October 17, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros

Home Depot Product Quality and Engineering Laboratory Tour

Home Depot Product Quality & Engineering Laboratory Tour

Did you know that The Home Depot had a Home Depot Product Quality and Engineering Laboratory? We didn’t, though once we saw it, we’re not sure how any major retailer of power tools could do without one.

Starting the Home Depot Product Quality and Engineering Laboratory Tour

Our Home Depot Product Quality and Engineering Laboratory tour started off simply enough: We would see a ratchet strap failure. Engineers placed a Husky ratchet strap into a TiniusOlsen universal testing machine and tested it to failure. We knew it was coming, but the sudden ‘Snap’ startled nearly everyone in the room…

Home Depot Product testing ratchet strap
You’d be surprised how much tension these simple ratchet straps can support.

In another test, the universal testing machine was used to see at what force a Husky hammer handle would break. Incidentally, it took 440 pounds to fracture this Husky hammer handle. It took 6000 pounds to crush that husky 48″ rolling toolbox you see in the back of the following photo.

Home Depot Product Quality Engineering Lab strap test
Hammer handle testing on the left and maximum weight testing of a Husky rolling tool box in the back.

Editor’s Note on the TiniusOlsen Testing Machines
Back in 1880, a Norwegian immigrant to Philadelphia (and engineer) named Tinius Olsen devised and patented what became known as the Little Giant. Modern versions of these machines can test tools and devices for tensile, shear, and compressive strength. They also test for flex, puncture and burst resistance, tear strength, and peel strength. That’s not all, but the remaining terms would be unfamiliar to all but the most ardent physics student or mechanical engineer!

Torque & Torsion Testing

The next phase of our Home Depot Product Quality & Engineering Laboratory tour involved torque and torsion testing of hand tools. An SMiPO ST-500 torsion testing tool lets The Home Depot how much torque a Husky wrench could handle. It also showed that, when over-torqued, the wrench bends rather than shatters—a good feature to look for.

Home Depot torsion testing wrench
Better bent than shattered!

Another torsion tool tested usage cycles on a ratchet. This allows The Home Depot know the tool can be used to its full expected life cycle (or more). I could tell you what that is, but then I’d have to…you know the rest.

Home Depot Product testing ratchet

Next: Environmental Testing

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Klint Krenzke

All that testing and the crap still makes it to the HD shelf, and into the landfill! HD doesn’t have a common part that I need but is sure to be overstocked on fricken dinosaur bones!

JB Bartkowiak

Very Cool – I didn’t know (and love to see that HD is doing independent trials). Great recap Clint …and sad I missed.

Allen Schell

I bought a Bosch jig saw that must have slipped by the inspector, never make that mistake again

David Gratton

yeah but then why do some power tools get a poor rating when used by everyday people should they notvbe getting excellent ratings if coming from a labratory

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