Handsaws

Few product categories are as closely associated with old-school artisanship as the handsaw. Low-tech, but high utility, the handsaw category is male dominated and relatively stable. The average price of a handsaw purchased by consumers from July 2007 to June 2008 was $16.10, up slightly from the previous year, according to data collected by Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group.

Analysis: Warehouse home centers made modest gains in both unit share and dollar share—both gains seem to be at the expense of the department stores. The mass channel does much better in hammers, the other tool staple, with 29 percent unit share. This is probably because anyone can use a hammer, but a handsaw is usually involved in more complicated projects by more serious DIYers.

CHANNEL BREAKDOWN BY GENDER (UNIT SHARE)

Gender Total WHC Mass Hardware Dept. Store
Male 73.9% 75.5% 67.8% 80.9% 74.1%
Female 26.1% 24.5% 32.2% 19.1% 25.9%

Analysis: The most female-friendly channel is the mass channel, where 32.2 percent of saws were purchased. On the other end of the spectrum, hardware stores showed only a 19.1 percent female purchase rate.

Analysis: Pull saws weren’t tracked in 2007 but have generated a significant market share in 2008. “Even in what could be considered a common, fully evolved category, we do see some innovation with the Japanese-style pull saws,” said Mark Delaney, NPD Group’s director of home improvement. “They’re already tracking at almost 5 percent share within a year—that is pretty impressive.” The basic “panel saw” gained on its position, up 1.6 percentage points in dollar share, though it declined slightly in unit share.

Analysis: Store personnel scored a 4.1 percent mark as a reason for purchase overall. But in the hardware store channel, the figure jumped to 10.1 percent. The dramatic difference reveals the importance of one-on-one interaction in hardware stores. In the WHC channel, store personnel scored 3.6 percent, compared to 1.4 percent in the mass channel and 1.0 percent in the department store channel.

Methodolgy NPD data is based on monthly tracking of nearly 70 categories, to 30,000 opt-in consumers. The 2008 data above reflects the period July 2007 to June 2008.