In April 2021, Lowe’s started selling a line of cordless power tools geared at professionals called Flex. But who makes Flex power tools for Lowe’s? Where are Flex power tools made?
Elsewhere in the world, Flex is not exclusive to Lowe’s. But in the United States, Flex is a high end line of cordless power tools that Lowe’s hopes to sell to trade professionals such as builders.
Who makes Flex power tools for Lowe’s?
Flex invented the angle grinder in the 1950s, which is their claim to fame. In the United States, Flex is exclusive to Lowe’s, but that’s not the case elsewhere in the world.
Flex power tools are made by Chervon, the same company who makes Kobalt power tools. Chervon’s big-name competitors include Stanley Black and Decker, makers of those two brands as well as Craftsman and DeWalt, and TTI, makers of Ryobi and Milwaukee.
While Lowe’s aims Kobalt at the middle of the market, competing at retail with brands like Porter Cable and Ridgid, Flex competes at the higher end of the market, with the likes of Milwaukee, Bosch, Skil, Makita, and DeWalt for the hearts and minds of contractors and trade professionals. In the United States, at retail, Milwaukee is a Home Depot exclusive.
Flex gives Lowe’s a high-end brand to compliment DeWalt, which is sold at many stores. They invented the angle grinder, which is their claim to fame. Flex’s first angle grinder came to market in 1954. Chervon bought Flex in 2013, continuing the trend of consolidation in the tool industry as a whole.
Outside of Lowe’s, Flex is known mostly for automotive tools. Repurposing brands of specialty professional tools for sale at retail is hardly a new practice. That trend started with DeWalt. The line at Lowe’s includes all of the usual expected cordless power tools like power drills, impact driver, reciprocating saws, circular saws
What else does Chervon make?
Many other Chervon brands are exclusive to Lowe’s in the United States, including Ego battery powered lawn mowers.
Of course, that doesn’t mean the batteries between the different brands are compatible. Part of the reasons for brand differentiation is the battery platform. The better the battery, the better the power and better the runtime.
Where are Flex power tools made?
The Flex brand originated in Germany in 1922. As with all things, that doesn’t mean that’s where Chervon makes the tools today. Lowe’s and Chervon probably hope consumers will associate Flex with Germany and other high-end German brands.
Chervon originated in China. They have offices around the world, but their manufacturing plants are in China and Germany. As for whatever tool interests you, you won’t know if it’s Chinese or German unless you can get a look at the packaging.
If you’re looking for something made in the USA, this isn’t it. For the purposes of meeting a price point, assume the tool came from China unless the box says otherwise.