Southbridge, Mass.-based Hyde Tools said its pursuit of "right priced, quality, stainless steel products" has led it to partnerships with product development firm Proteus Design and two Chinese manufacturers.
The announcement came as Hyde Tools, which has in the past promoted itself as a "Made in the USA" leader of surface preparation tools, is introducing three new lines of putty knives and scrapers: "Pro Stainless," "Pro Project" and "Value Series."
"Everyone knows in order to supply these price points to meet the profit demands of our partners, we must product at the best costs available in the global marketplace," wrote Corey Talbot, VP of marketing and product development, in a letter
Hyde has entered into two joint product development agreements and manufacturing contracts with two Chinese manufacturers. The company described each as having more than 20 years experience in tool production. Proteus Design has worked in product development with clients including 3M, Gillette and Kohler, according to Talbot, according to Talbot.
Talbot described the move as part of a new chapter for Hyde, in which it will strive to be "Total Category Leader" -- which Hyde believes it has achieved to a large extent. The company's new brochure for the its new lines of scrapers: "New tools, and better margins for our retail partners."
The company also shared research on the putty knife and scraper market. It estimates the North American market for this product category is about 28.8 million units sold per year. The company's research also shows the vast majority (89%) of professional users are willing to pay more for a stainless steel putty knife or scraper than for a standard carbon putty knife.