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10 Of The Top Tool Brands That Are Exclusive To One Hardware Store



No two hardware stores are created equal, especially when it comes to the tool brands they carry. Hardware stores take great pains when selecting their "house brands," creating a certain level of exclusivity that you can't get anywhere else. They want to offer the best balance of quality, affordability, and functionality, making them your one-stop shop for the brands you love.


Now, that's not to say you won't find certain brands only at one chain or store. With the rise of online shopping marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, and eBay, you're usually spoiled for choice when it comes to buying your favorite tool brands.


But hardware stores are on a different mission, one that aims to give you a reliable place to find your chosen brands without an extensive search. You'll know exactly where to go when a new project starts calling your name.


Here's a rundown on 10 of the top tool brands that have exclusive contracts with big-name hardware stores and why you can't find them just anywhere.


Ryobi — Home Depot



Known for its neon green packaging and 18V interchangeable lithium battery system, Ryobi tools are popular among homeowners and DIYers. It's a cost-effective option when you don't need professional-grade tools but still appreciate quality, power, and durability.


With beginnings tracing back to 1943, the tool brand started out making die-cast products for the military. It eventually shifted to power tools that became known for ease of use and competitive prices. Today, you'll find more than just power tools in its lineup, with functional products like coolers, fans, portable power sources, and Bluetooth speakers. The brand also makes specialized tools for hobbyists like glue guns, rotary cutters, soldering guns, and buffering tools.


Ryobi has a contract with Home Depot, where you'll find a wide variety of power tools, lawn care equipment, and lifestyle products. However, the brand also has its own website for online ordering and sells through other channels like Amazon.


Husky — Home Depot



Specializing in tool making for nearly 100 years, Husky has become one of the go-to house names at Home Depot. These tools have are known for offering a wide range of functions at value prices. Ideal for home use (and in some cases, light professional projects), Husky tools have earned a reputation for being durable and long-lasting with moderate use.


One of the brand's most notable features is its lifetime warranty on all hand tools. If a tool ever breaks or fails, Husky will replace it free of charge. You can bring it straight to your local Home Depot to make the swap. Their power tools also come with limited warranties to help you get the most from your investment.


At Home Depot, you'll find the Husky brand across a range of categories: tool bags, work benches, flashlights, air compressors, hand and power tools, pneumatic tools, and automotive accessories, for example. While they're not available at any other hardware store, you can also find Husky products at stores like Walmart, as well as online retailers like Amazon.


Everbilt — Home Depot



Another common name at Home Depot, Everbilt is mostly known for its hardware and home improvement products. True to Home Depot's everything-goes nature, the brand produces parts and pieces for plumbing, doors and cabinets, storage, fencing, gutters, shelving, and more, along with tools like wire and cable cutters to get the job done right.


Everbilt covers a lot of the basics you'll need for home projects. They're good quality and reliable, not to mention value-priced to help you stretch your budget further. Their extensive catalog covers a wide range of use cases and size options to suit specific needs. Galvanized nails and staples, braided cables, rubber grommets, hooks, door hinges, drawer tracks, and toggle bolts are just a sampling of what you'll find in your local Home Depot.


The brand is mostly used by homeowners and DIY enthusiasts who appreciate a good value without sacrificing quality. From installing yard fences and chicken coops to building closet systems and garage shelving, Everbilt will likely be part of your final product.


Milwaukee — Home Depot



A name heard around the worlds of DIYers and professionals alike, Milwaukee Tools is loyal to no other major hardware store than Home Depot. This brand is well-respected in the construction industry, garnering a reputation for durability, longevity, and innovation.


Milwaukee Tools makes tools for the DIY workshop and the job site, such as impact wrenches, grinders, saws, nailers, shop vacs, and hand tools. They also offer complementary products like heated jackets and toolboxes to help you suit up for any project.


Among the brand's most notable developments are its M12 and M18 tool lines. These full suites of cordless power tools use interchangeable batteries and components. They give home DIYers and professionals a reliable way to get the job done. The M12 and M18 tool systems each feature 150-plus tools in the lineup, making for the most complete collection of power tools you can find, with new products becoming available frequently.


Rigid — Home Depot



Ridgid tools have a long-standing history in home improvement, starting with the company's founding in 1923, when the Ridge Tool Company started making tools for plumbing, HVAC, and construction. The brand's pipe wrenches became one of its most notable early categories.


Today, you'll find Ridgid Tools at Home Depot, along with online distributors and brick and mortar wholesalers. But there's a key benefit in buying the brand from Home Depot — the Limited Lifetime Service Agreement. Ridgid's website states that all eligible Ridgid brand hand power tools, stationary power tools, and pneumatic tools will receive the Limited Lifetime Service Agreement, which includes free parts and free service for life on registered Ridgid products.


To date, the company makes over 300 different types of tools across more than 1,000 different models. Its pipe wrenches continue to be a favorite tool among customers, which includes homeowners as well as workers in nitty-gritty industries like farming and oil.


DeWalt — Home Depot



One other name lining the shelves at Home Depot, DeWalt is constantly adding to it's already full line of high-quality power tools. Known by its bright yellow and black color scheme, Dewalt is another 100-year-old company that continues to push the boundaries of power tools and productivity. It started with its radial arm saw, which helped take the company international.


n 1960, the company was acquired by Black and Decker (now Stanley Black and Decker) and continued to produce portable power tools and cordless tools. It now has a catalog of more than 1,000 products, several of which are part of the brand's 12V MAX and 20V MAX systems. Many of its power tools, gear, and accessories are manufactured in the United States, underscoring its commitment to quality.


Dewalt is a favorite among homeowners and tradespeople alike. Its tools tend to be more expensive than the typical house brand but also higher quality and more reliable and durable. Contractors and remodelers prefer Dewalt's ergonomic designs, making them easier to use and allowing them to work faster and more accurately.


Metabo HPT (Formerly Hitachi) — Lowe's



In 2015, Hitachi and Lowe's announced several exclusive Hitachi products available only at Lowe's, including professional-grade pneumatic nailers and fasteners. Lowe's continues to be the home of Hitachi tools, which are now sold under the name Metabo HPT.


The rebrand started in 2018 with the company's inaugural MultiVolt cordless platform. This platform features a 36V battery system to rival the power of corded tools without sacrificing convenience. Other tools were expected to transition to the new brand name throughout 2019.


Despite the new name, Hitachi (now Metabo HPT) tools still retain the same look and flavor as always, including warranties and the quality the brand has become known for. The only things that have changed are the name and logo. The color schemes, model names, and even where the tools are manufactured remain the same, along with the goal of serving professionals and serious DIYers. And of course, the tools' availability at Lowe's.


Kobalt — Lowe's



Another fan-favorite house-brand for tools at Lowe's, Kobalt is commonly recognized by its striking blue branding. It's one of several exclusive brands to Lowe's, mirroring the store's own blue color scheme. Its tool lineup runs the gamut of hand tools, pneumatic tools, air compressors, tool storage solutions, impact wrenches, saw, grinders, and more. The brand has also ventured into the outdoor equipment space, including a hedge trimmer, blower, pole saw, and others that are powered by the same 40V battery.


Kobalt is designed to offer a balance of affordability and quality, making it the homeowner's best friend. It's ideal for jobs around the house or lightweight projects, but can deliver a lifetime of use when taken care of. In total, the brand features more than 1,700 tools under its name. As with other house tool brands, Kobalt offers a lifetime warranty on its hand tools, along with limited warranties on other products.


Masterforce — Menards



Masterforce at Menards offers a comprehensive range of products, including hand tools, power tools, pneumatic tools, tool storage, and automotive gear. The brand's tools are powerful enough for professional tradespeople, especially those who do tile work or plumbing, yet affordable enough for the average homeowner to tackle DIY projects. The tools typically compare favorably to pro-grade brands, building quality and durability into your investment.


Compared to other tool brands like Craftsman, Milwaukee, and Dewalt, Masterforce is a relatively new name on the scene. But what it lacks in longevity, it makes up for in quality and affordability. These are good tools for the money and give you enough variety to keep you coming back.


Its lineup includes the usual suspects like hammers, drills, saws, and bits, along with job site fans and lights, propane heaters, work gloves, mowers, blowers, chainsaws, and trimmers. Shopping for a house brand like Masterforce gives you plenty of options to stock your workshop and a single source to do business with.


Bauer — Harbor Freight



Harbor Freight has an impressive lineup of in-house brands, including ICON, Pittsburgh Pro, and Hercules. But its Bauer brand of tools stand out, thanks to a combination of low prices, high performance, and reliable quality. Harbor Freight sells Bauer tools online and at its 1000-plus store locations.


Bearing a red and black color scheme not unlike Milwaukee, Bauer tools clock in at a fraction of the price of professional-grade brands. The Bauer lineup includes more than 150 power tools, outdoor equipment, accessories, and more.


Similar to its competitors, Bauer has its own 20V battery system that powers a variety of its tools (more than 65 different products). If you've been loyal to another power tool system, you'll likely find comparable products with similar sizes and specs for significantly less. A savings of $10, $30, or $50 per power tool can add up over a lifetime, allowing you to finish your home projects faster without breaking your wallet.