Im a grad student doing a project on branding.
Ive decided to focus on Disston Tools. Apparently, Disston is in the same
situation that Black and Decker was years ago: Black and Decker owned the
DeWalt brand name and decided to launch it so they could develop
professional notoriety, and they did.
It appears that Disston is in a similar situation with their Blu-Mol and
They are thinking that Disston could be the next DeWalt, but do not have
the notoriety issue in that the Blu-Mol brand is positioned well (I think)
in the minds of consumers and pros. Im inclined to think that they should
build on the Blu-Mol brand and maybe offer a sub brand in Blu-Mol Xtreme
as they have done in the past due to the small but existing brand
My questions: Who among you recognizes Disston? With enough time and
money, one can launch any name as a brand, but why spend the money
launching another brand (Disston) if you can make a power brand out of Blu
I am very interested in hearing what do you think and thank you for your
IMHO Disston is a budget minded brand. I am not sure that having
an association with Disston would improve product sales.
Is Disston a "power" brand??? Not in my opinion.
When I think Disston I think low end entry level.
Many years ago Black and Decker and DeWalt both were pretty good brands,
Black and Decker however seems to have put more focus in to pop corn
poppers and coffee machines in the past 30 years. Still I would
consider Black and Decker over Disston. Actually I would be more likely
to buy Blu-Mol over the Disston brand.
What if Dollar General bought JC Penney, would you be more likely to buy
at JC Penney than you are now?
I remember/think of the Disston of earlier years when were the dominant
A case of being unable to adapt to changing times after WW II and the
advent of the skilsaw and an abortive attempt to get in chainsaws and
Disston is the more valuable brand name for a number of reasons, a
rather illustrious hand saw history not the least of them. It also
sounds better than Blu-Mol. Do not underestimate the value of a
strong sounding name.
R. Yale Worthington, IV
I really can't let that go by, either. B&D certainly owned/got far more
than just the DeWalt brand name when purchased the company in the early
I think you need to look at far more depth here...
When I think of Disston, hand saws come to mind but the most rememberable
product for me was industrial planer knives, they were incredible, no
better industrial knife could be had at any price they had a surface finish
not seen before or since, in such products.
They were sold under the brand name Disston-Philbrick, but as a retail
brand it is probably worthless, only old geezers know the name.
Recognize it? Some members of my family worked for Disston back in
the 1940's and 50's. My wife went to Disston school and our kids
played at Disston playground. They are of course, on Disston Street.
My association with the name is quality hand saws. May have changes
since then though.
In September 1872, Henry Disston and two other men dug part of the
foundation for what was to become the largest saw manufacturing
facility in the world: Disston Saw Works. This was in the Tacony
section of Philadelphia. Having previously moved his expanding
business from near Second and Market Streets to Front and Laurel
Streets, Disston sought to establish his business away from this
cramped area. It took over 25 years to move the entire facility to
Tacony. This Philadelphia neighborhood seems to have been the only
company town in the United States established within an existing city.
Henry Disston was renowned for having one of the first industries that
exhibited environmental responsibility, as well as a paternalistic
view towards his employees. For example, he had thousands of homes
built in Tacony for his workmen. Funds to purchase these homes were
made available through a building and loan association set up by the
Disston firm. Mr. Disston was ready to grant any assistance needed to
see to it that his workers could purchase a home, even if advances
needed to be made.
Other examples of Henry Disston's caring influence on the community
was evident in everyday life. To meet employees' cultural needs, a
hall and a library were built with Henry Disston agreeing to pay a
fixed sum towards its maintenance. The Tacony Music Hall was erected
in 1885, also with the assistance of Disston money.
Very interesting. Thanks for sharing that.
If Disston got back to those roots, instead of sullying their name
with 'eh' products, people would buy them. It wouldn't be "launching
another brand", it would be resurrecting the original one. A much
better story for marketing to sell.
The lesson didn't take very well,unfortunately...his son Hamilton was
kingpin in the "opening" of Florida. At one time the largest land-owner
in the US, he was the head of the consortium that began the massive
draining of swamps and development in central FL. IIRC, had something
like 6- or 7000 sq _miles_ of the state at one time. He's also the one
that basically bankrupted the Disston company by using loans against the
company (unbeknownst to rest of the family) to finance his FL adventures.
Yes I recognize Disston as one of the best sawmakers ever.
First Henry Disston, then (Henry?) Disston and son, later Disston
and sons. If I were to buy a new saw, and I can't imagine why I
would want to, I'd look for a Disston.
ISTR having seen Blu Mol something on the shelf (drill bits maybe?)
but have no opinion on them.
On 11/4/2011 2:01 PM, Fred the Red Shirt wrote:
Assuming by new you mean newly manufactured, not simply new to you,
that'll be tough since it's been _a_long_time_ since they last made new
saws--I know there were a few cheaper made for a while up until, what,
sometime in the 60s, maybe???? perhaps a little longer???
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