New tool line announced

January 25, 1992|By Kim Clark

As a part of its continuing drive to attract professional carpenters and tradesmen, Black & Decker Corp. launched a new line of professional-quality tools yesterday, but most consumers won't notice it.

The Towson-based hardware giant is spending millions of dollars on a new line of 33 heavy-duty drills, saws and hammer drills that will be sold under the name of one of its subsidiaries, the DeWalt Industrial Tool Co. Black & Decker bought DeWalt in 1960.

Although Black & Decker's brand name is among the most widely known in the world, the company is using a little-known subsidiary because of "confusion" in the tradesmen's market over the company's sales of lower-priced tools for the home, according to Tracy Bilbrough, director of sales and marketing for DeWalt.

DeWalt, a 74-year-old Hampstead-based company, has a reputation for building long-lasting tools, according to contractors.

"DeWalt is a very old company. It has always made quality products," said Fred Batton, a Towson contractor. "Black & Decker tools are good, but they are not of commercial" grade, he said.

The DeWalt line will be made at Black & Decker factories, and in many cases will be essentially the same tool as Black & Decker's professional-quality tools, he said.

DeWalt prices will match those of their Black & Decker counterparts, but DeWalt will offer a one-year free-parts-and-service guarantee. And DeWalt will lend its customers free replacement tools during repair, he said.

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