Took a trip yesterday to Wilde Tool and learned a lot about this great family tool company. (Thanks everyone for showing me around!) I got some good video of their manufacturing processes and hopefully will put something together in the next month or so. In the meantime, there’s a lot of pictures to look at, and I scanned in one of their old catalogs from 1958.
If there’s one thing you should know about Wilde Tool, it’s that they believe in the bolt fastener on their pliers. This is what really sets them apart from other US plier manufacturers. Let’s face it, no matter what plier you buy, after many years of use, it starts to get a little loose. With the bolt fastener you can tighten it up and have it working like new again. Also if it ever breaks, it’s easily fixable. They are currently working on a “flush” bolt fastening system that I think is a great idea. I can’t talk about it, as it’s still in the development process, but I think it’s going to be a big hit.
If you are reading this and thinking, “I’ve never heard of these guys. Whose Wilde?” it’s probably because they do most of their business as a private labeler, so there’s a good chance you’ve used a Wilde tool and didn’t even know it. They make stuff for Craftsman, Snap-On, Armstrong, Proto, Blackhawk and others. Back in the day they made tools for Western Auto and Montgomery Ward, just to name a few.
Wilde was started in 1922 right here in Kansas City by two brothers that came up with the idea for angling the nose of a pliers 32 degrees. They took this one idea, invested everything into it, and soon had a whole line of pliers and other tools they were making. They moved the plant to Hiawatha Kansas and have been there ever since.
These guys are dedicated to making professional quality American made tools at an affordable price. Since they’re a small company, they’re very good at streamlining their manufacturing process to reduce cost without sacrificing the quality of their pliers. And they don’t just make pliers. They make punches, chisels, pry bars, all sorts of tools. Just look at some of these prices.
Wilde is working on a new website and a lot of exciting new projects, so I’ll keep you updated as they come out. We want to start carrying a lot more from them and will be adding more and more of their tools to our catalog as time goes on. Today I’ve added their 8″ slip joint pliers with the bolt fastener that I mentioned above. Also, their famous 10S pliers, but with grips!
Here’s a nice big pic of their 8″ slip joint and there are plenty more pics of the Wilde Tool facility on our facebook page.
For all you ratchet modifiers, I talked to them about their pry bar handles, and they can get them blank and in many different colors, so the question is, what size hole would you prefer, or would you even want a hold drilled in? Is that something you’d do yourself? The handles should be easy to get, so give me an idea of what colors would be most popular and I’ll start getting an order together.