PEW hears from Draper Tools, a family owned and run tool firm, that has been supplying quality tools for more than a century.
It all started with Bert Draper selling tools at markets in Kingston-upon-Thames in 1919. Today, the company has over 560,000 sq. ft. of space packed with the latest tools and more than 11,000 product lines. It’s fair to say that taking the time to get a product range right and carefully listening to feedback is something the company takes pride in. Already known for its popular VDE hand tools range, Draper has been hard at work on several brand-new essentials for electricians. In addition to the product development, Draper took the time to get to know the sector – and the people in it – with a survey of the UK’s electricians. The study looked at everything from tool buying habits to job satisfaction levels and what motivates people in this unique trade.
Draper is proud to unveil the XP1000 range, the culmination of two years of research and development. Tested to 10,000V, it’s suitable for use on AC circuits up to 1,000V and DC circuits up to 1,500V. Fully compliant to EN60900 standards, the range features 21 new VDE pliers and 55 VDE screwdrivers, with tethered options on all pliers. This is a comprehensive series of hand tools designed to see electricians through a range of jobs throughout their careers. XP1000 also includes five handy sets of pliers and screwdrivers – designed to appeal to the tool-loving electrician.
Speaking about the launch, Phil Rowley, Sales Director at Draper Tools, commented: “Our VDE range of hand tools is important to us as a business. We’ve offered a good solid range for many years, but we were keen to up our game and hone in on what electricians really needed from us. We knew there was more we could offer. So we listened to feedback, worked with key figures in the industry and spent a long time researching and developing XP1000. It’s been a big investment for us, but we’re confident this is a range electricians will love. It’s reliable, comfortable, safe and comes with our Draper Expert Lifetime Warranty too.”
Tools for success
According to the survey results, the love UK electricians have for their tools is very real. In fact, “getting to use tools every day” was voted one of the top three parts of the job. A quarter of the electricians said they get a sense of satisfaction from adding to their tool collection. And around one in six admitted they get enjoyment from simply sitting back and admiring their tools, making the tools of the trade a key appeal of the job.
There are several impressive features in Draper’s new range that electricians will really like. Both the screwdrivers and pliers feature TPE extra-comfort handles and chemically blackened anti-glare finish. The slim screwdrivers are excellent for getting to hard-to-reach areas and make a very handy addition to an electrician’s tool kit. They also feature a dual-layer “insulation warning” blade sheath for safety and peace of mind.
The tethered range, in particular, is set to be one of the biggest ranges of tethered VDE hand tools on the market. These feature a convenient loop on each tool that allows for quick and easy attachment to a lanyard, making them well-suited to those working at height.
Listening to the experts
Keeping the importance of industry feedback in mind, Draper carried out pre-launch testing of the XP1000 range with a small but diverse panel of electricians. They put the range to the test on various real-life jobs over a two-week period and reported their findings. The results were encouraging, with over 85% of them saying they’d recommend XP1000 to others in the trade. Three quarters of the testers said XP1000 was a range they’d buy more from in the future and all agreed Draper Tools was a brand they trusted.
But Draper’s test and listen approach doesn’t end there. The company also has plans to work with readers of Professional Electrician to get further in-depth feedback on how the tools perform, and the results will be published in a future edition. Phil Rowley explained why this process is such a key part of launching the range: “XP1000 is the latest addition to our Draper Expert series of tools for professionals, so we’re keen to get this range into the hands of the expert electricians out there. We will always listen to what they have to say and use this to help us keep on innovating.”
A sales surge for electrical wholesalers
Draper will be supporting its retail partners in a number of ways, including competitive pricing on the XP1000 range to allow for strong margins. The company is also working with several high-profile influencers and investing in widespread advertising to build awareness of XP1000 and drive demand to stockists. And there will be bright and bold merchandising options for stores, with something to suit all display formats and spaces.
XP1000 completes Draper’s existing range of essentials for electricians, which includes cable knives, crimping tools, pipe cutters, plasterboard saws, plunge cutting blades, hacksaws and even a Wi-Fi endoscope. But the company isn’t stopping there. Draper’s Phil Rowley explained: “We will be continually adding to XP1000 with high-quality tools designed specifically for the sector. We’re focusing on what electricians need more than ever before, with a lot of big plans in the pipeline. We’ve already got several new ideas under development and for later this year. Watch this space!”
To find out more about the XP1000 range click here
Current Draper stockists can also speak to their Area Sales Manager.