Guest Blog: Innovation in hand tools

April 12, 2024
Milwaukee Tool discusses the importance of hand tools, their evolution in the industry, and more in this Q & A.

1. How have hand tools evolved over the past few years?

The automotive industry is unique and requires specific attention when creating innovative hand tool solutions due to the rapid technology development in vehicles over the past few years. As vehicles become more complex, we are seeing an increased need to get into tighter spaces and expand into different fastener types without sacrificing product performance or durability. We are continually looking to evolve our mechanics hand tools as the industry changes through in-field collaboration and our commitment to the auto technician.

2. In what ways are technicians using hand tools that are necessitating these updates?

We work closely with industry professionals to understand their daily applications in the shop and any pain points they may experience with their current solutions. In our research, we have been seeing many applications where users display the need to shift from a power tool to a hand tool. Hand tools provide a much lower profile than power tools which can solve our user’s frustrations in not being able to access hard to reach fasteners, ultimately driving productivity in an otherwise timely process.

3. Based on technician feedback, what have been some of the most requested hand tool evolutions?

Technician feedback is crucial to creating solutions that improve productivity and safety in the shop. Providing better access to tight spaces is one of the top user concerns we hear in the field. These frustrations have driven us to develop innovative hand tool solutions for the automotive professional, such as our rachets and sockets. Our most versatile sockets feature FOUR FLAT™ sides, allowing them to be anti-roll and wrench compatible when needed in tight spaces. When developing our ratchets, delivering better access was our key focus, providing users with 90 teeth and 4-degree arc swing. Additionally in our hand tool lineup, the ratcheting combination wrenches provide a 2.5-degree arc swing with 144 tooth positions providing better access and the longest life. The feedback we gain from technicians is the driving force of our development process and fuels innovation in our hand tools.

4. What is the importance of evolving tools as "simple" as hand tools?

It is vital that hand tools evolve to reflect the growth of the automotive industry as it continues to advance at such a rapid rate. These industry advancements can introduce new challenges such as applications that require low torque or better access that only hand tools can provide. In an industry where time is money, we want to ensure that our end users are equipped with everything they need to be productive.

5. What do you see as the next evolution for hand tools?

For Milwaukee, our commitment to innovate and problem solve will guide our evolution in mechanics hand tools. Our dedication to the professional user begins in the shop, where we take a boots-on-the-ground approach to product development to understand their frustrations with current solutions. We’re able to join forces in-field, empowering us to continue delivering the most innovative tools to improve user experience.


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