Tr. at 159 – 60.) Black & Decker’s financial support for various vocational training programs further bolstered the DeWalt image in the minds of professional power tool users. (Tr. at 169 – 70.)

    As a result of these marketing efforts, the “DeWalt look” quickly took hold in the spring of 1992. (Tr. at 172 – 73, 891 – 93, 1837.) Customers remarked that they “loved the yellow tools” and even identified the products as “DeWalt yellow.” (Tr. at 891 – 93.) Newspaper and magazine articles celebrated Black & Decker’s success in promoting the DeWalt image, and over twenty marketing awards honored the level of popular recognition that the tools had acquired. (Tr. at 171 – 72, 182 – 83; PTX 712 – 31, PTX 886, PTX 891.) The Harvard Business School created a case study on the DeWalt line, and described the new color scheme as a major factor in its success. (Tr. at 183 – 84.) Whereas Black & Decker’s professional power tool sales totaled only $36 million in 1991, they rose to over $120 million in 1992 and are projected to exceed $1.2 billion in 1998 now capturing over 50% of the market. (Tr. at 180 – 81, 194; PTX 1339.)

    This same marketing maverick, Joeseph Galli, is behind the Ryobi and Milwaukee renaissance that has been taking place over the last 10 years. I don’t know if the actual quality matches the hype, or if the wave he is riding will crash on the shore as all the previous waves he has ridden, but for the time being, look out.

    #708087

    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Speaking of memorable and sticky names, I agree that “FUEL” and “Hackzall” are great names.

    I didn’t much care for “Packout”. I thought “ToughBox” was pretty cool and self explanatory.

    I also like “FatMax”, it’s simple and easy.

    Ridgid’s “JobMax” I didn’t care for, sounded kind of silly tome, then they came out with “MegaMax”.

    Bosch’s “FlexiClick” was confusing to me, first time I heard of it I thought it was a name for a battery powered sex toy for women LOL.

    Come to think of it, Harbor Freight’s made in China cheap tools like to use American cities in the branding, like Pittsburg hand tools, Chicago Electric power tools, Portland chainsaws, I don’t know why, did they think buyers of these tools would be misled into thinking those are tools made in the USA several generations ago?

    #708090

    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    And here’s something else: The CEO of Milwaukee, Joe Galli, is 1,000% committed to the One Key system. In the most recent investor’s conference for TTI, Galli boasted about how much company money he has spent recruiting the smartest brightest boldest minds he can brige directly off the campus of MIT… with the mandate that Milwaukee is to become a technology company, where software is king, not just a tool company.

    Galli has a grudge. He himself was recruited off the Northwestern University campus to go work at Black and Decker in the 80’s. While at B&D, he dusted off a forlorn and long forgotten name from the history of power tools past… DeWalt… and transformed it into the most well known and instantly recognizable cordless power tools made… displacing Makita, who practically created the cordless tool category, in popularity by the mid 90’s. So swift was Galli’s meteoric rise to success at rebuilding a brand, he thought he should become CEO of the entire conglomerate now known as Stanley Black & Decker.

    Instead, the CEO he wanted to displace let him go. That CEO still has his job, but Galli was out on the street. Not for long, as offers poured in from all corners. Even Jeff Bezos offered Galli the top job running Amazon… which Galli took, for a short time. Eventually Galli ended up as Newman Rubbermaid’s CEO, but the board of directors fired him a few years later, which thoroughly humbled him, and it takes a lot to humble Galli.

    Galli is a force of nature. How does one take a dead brand from the annuls of history, and build it back to become not only one of the most well known names in the trades, but the most well known tool name among everyday households? At one point during DeWalt’s heyday in the late 90’s, the entire tool corral in any given big box store was literally glowing with yellow. I remember when Galli forced Home Depot to kick out and close out other tool brands to make more shelf space for DeWalt’s ever expanding line of tools.

    Notice now how the Home Depot tool corral is now glowing Lime Green? That’s Galli. That’s Galli’s aggressiveness. He took another forlorn and forgotten brand, Ryobi, and transformed it into a household name. Maybe not a tradesman name, but go into any Home Depot tool corral, and you will see 24 feet of Ryobi, 16 feet of Milwaukee, 16 feet of Ridgid… and only 8 feet of DeWalt. Ryobi will be first, leading the aisle, and DeWalt will be last. That’s Galli’s grudge.

    Galli, is running Ryobi, Ridgid, and Milwaukee under one manufacturing roof of TTI in China. Galli is positioning each brand to slightly different markets: Milwaukee to the trade specific vertical markets. Thus Milwaukee has PEX tools for plumbing. Milwaukee has hydraulic crimping tools for lineman electricians. And the marketing energy of Milwaukee is directed not toward residential construction, but toward vertical markets in the commercial industrial applications.

    Galli sends his people directly to utility companies, like Southern California Edison, with the edict to convince the entire utility company to “convert” to Milwaukee tools in every truck in the entire fleet. All the tools are switched out. Then the linemen start using the Milwaukee tools at home.

    Galli sends his MIT grads to downtown office buildings under construction, to follow, interview, and take notes from union tradesmen about what kind of tool they would like to have, or what they wish their current tool did. Then the MIT brains, some 1,500 of them that Galli has hired thus far, come back to headquarters and bust out their CAD programs.

    Galli referres to DeWalt not just as “the competition”, but as “the enemy”. Literally. That is the adjective he utters, even in investor conferences. “The enemy”. That’s a serious grudge right there, no doubt stemming from when he was fired from heading DeWalt, after putting DeWalt back on the map. Galli was a wrestler in high school and college. He is used to laying it all out there on the mat. He apparently upsets a lot of people working under him along the way, but his firing from Rubbermaid deflated his head just small enough to fit under Horst Pudwill’s (Chairman of TTI) vision of where TTI wants to be… number one in power tools, cordless power tools in particular.

    And that vision is now highly technological, software oriented, and One Key centric when it comes to Milwaukee power tools. So do you really want to spend $399 on brand new tools without the power and future functionality of One Key? Or is it worth it to spend $100 more and be really up to date with the creative solutions those MIT engineers are cooking up?

    By the way, my answer to question #2 above was no. I ended up choosing Makita, not just because Makita makes the tools I use and want to upgrade to, but because I like Makita’s business philosophy a little bit better. It doesn’t seem powered by rabid revenge. It seems sustained by a conservative and consistent ethical model of building quality and longevity in the tools themselves.

    Galli’s former brand, DeWalt, razzled and dazzled, and filled the tool corral to the point where there seemed to be no other choice, but at the end of the day, a deficit in quality worked it’s way into the product line, despite it’s dominant marketing.

    Perhaps Galli is using the Ryobi line to test some innovations in the homeowner space before porting over those features to the professional line. Perhaps Galli is positioning Ridgid to the middle ground of “prosumers”… tradespeople in the far more common carpentry of light residential construction, or advanced handy persons seeking long term value over absolute price. And Milwaukee is clearly positioned as TTI’s halo brand, funded in no small part by the tremendous revenues that TTI yields out of the more affordable and accessible Ryobi brand.

    Whatever Galli’s game is, he is certainly playing to win, and that might be a good argument to adopt one of his platforms in order to ride his wave of victory once again. In his own words, that will most certainly be software centric, using intelligent programming to eek more efficiency out of battery usage, and more control out of the operator’s usage. So if you can afford to buy into the M18 Fuel line, do you really want to ignore One Key?

    I’m ignoring it, because I don’t buy kits. Kits are always made to appear like a good value, and I suppose they often are to those who don’t sweat the details… but details are the very bars of my prison. Details are the prism through which I review just about anything. And, I’m not buying a system as much as I am buying a tool. It’s too bad that means running different batteries, but I want the best tool for the specific job, regardless of who makes it.

    Where does this info come from,,, sound like promo. I don’t like the guy and will not buy his tools. I’m now trying to get rid of the few TTI tools I have but nobody is buying them.

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

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