More on Who Makes What Tools

From: Bob Payne (Cornwell Tool Distributor)

Last update: March 12, 2002

Below you will find a link to my Inside Tools message board. I do beg to differ with some things that have been said on there and don't feel it proper to argue your position without letting you know personally. Please feel free to comment on what I have said. I tried to avoid brand loyalty and personal preference minded in my reply and comments, to a point. Please read over my comments. You may post them on your site and contact me either directly by email or by posting to my MB. (All I ask is that if you post to my message board, you use common courtesy and refrain from using profanity, ect. I will not remove or edit postings to my MB unless they are not fitting to the topic or contain material that is not welcome in an open forum. Common sense stuff.) Nothing I had to say about your site should be considered as a personal attack because it is not intended to appear or read as such, just an objective countering of your points and comments.

(ED. No offense taken. As I stated in the article Who Makes What Tools I don't really know who makes what tools and what quality the respective manufacturer makes. I received to original information on one of the mailing list I subscribe to and since I hadn't seen it anywhere else, I thought I share it.)

I welcome you to join in all our discussions on my MB all you wish.

Mark Kw

I have to argue with some of things on this site.

First off, Lowe's store brand of Kobalt is NOT made by Snap-On, they are made By Williams which is only a secondary division of Snap-On that Snappy does not solely control.

Danaher, as far as I have found, has always made the Craftsman branded mechanics hand tools. I do believe that Stanley did and may still have some contracts with Sears for some tools but not the mainstay hand tools as are commonly known as "Craftsman". The additional to this is things like screwdrivers and other such things that Danaher does not make at all yet the C-man brand appears on them. (may be different as of today but I seem to recall Vermont American being the screwdriver supplier for C-man brand) The other thing that comes to mind is Cooper tools may also be supplying some of the Sears/Craftsman branded tools as well. I don't claim to be correct or all knowing on this one, just voicing some of things I have found and or heard along the way.

Proto I would hardly call a "industrial" tool (personal thoughts). While some of their stuff is fine, and I do own some, most of it is not worth anywhere near what they are asking to get for it let alone worth even using unless you're into self destruction.

Stanley, Danaher and Snap-On are "all of the same quality"...ya right! I'd like to know what this guy is smoking because he's obviously not using tools to make a living. Sorry, but there is a difference! I've used and or own(ed) many different tools including; Stanley, Mac, Matco, Blackhawk, Proto, Snap- On, Kobalt, PM, Benchtop, Task Force, C-man, Cooper brands, Lisle, ect, ect, ect...

While there are some things from every brand that make them stand out over other brands with a similar impliment, there is a difference be it personal preference or fact based quality. You can prove this fact to yourself by simply putting one tool brand against another side by side on a project(s). I never gave much thought to most of these difference until I got into this forum of discussion but I now look at and use my tools in a different light. While working on my service truck, I put my Matco flare nut wrench against my Kobalt and there was a serious difference. The Kobalt was much better in preformance quality than the Matco which I'm sure I paid a lot more for years ago. Putting the open end of a Proto against the open end of a Snap-On will quickly reveal the difference between which one will spread and slip and which one will not. This goes beyond any brand loyalty or personal preference or service contracts and gets right to what works and what don't for a job.

Some tools will preform equally well for a job(s) but there may come the time and place where one will excell over the other or not. On the same note, there is not any one single company that produces or markets all of the best tools for every single job as is there is no one single company that produces every tool that will fit the personal desires or need of the user. All personal feelings aside, there are major differences not so much between actual brand names but between the individual items themselves.

I am a little suprised that you didn't pay more attention to Cornwell Tools, the oldest of the mobile tool distributors. Cornwell still makes tools by hand. They are not as big as Matco, but do manufacture their own tools. Check them out at


Bob Payne
Cornwell Tool Distributor

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