The UK hand tools market totalled a value of £6.3 billion in 2012, with households being the largest buyers, accounting for 43% of total domestic demand, up seven percentage points on 2006.
Households continuously increased their spending over 2006-2012, by 71% in nominal terms. The increasing popularity of self-renovation and self-construction, to some extent added to growing household purchases of the industry's products.
A hand tool is any tool that is not a power tool - that is, one powered by hand (manual labour) rather than by an engine. Some examples of hand tools are hammers, spanners, pliers, screwdrivers and chisels. Hand tools are generally considered less dangerous than power tools.
Tools, which are now often attached to machines, are used to work, cut, shape, move and join materials like metal and wood. Today, the tools manufactured by companies in this industry are used in almost all sectors of the economy, particularly in manufacturing, mining, construction and agriculture industries.
Repair people are also a market for tools. Interchangeable tools for machine tools, such as drills, punches, turning tools and blades, are also included in the industry.
The United Kingdom hand tools market comprised 1,732 companies in 2012, down 14% on 2006. This was largely the result of growing pressure from imports of cheaper products.
Tool manufacturers in the United Kingdom tend to be small, niche operators. Globally, the big players in tools are concentrated in the United States, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Japan, and many of these players have sales operations in the United Kingdom.
The industry is globalising, and large foreign companies have a significant presence in the United Kingdom. Some of these companies have acquired UK firms to form their UK manufacturing operations. For instance, Sandvik Coromant acquired BTA Heller Drilling Systems Ltd (a producer and supplier of deep-hole drilling products with 12 employees) in 2009.
For more information on the UK hand tools market, see the latest research: UK Hand Tools Market
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