Pennsylvania lumberyard closes
Crain Lumber, a one-unit pro dealer in Northeastern Pennsylvania, has decided to shut its doors by the end of the year, according to an article in the Centre Daily Times.
The Port Matilda business, which opened in 1945, fell victim to the construction slowdown and competition from big-box retailers, the owners said.
New at Hyde Tools: global sourcing strategy
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.
Makita launches next generation of Drill/Driver
La Mirada, Calif.-based Makita announced the launch of its next generation half-inch drill/driver to its 18-volt Compact Lithium Ion line.
The new LXFD01CW drill/driver is the latest edition to the compact lithium-ion platform created by Makita in 2006. It delivers more power with less weight and improved ergonomics for a range of drilling, driving and fastening tasks, the company said.
The drill is built with a two-piece four-pole motor with bigger and stronger front-end ball bearings, and heavier-gauge copper winding on the armature than the previous model. It delivers 480 inches per pound of max torque and 290 inches per pound of PTI torque. The new planetary gear system and transmission has been redesigned for increased durability in a more compact size, so the LXFD01CW is 7/16 in. smaller and weighs only 3.3 lbs.
“Pro tradesman on commercial job sites across the country use 18V tools all day, every day,” said Ethan Haughawout, Makita product manager, cordless products. “They are constantly demanding more power and less weight from 18V tools."