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Are you in the market for hand tools and toolboxes? John Deere is known for their farm equipment and their iconic John Deere green color, but they also sell hand tools and toolboxes. This is a company that was started by a blacksmith, with a vision, selling improved plows in 1837.
Within a span of ten years, Deere increased his output by 10,000. His vision grew into the large conglomerate everyone knows today. Through the years, John Deere began selling other products. While best known for tractors and lawn mowers, we want to dive into their hand tools and toolboxes product lines.
Who makes these hand tools with the famous John Deere logo? Who makes the toolboxes? The bulk of the hand tools John Deere sells are made by Stanley, Black and Decker. The tool boxes appear to be rebranded Montezuma tool boxes.
Not every hand tool with the John Deere logo is made by Stanley, Black and Decker. John Deere also has contracts with Snap-On and Makita but Stanley appears to produce the bulk of the products. Read on to find out more about the process and the prices of the two brands.
John Deere and Stanley
John Deere promises a great price and professional quality for their hand tools. They also assure potential customers they will get the best value for the investment. John Deere company offers several different tools including:
- Socket Sets
- Clip Rails
- Extension Sets
- Adjustable Wrenches
- Multi-piece Tool Sets
Only a few of these are painted the famous John Deere green color. Most are industrial colors, like the silver and chrome plated we are accustomed to seeing on our hand tools.
Most of the toolboxes, however, are painted John Deere green. Both the tools and the toolboxes have the iconic John Deere label affixed.
Almost all of these tools offer a lifetime warranty. Other, more specialized tools come with a 90-day warranty.
The Stanley Works merged with Black and Decker in 2009. When they merged, they became an $8.4 billion global tool company, already one of the largest in the country.
That same year, they merged with DeWalt, another maker of consumer hand tools. The company then finalized their name change and became Stanley, Black and Decker Inc.
The company doubled down on acquisitions during a fairly short period of time and ended up buying other tool companies, such as:
- Lista North America
- Porter Cable
Before they merged with Black and Decker and before they purchased all the other companies, Stanley was already in a partnership with John Deere to produce hand tools.
Although this is not a well-known fact, Stanley has been a supplier to John Deere for more than 20 years.
This means Stanley has the majority of the tool making production factories in the country. They’ve taken over most of the big names in tool production.
This is not necessarily a bad thing since many of those companies were in financial difficulties when they were bought out by Stanley.
Made in the U.S.A.?
We know Stanley is a supplier for many hand tools in the nation. Stanley makes them, frequently overseas, and puts another logo on them to ship out and sell.
We know this because Stanley was exposed in 1999 for putting “Made in The U.S.A” on hand tools that were actually made outside of the United States.
Stanley violated the Federal Trade Commission Act and was sued by the American Federal Trade Commission. The lawsuit specifically called out Stanley advertising that John Deere tools were made inside the country when they weren’t.
John Deere wasn’t the only company that was discovered doing this. Stanley ended up paying a fine of over $200,000 for the infraction.
Many of the hand tools and toolboxes produced by Stanley and bearing the logo of other companies are actually produced in Taiwan or China. Check your hand tools for the place of origin to know for certain.
Pricing of the Tools
Since Stanley owns many of the formerly independent tool companies and since they supply many hand tools to other companies, like John Deere, the prices for similar tools should be around the same amount, right?
It would be incorrect to think that. A logo puts a certain cachet on a tool and increases the value exponentially.
Here are some price comparisons of similar tools, all made by Stanley. These prices were accurate on a large online retailer as of the writing of this article.
|8 piece screwdriver set||$38.83||$17.99|
|Slip joint pliers||$22.99||$12.48|
|Original equipment hammer||$43.21||$17.99|
|10 piece wrench set||$70.14||$13.80|
The above hand tools are made by Stanley and carry the brand name of Craftsman, or Proto, companies Stanley purchased.
Each tool on the table above was made in a Stanley manufacturing plant, yet they have significant price differences. So, you could have the same tool, made in the same factory, by the same company, at vastly different prices.
Stanley doesn’t comment on this; nor does John Deere. However, it certainly appears that the John Deere logo impacts the price tag of the hand tools.
Knowing that information may keep you from spending money you don’t need to spend, just because a famous logo is attached. Besides the brand names, these tools are almost exactly the same.
In addition, almost all of the hand tools offered by the different companies have a lifetime warranty. So, you’re covered in case of breakage or an accident. This is the same for Black and Decker branded tools as it is for John Deere tools.
John Deere Toolboxes
Toolboxes sold by John Deere have the John Deere green color with the famous jumping deer logo attached. Toolboxes range from 20 inches all the way up to cabinet sized.
Surprisingly, pricing on toolboxes can be quite similar. A John Deere rolling 56-inch cabinet toolbox cost less through their website than the similar product offered by Waterloo/Montezuma/Stanley.
John Deere Suppliers
John Deere vets their suppliers very carefully. Each year, they recognize partner-level suppliers for their company. After obtaining a partner level rating for five consecutive years, the supplier can join the Supplier Hall of Fame in the John Deere Achieving Excellence program. The partner level rating is John Deere’s highest accolade for suppliers.
Making partner-level status with John Deere means the supplier is evaluated annually in these categories:
- Cost Management
- Technical Support
- Wavelength (Measure of Responsiveness)
John Deere states this is a supplier evaluation process that promotes improvement and feedback. While this is true, it is a valid concern about what would happen to your customer service needs if John Deere ever changes suppliers.
For instance, should John Deere change their current toolbox supplier and you need a part for your 2009 toolbox, where would you go? How would you get that part? What resources would you have?
This may be a small concern. The John Deere website lists the criteria for suppliers, and they are stringent. Unless a supplier is no longer living up to the John Deere standards, they should remain in partnership with the company. However, it’s something to consider when you’re thinking of purchasing John Deere hand tools.
Research Before You Buy
As always, we encourage you to do your own research before you buy any product. It really depends on your wants and needs.
If the John Deere green color is important to you, or if you want the jumping deer logo, you may want to go ahead and purchase the John Deere branded tools and toolboxes. But, through our research, you can find a very similar tool or toolbox for, sometimes, less than half the cost.