International Hardware Fair Cologne preview: Knipex, Wiha & tool market statistics

Our Cologne preview continues, featuring Knipex, Wiha, Pryor Marking and look at the state of tool nation…


In addition to the versions of VDE‐tested pliers previously available, KNIPEX provides a range that enables the pliers to be secured to a tether, thereby significantly reducing hazards caused by falling tools.

Because working at heights with live voltage is associated with increased risk, KNIPEX offers 16 different models of VDE pliers corresponding to DIN EN / IEC 60900 in a Tethered Tools* version. These are equipped with a very strong tether attachment that is welded tightly to the handle. Using a separately available protection system comprising tether, adapter strap and carabiner, the tool is reliably secured without this affecting use of the pliers. Pliers can be secured in the most diverse ways depending on the application and preference of the user. The tether attachment does not get in the way either during use at heights or when used unsecured on the ground. Every hand movement is still effective, but at the same time the tool is reliably protected from falling if the need arises. Serious injuries, damage to property or the loss of the pliers are all prevented.

All handles of pliers are fitted with the tried and tested multi‐component grips and are additionally tested with heatand cold and for tensile force and impact. This makes pliers in the KNIPEX VDE Tethered Tools* range twice as reliable, the brand says.

The KNIPEX Tethered Tools* programme as well as further innovations can be seen and tested live at the International Hardware Fair 2018. KNIPEX welcomes you in hall 10.1, stand D004.


Wiha has developed a new system for easier, faster and more intuitive bit selection. The bit range is now divided into just three categories and all bits are now suitable for normal screwdriving tasks and impact screwdrivers.

For screws with a 90‐degree angle at the screw head, which tend to lie against the material, there are the new blue T bits. For screws with angles of more than 90 degrees, with a more countersunk shape, the yellow Y bits are ideal. If the user wants to fasten both types of screws, the red all‐rounder TY bits are the right choice. The question as to whether they should be fastened manually or with impact screwdrivers is redundant with the new bits, says Wiha. UV coatings make selection even easier and lifespans have been extended. Get the full story at Hall 10.1, stands F001 and G002.

Wiha has also produced a second generation of the XXL electrician’s case, the Electrician’s Competence. Contents have been optimised for electricians and there’s a new Wiha torch and dowel racket added as part of the relaunch. They sit alongside Wiha classics like the Tricut installation pliers, VDE screwdriver and torque solutions, and the Wiha slim family. The case trolley also includes upgraded and newer versions of Wiha favourites.

Pryor Marking

Pryor is a world leader in the manufacture and design of both traditional and innovative marking, identification and traceability solutions. Pryor solutions are suitable for a broad range of industrial applications, varying budgets and languages. Using a superior manufacturing process in the heart of Sheffield UK, Pryor Hand Tools are robust and long‐lasting. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to explore a range of manual marking hand tools, from single hand stamps to number marking kits and impact press marking solutions. Pryor will also be exhibiting benchmounted and portable marking machinery, including dot peen, scribe and laser marking.


The Hardware Fair won’t just be about new products, but also the chance to get to grips with the state of the market. The tools market saw a turnover of £3.8bn (€4.3bn) in 2016. In the first half of 2017 turnover increased 7.2% and ‐ according to the German Tool Manufacturers Association (FWI) – the domestic economy helped drive that positive result. Domestic demand for German tools increased 9.7% in H1 2017 while exports also grew, with a 7.7% increase in overseas incoming orders.

Estimates by the Tool Industry Trade Association found tool exports (value) amounted to £3.8bn (€4.3bn) in 2016, up 3.2% on the previous year. In H1 2017, exports increased 3%. Totalling around 72.5% of the overall exports, Europe is the most important target region for German tool manufacturers. The USA is the most important export country, growing 10.6% in H1 2017. Exports to Asiatic countries declined in 2016 (‐3.9%) but revived (+8.7%) in H1 2017.

Rainer Langelüddecke, FWI Executive Director, expects single digit growth for 2018 with the German tool industry remaining optimistic. A decline in the deliveries to the UK (1st half of 2017: ‐8.3%) can be compensated by an increase in the domestic market in 2018. But the association also forecasts positive news for exporters to the USA, South America and Asia. There is also increased interest in the African market, reports the FWI.

Torque Magazine is an official media partner of Eisenwarenmesse – International Hardware Fair Cologne, which runs 4-7 March 2018. We’ve got more on the show online, including:

This article was originally published in the February 2018 edition of Torque Magazine. Read the full magazine online here or subscribe for free

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