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Easco Hand Tools

Easco Hand Tools
Privately owned
Industry Manufacturing
Fate Acquired by Danaher Corporation
Founded 1901
Headquarters Hunt Valley, Maryland
Products Hand tools

Easco Hand Tools was an American manufacturer of hand tools. It was founded in 1901 and was based in Hunt Valley, Maryland.[1] It is best known for being the main supplier of mechanic's tools for the Craftsman brand. Its tools were also sold under the Allen and KD Tools brands after its acquisition by Danaher Corporation. The brand name was gradually phased out during the 1990s.

History

The company began as Eastern Stainless Steel Corporation, a manufacturer of stainless and specialty Springfield, Massachusetts-based tool manufacturer and the primary supplier of Craftsman mechanic's tools. Easco continued the Craftsman contract with Sears. By 1969, the company was known as the Easco Corporation.[2]

In 1985, the company was purchased by the investment brothers Steven Rales and Mitchell Rales and taken private. The hand tools division of the company was taken public, and the other divisions were sold to an investment group including Citicorp Venture Capital.[3] In 1990, the hand tool division was acquired by the brothers' Danaher Corporation.[4] This acquisition made the tools division the largest part of Danaher.[5] In 1991, Sears selected Danaher to be the exclusive supplier of Craftsman mechanic's tools.[6]

In 2010, Danaher merged its tools division with Cooper Tools to form Apex Tool Group. The same year, Apex closed the Gaston, North Carolina plant where Easco manufactured sockets since 1978.[7]

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References

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