Boxes for Precision Tools

Nice! This is definitely on my upgrade list!


Given the success Silca has had w/ their tools:

I believe these would be at least moderately popular.

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Damn those Europeans and their finely engineered, attractive products! :unamused: Stuff looks beautiful! Buck and a quarter is a tad steep for a hex key set, but when in Rome (or Milan I should say)… I think I’ll throw together a few prototypes and see what reaction I get.


HA! Actually Starett is one of the last standing American manufacturers of precision tools (Fowler is a importer/wholesaler) - B&S is owned by a Swedish company Hexagon, and their hand tools are made by Tesa S.A. (Swiss). Hexagon is a billion+ dollar multinational that is heavily vested in 3D Coordinate Measuring Machines, having bought up most CMM manufacturers world-wide. Federal is owned by Marh GmbH of Germany although Mahr-Federal still manufactures dial indicators and air-gauging on Eddy Street in Providence.

Nearly everyone is subbing at least part of their manufacturing and fabrication to the far east, specifically China, but usually with their own factories and management, hence better quality control for production. Not your usual cheap-chinese for the most part…

That being said, the “Ye Olde Tool & Die shop” may be on the decline, but according to my friend who owns Gerstner (high-end wooden toolboxes) there are plenty of people out there willing to shell out top dollar for hand-crafted quality. If I pair some custom, exotic wood boxes with some top-tier precision instruments, then who knows, there may be enough work to keep the ways dusty and chips curling…


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Yeah, I was both pleased and saddened to manage to track down a Starrett 559A and 559B (one of them is shown in the Cigar Box Toolkit) — pleased to be able to buy them as N.O.S. and still in the original boxes, but sad that they’re no longer made, and Starrett now apparently rebadges Wiha (or Wera?) screwdrivers for most of their screwdrivers. Still trying to justify buying a 553A/B pair…

Anyone interested in this sort of thing should get The Toolbox Book — if you’re not fussy about typography and spelling/grammar errors get Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley


Wiha’s no slouch as far a quality tool, I used to use when I worked in the repair department (think watch repair), very nice - color coded… I did not know that Starett was private labeling them. Not a bad choice for a tool rebrand. Most people would be surprised by the different brands names real origins…

I’ve seen the Henry O. Studley book, but need to checkout the Toolbox Book. I have a pretty neat collection of my dad and grandad’s collectible tools, some dating from the 1700’s. I have to curate them someday. Lot of cool precision instruments, some never made it to market…

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Yeah, mostly I’m just sad about their no longer making stuff here.

Very pleased w/ the Wiha tools which I’ve bought — including the hybrid Elemen’tary No. 1 screwdriver which is an extra long Wiha bit driver in a lovely beechwood handle made in England (though I had to reshape and refinish the handle — still debating outright painting it to match the Starretts):


Really nice job, congratulations!

Another company doing tools here in the States, and one which I wish more people were aware of is John Economaki’s

Bridge City Tool Works

Still kind of regretting getting a Shapeoko instead of a Jointmaker Pro.