Walmart has been selling tools for years, and many brands have come and gone through the store’s aisles. So we get it if people are wary of buying something like power tools from the retailer, thinking that they’ll be just more cost savers that don’t deliver. And we wouldn’t blame them if they did; the store’s Hyper Tough brand has performed poorly in our tests. But Walmart started carrying Hart tools in 2019, and we’ve found decent, value performance in the models we’ve tested. You can have a full look at the selection here.
The line (exclusive to Walmart) is extensive, consisting of hand and power tools that are both corded and cordless, 20-volt and 40-volt. We haven’t tested all of them, but we’ve used enough to see that the brand delivers on value. Our recent test of its 40-volt mower found that it cut 8,340 square feet on a single charge (as much as any mower in its price class). Its chainsaw, also a 40-volt power tool, cut 46 hardwood discs. To give you some perspective, that’s as many as the DeWalt DCCS670 cut, even if that saw is twice as fast and built far more robustly. While we had to dock the Hart saw a few points (its hand/wrist guard is a bit clumsy), it proved a capable cutter. For those among us who already find who already find themselves in one of Walmart’s 4,759 locations in the U.S., the competitive pricing is attractive. Time-starved shoppers can pick up a hoodie, a few groceries, and a few aisles away put a cordless drill into their cart.
It made sense for Walmart to partner with Hart, a brand owned by Hong Kong-based TTI, an experienced operator in the hand- and power-tool space with worldwide sales of $7.7 billion in 2019. Its CEO is Joe Galli, the guy most responsible for the rebranding launch of DeWalt in 1992; he transformed it from a manufacturer of radial arm saws to a power-tool powerhouse.
Hart’s history goes back to 1983, when it was founded in California to make advanced forms of framing hammers. TTI then bought it in 2007 to fill out its hand-tool offerings. TTI also owns such well-regarded makers of power tools and electric home appliances as Milwaukee Electric Tool, Ryobi, Hoover, Oreck, and Dirt Devil.
Direct cost comparisons among brands can be tricky because subtleties may be hiding in the price. For example, two drill kits could look the same, but one might be sold with one battery and the other with two batteries; one drill may have a brushed motor, the other may be brushless (most, but not all, Hart tools featured brushed motors, by the way). One tool may be U.S.-made, while its competitor comes in from offshore. A tool’s size, weight, and the specifics of its construction also affect its price. But here are some specifics for context:
- Hart’s 25-foot tape measure is $8.88; the Stanley Fat Max version at The Home Depot is $8.70.
- Hart’s magnetic-end pro tape is $13.88, while a U.S.-made Stanley Fat Max is $24.97.
- A Craftsman 320-piece mechanic’s tool set costs $214; the 215-piece Hart version is $148.
- Another equivalency: A two-battery Craftsman drill and impact driver kit costs $99; a single-battery Hart kit costs $94. Both have standard brushed motors.
Our initial testing of Hart tools found them delivering on both performance and value. But enough to make it worth you going out of your way to grab a Hart tool? It comes down to three factors: what you see as your performance requirements, where you like to shop, and your budget. If your performance requirements are high, closer to the pro end of the spectrum, you’ll need to shop for more established brands like DeWalt, Milwaukee, Metabo-HPT, Bosch, and Makita. These are the ones that prove their professional performance and durability, test in and test out, year in and year out. Craftsman tools are also doing very well in our use, and many of them provide pro and near-pro levels of capability. Lowe’s Kobalt line is also coming on very strong, as are select Worx tools.
In the end, we can’t say that Hart tools offer enough of either that performance or value yet to make them worth seeking out. But they provide respectable, spunky, homeowner-grade performance at a decent price. And if you’re already a Walmart shopper, it makes sense to give the brand a careful look.