IRWIN Tools Crowns Daniel Shepherd World’s Ultimate Tradesman

UK/Ireland’s Ultimate Tradesman Challenge Champion Defeats Five Competitors From
Around the World and Takes Home a Cash Prize of $10,000

Bristol, Tenn., March 20, 2011 — England’s Daniel Shepherd, of Halifax, became the World’s Ultimate Tradesman today, and the winner of $10,000 during the IRWIN® Tools Ultimate Tradesman Challenge World Finals, held at Bristol Motor Speedway.

IRWIN® Tools, a world-class manufacturer and marketer of a broad line of professional hand tools and power tool accessories, named Shepherd the World’s Ultimate Tradesman after he beat five competitors from around the world by performing a series of precise tasks, such as gripping, sawing, marking, clamping and drilling, in a race against the clock. Shepherd completed the final round of the competition in 25.07 seconds, out-distancing North America’s Delwyn Thornton, of Mississippi, by 8.51 seconds. After Shepherd claimed the top time spot, he randomly selected one out of 25 IRWIN tool bags to win $10,000.

“This competiton has opened so many doors for me thanks to IRWIN Tools,” said Shepherd. “I thought being the UK/Ireland Ultimate Tradesman Challenge Champion was out of this world. The world competition has surpassed all my wildest dreams.”

IRWIN Tools, a company serious about celebrating the contributions of professional tradesmen, hosted over 250 competitions in nine countries, with over 16,000 tradesmen competing throughout the world. During this World Finals event, only the top six global champions competed to see who could Grip It, Rip It, and Drive It faster than any other tradesman in the world.

Shepherd, a carpenter/joiner who enjoys building custom cars and driving the Aston Martin that he won in the UK/Ireland Ultimate Tradesman Challenge championship, defeated North America’s Delwyn Thornton from Brandon, Mississippi; Poland’s Krystof Doroziński from Stawka Wielka; Australia’s Matthew Francis from Townsville, Queensland; Brazil’s Helmut Radke Neto from Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul; and Denmark’s Bjørn Ravn Kühlmeier from Erritsø, Fredericia

“IRWIN’s Ultimate Tradesman Challenge was designed to recognize skilled tradesmen from around the world,” said Curt Rahilly, vice president of marketing for IRWIN Tools.  “We’ve been impressed by the skill and passion tradesmen bring to this competition. We congratulate Daniel for his big win, and we thank all the competitors for participating in this exciting competition of skill. IRWIN is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the contributions of professional tradesmen around the world. IRWIN Tools looks forward to continuing the celebration of professional tradesmen on National Tradesmen Day, Friday, Sept. 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, Sept. 16, 2011.

About the IRWIN Tools Ultimate Tradesman Challenge
IRWIN’s Ultimate Tradesman Challenge is a global competition where skilled tradesmen performed a series of precise tasks in a race against the clock. Contestants first used IRWIN VISE-GRIP® GrooveLock pliers to remove two (2) pipe fittings from a qualifying channel (Grip It). They then used 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 slid the board into a cutting position, and securely clamped it to the work surface with an IRWIN QUICK-GRIP® XP600 one-handed bar clamp. Contestant then used 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 drilled two (2) holes in the board at the intersecting lines (Drive It), unclamped the board, placed the clamp on the competition cart, and put the board in the qualifying channel. If the board fit accurately, the clock automatically stopped, and the challenge time was noted. Speed; ability to remove pipe fittings; accurate marking; ability to clamp work securely; fast, straight cuts; and the ability to accurately drill holes were 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