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Snap-on Incorporated
Founded1920; 101 years ago (1920)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
FounderJoseph Johnson
Bill Seidemann
Key people
Nicholas T. Pinchuk, Chairman & CEO
Aldo J. Pagliari, CFO[1]
ProductsProfessional Automotive and Industrial Tools and Equipment
RevenueIncrease $3.430 billion (2016)[1]
Increase $0.546 billion (2016)[1]
Total assetsIncrease $4.723 billion (2016)[1]
Total equityIncrease $2.617 billion (2016)[1]
Number of employees
12,600[2] (2017)
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. Snap-on also distributes lower-end tools under the brand name Blue-Point. Their primary competitors include MatcoMac Tools and Cornwell Tools.

Current operations[edit]

Snap-on Inc. operates plants in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Elizabethton, Tennessee, and Elkmont, Alabama. Pneumatic and cordless tools are manufactured in Murphy, North Carolina. Wheel Balancers and tire changers are produced in Conway, Arkansas. Torque products are made and assembled in City of Industry, California.[3]

The company manufactures tool storage cabinets in its Algona, Iowa plant.

Snap-on produces hand-held electronic diagnostic tools for the computer systems used in most modern cars and heavy duty vehicles, produced in the US at their Kenosha site, along with software development in the US, Ireland and China, as well as automotive emissions control diagnostics equipment 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.[4] 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]

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. [6] 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.

In 1975, Snap-on opened a manufacturing plant in Johnson City, Tennessee and closed the plant in 2007.

In 1993, the company bought J.H. Williams Tool Group

In 1998, workers at the company's Milwaukee plant voted to join the Teamsters labor union.[7]

In 1999, the company acquired Bahco, a Swedish hand tool brand.

In 2011, the Murphy, North Carolina plant was named one of the top 10 plants in North America by Industry Week.[8]

Also in 2011, J.H. Williams & Co was officially renamed Snap-on Industrial Brands.[9]

In 2013, the company expanded its hand tool facility in Milwaukee.[10]

In 2014, the company acquired Pro-Cut for $42 million.[11]

In October 2016, the company acquired Car-O-Liner Holding AB, a Swedish collision repair tool company, for $155 million.[12]

In November 2016, the company acquired Sturtevant Richmont for $13 million.[13]

In May 2017, the company acquired Norbar Torque Tools Holdings Limited for $72 million.[14]

In September 2020, the company acquired AutoCrib Inc. based in Tustin, California for $36 million.[15]

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.[16] In 2004, the company began sponsoring Cruz’s brother Tony Pedregon. Snap-on also sponsors Repsol Honda Team in MotoGP since 1998.[17]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Snap-on Incorporated 2016 Form 10-K Annual Report". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  2. ^ "Snap-on". Fortune. Retrieved 2019-01-26.
  3. ^ 2017 Snap on catalog pg 1
  4. ^ "Joseph Johnson, 92". Chicago Tribune. October 19, 1986.
  5. ^ Snap-on Museum Experience
  6. ^ "Snap On, Incorporated". March 21, 2021.
  7. ^ Gallun, Alby (September 6, 1998). "Snap-on workers vote to join Teamsters". American City Business Journals.
  8. ^ "Snap-on's Murphy, N.C. Facility Named One of North America's 10 Best Plants" (Press release). Business Wire. January 19, 2011.
  9. ^ "J.H. Williams & Co officially renamed Snap-on Industrial Brands". Cision PR Newswire. May 4, 2011.
  10. ^ Lockwood, Denise (December 18, 2013). "Snap-on expands Milwaukee hand tool facility". American City Business Journals.
  11. ^ "Snap-on Acquires Pro-Cut International" (Press release). Business Wire. May 30, 2014.
  12. ^ "Snap-on to Acquire Car-O-Liner" (Press release). Business Wire. October 17, 2016.
  13. ^ Shafer, Dan (November 17, 2016). "Snap-on buys Illinois manufacturer Sturtevant Richmont for $13 million". American City Business Journals.
  14. ^ Shafer, Dan (May 4, 2017). "Snap-on acquires British tool company for $72 million". American City Business Journals.
  15. ^ "Snap-on Acquires AutoCrib". 2020-09-29. Retrieved 2020-09-30.
  16. ^ "Sponsor extends Pedregon Racing partnership". Motor Sport. February 22, 2004.
  17. ^ "Repsol Honda Team Sponsors". Repsol Honda Team. 2019. Retrieved 25 June 2019.

External links[edit]