Did you know that there are a number of USA-based brands and companies that are owned by foreign companies?
A lot of times, when brands or companies are purchased or change hands, tools and accessories that are made here are continued to be made here. Tools made overseas are continued to be made overseas. In some cases, there is greater investment in USA production or development efforts.
There are usually especially high emotions surrounding Milwaukee Tool, which has been owned by Hong Kong-based TTI for well over a decade now. All their M12 and M18 developments? They were made under current leadership, and under current ownership by TTI.
Please be civil with any comments. I see misconceptions and misinformation about Milwaukee Tool all the time.
I have been to Milwaukee Tool’s USA headquarters, a couple of times now, and they keep growing bigger. Although their publicly-traded parent company isn’t based in the USA, they for the most part seem to operate as if they were completely independent.
You might be aware of some or even all of these global affiliations. If not, try not to be too shocked.
And if you’re interested in things like this, you might also like:
Tool Brands: Who Owns What? A Guide to Corporate Affiliations
Milwaukee Tool, Empire Level, Hart, Stiletto
Milwaukee Tool is possibly the biggest example, at least in the tool industry. They were acquired by TTI back in 2004, along with AEG and another brand I’m not familiar with. (Press Release)
Milwaukee Tool acquired Stiletto Hammers in 2007 (source), and Empire Level in 2014 (ToolGuyd discussion).
TTI also has a licensing agreement with Ridgid, but doesn’t own the brand.
Skil, Skilsaw, EGO
Skil and SkilSaw was purchased by Chervon (based in China) from Bosch in 2016 (ToolGuyd Discussion).
Chervon has launched several new brands in the USA, most notably EGO. They also own Hammerhead, a very small consumer tool brand that came out with a few products a few years ago.
Dremel, Vermont American, RotoZip, CST/berger, Diablo?
These brands (among others) were acquired over the years by the Robert Bosch Tool Corporation (Germany).
Diablo was launched by Freud (Italy), but I can’t find much about their history. Was Diablo a USA or North American brand?
Cleveland, Chicago-Latrobe, Cle-Line, Cle-Force, Bassett, Vermont Tap & Die, Putnam Tools
Cleveland, Chicago-Latrobe, Cle-Line, Cle-Force, Bassett, Vermont Tap & Die, and Putnam Tools are owned by Greenfield Industries, which is owned by Top-Eastern Group (TDC). While TDC is based in China, Greenfield Industries has its headquarters here in the USA (source).
They maintain manufacturing here in the USA. I have had great experience with Cleveland and Chicago Latrobe tools (mainly taps and drill bits), and as far as I am aware, they’re still made here to the same quality.
Senco was purchased by Kyocera (Japan) in 2017.
Delta and Biesemeyer were sold by Stanley Black & Decker to a Taiwan-based company in 2011 (news post).
SawStop was purchased by Festool in 2017.
Did I miss any brands or make any mistakes?
Which other USA-based brands or companies are owned by foreign companies?
Norton, Colonial Abrasives, Merit Abrasives – Saint-Gobain Group
Snap Cut, Gilmour, Gingher, Nelson, Minnetonka Cutlery – Fiskars
Arrow Fastener, Goldblatt, Pony, Jorgensen, Board Boss – Hangzhou Great Star Tools
Felker, McCulloch, Poula, Melnor, Vigro – Husqvarna Group
Lincoln Industrial, Guardian, MityVac – SKF Group
With TTI being a publicly traded company, I don’t understand why people would have a hemorrhage. Anyone can buy into a publicly traded concern, under the right circumstances. I have 26 M12 tools with 21 batteries, as well as scores of chargers. It makes me no less a patriot. Milwaukee Electric Tool has design and marketing, as well as several plants in the USA. The fact that my tools were made at an ultra efficient, vertically integrated plant on a huge complex matters not. They are bringing cordless manufacturing capacity to the USA, so things will change somewhat. TTI has been a stellar parent.
Thank you. As long as we all have the opportunity to invest in as company, it shouldn’t matter where the corporate HQ is. As our economy continues to develop on the US, investing in others businesses is the most patriotic thing we can do. Grab those foreign profits and bring them here.
I’m good with buying well made products from other countries as long as it’s 50/50 fair
I don’t buy from China or Japan excerpt dishes. For the most part cheaply made
I will only buy A/C window units from Germany at least until I find USA and it’s better made
Otherwise I will search for MADE in the USA ??
And of course TTI’s founder (Horst Pudwill) is not atypical of the diversity of nationalities that is Hong Kong.
It’s about buying and promoting jobs here in the USA. The fact that your tools are made in a big complex,matters not…to you. While Milwaukee is at least attempting to bring,some jobs here, most don’t care about anything but profit…
If I make a product or service, and I do it right, the end result had better be profit. A company and charity are two different things. I would hire just enough people to make it right, and make money. It seems like a sound concept. I would prefer it to be friends and neighbors making those things. But, I don’t make power tools. I just use them. If I bought shares in TTI, It would be owned from BRISTOL USA, No?
I will say that American jobs matter to me. Coming from a coal mining / beer selling family, I’ve seen a lot change. Until my needed tools are made in USA, they will have to come from somewhere else. Also, I live in a 107 year old house worth about 40,000 dollars……. But I love rich people and what they have accomplished. I hold no grudges. They give me work and a better life. Good for em’
American jobs matter to me too. But the days of those jobs being in manufacturing is over. We can own manufacturing companies, but cost of living here is way to high to sustain large scale production of goods here. It’s a much more realistic goal to teach our children to control the assets of other nations.
You’ve got your head on straight Andy.
Vermont American is owned by Bosch.
Chervon makes the new Kobalt power tools.
Vermont American is listed as a Bosch company. It’s only Diablo that I’m unsure about.
Chervon makes tools for different brands, but only owns a few. OEM relationships are outside the scope of what I wanted to cover here.
I thought that Diablo and Avanti were “sub-brands” under the Freud banner and that Bosch had acquired the power tool accessories parts of the Freud Group in 2009. I think that Bosch also owns toolmakers including Acton, Robinair, Sia Abrasives, Sunpro, Kent-Moore, OTC (Owatonna Tool Co.) , Magna and Rosco.
I think that other foreign entities owning US brands include:
The Saint-Gobain Group: Norton, Colonial Abrasives, Merit Abrasives
Fiskars: Snap Cut, Gilmour, Gingher, Nelson, Minnetonka Cutlery
Hangzhou Great Star Tools: Goldblatt. Pony, Jorgensen, Board Boss
Husqvarna Group: Felker, McCulloch, Poula, Melnor, Vigro
SKF Group: Lincoln Industrial, Guardian, MityVac
Diablo is a sub-brand under Freud, but was it a USA or North America focused brand? Or was it also rooted in Italy?
Good points with those other brands! Ah, I was thinking of Great Star, forgot all about them – thanks! Great Star also acquired Arrow Fastener in 2017.
Jonesred outdoor power equipment is owned by Husqvarna (spelling)
Yes, chevron makes kobalt, along with lots And Lots of other things. My Experience Is They Are Good Quality And Value, Although A Lot Of That Is Oem Specs. I special ordered some kobalt 24v tools And They Were Shipped directly From Chevron U.S. Havent Used Them A Lot But They Seem to function Excellent. I also have a hammerhead cordless screwdriver which works excellent for what it is (reduces repetitive wrist movements for low torque screw spinning) and excellent battery life. I paid $12 so expectations were low and have been far surpassed.
First time I saw Diablo blades seems like over 15 years ago and they always had “by freud” on the package. I always assumed it was their way of selling a cheaper line. Maybe it was a NA marketing idea – but I don’t believe they were ever their own company prior.
Also Interesting about delta I was wondering if SBD let that go.
and finally – put some of the knife makers in this list. should be interesting.
My number one issue with it – is looking at where the profit goes vs their competition. I won’t go so far as to say anything is an inferior tool per se – but if I have to pay 300 for a milwaukee __________ or 300 for a Dewalt same thing – I know that some percentage over 30 is going to off shore corporate ownership. And that’s assuming both items show made in china on their label. That’s not even getting into where the _____ is made.
I like the discussion.
While Freud is not that old a company – think it started to serve the furniture manufacturing business in Northern Italy – the did indeed say “Diablo by Freud”
I think the same was true with the more economy brand that they called Avanti.
Some blades they also labeled as “Freud-Industrial” Maybe it was Bosch that split out the Diablo name.
Delta (as in Delta Machinery – not Delta Faucet) is owned by Chang Type Industrial Co. Ltd. (Taiwan). Once independent , Delta became part of the Rockwell International conglomerate along with Porter Cable and DeVilbiss. During the split up and demise of Rockwell, Delta and Porter Cable were sold to Pentair in 1981 – and then to SBD in 2005 and six years later Delta was sold to the current owners.
Who are driving the name into the ground. I just happened to be at Woodcraft today looking at getting a new professional cabinet saw and inquired about the conspicuously absent Unisaw. Turns out they dropped the entire brand fir a litany of complaints; undelivered orders, zero customer support, no technical support. Shame, I grew up watching the New Yankee Workshop and always held Delta in high regard.
I’ve heard some of the same things. If the Unisaw I bought back in the 1970’s suddenly blew up – I might look to buy a used one – but not a new one based on all the negative things I’m hearing. Back in the 70’s it was them and Powermatic as the leaders for small shop cabinet saws. Today I might buy your namesake (Hammer K3)
Fiskars also owns Gerber.
Remember too, Milwaukee Electric Tool has not technically been American owned for a long time. If memory serves(and it may be wrong!) they were either wholly owned or majority controlled by Atlas-Copco for a number of years. I think A-C is a Dutch company?
I thought Sweden
Funny how these mergers, home countries, brand names etc. all get mixed around – like in some giant pot. Electrolux (a giant Swedish Company that Owns Frigidaire) – competes with Hoover (owned by TTI) – but licensed its AEG brand name to TTI. Emerson (and American Company) licensed its Ridgid brand out and the TTI-made Ridgid tools (sold at Home Depot) sure look a lot like some of the tools that are sold as AEG in Europe.
I’m still pleased Leatherman is still entirely US owned and manufactured in a Portlandia suburb.
And many former employees of Leatherman and Gerber (also based in Portland) have founded and locally produce high end knives all around them.
For what it’s worth, Chevron’s US HQ is in Naperville IL, they just moved into a building there a few years ago.
Ridgid was owned by TTI too
I believe that Emerson (a US Company) owns the Ridgid brand name.
They got that name when they acquired the Ridge Tool company – makers of plumbing tools. They apparently decided to license the Ridgid name to Home Depot when they started making power tools (like table saws) for HD. Emerson used to make a lot of the Sears Craftsman stationary tools – but many years ago Sears picked some other suppliers and Emerson started working with Home Depot. At some point Emerson and/or Home Depot cut a deal with TTI to make portable power tools bearing the Ridgid brand name. As I pointed out above – many of these look remarkably similar to the AEG branded tools made by TTI and sold in Europe. Other than grey/secondary market – I’m not sure that Ridgid power tools are sold outside North America.
So what if any tool company is made and owned in North America?
If any company makes a tool that is useful to a specific task. No matter its country of origin we all try it or say “man that’s badass, I could use that”. Some of the best tool bags out, VetoProPac are made in china, but designed in america and all of a sudden every tool bag is staring to look like them. Its all about innovation and money. All of of us own something made or made from parts/ materials from other countries, for example TVs, microwaves, phones, cars, bananas etc. The bottom line is if it works for you and your wallet, use it!
I agree. If you want or need something, and hold out because of it’s origin……. you may not end up with one. There are many factors in why a product is made where it is. Some of those might enrage some of the end users in the states. A company doesn’t merely make things to provide for people, or give them gold plated promises for life. That company will sink, especially if held hostage by unrealistic demands or circumstances. A product or service made by a properly staffed facility, for a profit. If it’s good, I’ll buy it. And I say to those who are mad at Milwaukee for not making tools in Milwaukee, try completing a well appointed tool collection with tools made by someone else. Is that set more American? Lord knows there are probably more American parts and labor on some Toyota trucks than alot of American vehicles. The global supply chain is complex, and here to stay if one wants to be successful. I wish it was different. But I know fuming iver it will not help a thing. Long live TTI / Milwaukee !
All this “Made in the USA” crap is just an insult to everyone’s intelligence. It doesn’t matter if it’s made in the USA, or somewhere else around the world. Yelling and screaming about manufacturing jobs in only one country hurts the economy of that country.
You see, that’s how an Economy works. Despite what the big baby in the white tree house wants everyone to be chanting, USA First will only result in less trade with the USA. That will hurt the value of USA made exports, and devalue the US Dollar. It takes more than just USA based Jobs in order to make a product helpful to the US Economy, and every time the USA starts stirring up this isolationist garbage talk, it hurts all of their trade partners, and in return, the US Economy.
Okay, you want all your tools manufactured in the USA. Great, that cuts off ties with your trading partner China, who has a stronger manufacturing economy, which means the tools you DO make will be worth nothing to the global market. Goods not worth buying means American Dollar suffers, which means lots of people getting paid nothing in the USA. Congrats, you’ve crashed your economy over false patriotism.
Whenever you turn away your trading partners, like China, Canada, Mexico, and Germany… You’re only hurting yourselves. It helps no one. If you want to help American jobs, get educated, and don’t let politicians use Fear to get your vote. That way they won’t drain off all your resources on corruption and slander, and they’ll actually pass legislation that grows the economy, and supports the lower classes enough to bring them up to a point when they can work.
According to Joseph Galli Jr, 2018 onward will see some major cordless tools for infrastructure. Because TTI focus Milwaukee on the trades, these could be some forward thinking tools. He said on Bloomberg that because of Milwaukee being a trades brand, they are not simply bound to housing. He expects infrastructure spending in the USA to be significant income for TTI. This might include the plants in Mississippi getting additional manufacturing lines. I really think TTI is a great parent for Milwaukee. And that’s not just the $3,000 I’ve spent on M12 talking. The have come along way from the Atlas- Copco days.
some of y’all need to travel more. Sorry but so many people swill that global economy is good for everyone tirade but the reality is that it’s only good for the people making the money off it.
Better yet how many of you have been to the UK lately. say the last decade or so. They have insane unemployment rates – they also make very little these days even less exported out. Sure there are some cottage industries – hell it’s where the term came from. But over all UK’s economy is banking and tourism.
This is what america is poised to become if we stop producing things and become a consumer only nation. There is something to be said for buying products that are made in your backyard supporting the people in your own country.
Or think about it another way – the more people with real jobs in america means less people on welfare and on support. Note I don’t buy only american – never said I did. But I try to look at the labels, research the companies, and make a better decision. Not everything can be made here these days.
And not everything made here is 100% american sources. But it pays to shop around.
Anybody up to date on welders? I’ve always assumed Miller and Lincoln are/were still USA -made, but I’ve been out of that line of work for almost twenty years now. And Lincoln electrodes?