Hitachi Power Tools will be known as Metabo HPT from starting October 17th, 2018 as the company transitions 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.
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.