Lowe’s Companies Inc. and Chervon have recently collaborated to release their own brand of power tools, looking to harness a share of the lucrative power tool market.
The global power tools market is on the rise and expected to reach a value of more than $39bn by 2027, which means plenty of opportunity for manufacturers looking to claim a market share. With so many established names already competing in the sector, when a new kid comes on the block, it is hard to get a slice of the action without having a key USP.
How is Flex going to stand out in the market? Firstly, they are claiming their cordless 24V range has an industry-leading lithium-ion battery, which should deliver up to 20% more power than the competition.
In addition, the development of different types of PCBs means overheating through charging is reduced, and newer batteries are offering 50% improved charging time.
Whilst that technology will be available to other manufacturers, it seems Flex is one of the first to bring it to market. If that is not enough to whet the appetite, they will include a limited lifetime warranty on any tool, charger and battery registered in 2021.
“100 years ago, FLEX changed the world of tools with our very first invention, the FLEXible Shaft Grinder and followed that up with the introduction of the world’s first Angle Grinder in 1954,” said Mike Clancy, CEO at Chervon North America. “Since then, we’ve been focused on tools made for the trades to deliver the absolute best in terms of power, run-time and recharge time thanks to our proprietary lithium-ion battery technology.”
The 24V battery system is exciting, but not entirely unique. Flex uses a six-cell battery instead of the traditional five, which gets them up to 24V, or 21.6V nominal. Whilst it sounds very impressive, Kobalt and Hilti have used the technology themselves before. That does not mean the range is standard though, anything but.
The Flex range is wide and encompasses many of the tools the average tradesperson would expect to find. Drill fans will be delighted to find four different specs to choose from. The compact drill, which boasts 2200rpm and 750 in-lbs of torque, as well as a hammer version for concrete. In addition, those are two ‘turbo’ versions too, with a top speed of 2500rpm and a whopping 1400 in-lbs of torque, that also comes with anti-kickback technology which is sensible, given the power it is packing.
The 24V Cordless and Brushless drill comes with a kit price of $179.99, and the hammer drill will set you back $199.99. You will pay more for the turbo mode version, the standard drill going out at $229.99, and the hammer drill at $249.99.
Elsewhere in the range, there is a 24V circular saw which really piqued our interest. It is another powerful piece of kit that can cut 2 5/8” deep and has a set of angle notches adjacent to the blade to help track the cut easily. It comes out at $299.99 and includes a 160W fast charger, making use of that battery technology again, as well as a 24-tooth blade.
Sticking with cutting, and there is only currently one reciprocating saw in the range, again cordless and brushless. It comes with the 160W fast charger, and runs at 3,000 strokes per minute and has an orbital action that can be selected to cut through wood. It also has another exciting bit of technology exclusive to the range, their Shockshield Vibration Suppression. That is designed to limit the vibration experienced by the user, making these a safer and more comfortable range to use.
As expected, the range goes on with an oscillating multi-tool, brushless jigsaw and brushless angle grinders, all of which are cordless and benefit from that fast-charging technology.
There is also a 24V floodlight, perfect for site work, which claims to have a five-hour battery life with a 5.0Ah battery and aluminium, reinforced material casing. Punching out 2,000 lumens, it will certainly be enough for you to work late into the evenings in 2021.
It remains to be seen if the price point and USP can usurp some of the more popular brands at a time when DIY and maintaining the home means tools are in high demand. The average US household spent more than $8,000 on their home improvements in 2020, with a portion of that on their own DIY projects.
That spend increases the need for power tools that are user friendly, accessible and affordable, a market which the Flex brand is hoping to grab a portion of all for themselves.