The latest screwdrivers and wrenches are marketed with accessories and other implements.
China suppliers of fastening hand tools are shifting production toward versatile models and kits to increase margins. Multifunction implements generate returns 20 to 100 percent higher than standard designs, where price competition limits profitability to less than 5 percent. Over the past two years, such constructions have accounted for a larger share of output and exports, growing about 10 percent annually.
|Ningbo Haishu Raying's Ray-1762 model is a screwdriver with 12 detachable steel bits.|
Efforts to boost product functionality have yielded a greater number of sets bundling screwdrivers and wrenches with related accessories for a particular purpose or user segment. The tools and add-ons are typically offered in boxes, wallets or cases for portability and convenient storage. Some have integrated holders for the bits and other attachments.
Xiamen Nanchbit Precision Tools Co. Ltd, for example, has released several kits designed specifically for electronics and eyeglasses repair. Packed in a box or wallet, these sets combine a screwdriver handle with various heads, including Phillips, slotted and hex types.
At Ningbo Haishu Raying Import & Export Manufacture, the fastening tool options include the model Ray-1762 screwdriver, which has the bit container built into the handle. The product comes with hex, cross and slotted heads.
Besides offering specialized kits, several companies have expanded selections to comprise all-in-one tools with fastening implements among the attachments. In this line, screwdrivers and wrenches are often combined with hammers, pliers, saws, knives and other instruments for vehicle repair and outdoor DIY work.
Ningbo Haishu Raying, for instance, has come out with the Ray-1761 model for car emergencies. The implement functions as a screwdriver, LED torch, window breaker and seat-belt cutter. It has five detachable bits and a magnetic tool for retrieving screws and similar small items from hard-to-reach places.
Plenty Harvest Tools Manufacturer Ltd’s line includes several multitools combining screwdrivers with knives, wire strippers, pliers and scissors. One of these is the 8146S model, which has Phillips and flat screwdrivers among its attachments. Another product, the 8170 model, integrates a flat screwdriver with a heavy-duty hammer, wire stripper, knife and saw.
Suppliers expect multifunction models and kits to be the main drivers of growth in the fastening tools segment this year. Ningbo Haishu Raying and Plenty Harvest, for instance, are anticipating export sales to increase between 10 and 15 percent.
The boost is projected to come mainly from midrange and high-end markets, especially those in North America and Europe. The two areas are currently the top venues for overseas shipments, accounting for 60 to 70 percent.
Wrenches are among the best-sellers of China’s fastening hand tools industry. Models come in adjustable, ratchet, socket, strap, pipe, cross, spanner, hex key and L types.
Most are in a single hue, although a number of dual-color constructions are available. Black and red are the shades typically combined.
Products are marketed individually or offered in sets with plastic cases or bags. Generally, 4-piece kits have 6, 8, 10 and 12in sockets.
Designs are made of cast, carbon, CrV or CrMo steel, with the last two materials usually found in upscale variants. The surface treatment options include polishing, chrome and nickel plating, phosphating and sanding.
Models are available starting at $0.30 per piece. Quotes increase depending primarily on the materials used.
Adjustable wrenches, which are commonly for DIY applications, come in lengths of up to 18in. Hex keys, meanwhile, measure 1.5, 2, 2.5 or 3 to 12mm.
Spanner types are often double-ring or open-end constructions with 6 to 38mm pins. Combination models are also on hand.
Ratchet wrenches are fitted with 45 to 120 teeth and single- or dual-color handles made of PP or TPR. These may have adjustable heads and handgrips that can be extended for higher torque.
Another major export, most screwdrivers have slotted or Phillips heads. The former, also known as flatheads, have bits ranging from 3 to 8mm. Phillips versions come in sizes 00, 0, 1, 2, 2.5 and 3.
Models typically have shafts made of 45 carbon steel, but designs in 6150, S2 or CrV alloys are available as well. The surface treatment options include blackening, sanding and electroplating.
Handles adopt PP, PVC or TPR. These come in cylindrical, square and hexagonal constructions.
One-piece screwdrivers dominate output. More companies, however, are offering models with detachable heads and shafts. The products are packaged in sets with several accessories.
Designs ranging from $0.15 to $0.25 typically adopt unforged carbon steel shafts with a black finish or a layer of electroplating. The handles are in a single shade.
Sporting similar surface treatments, models reaching $0.65 employ forged carbon or CrV steel shafts. Dual-color handles are an option.
Higher-priced screwdrivers utilize CrMo and NiCr steel with sandblasted surfaces, while the handles are transparent or in two shades. Such designs are suitable for heavy-duty industrial tasks because of their strong resistance to wear and corrosion.
Note: This article "Specialized kits, multitools on the rise" was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.
All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.
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