How German tool manufacturer OrbisWill is positioning itself as a true “hidden champion” in the hand tool scene as a quality and private label specialist? The portfolio of the „Münsterländer“ (northwest region of Germany) are pliers and bolt cutters and their labelling for industry, automotive, sanitary and electrical installation, to name just a few. 

For over 175 years, OrbisWill has been a medium-sized, owner-managed company that develops and sustainably produces pliers, bolt cutters and plastic components for a wide variety of needs using state-of-the-art equipment. With over 200 employees, OrbisWill has grown to become one of the leading companies in the tool manufacturing and private label business. Customers from industry and trade appreciate OrbisWill as a reliable partner. The company, based in Westphalia, Germany, focused early and consistently on high quality standards and customer orientation in all areas: from development to production and with an outstanding price/performance ratio, excellent service and fair advice from continuously trained employees.

Interview with Daniel Terhaar, International Sales Manager Europe, Asia, Oceania and Africa at OrbisWill. 

Easy Engineering: Can you give us a brief introduction of the company and its activities, please? 

Daniel Terhaar: As a medium-sized company, hand tools and, for some years now, plastic components have been produced for both industry and retailers for over 175 years, at that time in the separate companies ORBIS and WILL, now in Ahaus, Westphalia, under OrbisWill GmbH + Co. KG within the KNIPEX Group. To this end, the company has invested heavily in new production machinery, further automation and a new production hall. The depth and width of production under one roof has been significantly expanded: for example, state-of-the-art plastics injection moulding machines produce components such as handle sleeves around the clock, i.e. 24/7, for the company’s own house brands and for customers’ special designs, among others. 

E.E: What are the main areas of activity of the company? 

D.T: OrbisWill manufactures pliers and bolt cutters at its site in Ahaus, Germany, and these are delivered to over 60 countries around the world. The products are developed and produced for the professional sectors such as plumbing, electrical, industry, trade and construction but also for the premium DIY (Do-it-Yourself) market. The special characteristics: OrbisWill is the specialist and solution provider in the private label business for well-known, established trade brands and manufacturers, and has been for 60 years! Our slogan for this: 

E.E: What’s the news about new products? 

D.T: The permanent optimization of our products is part of our product development culture. End-user feedback is therefore a particularly important factor in this process. As opposed to mass-produced goods from Asia, especially China, some of which have questionable quality and safety faults – it is very important to us that our products become or remain increasingly handy, flexible, multi-functional and, above all, reliable for users. New versions to complete assortments and new products, adapted to the electrical and automotive sectors, are planned for the fair “Eisenwarenmesse” in Cologne this year.

E.E: What is the scope of the product ranges? 

D.T: OrbisWill GmbH + Co. KG offers a wide-ranging product portfolio: 

  • Mesh cutters for cutting structural steel meshes and rebar 
  • Bolt cutters for reinforcement 
  • Fire Department bolt cutters, equipped with catch hooks 
  • Water pump pliers or 
  • Pliers wrenches for sanitary installations and related work in various designs 
  • Side cutters and 
  • Power side cutters for soft and hard wires as well as piano wires 
  • Combination pliers in various configurations with e.g. different force transmissions or various jaw designs (involute profiles) for different requirements 
  • Electronic pliers 

with different handles, also as ESD version (HiFi technology, computer, telephone etc.) 

  • automotive/industrial pliers 

e.g. circlip pliers

And much more, up to individual customer hand tools. 

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active in? 

D.T: Customers consistently demand the highest quality, but at the point of sale it becomes evident to private label retailers that more features and benefits need to come in order to maintain or even improve sales. 

“Private label” (OEM) in this context is more than just labelling products in a different way: This includes customised finishes of polishes, surface coatings, handle covers and grips, labelling, packaging, even own models/forged parts if necessary, and the like. Here we make it easy for our customers: with selection from our construction kits, we can fulfil almost all customer requirements. 

We at OrbisWill are currently looking for reliable partners in Romania, who are willing to reinforce the high quality standard “Made in Germany” for the brand “ORBIS” and for the “PrivateLabel” business, also here in Romania, with us. 

Our central location in Western Europe enables fast communication, consulting and training of customer sales, if necessary, also on site. 

Daniel Terhaar, International Sales Manager Europe, Asia, Oceania and Africa at OrbisWill. 

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? 

D.T: For our target groups, the main topics are the growing e-mobility, the market concentration of dealers and manufacturers, and the developments in e-business with rapid personalisation tendencies at the product level. One example: In order to be able to meet the different needs of users such as those of retailers from a single source, we have even set up parallel product lines in the spirit of “good – better – best”: ClassicL!ne, MIG-L!ne and EvoL!ne. The product lines differ from each other in terms of additional functions, improved application possibilities, easier cutting and/or better ergonomics. Nevertheless, the character of the product range must be maintained throughout. The great variety of customisation options with relatively small quantities at the same time. 

We support retail customers in their communication with end consumers, including POS differentiation or positioning in the market. Technical consultations help with target group-specific product and design selection. This ensures less (price) comparability of products and offers the opportunity to move from price communication to performance communication. 

The additional effect for retailers is that they become more independent of the “big players” such as the manufacturer brands and can thus possibly generate more profit margins. In addition, the private label allows them to establish their own product range tailored to their target group. 

The possibility of local consulting and training by OrbisWill provides the retail customer with a high degree of expertise, which is otherwise reserved for the manufacturer. The result: the dealer’s own competence is highlighted and his pricing authority is regained within the overall economic framework. This also provides freedom for further business opportunities. 

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed and what estimations do you have for 2022/23? 

D.T: Let’s look forward to the fair „Eisenwarenmesse“ Cologne in September this year! Be curious! You are invited to visit us: Hall 10.1 Stand E1/D2

For further information on the OrbisWill product range, please visit


Helmut Jaspersen

Tel.: +49/2561/ 424 – 50 

Fax: +49/2561/ 424 – 24