British Made Tape Measures and Rulers
Fisco – http://www.fisco.co.uk - make tape measures in Essex in England. They make tape measures (the kind used by builders and in DIY), spirit levels, laser measures, long tape measures and surveyor’s tape measures, set squares, wooden rulers (bench rules, surveyor’s rods), steel rulers, and chalk line reels. I am not sure if everything they sell is made in England, so best to check before buying. Their products are available in Jewson, on the net, etc. Fisco are not British owned, rather they are part of the Hultafors Group AB which is in turn a business area wholly owned by Swedish Investment AB Latour. I have a Fisco Pro-Flex and it is a really good tape measure at a reasonable price. I note their tape measures, whilst still made in England, are now marked Hultafors Fisco rather than just Fisco.
Rabone Chesterman (a company resulting from the 1963 merger of Rabone of Birmingham and Chesterman of Sheffield), maker of spirit levels and rules, of Whitmore St, Birmingham, were sold to Stanley in 1989. Rabone had previously acquired Dean Tape measures, the main British maker of non-metallic tape measures for the haberdashery trade, in 1986.
I also found made in England tape measures branded Lion Heart on e-bay.
Does anyone know of other companies making tape measures in the UK? What about sewing / tailor’s measuring tapes (Dean as far as I know no longer exist)?
Woodworking tools, engineering tools, DIY tools, trade tools and equipment, glues, and other Tools
King Dick Tools (Abingdon Engineering, Abingdon King Dick) – The company have confirmed to me that the majority of the King Dick range of products is made at their factory in Birmingham. These include all wrenches; ring, combination, sloggers, podgers etc, and socketry. Some items though, such as their pliers and screwdrivers, are made for them in Europe. Links to King Dicks suppliers can be found on their website – http://www.kingdicktools.co.uk
Linic design and make DIY tools, fixings and a huge variety of other injection moulded products. Own brand or branded; off-the-shelf or bespoke. This moulding company have been making their products for over 30 years in Leicestershire, England and because they manufacture in the UK they state that their delivery times and quality are great and their prices very competitive. They make building tools (such as plastering hawks), craft and hobby items (such as work holders and door wedges), cramps, decorating tools (such as scrapers), gardening tools (such as hand trowels and forks), saws and hack saws, knives (of the Stanley knife sort), mitres, tiling tools, wall plugs (rawlplugs), jewellery tools, model building tools, and woodworking tools (including hand drills, oilstone boxes, bradawls, callipers, etc.) – http://www.linic.co.uk
There’s a short article about Linic on the British Family website.
Founded in 1921 Thomas Meldrum Limited of Sheffield are now known world wide for the “Melco” range of tools and equipment, particularly their car and motorcycle tools, but they also make construction tools. According to an email from the company (on 6/7/14), 99% of their products are still made in Sheffield, England – http://www.thomasmeldrumltd.co.uk
Footprint Tools of Sheffield continue to manufacture some of their products in England (and to source some other British made products). Made in Britain products are clearly labelled on their website – builders tools (brick bolsters, cold chisels, builders line and pins, etc.), decorators tools (“Stanley” knife blades, carpet fitters bolsters), and woodworking tools (gauges, carpenters sliding bevels, carpenters squares).
The company originally closed in May 2009 following financial difficulties after the move from their old site in Hollis Croft to a new factory site in Owlerton, Sheffield known as Admiral Works, as reported in the Star. However, Footprint recommenced limited production with limited employees at its new Sedgley Road site in Owlerton, Sheffield under the name Footprint Sheffield, the former holding company of Footprint Tools in October 2009, as reported in DIY Week. The restructuring is also explained on another Footprint website at http://www.fpt.co.uk/index_home.htm. Today production continues, with many of their products still being made in the UK. Stockists are not listed on their website but they encourage people to write to ask for stockists details and you can find Footprint Tools on the net, for example on eBay and Amazon. Check that the product you want says it is British made.
Thomas Flinn and Co – http://www.flinn-garlick-saws.co.uk - Thomas Flinn and Co make a whole range of quality saws in Sheffield, England. Thomas Flinn and Co brands include PAX, Lynx (The Garlick Saw Company) and more recently, the Dorchester and Parkstone brands which originate from Roberts & Lee Saws. They say that they are “proud to be standing as the UK’s only remaining traditional saw manufacturer”. They also sell a variety of other tools most, if not all, of which are Sheffield made tools.
UK Blade (previously Speed Saws) / “TALON” have been manufacturing Hacksaw Blades and Frames for 30+ years. Some of their products are labelled on their website as made in the UK, including a junior hacksaw frame and some junior hacksaw blades. On their website it says “Our blades are made in the UK” but it is ONLY their Junior hacksaw frames and blades that are made in the UK. Nothing else. The rest is imported. The blog section on their site is rather out of date – http://www.ukblade.co.uk/home
Clico (Sheffield) Tooling Ltd make cutting tools in the Aerospace, Window Frame and Woodworking Industries as well as a range of hand woodworking tools. Their website suggests everything is made in Sheffield, but it would be wise to check before purchasing.
Robert Sorby make woodworking tools, woodturning tools and woodcarving tools. All Robert Sorby products are made in Sheffield, England.
Robert Sorby is part of the Spear and Jackson Group (Neill Tools Limited). Spear and Jackson and Neill Tools were always made in England, but most Spear and Jackson products are now produced in Asia. The Spear & Jackson brand is owned by Hong Kong-based United Pacific Industries. Spear and Jackson brands include Neill Tools, Spear and Jackson, Bowers (metrology; see below), Robert Sorby (woodworking tools; see above), Moore and Wright, Eclipse, WHS (trowels; used by archaeologists) and Tyzack (plastering tools).
Starrett (saw blades and precision tools) is a very international company that just happens to have factories in the UK. You can sometimes see on the photos that it either says UK made, or American made or nothing (China) or you can ask where a particular product is made. http://www.starrett.co.uk
Bowers Metrology – http://www.bowersmetrology.com - is also part of the Spear and Jackson Group. They supply metrology instruments. Bowers Metrology possibly have factories in the UK (hard to tell – their website is pure gobbledygook!) and some of their products may be made in the UK, but please check before purchase. The Group includes Moore & Wright (precision measuring equipment, made in the UK and China; check what you are buying is made in the UK), Baty International (makers of precision measuring equipment; still manufactured in Sussex, England; also own John Bull and British Indicators) and CV Instruments (portable and bench hardness testers; not made in the UK).
Ashley Iles make woodworking tools, woodturning tools and chisels in Lincolnshire, England. Their website suggests everything is made in the UK, but it would be wise to check before purchasing.
For over 100 years Frank Shaw (Bayonet) of Redditch in the UK has been supplying the finest quality hardware products to both the trade and DIY’ers. Marketed under the brand names Bayonet, Challenge, Solstuds and brand “X” – plate stands, plate hangers, picture hooks, picture hanging accessories, pins, cable clips, drawing pins, panel pins, tacks, carpet tacks, upholstery nails, nails, etc. All still made in England. http://www.frankshaw.co.uk
My Stanley Knife is made in England, but sadly the company have informed me that their knives are now made in the USA. You can though still get British made blades that fit Stanley knives, for example these ones on e-bay and Stanley themselves still make some knife blades in England.
American company Stanley Tools (The Stanley Works; now Stanley Black & Decker) still have a factory in Hellaby, Rotherham, near Sheffield I think (they used to have 3 factories in Sheffield). I am not sure which Stanley products are made in Sheffield (possibly tape measures, knife blades, rulers, chisels?), but you may be lucky and find some made in England Stanley products. One of my readers, Michael, spotted Stanley chisels with made in England on them in Screwfix in June 2014. An article in the Stanley blog from April 2012 refers to the Hellaby production facility. I saw a job advertised at the factory in May 2014. In a Toolstop article from 2013 they talk about Stanley bringing manufacturing of some products back from Asia to the UK. It would be great if Stanley are continuing to bring production back to the UK, but I do not know if they are. In the Forum on the Stanley UK site in 2012 they talk about the number of blades that their Hellaby plant turns out each week as being a mahoosive 3,500,000. Stanley Black and Decker also own Britool (now re-branded as Britool Expert or just Expert), who used to manufacture their tools in England, but it is not clear from their website whether Britool manufacture any tools in the UK anymore.
Pritt Stick is German owned (Henkel) but Pritt Stick paper glue is manufactured in the UK (as well as the elsewhere in the world). The UK made Pritt Sticks say made in the UK on them and it seems to be the smaller sticks that are made in the UK.
Blue-Tack originated in the UK, although it is now part of a company called Bostik whose origins are in the USA and who themselves are now part of the French company Total. They still have production facilities in the UK (and all over the world) and make, amongst other adhesives and similar products, and Blue-Tack in the UK. Bostik make adhesives for industrial manufacturing, construction and the consumer market. Bostick prodcuts sold in UK are usually also made here. Check the packing for country of origin – http://www.bostik.co.uk
WD-40 is made in the UK (careful, the little bottles sold at the pound shop are imported). WD-40 UK is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WD-40 in the USA and is manufactured in various locations across the globe, including it seems the UK. WD-40 also owns 3 in One oil and 1001 Carpet Cleaner, but I am not sure where these are made currently. There is scant information about product manufacture and country of origin on the WD-40 websites. Please buy British manufactured oil – http://www.wd40.co.uk
Everbuild Building Products are the UK’s largest manufacturer of sealants, adhesives and building chemicals. Operating from a manufacturing facility in Leeds, over 70% of Everbuild’s entire range is manufactured in house in the UK. Everbuild was the UK’s largest independent manufacturer of Sealants, Adhesives and Construction Chemicals, but is now a subsidiary of Swiss company Sika. At the present time production facilities are being maintained in the UK – http://www.everbuild.co.uk
UK Adhesives Ltd are a British based manufacturer and supplier of high quality adhesives, Super Glues and Sealants. All of their produces are manufactured in the UK. When I tweeted them about their production they responded “Yes we are proud to say all of our produces are manufactured in the UK!”, although they do not specify this on their website. UK Adhesives manufacture Adhesives, Sealants, Super Glues and Putty for industries worldwide, including automotive, marine, truck, rail, agriculture, and general manufacture engineering, plus retail markets. Products are available via their wesbsite and elsewhere – http://www.uk-adhesives.co.uk
BeeGee Brushes offer an extensive range of glue brushes, wallpaper brushes and paint brushes.
For British other made paints, painting equipment, paint and wallpaper brushes and wallpapers, please click on the link in this sentence.
PC Cox Ltd are a manufacturer of manual, battery and air powered hand-held caulking guns. They have 2 factories in the UK (supplying the UK and global markets) and 1 factory in the USA (supplying the US market) – http://www.pccox.co.uk/en/
Some ANTEX soldering irons are made in Devon, England. They do not mention this on their website, but if you look closely on the photos, it says MADE IN ENGLAND. As always, check before buying that the particular model you want is made in England. I think only the ones with thin yellow handles are made in england. It only says those words on the yellow handle ones – http://www.antex.co.uk
For Ironwork, door and window furniture, architectural ironmongery, fireplaces and fireplace accessories, doors and windows please click on the link in this sentence.
Origin manufacture bi-fold doors in the UK.
WDS are the UK’s Largest Manufacturer and Distributor of Standard Parts and Machine Accessories for the aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, engineering, food processing, printing and packaging machinery industries – stainless steel hinges, castors & wheels, gas struts, etc. No minimum order quality. They have a factory in Leeds, England and are members of the Made in Britain logo campaign but I am not sure what proportion of their products are British made so please ask where something is made before buying – http://www.wdsltd.co.uk
Spur Shelving manufactures wall mounted and freestanding shelving for warehouses, commercial premises, and homes. All their shelving is made in Britain.
Bartuf Systems retail display units are made in Yorkshire, England.
Doncaster Cables general wiring cables and flexible cords are all manufactured in the UK.
Permanoid Ltd. is a UK cable manufacturer, specialising in Tri-Rated cables, Instrumentation cable, Armoured Control cables and Audio, with a factory in Manchester, England. As always, check if the particular product you want is made in the UK.
Betts Tools offer a good range of tools (spirit levels, chisels, trowels, wrecking bars, drills, saws, screwdrivers, tape measures, etc.) and from their website it appears they are all made in England. Their stated policy is to buy British wherever possible and they appear to manufacture themselves. I wrote to them about country of origin, but they have not responded. It says “made in Sheffield” on the front page of their website, but if you are interested in their tools, please contact them to check which ones are UK made – http://rshgroup.org/
Established in 1947, Lyte Ladders and Towers are a manufacturer and supplier of British made ladders and towers for trade & industrial use. The majority of their products are manufactured in the UK, in Swansea, Wales. The first successful ascent to the summit of Mount Everest in May 1953, was completed By Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay and a Lyte ladder was apparently used to negotiate crevasses they encountered – http://www.lyteladders.co.uk
The rather clever Monkey Tower (“scaffolding in 5 minutes”) trailer mounted scaffold tower / scissor lift alternative is made in the UK.
Leading Edge (a brand of Tool Safety Solutions Ltd.) provides working at height training and safety equipment, and tool systems. Leading Edge equipment is all designed and manufactured by Leading Edge at their UK factory in Gosport. They make harnesses, lanyards, rescue kit, anchorage and connectors, inertia reels, restraint kit, ladder safety kit, tool tethers, tool belts, tool bags, etc. which are available from their website and various stockists.
C & J Hampton Ltd (Record Tools), famous for their tools like their blue coloured made in England vices, (and Marples Tools who they acquired in 1963 and Ridgway Tools who they acquired in 1972) became part of American company American Tool / IRWIN Tool in 1998 (who themselves are now part of Newell Rubbermaid). Record / Marples woodworking tools were made in Sheffield, but are now made in the far east, but on their website some of the pictures of vices have made in England on them! They are not made in England anymore. The factory in Sheffield has long since closed.
Gardening and Agricultural Tools and Equipment
Bulldog Tools - http://www.bulldogtools.co.uk - Bulldog Tools have been making spades, shovels, forks, rakes, cutting tools and the like for gardening, farming and construction in Wigen since 1780. Most, possibly even all (please check as always), their products are made in the UK. The wood handles are made using wood from the USA or Germany. There is a list of stockists on the Bulldog Tools website.
Haws Watering Cans – http://www.haws.co.uk – Haws Watering Cans is a trading name belonging to Haws Elliott Ltd which is a subsidiary company of Eclipse Sprayers Ltd. Haws Watering Cans have been manufactured in England since 1886. According to their website “most cans are ‘Made in England'” and because all their products are not made in England you should check the place of manufacture before buying. They also sell a range of made in England gardening leatherware. Stockists are listed on their website.
You should be able to find British made water butts and compost bins. I found water butts and compost bins on e-bay. R. Sankey (part of the Finnish Fiskars company) make both water butts and compost bins and say on their website that they try to make all their products in the UK. You’ll need to check whether the product you want is actually made in the UK.
The Walsall Wheelbarrow Company are the only manufacturer of wheelbarrows left in Great Britain. Wheelbarrows are used in the construction industry, agriculture, for horse and animal care, gardening, DIY, etc. British Owned and British made. They manufacture the complete wheelbarrow on-site in their factory in the West Midlands. They also make sack trucks and barrow-in-a-box boxed wheelbarrows. They also sell a few other products like buckets and clothes driers but I do not think these are made in Britain. Wholesale. Available in stores and online. I found some on e-bay – http://www.thewalsallwheelbarrow.co.uk
Hill and Sons – http://www.riddles-sieves.co.uk - Hill and Sons are apparently the last remaining beech riddle and sieve manufacturers in Britain. They also have a range of garden accessories including a modern trug, dibber, pot tamper and pair of garden lines. All their products are made in Britain. As well as horticultural sieves, etc they also make a kitchen sieve.
Burgon and Ball – http://www.burgonandball.com - Burgon and Ball are the largest sheep shear manufacturer in the world. They also sell other agricultural and garden tools and accessories. However, most of what they sell is made in SE Asia, so check if what you are buying is actually made in England.
Hozelock – http://www.hozelock.com – Hozelock make products in the UK and in the Far East. They say they manufacture the majority (75%) of their products in the UK, but because some of their products are made abroad you need to check what you are buying is actually made in the UK. Hoselock produce products to help people water their gardens – garden watering, garden pressure sprayers, pond equipment and high pressure cleaners – garden hoses and bits for them essentially. The Hozelock Group supplies products under two brands : Hozelock – their retail gardening brand, and Tricoflex their industrial hose brand.
Evergreen make a 1/2″ diameter 30 metre garden hose in the UK and possibly their other hoses are made in the UK. Available in shops.
For Matchets (machetes) made in the UK at very reasonable prices try Ralph Martindale – http://www.ralphmartindale.co.uk – They have their own steel mill. Search online to find retailers or e-mail the company. Their’s is the genuine “Crocodile” blade and is designed to demands of rural farmers throughout the tropical regions of the world. The handles though are made using German beech wood. Ralph Martindale also make a wide range of other agricultural tools including sharpening files and saws, knives and files (including sugar cane knives, tea pruning knives, tree/cocoa pruners, copra knives and rubber tapping knives), digging and construction tools (spades, forks, shovels, pick axes, wrecking bars, cold chisels, sledge hammers, hammers, hatchets and so on), sickles, sheaths, gardening tools (rakes, shears, hand trowels, hand forks, secateurs and so on), protective clothing and sprayers. The Ralph Martindale Group of Companies also own The Chillington Tool Company who make hoes and forks sold under a variety of brand names and are available online at http://www.chillingtontoolsonline.co.uk where they also sell a variety of other gardening equipment.
Hayter – http://www.hayter.co.uk - Hayter make lawnmowers and say on their website that they still manufacture many products in the UK. They make electric and petrol mowers (including sit-on mowers) and rotavators. As far as I can see their website does not specify which mowers are made in the UK, so you will have to ask.
Allett Mowers (part of the Turfmech Group) – http://www.allett.co.uk make petrol and electric lawn stand-behind mowers. There is a list of dealers on their website. They also acquired rights to former Atco and Suffolk Punch cylinder mowers that now carry the Allett brand name. As far as I can gather all their mowers are made in the UK, but please check before buying. Their petrol mowers are powered by Japanese engines.
Confusingly Qualcast now seem to own the Suffolk Punch brand name. Qualcast mowers are now made in China.
Bosch (the former owner of Qualcast and Atco) apparently makes at least some of its lawnmowers in the UK, in Stowmarket, Suffolk. You will have to check which mowers are made in the UK; possibly their Rotak range of electric mowers. Bosch is a German company.
Flymo mowers (or at least some of them) are also made in the UK, in Newton Aycliffe. Please check that the mower you are buying is in fact made in the UK.
The new Atco Lawnmowers (GGP UK Limited) are powered by American engines and are now made abroad I believe.
Countax make ride-on mowers in the UK, although they are owned by a US parent company.
Dennis and SISIS make lawnmowers and other ground maintenance equipment in Britain. As always, please check what you are buying is actually British made but from what I can see on their websites it looks as if some or even all their products are UK made or at least partly UK made.
Does anyone know of any British made hand (non-motorised) mowers - push reel lawn mowers – please?
http://www.fredshed.co.uk/mowers.htm - has reviews of some mowers.
British made knives and scientific equipment
Brannan are manufacturers of Thermometers, Pressure Gauges and associated products, for science, industry, meteorology, medical, geographical, office, garden and home use. They have a manufacturing facility in Cumbria, England and some (possibly most?) of their products are made in England – http://www.brannan.co.uk
TM Electronics (TME) is a UK-run designer and manufacturer of thermometers and sensors based in Worthing, West Sussex, England. The majority of their products are entirely made in their factory in Worthing, West Sussex, but you will need to ask if the particular product you want is UK made as this information is not given on their website – http://www.tmelectronics.co.uk
Please see my articles on pocket knives, survival knives, bushcraft knives and safety knives and my article on British made kitchen knives, cutlery, scissors and silverware. These articles also cover surgical instruments and healthcare products to some extent.
For bicycle specific tools, please see http://wp.me/s2KOue-bicycles
Does anyone know of any more UK made tools and garden tools I can add here please?
Tools made in the UK, UK made tools, UK made ladders, Lawn Mowers made in the UK, UK made lawn mowers, British Wheelbarrows, British Watering Cans, UK made Tape Measures, Made in England Tape Measures, Made in England Tools, British Garden Equipment, British Made Trade Tools, etc.