Western Forge

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Western Forge
Subsidiary of Ideal Industries
Industry Manufacturing
Founded 1965 in Defiance, Ohio
Founder C. William Schlosser
Headquarters Colorado Springs, Colorado
Products Hand tools
Website www.westernforge.com

Western Forge is an American manufacturing company. The company manufactures hand tools to be sold under other brands, including private-label brands such as Craftsman and Husky. It is a subsidiary of Ideal Industries.[1]

As of 2010, the company is the largest American manufacturer of screwdrivers.[2] yet the company is relatively unknown because it sells no tools under its own name.[3]


Western Forge was founded in Defiance, Ohio in 1965 as a joint venture between Sears and C. William Schlosser to make torque wrenches.[3] In 1966, it relocated to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where it built a new manufacturing facility. In the next few years, the company began producing screwdrivers, punches, chisels, adjustable wrenches, and pliers.[4]

In 1976, Western Forge shipped its 100 millionth Craftsman screwdriver.[5] In 2008, the company produced its billionth screwdriver overall.[3]

In 1978, Western Forge applied for, and received its USA trademark. They then produced, and test marketed a line of hand tools branded with their own name, i.e. "Western Forge". Among these tools were a socket and ratchet set that they sold in Colorado Springs CO., and also Denver Co. Very few of these tools have turned up, indicating full production never took place.

In 1981, the company was acquired by Emerson Electric.[3]

In the late 1990s, Western Forge moved its screwdriver production to a plant in Murphy, North Carolina. In April 2006, it closed the plant and consolidated its operations in Colorado Springs, citing declining sales. The company received $200,000 in cash incentives from the City of Colorado Springs and the Colorado Springs Economic Development Corporation to stay in Colorado Springs.[6][7] Sears Craftsman products (and others) that are produced by Western Forge are marked with a "WF" on them.

In 2007, the company was acquired by MW Universal.[3] In 2010, it was acquired by Ideal Industries.[8][9]

In April 2017, Ideal declined to renew its contract with Sears and stopped supplying it with tools. Sears filed a lawsuit against the company in June, contending that it was not honoring the terms of its supply agreement.[10][11]



  1. ^ "Ideal Announces Acquisition of Western Forge a Premier Manufacturer of American Made Hand Tools" (Press release). Ideal Industries. 2009-12-31. Retrieved 2010-03-17. 
  2. ^ Varnon, Rob (2010-06-25). "Workers hope for aid in closing". The Advocate. Retrieved 2014-01-16. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Heilman, Wayne (2008-03-29). "Forging ahead". The Gazette. Retrieved 2014-01-16. 
  4. ^ Western Forge. "Our History". Retrieved 2010-03-17. 
  5. ^ Sears Archives. "Sears Digital Archive: Timeline: 1970s". Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  6. ^ Chakrabarty, Gargi (2005-12-22). "Springs to gain 150 Western Forge jobs". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2014-01-22. 
  7. ^ Sealover, Ed (2005-12-03). "Should firms be paid to stay?". The Gazette. Retrieved 2014-01-22. 
  8. ^ Heilman, Wayne (2010-01-04). "Western Forge to be sold to Ideal Industries". The Gazette. Retrieved 2014-01-16. 
  9. ^ Heilman, Wayne (2010-01-05). "New owners to pump millions into Western Forge". The Gazette. Retrieved 2010-03-17. 
  10. ^ Yerak, Becky (2017-06-07). "Sears sues second Craftsman vendor to maintain tool supply". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2017-06-11. 
  11. ^ Thomas, Lauren (2017-06-08). "Sears sues second Craftsman supplier as frustrations with key vendors mount". CNBC. Retrieved 2017-06-11. 

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