Celebrating 10 ‘made in England’ tools on St. George’s Day

A collection of English made tools including a Thor Hammer, King Dick Spanners, Elementary screwdriver on an English flag

St. George’s Day, when we celebrate all things English, is actually named after a guy who wasn’t English, hadn’t ever visited England and, arguably the most disappointing, didn’t actually slay any dragons (according to English Heritage… and they must know their English Heritage). So whilst he may have been a martyr who was popular with English Kings in the 9th century onwards, the rest of it all appears to be based on myths and marketing.  

Now we’ve dispelled that myth, let’s look at another – that there aren’t any hand tool makers or manufacturers left in England. The perception is that everything is now ‘made in China’.

Whilst this may, unfortunately, now be the case for a heck of a lot of hand tools and kit – there are a good number of English brands who deserve highlighting and celebrating on this day (and every day if we had our way).  Not in a jingoistic, just because they are based in England kind of way, but because what they are making is exceptionally good quality.  They should be celebrated and supported to ensure they continue to thrive for years to come.  They are the epitome of ‘buy once, buy well’ – because, yes, you can always buy cheaper from China – but these English manufacturers are making tools and kit that will last. And that’s why we’re celebrating them, and why we encourage you to buy ‘Made in England’ for either yourself or as a great gift. 

There are 10 ‘made in England’ companies or bits of kit that we reckon are worth celebrating this St. George’s Day.  First up, here's what we, as Tinker and Fix, make in England:

  • Two tool rolls - one open with tools, the other folded, from Tinker and Fix
    The Frank Tool Roll
    – made from waxed cotton fabric from the last remaining mill in Lancashire making waxed cotton fabric. The brass D Rings are from a foundry in Birmingham.
  • Tinker and Fix Dart Hex Bit Driver – made to Edd’s design by a machine manufacturer in Leicester.
  • Oscar Duck Paint Tin Opener and Crow Bar – made to Edd’s design by the hugely talented young blacksmith Oscar Duck in the North of England.
  • The Tinker and Fix pencils – for gardening and the DIY carpenters’ pencil – are made to our design by Chambers Pencils in Nottingham. They are the only remaining pencil manufacturer left in England (i.e. they are actually all made in England).

And here are six English companies that we personally use, definitely rate and heartily recommend that you buy: 

  • King Dick Tools – all their spanners (Metric, Imperial and Whitworth) have been made in their factory just outside Birmingham - since 1856.
  • Whiteley Scissors – William Whiteley's & Sons have been designing and manufacturing beautifully hand-crafted scissors (fabric, paper, leather, DIY) in Sheffield for over 250 years.
  • Elementary Screwdrivers – are designed, assembled and finished by hand at the Elemen’tary design workshop in in South London.
  • Thor Hammers – have been hand making soft faced hammers in Birmingham since 1910.
  • Risdon & Risdon – their garden half aprons are designed and handmade in Shropshire, England. 
  • Proper Cleaner – made in a small factory just outside Leeds.

To easily see our collection of 'Made in England' tools - click here. 

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