Hand tools based on people’s capabilities

Our collaboration with Bahco began in the late 1970s with a completely new design of screwdrivers. A design that has been honored with design awards from all around the world and even made it into MoMA and the Swedish National Museum. Since then we have designed more than 400 products for Bahco, basing our work on in-depth studies of how craftsmen actually use tools.

From chisels and pliers, to knives, saws, paint scrapers and adjustable wrenches, Bahco (Snap-on Inc.) products are ergonomically designed to the detail. They first approached us because their screwdrivers did not allow users to fully take advantage of the strength of the steel. In those days, Bahco had constructors who designed products based on the properties and possibilities of steel, which they then added handles to. Taking an opposite approach, we asked how the tool could be designed from ergonomic insights as well as the known properties of steel.

Transforming a simple tool into a desirable product.

Veryday started the screwdriver development work in 1978 and our user driven design approach was implemented into the product development process resulting in the sub brand Ergo. The Ergo brand guaranteed that the screwdriver was developed and tested in collaboration with craftsmen. The first Bahco ERGO™ screwdriver was introduced in 1983, to celebrate its 30th anniversary, the Bahco ERGO™ screwdriver assortment expanded with over 60 new products.

By using our People Insight research methods we created an informed design brief for our team. We observed and filmed craftsmen at work, discovering that they usually used both hands to tighten a screw. Trials with prototypes showed that handles with enough room for a two-hand grip improved efficiency by 70 percent, and that a round, textured handle ensured maximum friction. This project was the beginning of a collaboration with the Head of Product Development at Bahco, that would last more than 30 years.

By supporting the internal Bahco innovation team, we helped them develop their own differentiating brand design. In 1991, Bahco was sold to a competitor, Sandvik, that was in turne sold to the US-owned multinational tool manufacturer Snap-On in 1999. In 2004, more than 15 million Ergo screwdrivers were sold. Today the Bahco brand is SNA Europe’s brand and is distributed in all continents.

Veryday always strives to find new business opportunities for our clients by adding value to the user experience. In 2009 we identified a new concept for hand saws, changing the way a saw is purchased, used and recycled.

The innovative Bahco Handsaw System has exchangeable blades with different blades for different tasks, thus combining multiple saws in one product. It has a separate handle with a patented locking mechanism for the easy changing of blades. The designers have focused extensively on even the smallest details. They have used soft materials (TPE) on a solid aluminium body to create a handle with superior ergonomics and increased precision. The asymmetrical design eliminates pressure points and offers maximum support precisely where it is needed. The possibility to replace worn blades means that the sustainable handle can be reused over and over again.

A product can not be considered a success unless consumers keep coming back to make more purchases. With ever increasing demand over the past 30 years, the Ergo brand has proved itself a genuine success story.

Hans Himbert, Industrial Designer, Veryday