LINCOLNSHIRE, IL — Klein Tools, for professionals since 1857, recently announced the second set of results from its ‘State of the Industry’ survey; which asked hundreds of union and non-union electricians about their decision-making process when purchasing tools. This comes at a time when more people are considering entering the electrical field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects 20 percent growth for electrician employment between 2012 and 2022. This is significantly higher than the 11 percent average growth rate projected for all occupations.
The construction industry is also on the rise. The U.S. Census Bureau released that U.S. construction spending has risen to a six-and-a-half year high. In fact, the first five months of 2015 reached $382.1 billion in construction spend, 5.9 percent above the $360.8 billion spent on construction during the same period last year. If this growth continues, it puts additional focus on how U.S. electricians are researching, choosing and purchasing their tools for work.
The Klein Tools State of the Industry Survey asked electricians what they look for in tools they buy, where they shop and how they hear about different products. Top-line results include:
- Five in six electricians indicate having a high level of performance (87 percent) and being durable (87 percent) are very important or important when selecting a tool to purchase. Further, one in five (20 percent) named performance as the most important factor, and one in eight (12 percent) named durability as the most important factor.
Made in U.S.A.
- Five in six union members (83 percent) indicated being ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ is very important or important to them when purchasing a tool, and one-fifth (19 percent) named it the most important factor. This was significantly higher than importance among non-union members. Three in five (59 percent) non-union members indicated being ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ is very important or important to them, and few (6 percent) named it the most important factor.
Word of Mouth
- More than one-half of electricians (55 percent) find out about new hand tools from other electricians.
- Electricians with under 10 years of experience are significantly less likely (34 percent) than others to learn about new hand tools in this way.
- Union members are significantly more likely (28 percent) than non-members (13 percent) to purchase tools because of a recommendation from a friend or colleague.
- Nearly two-thirds of electricians (64 percent) typically shop at The Home Depot for hand tools.
- More than one-half of electricians (56 percent) typically shop at electrical supply houses for hand tools.
- One-third of electricians (33 percent) typically shop at industrial supply houses for hand tools.
- Electricians with 20 or more years’ experience are significantly more likely (44 percent) than electricians with less than 10 years’ experience (18 percent) to shop at industrial supply houses.
- One in five electricians (20 percent) typically use an internet-based retailer for hand tools
- Electricians with less than 10 years’ experience are significantly more likely (36 percent) than electricians with 20 or more years’ experience (13 percent) to buy tools using an internet-based retailer
“This is a tight knit community and electricians rely on brands and each other to find the best tools available. They don’t have time for anything else,” said Mark Klein, president of Klein Tools. “Electricians depend on quality tools that work as hard as they do day in and day out. Each tool that doesn’t live up to those high expectations costs time, money and reputation. Our standards are as high or higher than those expectations. We demand every one of our hand tools to deliver all the performance, durability and precision that electrical professionals need to get the job done right.”
The Klein Tools ‘State of the Industry’ survey was conducted by Russell Research, an independent survey research firm, which conducted 201 online interviews from January 20 – 26, 2015 to secure a nationally significant representation. Forty percent of respondents were union members and 60 percent were not.
An infographic visualizing these statistics is below.