Back in January, Milwaukee Tool announced their plan to build a new USA factory for the production of hand tools.
Yes, that’s right, made-in-USA Milwaukee Tool hand tools are coming.
The new factory will be in West Bend, WI, around 20 minutes from their headquarters, and the current plan is for that facility to manufacture new-to-market hand tools for professional electricians and utility linemen.
At the time of the January announcement, the plan was for Milwaukee Tool to break ground for the new manufacturing plant in April 2020, and with production expected to begin in early 2021.
We have not reached out to Milwaukee to see if or how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted their schedule, but it stands to reason that there could be some delays.
Steven Richman is quoted in the press materials as saying:
We will continue to invest, we will continue to grow, and we will continue to change the game. In 2020 alone, we will invest over $100 million, and create 350 jobs in the United States to diversify our operations and better serve the professional trades.
This move does indeed follow a pattern of investment and expansion of their USA operations over the years. Milwaukee Tool has massively expanded their headquarters and acquired and invested in USA-based companies – Empire Level and Imperial Tool.
Milwaukee Tool’s additional plans for 2020 includes expanding operations in Cookeville, TN for power tool manufacturing and assembly, and this could be where their new made-in-USA Packout vacuum is built. Additionally, Milwaukee Tool will be expanding operations in Sun Prairie, WI, for power tool accessories manufacturing.
Milwaukee Tool’s bi-metal and carbide Hole Dozer hole saws, Sawzall reciprocating saw blades, and step drill bits are among the accessories they already make in the USA.
Press materials track the growth of Milwaukee Tool’s footprint in the United States:
The company has grown from 190,000 sq ft and 300 jobs in Brookfield in 2011, to 390,000 sq ft and over 1,400 jobs this year. With an additional 329,500 sq ft of space slated to open in 2020, and a recent announcement of 65 acres of land purchased in Menomonee Falls, WI, Milwaukee Tool is positioned to stay in the heart of Wisconsin long term.
At this time there is no additional information about Milwaukee’s USA-made hand tool plans, but “electrician and linemen tools” could lead to some good guesses.
Knowing Milwaukee Tool, it is also likely that this is just the start.
What types of hand tools might you wish to see come out of Milwaukee’s new USA factory?