IRWIN TOOLS manufactures and distributes professional grade hand tools and power tool accessories worldwide for trade professionals who demand superior performance and durability on the job. IRWIN TOOLS' brand portfolio features user-preferred category leaders such as IRWIN®, Vise-Grip®, Marathon®, Quick-Grip®, Speedbor®, Strait-Line®, Marples®, Unibit®, and Hanson®.
For over a century, innovation has been the hallmark of IRWIN TOOLS. Beginning in 1885, with the development of the first IRWIN Auger Bit, and progressing with the introduction of Vise-Grip Locking Tools, SPEEDBOR Flat Bits, MARATHON Saw Blades, and QUICK-GRIP Bar Clamps, IRWIN has been at the forefront of the industry, creating superior tools for the professional tradesman.
Our impressive track record of new product development is born from our passion for understanding the needs of our primary user - the professional tradesman. This dedication to improving products begins in the field, where IRWIN'S IMPACT End-User Teams visit job sites. There, the team learns first-hand, how to improve our products to help the pros increase their productivity.
From the beginning of our product development process to the performance of these products in your hands, IRWIN is where you train, work, play and buy. This commitment is apparent in everything we do.
IRWIN TOOLS has a long and storied history stretching for over a century set against the backdrop of a young ambitious nation.
This is the story of two men, from the American Heartland, who shared a deep belief in the idea that with imagination and determination anything could be accomplished.
In 1884 Charles IRWIN owned a pharmacy in Martinsville, Ohio. A local blacksmith who was a customer of Mr. IRWIN's came up with the idea for a solid center auger bit. He sold the rights to this invention to Mr. IRWIN and a year later, after patenting the Auger bit, Charles IRWIN, along with four other business partners formed the IRWIN Auger Bit Co.
About four decades later there was another blacksmith with an idea, this one in the small town of DeWitt, Nebraska. William Petersen was a Danish immigrant who invented the first locking pliers in his blacksmith shop, and began selling them from the trunk of his car to farmers and people in surrounding towns. He patented his new idea and called it Vise-Grip.
It was the beginning of what would become two tool industry leaders, joining forces to create one industry giant.
In 1993 the company's histories would converge. Petersen Manufacturing, which changed its name to American Tool Companies in 1985, acquired the IRWIN Tool Company.
This strategy of growth through acquisition and innovation has been proven with an unparalleled history of breakthrough products. Today IRWIN Industrial Tools is a global company with a stable of brands that is the envy of the tool world. Our reputation as an industry leader rests on the foundation that Charles and William built so long ago.
1884 - Charles IRWIN purchases rights to solid center auger bit
1885 - The IRWIN Auger Bit Co. is formed
1924 - Bill Petersen granted basic patent for locking pliers
1934 - Petersen Manufacturing Co. formed to manufacture and market Vise-Grip locking tools
1938 - First official Vise-Grip tools plant opens in an old DeWitt, Nebraska drug store with a staff of 37
1945 - First National Hardware Show; Vise-Grip tools are there
1957 - Modern-design 10WR Vise-Grip locking pliers go on the market with curved jaw and wire cutter
1962 - Petersen Manufacturing opens a plant in Cumberland, Wisconsin for manufacturing twist drills
1978 - Petersen Manufacturing workforce expands to 637 people
1979 - Gorham, Maine plant opens, manufacturing Hanson and IRWIN branded tools
1985 - American Tool Companies, Inc. is formed by the Petersen family and acquires Petersen Manufacturing
1993 - American Tool acquires The IRWIN Tool Company, a revered manufacturer of power tool accessories and cutting tools
2002 - Newell Rubbermaid acquires American Tool
2003 - American Tool name officially changes to IRWIN Industrial Tool Company
Innovation is the hallmark of IRWIN TOOLS. For more than 100 years, it's been an idea that has permeated the culture of our company, and it continues to drive everything we do. Beginning in 1885 with development of the first IRWIN auger bit, and progressing with the introduction of Vise-Grip locking tools, Speedbor flat bits, Unibit step drills, Marathon saw blades, and Quick-Grip bar clamps, IRWIN has been at the forefront of the industry, creating better tools in a better way. Our impressive track record of new product development is born from our passion for understanding the needs of our primary user – the professional tradesman. This dedication to improving products begins in the field, where IRWIN's specialized end user teams visit construction sites.
There the IRWIN Impact Team learns first-hand – from the professional – how to improve our products, and how to make the pro's job easier and more productive. This hard-earned knowledge is the foundation for a unique product development process utilized by IRWIN's engineering, marketing, and manufacturing teams to deliver a continuous stream of new products to the marketplace. Supported by a global network of world-class manufacturing facilities and bolstered by our partnerships with leading global retailers, IRWIN continuously sets the professional standard in each and every market segment in which we compete. IRWIN's process of innovation begins and ends with the trade professional.
From product feedback and development to distribution and use in the field, we dedicate ourselves to delivering quality tools that meet the stringent requirements of our toughest critics – professional tradesmen.