2023 looks like an exciting year in the world of hand tools. With emerging applications and different needs from users, manufacturers like OLFA have are focusing on easy-to-use, ergonomic tools for enhanced performance and safety. In this article, we’ll take a look at the top 3 trends driving the industry this year.
- DIY Consumers Drive Sales
The past few years have experienced a growing number of repair and maintenance activities, especially around the home. In fact, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the trend of do-it-yourself (DIY) practices has remained important in the industry. How many of you have seen your friend, neighbor, or mum taking up projects to build, fix, and maintain a variety of objects? As the remodeling boom continues, homeowners are increasingly in search of outdoor projects and other renovation ideas, thus needing hand tools and accessories to complete them.
- The Need for Design-Conscious Tools
Since 1956, OLFA has applied the science of ergonomics when designing its tools. To be ergonomic, or design-conscious, a hand tool needs to be comfortable to use, but also doesn’t expose the user to postural risks that would increase injuries in the long-term. In most recent years, more and more manufacturers have been focused on making tools that are easier and more effective to use. For example, OLFA utility knives feature a non-slip rubber grip or contoured handle (based on the model type), which provides a controlled grasp while preventing the tool from slipping out of the hand. The sharpness of the tool is also an important factor to consider. Sharp blades reduce the effort needed to use the tool effectively, thus reducing potential accidents at work. All of OLFA tools are equipped with sharp blades that can cut any surface easily and safely.
- Increased Safety
The focus of safety isn’t limited to certain industries anymore: it encompasses everything and has become a priority for consumers, safety managers and especially manufacturers. Many of the safety features users look for and offered by OLFA tools include spring-activated blades that retract when lifted from the cutting surface, concealed blades, blade guard tips and stainless-steel blade channels to secure the blade. But safety goes beyond the tool specification. Safety managers also pay continuous attention to the changing standards about safe work environments for hand tool users, thus looking at what materials the tools are made of. The majority of OLFA’s utility and safety knives are built of fiberglass, a composite material made of resin and glass. This material is ideal for hand tools because it is not only durable and lightweight, but it also doesn’t rust no matter the working environment. When they’re not made of fiberglass, handles are crafted of heavy-duty ABS plastic or corrosion-resistant stainless steel.
In this age of constant change, manufacturers need to be on the lookout for the latest trends driving hand tool sales. By understanding the emerging improvements in hand tool ergonomics, applications and materials, consumers will also be better equipped to choose the hand tools that meet their safety, design and productivity needs. If you’re unsure which tool is best for your application, register now for your FREE OLFA Safety evaluation.