IRWIN Tools Revs up 2011 with the Ultimate Tradesman Challenge World Finals

The World Champion will get a Chance to Win $1 Million

Huntersville, N.C., March 8, 2011 — IRWIN® Tools, a world-class manufacturer and marketer of a broad line of professional hand tools and power tool accessories, will host the Ultimate Tradesman Challenge World Finals on Sunday, March 20, 2011. Six competitors from around the world will use their trade skills to perform a series of precise tasks — such as gripping, sawing, marking, clamping and drilling — in a race against the clock. The tradesman with the top time will be crowned the Ultimate Tradesman Challenge World Champion and will have a chance to win up to $1 MILLION.

IRWIN Tools, a company serious about celebrating the contributions of professional tradesmen, hosted over 250 competitions in nine countries to identify the top six competitors who can Grip It, Rip It, and Drive It faster than any other tradesman. On Sunday, March 20, 2011, one will be crowned the IRWIN Tools Ultimate Tradesman Challenge World Champion.

“IRWIN Tools is excited to host these talented competitors at Bristol Motor Speedway for the Ultimate Tradesman Challenge World Finals,” said Curt Rahilly, VP of Marketing for IRWIN Tools. “At IRWIN, we are dedicated to meeting the needs of professional tradesmen. These trade professionals make a real difference in their communities each and every day because of the work they do. Our competition is a celebration of their contributions and talent.”

Six Ultimate Tradesman Challenge Competitors:

Representing North America from Brandon, Mississippi is Delwyn Thornton. Thornton has been the owner of Soles and Heels Shoe Repair for 27 years, and says his favorite IRWIN tool is QUICK-GRIP® clamps. When he isn’t working on shoes, Thornton likes to get out and ride his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

South America’s hopes lie in the hands of Brazilian Champion Helmut Radke Neto. Helmut, from Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, is the owner of an ice cream machine parts manufacturer. He enjoys playing paintball and says that his favorite IRWIN tool is VISE-GRIP® GrooveLock Pliers.

Bjørn Ravn Kühlmeier is the 2010 Scandinavian Champion. From, Erritsø, Fredericia, Denmark, Bjørn is a self-employed carpenter or “selvstændig tømrer.” Kühlmeier enjoys relaxing with family and friends in his free time.

Representing the UK/Ireland is Daniel Shepherd. Shepherd is from Halifax, England, and is a carpenter/joiner. Shepherd’s hobbies include building custom cars and driving the Aston Martin that he won in the UK/Ireland Ultimate Tradesman Challenge championship. As a carpenter, the IRWIN Tools Universal Handsaw is Shepherd’s tool of choice.

Matthew “Matt” Francis will be representing Australia/New Zealand in the Ultimate Tradesman Challenge World Finals. Francis is from Townsville, Queensland, Australia where he works as a secondary school industrial arts teacher and is the head of the Industrial Technology & Design Department. Francis’ favorite IRWIN tool is QUICK-GRIP® clamps.

Rounding out the competition is Eastern European Champion Krystof Doroziński. Doroziński is from Stawka Wielka, Poland, where he is a carpenter. When Doroziński isn’t practicing his trade, he likes to spend time outdoors hunting and fishing.

“The Ultimate Tradesman Challenge embodies IRWIN’s passion for the professional tradesman,” adds Rahilly. “IRWIN is serious about celebrating tradesmen who always reach for greatness in all that they do. IRWIN Tools looks forward to continuing the celebration of the professional tradesman on National Tradesmen Day, planned for Friday, September 16, 2011.

For more information about the Ultimate Tradesman Challenge World Finals and National Tradesmen Day, visit


About IRWIN Tools
IRWIN Tools manufactures and distributes a broad line of hand tools and power tool accessories including VISE-GRIP® pliers and wrenches, MARATHON® saw blades, QUICK-GRIP® clamping tools,SPEEDBOR® wood drilling bits, STRAIT-LINE® marking tools, UNIBIT® step drill bits, and HANSON® taps and dies. IRWIN Tools is a part of Newell Rubbermaid’s global portfolio of brands. For more information, call 1-800-GO-IRWIN or visit IRWIN invites the nation to celebrate National Tradesmen Day on Friday, September 16, 2011.

About IRWIN Tools Ultimate Tradesman Challenge
IRWIN’s Ultimate Tradesman Challenge is a global competition where skilled tradesmen perform a series of precise tasks in a race against the clock. Contestants first use IRWIN VISE-GRIP® GrooveLock pliers to remove two (2) pipe fittings from a qualifying channel (Grip It). They 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 Handsaw 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  automatically stops. 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.

Media Contact:
Robin Blackwood
864.233.3776, ext. 20