Case Study: Black & Decker


Think ‘power tools’ and it’s likely that Black and Decker are one of the first names that come to mind. Producing tools and equipment for the ‘everyman’ DIYer in all of us, the Black & Decker name has come be a symbol of an ability to ‘get the job done’ for even the most ambitious projects or most unlikely tradesman.

Known for everything from their famous ‘Workmate‘ folding workbench (turning garages and sheds into hives of industry the world over since 1973), power drills, and of course garden tools, there is almost no debating the company’s success, but what’s behind it?

Unsurprisingly the two men to found the company were a Mr Black and Mr Decker, both came from very humble beginnings as machine shop operatives, but who shared a passion for innovation. One of their first success stories was the portable electric drill, something for which the company are still synonymous today, and have continued to improve upon ever since.

By the mid 1960’s the company were a global success story, having expanded from their headquarters in Baltimore to all corners of the globe, from the UK to Australia. More impressively still, Black and Decker products even found their way into outer space with the development of power tools specially designed for use in zero gravity.

More innovations continued to surface in the coming decades, taking advantage of the most cutting edge technology and trends of the time from the first practical cordless drills, garden tools and ‘dustbuster’ cordless handheld vacuums, all flagship examples of emerging rechargable battery technology in the 1960’s and 70’s, right through to 1998’s computer mouse inspired hand held sander

All this inspiration has of course carried across to every range of Black & Decker products, and today their range of garden tools feature a whole host of unique stand out points that other manufacturers struggle to compete with. From the very high tech, high torque motors used on their strimmers and lawn mowers, to the simple but effective lawn mower cable managment system, it’s clear that this is a company that love improving things, and love making life easier for those who use their products.

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