What does a Crescent wrench have in common with a Lufkin tape and the original Allen wrench?

The companies that make them are owned by the Apex Tool Group, which Bloomberg reports is about to be sold to Bain Capital (Mitt Romney's old company). Apex is currently owned by Cooper Industries (lighting and electrical equipment) and the Danaher Corp (which among other things — owns Fluke).

There's nothing unusual about tool companies being bought and sold; it happens all the time without tradespeople being aware of it. In this case the sale is noteworthy because it involves so many well-known (some might say iconic) brands.

Here are just a few of the brands owned by Apex:

Allen: hex keys; originator of the Allen wrench
Crescent: hand tool maker; originator of the Crescent wrench
Delta Truck Boxes: job boxes, site storage boxes; truck and van racks; owns Jobox brand
Jacobs Chuck: drill chucks and tool holding systems
Plumb: hammers and hatchets
Wiss: sheet metal snips, crimpers, hand seamers
Weller: soldering equipment
Nicholson: files, rasps, and other hand tools
Lufkin: tape measures, rules, and measuring wheels
Xcelite: screwdrivers, nut drivers, and hand tools electrical and electronics work
Gearwrench: ratcheting wrenches, sockets, and other hand tools

Archived Comments

October 03, 2012

That's just great. Now, if any of these tools are still being made in America the good people manufacturing them are about to get "screwed". They will most likely start by loosing any union affiliation, then benefits, then the jobs will be outsourced. Then we can all sing the praises of the creeps at Bain Capital. Because after all ins't that what America is about today. Screw every common working class man so the ultra wealthy can have still more. I miss America.

Posted By: Bart Dickens | Time: 12:26:31.637 AM

October 03, 2012

Too late. I just picked up a Lufkin Tape and got a free Plumb hammer with purchase at a big box store.....they are already made in China.

Posted By: wesmar364 | Time: 2:03:02.98 AM

October 03, 2012

In the old days i couldn't afford power tools because they were so overpriced because of the unions and no competition. So anything that allows the little guy to get his hands on tools is ok with me. I buy american made when it's cost effective, but all the brand name tools i buy are made in another country (look at the "made in" country on the box). So blaming Bain Capital is ridiculous. As far as unions go, i don't mind paying for quality tools, but to pay extra so the unions can contribute to politicians i don't agree with and to pay for a union worker to sit on his butt after he hits 55 doesn't cut it with me

Posted By: billmongi | Time: 2:35:34.387 AM

October 03, 2012

billmongi, it's pretty obvious you are either on a rant, due to being let go by a union, or, you know very little about union workers. True, you may occasionally see a journeyman sit by idle while apprentices are busy, however, you can be sure that they bust ass most of the time. At least the ones on all the job sites I've been on. And they already put their time in as apprentices, doing the dirty work. I'm not a union employee, but I used to be, and I think you are both wrong, and off topic in regards to the article.

Posted By: darkbreeze | Time: 5:45:11.573 AM