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I have received word that a selection of SK Tools are coming to select Lowe’s stores around the country.
My local Lowe’s stores do not have any displays up (yet?), and I plan to check back throughout the holiday season.
SK Tools is known for producing high quality mechanics hand tools, and the brand went through another change of ownership in 2021.
Home Depot, Lowe’s top competitor, has Husky, Gearwrench, and Milwaukee mechanics tools in their main aisle and promotional gift centers. Lowe’s mechanics tool selection is currently comprised of Kobalt and Craftsman offerings.
I think that SK would be a fitting addition to Lowe’s mechanics hand tool lineup, although it remains to be seen whether this will happen.
New SK Tools are also available at Amazon right now.
Things have been quiet at SK, ever since Great Star acquired the brand from Ideal Industries in 2021, but they have been busy behind the curtain.
Let’s skip ahead to the question I know many readers are going to ask – where are the tools being made?
SK sent over a sampling of their new hand tools, and I can confirm that they were made overseas. I spoke to an SK manager, and was told that the brand has continued USA production of certain products, such as select ratchets.
Or rather, SK moved cross-country and restarted USA production of select tools.
SK said they’ll be sending me a list of tools that they’re still producing in the USA. I don’t want to guess, and will report back once I learn more.
I was also given the impression that SK could be open to expanding production. While my question wasn’t met with a firm answer, I’m at least happy that it was not an immediate and definitive “no.”
Given how other players in the industry over-promised and under-delivered, I’d say SK is taking a smart approach.
SK has some innovative tool designs. This will be my first experience with their unique X-Frame ratcheting wrenches – they sent over a couple of test samples – and I’m excited to put them to the test.
I wrote the following two years ago, and my thoughts on the matter haven’t changed:
I could be wrong, but there are significant long-term gains that could arise from a partnership between Lowe’s and SK Tools. Such a partnership could be vastly rewarding to both companies, as well as to enthusiasts and more demanding users whose purchasing decisions depend more on quality than on lower price points.
There is some risk involved, but there are gains outside of direct sales alone. If new USA-made SK ratchets or wrenches landed at Lowe’s, would you not visit a store to check them out firsthand? While you’re there, what else might you look at or buy?
GreatStar and SK want to sell more tools, and Lowe’s is in perpetual one-on-one competition with Home Depot.
They need to work out a deal, if they haven’t already. This is the kind of arrangement that could pay out huge dividends down the road.
I think it’ll be very interesting to see what happens next.
I have been bugging SK for an update (sorry, thank you!), and appreciate what they shared with me so far. What questions do you want me to ask next?