Power Tools Brand DeWalt Marks Centennial Year

DeWalt, a Stanley Black & Decker brand, is celebrating its 100th anniversary of powering the pros.

The company was founded in 1924 by Raymond DeWalt, a tradesman in Pennsylvania in the early 1920s who became a power tool pioneer when he sought a way to streamline and expedite wood cutting operations without sacrificing quality or safety. His journey led to the invention of the ‘Wonder-Worker,’ an adjustable electric radial arm saw that provided the ability to efficiently execute multiple operations on one affordable piece of equipment, and the creation of DeWalt.

The ‘Wonder-Worker’ set the stage for DeWalt to begin distributing products both nationally and internationally, with the company counting household names like Steinway & Sons and Westinghouse Electric Co. among its clients. By 1927, Sears, Roebuck and Co. boasted DeWalt’s saw contributed to helping manufacture “50 ready-cut houses” each day.

Later in life, Raymond focused on helping close the skilled trades gap. He became a shop teacher at Mechanicsburg High School in Pennsylvania, educating the next generation of professional tradespeople.

Raymond passed away in 1961, but his trailblazing legacy lives on in the tools and outdoor products that bear his name.

Today, DeWalt powers trades around the world with award-winning products that include a portfolio of power tools and technology equipment, hand tools, accessories and storage, as well as outdoor powered equipment.

DeWalt founder Raymond DeWalt

Alongside its commercial success, DeWalt has influenced the trajectory of the industry through its commitment to innovation, safety and productivity.

During the 1930s, the brand collaborated with the U.S. government and industry organizations to define and improve safety regulations in the construction industry, before the establishment of what is now known as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

In 1992, DeWalt introduced its first line of portable electric power tools and accessories designed to meet the unique needs of pro users. Two years later, it rolled out a revolutionary system of more than 30 new cordless tools, including the most powerful cordless tools at the time: the 14.4-volt cordless drill/driver and the five-and-three-eighths-inch cordless saw.

More recently, DeWalt introduced Flexvolt in 2016 — the world’s first battery that automatically changes voltage when the user changes tools. And in 2021, the company was the world’s first major power tool brand to use pouch cell batteries designed for the construction industry with the launch of its Powerstack battery.

“DeWalt has been committed to professional tradespeople for the past 100 years, and Raymond DeWalt’s founding principles of innovation, safety and productivity remain the core ethos of our company today,” says Chris Nelson, COO, executive vice-president and president of tools and outdoor at Stanley Black & Decker. “This milestone anniversary is also a humbling reminder of both the responsibility and critical role DeWalt plays supporting the trades with solutions, training and resources needed to meet the demands of the future.”

To support and grow the next generation of trades professionals, DeWalt began offering annual trades scholarships in 2019. Last year, the company pledged $30 million over five years toward its ‘grow the trades’ initiatives to support active and aspiring tradespeople. In addition, DeWalt contributed nearly $7 million in 2023 to programs that support tradespeople, including trade schools, vocational training and education for clean energy schools and other training organizations, while also collaborating with industry and non-profit partners on increasing women, diversity and veteran participation in the trades.

DeWalt plans to commemorate its centennial year in multiple ways. The company will ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange May 14, officially marking 100 years in business; introduce a special anniversary branding and paint scheme on Nascar Christopher Bell’s #20 Toyota Camry; and launch a social media campaign honouring and highlighting the contributions of current professionals and promoting careers in the trades.

Also to mark the occasion, the company recently launched DeWalt Powershift, an electrified equipment system that optimizes the end-to-end workflow of concrete job sites.

“Entering DeWalt’s second century, we remain just as committed to driving relentless innovation and supporting the trades as Raymond DeWalt did in 1924,” says Nelson. “From cutting-edge technology to skills development, DeWalt’s future remains strong, and we will lead the way in empowering tradespeople to succeed while defining the next era of industry innovation.”

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