IRWIN Tools Kicks off 2010 Ultimate Tradesman Challenge

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. March 18, 2010 — IRWIN® Tools, a world-class manufacturer and marketer of a broad line of professional hand tools and power tool accessories, today announces the kick-off of the 2010 Ultimate Tradesman Challenge.

IRWIN Tools is searching across the world for the Ultimate Tradesman. With competitions throughout the United States, Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland, Denmark, Australia, and New Zealand, the tradesman who can Grip It, Rip It, and Drive It faster than any other tradesman out there, will be crowned the next IRWIN Tools Ultimate Tradesman.

The Ultimate Tradesman Challenge is all about IRWIN’s passion for the professional tradesman. IRWIN is serious about celebrating tradesmen who do their jobs each and every day, always reaching for greatness in all that they do. These are the men and women who build dreams. They build life with their hands. And they keep the world running, when the things we depend on break down. For some people, it’s just a job… a means to an end. But for professional tradesmen, it’s often a calling. And it’s not just about doing their work. It’s about doing their life’s work.

“IRWIN Tools, and its category-leading sub-brands, has built a reputation for best-in-class products through a relentless dedication to identifying the needs of professional tradesman across the globe,” says Curt Rahilly, VP of Marketing. “This passionate focus on the tradesmen who use our tools will extend directly to global marketing efforts that distinguish the significant contributions of those who use their hands to build and maintain the world around us. These trade professionals make a real difference in our society each and every day, and they need tools that work as hard as they do.”

IRWIN’s Ultimate Tradesman Challenge is a global competition where skilled tradesmen will perform a series of precise tasks in a race against the clock. Contestants will first use IRWIN VISE-GRIP® GrooveLock pliers to remove two (2) pipe fittings from a qualifying channel (Grip It). He/she will then use an IRWIN square and pencil to mark three (3) lines on a standard 2” x 4” x 24” board, at pre-marked positions. Contestant then slides the board into a cutting position, and securely clamps it to the work surface with an IRWIN QUICK-GRIP® XP600 one-handed bar clamp. Contestant then uses an IRWIN Universal Hand Saw to cut the board on the line previously marked (Rip It). And finally, using an IRWIN SPEEDBOR® Max Speed drill bit, contestant drills two (2) holes in the board at the intersecting lines (Drive It), unclamps the board, places the clamp on the competition cart, and puts the board in the qualifying channel. If the board fits accurately, the clock will automatically stop, and the challenge time will be noted. Speed; ability to remove pipe fittings; accurate marking; ability to clamp work securely; fast, straight cuts; and the ability to accurately drill holes are crucial to winning the challenge. The Ultimate Tradesman Challenge is a true test of on-the-job skills.

Visit for details on the “task,” or to see a video of the challenge in action.