There are many “house brands” that get slapped on tools by retailers like Home Depot, Lowes, Sears, Walmart et. al.
Some house brands include:
Home Depot Uses : CE Tech, HDX, Husky, Rockforge, and Workforce.
Lowes Uses: Blue Hawk, Duraworx, Kobalt, Precise Fit, Task Force, and Utilitech
Sears Uses: Craftsman and Benchtop
Some other well-known brands may be cross-licensed and/or have their brand names on tools from different OEMs. I’ve seen the Skil brand name on hand tools (mostly gimmicky ones IMO) where the OEM was Iron Bridge Tools – not the brand name owner (was Bosch – now sold to Chervon)
Home Depot also may have a cross-licensing agreement with Emerson to put the Ridgid name on some tools that neither come from TTI (most Ridgid-branded cordless tools) nor from Emerson’s Ridge Tool Company. So HD sells shovels made by Ames under the Ridgid brand, “Ridgid Brand” extension cords made by Cerro Wire, and Ridgid hole saws made by R.A.F. Industries (Blu-Mol / Disston). These cross-licensing agreements may also let HD change the OEM as they see fit - so two different Ridgid shovels may come from different OEM;s
Some of these house brand or cross-licensed tools that have different OEMs may and should bear a unique GTIN (I think it is an acronym for Global Trade Identifier Number) My first step (not always successful) for trying to figure out the OEM of a house-brand or cross-brand tool is to first see if I can identify the UPC (GTIN-12) or EAN (GTIN-13)number.
So try to find the barcode – usually easy if you have the original package in front of you at home or in the store. Or if no package – try your search engine with the tool’s brand name and part number in your search.
Knowing that the first 6 numbers of the barcode typically are used to identify the GTIN owner, I try to use a resource to look up that owner – searching by GTIN:
Sometimes you get right to the OEM. Other times the GTIN may be owned by an importer or wholesaler. Still other times the barcode may be a bit fictitious (not to cast aspersions) having been originally owned by companies that are now out of business and been picked up by others possibly to avoid having to pay money to legitimize their company-code. Still other times the UPC/EAN may just have been made up, or slapped on for in-house use only - having a good (last) check digit but not much else that is good (at least not of use in identifying the OEM.) If you Google “Fake UPC Codes” you will see more on this issue.
Central Purchasing LLC. (Harbor Freight) - is IMO - in a class by itself as far as the number of different brand names. They use brand names that include: Cen-Tech, Central Forge, Central Hydraulics, Central Machinery, Central Pneumatics (Earthquake and Pro variants too), Chicago Electric (Power Tools and Welding). Diamond Life, Drill Master, Gordon (Flashlights), Harbor Freight, HFT, Lifetime Carbide, Pittsburgh (Automotive and Pro variants too), Storehouse, Voyager, Western Safety, and Windsor Design. Some of these seem to me to be homonyms - or close cousins of some other brands - or bear brand names that seem associated with a North American Market. One example is HF’s “Chicago Electric” brand compared to Atlas Copco’s “Chicago Pneumatic” brand. Since they (the Central Purchasing brands) all seem (my random checking) bear the same UPC company code prefix (792363) - you can not tell from which of the various (mostly Asian) OEM’s they might have come from.