Best time to buy tools? Father’s Day Sales [survey]


Tools-survey-blogFor the second year in a row, Father’s Day ranks tops with shoppers for the best time to buy tool deals in FatWallet’s annual Tools Buyer Survey*, just nudging out Black Friday which replaced Spring home sales as the second best time of year to buy tools. In fact, tools rank as third most popular Father’s Day gift of 10% surveyed , with 20% electing to get dad a card and 14% will take dad to dinner or other event. Not necessarily a huge surprise as June is known to be the best time of year to buy both power tools, and home improvement materials (see What to buy in June).

Similar to last year’s survey, 80% of American adults said that they buy new tools at least once every year, with 37% buying more than once and 17% 3-4 times a year. Of these, 23% will spend between $100 – $249 and 10% spend $250 or more on new tools annually. Almost half of those surveyed said they will buy tools from Home Depot, 40% Lowe’s and 19% from Sears, although 37%  still ranks Craftsman as the most popular tools brand well ahead of Black & Decker (25%) and DeWalt (23%).

1 in 4 said lawn and garden tools and are most popular but that’s down considerably from 2014 (38%), followed by 17% to buy Combination Power Tool Kit (cordless), 15% Hand Tools, 14% Power Drills, 14% Tool Box (storage). Savvy tool shoppers will be sure to add increased cash back from upcoming summer sales and Father’s Day offers to bolster their savings and improve their DIY projects.

[STATISTICS]:  Overall home improvement spending is expected to grow 5.8% during the summer months of 2015, with an average of marathon 4 projects per homeowner who noted they were working on projects (Home Improvement Research Institute).

Q: How often do you buy tools (for using at home) or home improvement related items?

  • 43% Once a year or less often
  • 15% 2 times a year
  • 17% 3-4 times a year
  • 5% Monthly or more often
  • 20% said “I have never purchased tools” (only 13% for males)

Note: Nearly 30% of those under age 30 have never purchased tools before.

Q: Which of these items are you most likely to purchase this year as a Father’s Day gift?

  • 20% said “just a card”
  • 14% said Dinner or an Event (shows, games, concerts, etc)
  • 10% said Tools
  • 9% said Apparel (clothing, shoes, jewelry, etc.)
  • 6% Electronics or Computers
  • 5% Sporting Goods
  • 5% Media (books, magazines, movies, music)

Note: 1 in 10 will buy new tools for dad.

Q: Of these options, when is the best time to find deals on tools?

  • 30% Father’s Day
  • 28% Black Friday Sale
  • 21% Spring Sales
  • 15% December Holiday Sales
  • 6% Cyber Monday

Note: Those age 50-59 were the only group that ranked Black Friday the best time to buy tools.

Q: Approximately how much do you plan to spend on tools this year?

  • 67% Less than $100
  • 23% $100 to $249
  • 7% $250 to $499
  • 3 $500 or more

Note: Those under the age of 40 will spend 30% more on tools.

Q: When you buy tools, where do you buy most of your tools?

  • 48% Home Depot
  • 40% Lowe’s
  • 28% Sears
  • 13% Ace Hardware
  • 8% Menard’s
  • 16% Department Store (Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, etc)
  • 10% Online Store (Amazon, Ebay, Overstock, etc.)

Note: The majority of those buying tools from Menards are located in the Midwest (32%).

Q: Of these options, what is your most desired brand of tools?

  • 37% Craftsman
  • 25% Black & Decker
  • 23% DeWalt
  • 5% Milwaukee
  • 4% Makita
  • 4% Bosch
  • 2% Porter Cable

Note: Craftsman is “the” most visible tool brands during Black Friday sales, and a life-time guarantee and affordability make for a smart tool purchase.

Q: Which tools do shoppers want most this year?

  • 24% Lawn & Garden Tools
  • 17% Combination Power Tool Kit (cordless)
  • 15% Hand Tools (hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, etc)
  • 14% Power Drills
  • 14% Tool Box (storage)
  • 10% Automotive Tools
  • 8% Circular Saws or Miter Saws

Note: Demand for yard & garden tools have decreased by 50% in popularity from last year’s tool survey (36% in 2014) as demand for cordless power tools increases.

Q: Of these options, which is the most important feature for power tools?

  • 60% Quality/Durability
  • 15% Battery Life
  • 11% Power/Torque
  • 9% Weight/Size
  • 5% Length of Warranty

Note: Battery life, power and size all increased in importance supporting the rise in popularity of cordless lithium ion tools which produce more torque and last longer without a charge, all in a much smaller footprint.

Q: What would stop you from buying new tools this year?

  • 33% said “I have way too many tools at home”
  • 26% said “I have tools I’ve never use”
  • 20% said “Only if I run out of money”
  • 17% said Too busy to do home projects
  • 15% said “Hammer, screwdriver and duct tape is all I need”
  • 11% said “Spouse says it’s not in the budget”

Note: 30% of those under age 30 are just too busy to take on home projects.


*The national survey conducted online by TNS on behalf of in March 2013 was fielded among 1,000 adults ages 18 or older, 50/50 male/female.