Alright, new tools at Walmart. Some of you are already rolling your eyes. I get that. If you’ve been to the tool aisle at Walmart recently, you know there’s not much there. So when we were invited to Brooklyn for the reveal of a new tool line made exclusively for Walmart, we didn’t expect much. But what we found was something… well… different.
First, let’s start with that name. HART has actually been around since 1983 and was sold as Framer tools, by framers, for framers. Their hammers are the most popular thing they’ve sold. These new tools bare little resemblance to their namesake with the exception of a small line of framing hammers that still look pretty good.
Most likely, TTI had a new line of tools and needed a cool brand. So Hart just got drafted. But we can see why. It’s a great name, the branding is really good, and this new blue and white color scheme they chose looks great. But none of that matters if the tools aren’t any good. Right?
We started our tour with the accessories…Harrison went on to show us a full line of tapes, and several other tools you’ll likely be surprised to find at Walmart.
Next up we headed to the Garage, where Brian showed off the first battery-powered tools we found, all powered by the same 20v battery platform. They’re 16850 cells for those who were about to ask. They showed us air pumps, vacs, blowers, buffers and even a line of impact wrenches for breaking lugnuts on your car.
After that, they showed off a decent line of hand tools and some very nice rolling cabinets for storing your new tools. It was at this point that we realized these guys were NOT messing around. The variety of tools was surprising, and we were starting to seeing the big picture. These guys were not just making a new battery platform for a line of tools, they were making a battery platform for the entire home. So to see what else they had in store, we headed just outside the garage, to the back yard.
This is where we met the other half of their battery line up. The 40V series. Both the 20v and 40v found space in the yard. We saw two versions of a leaf blower, the 20v version didn’t impress us with its power, but it did have a pretty nifty trick. It could switch to corded power. The 40v version, however, that was a proper beast, moving 550cfm.
They went on to show us a couple of string trimmers, a 14” chainsaw, a dedicated vac and 3… that’s 1 2 3 different electric lawnmowers, topped out with a 40v 21” Adaptive Speed model. This is getting crazy.
After we played in the yard a bit, we finally found our way into the woodworking shop. This was where we got a good hands-on look at the power tools. We saw drill drivers, impacts, hammer drills, jigsaw, multitool, circ saw… all the usual suspects. We got to play with each one and even the most skeptical of our pros seemed to be happy with the build quality and performance. Rob Robillard from Tool Box Buzz is a well-known remodeler. He’s not likely to use these tools on the Jobsite. And he was quick to point out minor ergonomic and design missteps, but even he seemed pleased with the tools a legitimate place for someone to start.
And that’s pretty much where we landed too. These tools are not indestructible, but they’re… well… good! If you’re picking up your first set of tools, you’re going to be surprised by how well they work. And with this wide range of tools for the garage and backyard, all powered by the same battery platform, it just might be an easier sell to your spouse when you want to get started.
Not only did the variety of tools surprise us, but the range too. Those framing hammers were actually nice. Who goes to Walmart to grab a framing hammer? If you go to the Hart website, you can find many more tools yet to be released… Look at this thing… A backpack blower! There are hedge trimmers. A 2-gallon backpack chemical sprayer. There are flashlights, radios, a rotary tool, an angle grinder… a 10 in compound miter saw!
We talked with a few of the HART executives and product managers after the show. They were genuinely proud of what they’ve built here. You could tell just by the way they talked about the lineup. But most notably was something their VP of product development told me. He said “The most exciting thing about building a line of tools from the ground up, for a store that sells everything… is that the potential to use the battery platform in areas previously unheard of.” These guys are actually strolling through Walmart right now, imagining what departments could benefit from a solid battery platform.
What about power wheels for your kids. Or an electric-assist bike. A Scooter. Portable power system for camping. Do you remember those battery-powered super soakers that took 6 D Cells? What about kitchen appliances. Not sure why they need to be wireless but I’m running out of ideas. Look… If you believe what they told us… then the possibilities are endless.
So where does the leave us? Well, we like these tools. We like the platform. We like the accessibility and we REALLY like the price. We’re convinced Walmart and Hart are working on far more than what they showed us today… but what they showed us today, for many people, is already more than enough.
So what do you guys think? Are you ready to give Hart a shot? Let me know what you think in the comments below. Also, let me know what else you find in Walmart, that could benefit from a common battery platform. Personally, I really want.