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Snap-on Incorporated
Founded1920; 102 years ago (1920)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Joseph Johnson
  • Bill Seidemann
Key people
ProductsProfessional Automotive and Industrial Tools and Equipment
RevenueIncrease US$4.25 billion (2021)
Increase US$1.12 billion (2021)
Increase US$0.82 billion (2021)
Total assetsIncrease US$6.76 billion (2021)
Total equityIncrease US$4.18 billion (2021)
Number of employees
c. 12,800 (January 2022)
Footnotes / references
Snap-on walk-in dealer van, Westland, Michigan

Snap-on Incorporated is an American designer, manufacturer and marketer of high-end tools and equipment for professional use in the transportation industry including the automotive, heavy duty, equipment, marine, aviation, and railroad industries. Headquartered in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Snap-on also distributes lower-end tools under the brand name Blue-Point. Their primary competitors include MatcoMac Tools, Cornwell Tools, and Ko-Ken Tools.


Snap-on Inc. operates plants in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Elizabethton, Tennessee, and Elkmont, Alabama. Pneumatic and cordless tools are manufactured under the "Ingersoll Rand" name in Murphy, North Carolina.[citation needed] Wheel balancers and tire changers are produced in Conway, Arkansas. Torque products are made and assembled in City of Industry, California.[2] The company manufactures tool storage cabinets in its Algona, Iowa plant.[3]

Snap-on produces hand-held electronic diagnostic tools for the computer systems used in most modern cars and heavy duty vehicles at their Kenosha site, along with sockets, extension bars, pliers, and screwdriver blades and bits.[4] Software development happens in the US, Ireland, Australia, Mexico, Brazil and China. Automotive emissions control diagnostics equipment is produced in its San Jose, California diagnostic facility. Snap-on diagnostic products are sold in Europe and Brazil under the name Sun.

Sales approach[edit]

Snap-on tools are sold only by dealers and not in retail stores. Snap-on has always maintained the philosophy that the customer's time was too valuable to spend going shopping for tools. Snap-on franchisees visit their customers in their place of work, once weekly, in a van loaded with items for purchase.

The Snap-on TechKnow Express is a van that showcases everything Snap-on has to offer in the realm of diagnostic equipment, and the Rock 'n Roll Cab Express is a truck with various types of tool storage showing customization options, including units larger than what can fit on a standard franchisee van. These trucks are typically assigned to a particular region and work within that region with individual franchisees.


Snap-on was founded as the Snap-on Wrench Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1920 by Joseph Johnson and William Seidemann. The business manufactured and marketed ten sockets that would "snap on" to five interchangeable handles. The company's slogan was "5 do the work of 50".[5] In 1930, the company's headquarters moved to Kenosha, Wisconsin.[6][7]

After World War II, Stanton Palmer advertised for a military officer to organize and develop a larger sales force for the expected post war sales boom.[8] Newton Tarble was hired, and came up with the idea of developing routes for company dealers to see mechanics on a weekly basis. Eventually these salesmen became independent businessmen and authorized dealers using larger walk in vans to carry a growing product line.

The company opened their wrench forging plant in Elizabethton, Tennessee in 1974.[9] The next year, Snap-on opened a manufacturing plant in Johnson City, Tennessee and closed the plant in 2007.[10]

In 1998, workers at the company's Milwaukee plant voted to join the Teamsters labor union[11] and the company expanded the facility in 2013.[12]

In 2010, the Murphy, North Carolina plant was named one of the top 10 plants in North America by IndustryWeek.[13] In 2011, J.H. Williams & Co was officially renamed Snap-on Industrial Brands.[citation needed]


In 2014, the company acquired New Hampshire–based Pro-Cut for $42 million.[14]

In October 2016, the company acquired Car-O-Liner Holding AB, a Swedish collision repair tool company, for $155 million. Later that year, the company acquired Sturtevant Richmont for $13 million.[15]

In May 2017, the company acquired Norbar Torque Tools Holdings Limited for $72 million.[16]

In September 2020, the company acquired AutoCrib Inc. based in Tustin, California for $36 million.[17]

In March 2021, Snap-on acquired Canada-based Dealer-FX Group for $200 million.[18]

Racing sponsorships[edit]

The company has sponsored Penske Racing teams in the NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series as well as IndyCar. The first driver Snap-on became associated with was Rick Mears in 1979. Since 1992, Snap-on has sponsored Cruz Pedregon. In 2004, the company began sponsoring Cruz’s brother Tony Pedregon. Snap-on has also sponsored Repsol Honda Team in MotoGP since 1998.[19]

Snap-on sponsored NHRA drag racer Doug Herbert from 1992 until 2008.[20] For the 2010 racing season, the company sponsored Penske Racing.[21]


  1. ^ "Snap-on Inc. 2021 Annual Report (Form 10-K)". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 2022-02-11.
  2. ^ 2017 Snap-on catalog, p. 1
  3. ^ "Snap-on to expand in Algona". Globe Gazette. Retrieved 2021-12-15.
  4. ^ Smart, Ashley (2022-09-01). "Snap-on to expand its Milwaukee facility". BizTimes - Milwaukee Business News. Retrieved 2022-09-16.
  5. ^ Snap-on Museum Experience
  6. ^ Rovito, Rich (2020-04-27). "Is It Still Made in Wisconsin?". Milwaukee Magazine. Retrieved 2022-04-13.
  7. ^ "Snap-On timeline". Kenosha News. Retrieved 2022-04-13.
  8. ^ "Snap On, Incorporated". March 21, 2021.
  9. ^ Thompson, John. "Snap-on plant in Elizabethton joins in company's centennial celebration". Johnson City Press. Retrieved 2021-12-09.
  10. ^ KEELING, JEFF. "Snap-on Tools closing Johnson City plant - 150 to lose job; Elizabethton Plant to continue operations". Kingsport Times-News. Kingsport, Tenn. Retrieved 2021-12-09.
  11. ^ Gallun, Alby (September 6, 1998). "Snap-on workers vote to join Teamsters". Milwaukee Business Journal.
  12. ^ Lockwood, Denise (December 18, 2013). "Snap-on expands Milwaukee hand tool facility". Milwaukee Business Journal.
  13. ^ Jusko, Jill (2010-12-14). "2010 IW Best Plants Winners: Excellence Thrives". IndustryWeek. Retrieved 2022-04-13.
  14. ^ Lockwood, Denise (2014-06-02). "Snap-on acquires New Hampshire manufacturer". Milwaukee Business Journal. Retrieved 2022-04-13.
  15. ^ Shafer, Dan (November 17, 2016). "Snap-on buys Illinois manufacturer Sturtevant Richmont for $13 million". Milwaukee Business Journal.
  16. ^ Shafer, Dan (May 4, 2017). "Snap-on acquires British tool company for $72 million". Milwaukee Business Journal.
  17. ^ "Snap-on Acquires AutoCrib". 2020-09-29. Retrieved 2020-09-30.
  18. ^ Lawson, James (2021-03-08). "Snap-On acquires Canadian-based Dealer-FX Group for $200 million". Kenosha News. Retrieved 2022-05-26.
  19. ^ "Repsol Honda Team Sponsors". Repsol Honda Team. 2019. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  20. ^ "Doug Herbert and Snap-on End 16-Year Relationship". Retrieved 2021-12-09.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. ^ "Snap-on to Sponsor Sprint Cup, Nationwide, IRL, NHRA teams". 2019-12-31. Retrieved 2022-02-09.

External links[edit]