Every market their own gold standard brand.
Think of Rolex for Watches or Chivas Regal for Liquor.
For automotive tools, that brand is Snap-On.
Snap-on ratcheted to the top of the automobile tool industry by taking a rather different approach to marketing themselves. Instead of having customers look for their tools, they came to customers.
No. We?re not joking.
Snap-on literally went on customers, which were mechanics, and visited them in their workshops or garages.
Sold only by dealers, Snap-on would go to their customers with a truckload full of tools and sold them directly to the people who would use them. The result? With recent studies showing that the average mechanic spending around $30,000 in tools throughout their career, Snap-on managed to capture a huge chunk of this market en route to becoming one of its most popular brands.
To this day, many mechanics still swear by their Snap-on products.
Unfortunately, there is a growing concern about Snap-on. In particular, where their products are being manufactured.
Are Snap-on Tools Still made in the United States?
As the creme of the crop of automobile tools, Snap-on has grown a lot from their humble beginnings in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Currently, the company employs more than 12,000 people, and not all of those are in the United States.
Naturally, this also means that not all of their tools are made in the USA either.
While it is true that Snap-on still makes a number of their tools in the United States, they have since branched out to other countries.
Where Are Snap-on Tools Made Today?
Most hand tools made by Snap-on are still manufactured in other parts of the United States, in addition to their original plant in Milwaukee. However, Snap-on also makes a number of tools in their plants outside of the United States.
Here is a complete list of the locations of all of Snap-on?s factories in the United States and outside of it.
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Elizabethton, Tennessee
- Murphy, North Carolina
- West Lebanon, New Hampshire
- Louisville, Kentucky
- Algona, Iowa
- Carol Stream, Illinois
- City of Industry, California
- Conway, Arkansas
- Elkmont, Alabama
- Bolln?s, Edsbyn, Kungs?r & Lidk?ping, Sweden
- Irun, Placencia and Vitoria, Spain
- Vila do Conde, Portugal
- Correggio and Florence, Italy
- Sopron, Hungary
- Strasbourg, France
- Bramley and Branbury, England
- Kunshan and Xiaoshan, China
- Santa B?rbara d?Oeste, Brazil
- Minsk, Belarus
- Santo Tome, Argentina
Which Snap-on Tools are Made Where?
Now, to answer your question if snap-on tools are made in China, well, yes.
However, don?t be too quick to judge this American company for outsourcing their manufacturing outside of the United States. This is because they didn?t just outsource it to China. Rather, their manufacturing plants are spread all across the globe, as evidenced by our list above.
As for which Snap-on tools are made where, well, most of the hand tools are still made in the United States.
This includes the wrenches, ratches, roll cabs used for tool storage, sandblasters, and even the screwdrivers. This means that the majority of the Snap-on tools that you?re likely to use throughout your career will likely be made in the United States.
As for which Snap-on tools are not made in the USA, here?s a list:
- China — Cordless Screwdriver Kit, Variable Speed Polisher, Welding Helmets, Safety Gloves, Air Compressors
- Canada — Air Compressors
- Ireland — Gas Torches
How Do You Know Where a Snap-on Tool is Made?
Thankfully, Snap-on isn?t keen on hiding where their tools are made.
In fact, if you just take a look at the Country of Origin of a product listed on their website, you?ll see exactly where it?s made. This means that they?re not trying to deliberately lie to people when they say that they are still an American company.
Technically, they still are, as their headquarters are still located in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
In addition to this, a lot of the tools that people have come to associate with the brand are still made in the United State.s
Anyone who?s ever had to use an automobile tool will likely have had a Snap-on in their hands.
The brand is essentially synonymous with hand tools by now.
With that said, we?d like to remind you that, even though some snap-on tools are made in China, not all of them are. The majority are still made in the United States. Meanwhile, other tools are made in other countries, not China.
It?s also important to take note that Snap-on?s marketing approach is worthy of support.
By essentially giving their dealers a chance to be their own employers and to set their own hours, Snap-on is, in a way, supporting the local economy of the United States in a way that other manufacturers can?t. This is because every dealer is a small business in and on itself, which are some of the biggest contributors to the United States economy.
Snap-on is also honest with where their tools come from, so, if you?re not really sold on the quality of their non-US tools, you can always avoid them.