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Ryobi recently announced new hand and hobby tools, and today sent out news about another new online-only tape measure.
There are a couple of other noteworthy tools, which I’ll cover separately, and when looking up the price I came across this product image in a Home Depot listing.
Ryobi doesn’t just have a smattering of random hand and hobby tools anymore, this is a lineup.
The image shows Ryobi hammers, scissors, pliers and cutters, aviation snips, levels, screwdrivers, wrench sets, hand saws, socket sets, mechanics tool sets, adjustable wrenches, zippered pouches, utility knives, a mini hacksaw, stapler, and a selection of hobby tools.
Home Depot’s Ryobi tool brand is best known for their value-priced power tools and accessories, which are primarily aimed at homeowners, DIYers, and hobbyists.
They entered the hobby space in recent years, and have been complemented their battery-powered offerings with hand tools. The focus on renovation and general purpose tools is relatively new.
While Home Depot and Ryobi entered this space with limited offerings over the years, their current efforts look to be concerted and part of a larger brand strategy.
Lowe’s – Home Depot’s top competitor – has two flagship tool brands, Craftsman and Kobalt. They have a partnership with Craftsman, and Kobalt is a Lowe’s house brand in the same way Husky is Home Depot’s.
Both Craftsman and Kobalt are well-rounded brands, each with a broad selection of products in many categories, such as power tools, outdoor tools, storage, hand tools, workshop accessories, and more.
The same cannot be said about Home Depot’s Ryobi or Husky brands, but this could change if Ryobi’s new offerings sell well enough to fuel further expansion.
I’d say that Home Depot has Lowe’s beat with respect to mid-level and professional hand tools, but that Lowe’s seems to have a stronger focus on entry-level and value-priced offerings for home users.
So far, Home Depot still seems to be testing the waters with Ryobi’s hand tool offerings. Many of the new hobby tool SKUs are set to be available in-store. However, Home Depot seems disinclined to give shelf space for most of the general purpose tools, especially in categories where they already have value-priced options by Husky or Crescent.
It’s going to be interesting to see how things progress, and whether Ryobi’s hand tool line picks up enough steam.