Hitachi Power Tools changed its name to Metabo HPT (the name change began on October 17th, 2018). This formally transitioned the company away from the rest of the Hitachi group. Back in 2017, Hitachi bought out Metabo to bring the German manufacturer on board. Shortly after, investment firm KKR purchased the power tool division of Hitachi. Later in 2022, Metabo HPT and Metabo merged to form a single power tool company.
While rebranding is always news, it usually doesn’t come with such a big break from the original brand name. For Hitachi, moving to Metabo HPT is significant across their entire tool line, but possibly none more than pneumatic nailers. The nailer line is so popular that Hitachi enjoys nearly 80% of the market share in some areas. Pros that are used to the Hitachi name and the apprentices they’re training might have a moment’s hesitation when they see a different name on the package.
What’s Different About Metabo HPT?
In a nutshell, Metabo HPT is just a different name and nothing else. The tools are the same, the warranty is the same, the batteries are the same. Batteries like the Hitachi MultiVolt will work in Metabo HPT MultiVolt tools. Hitachi 18V batteries will work in Metabo HPT 18V tools and vice versa. It really is just a change in name and nothing else. You’ll see the same packaging and color scheme to go along with the name.
When KKR bought Hitachi, we wondered if a name change would be coming. Licensing a known name following a purchase like this can be cost prohibitive. And it is. With somewhere around $500 million in sales expected for 2018, Metabo HPT doesn’t have the same kind of presence as Makita, TTI (Milwaukee, Ridgid, Ryobi, etc), or Stanley Black & Decker (DeWalt, Stanley, Proto, MAC Tools, etc.).
At least not yet. Breaking away from the Hitachi group actually affords the company freedom in tool development and marketing they haven’t had before. We saw it with the Triple Hammer impact driver that clearly marked a change in Hitachi’s cordless performance. Each tool since then seems to have a marked improvement over the last generation. Expect that trend to continue as Hitachi looks toward innovation that packs more power in smaller packages like their AC Brushless rotary hammer lineup.
One other change you’ll notice is the brand’s tagline. “Inspire the Next” will move from a sort of vague philosophical statement to “Durability First” as they focus on what their tools aim to be.
To sum up the entire rebranding quickly, it’s a matter of new name, more freedom to innovate, the same tools, cordless compatibility, and warranty. There’s nothing to be afraid of whether you’re a current Hitachi or future Metabo HPT user.
It’s more than 2 years later and there’s more to it than this. Metabo (Germany) retains its own websites, marketing, and tools (dark teal with red accents), whereas Hitachi (metabo HPT) is rebranded Hitachi (bright green, as before). All of which doesn’t really tell us who is designing for who, or they remain separate operations apart a combined ownership. Are we to believe for example that the batteries are now compatible?
The financial sector of the economy is roughly 10 times as large as the real economy. It is therefore not a surprise to see financial companies buying real companies (real as in real products as opposite to virtual products) and starting to manage these companies. KKR owns both Metabo and Hitachi Koki and they decided to manage marketing by combining brand names. I do not like this development. It is true however, that the quality of the tools has risen dramatically during the past decades to the point where tools become similar in quality and performance. I will neither buy… Read more »
I was purchasing a Hitatchi C10RJ on sale from KMSTools in Calgary for $449.00 but they didn’t have any stock so I went to Lowe’s in Calgary and they had the same saw C10RJ for $649.00 but it was named Metabo, and its exactly the same saw but Lowe’s wouldn’t do price match and I read that Hitatchi at the time bought out Metabo. So I ordered it from KMSTools in Calgary for $449.00 and they will call me when it arrives. Yeahh Why pay $200 more for the same saw, go figure.
just found out about this, from bigskytools.com (used to be “reconditioned tools”) where I have acquired my dozens of 12 & mostly 18 volt hitachi grade C drills & impact drivers along with compressors & pneumatics. It is a shame to see the hitachi tool name go & it seems there may be a hit on name recognition. Seems the metabo name is barely known in USA anyways, except by people in the industrial construction & metal working/welding trades, where the name “metabo” is used to refer to the hand-held variable speed (ideally) metal cut-off wheel made by metabo that… Read more »
It’s only in North America that it will Hitachi Koki will be renamed to Metabo HTP: https://www.coptool.com/hitachi-becomes-metabo-hpt-hikoki/ In their other markets (Asia and Europe) it will be renamed to HiKOKI: https://www.hikoki-powertools.com Both Metabo and HiKOKI/Metabo HPT are owned by Koki Holdings: https://www.koki-holdings.com I don’t get why they don’t rename it to the HiKOKI brand in all their markets. Especially since Metabo is still existing in North America, but uses a completely different battery platform than Metabo HPT / HiKOKI. This is only going to cause confusion when ordering and searching for tools. And it also makes it much harder to… Read more »