The History of JET Tools: Innovation and Excellence Since 1958

JET Tools, a prominent name in the world of industrial and woodworking tools, has a rich history that spans over six decades. The company’s journey is marked by a commitment to quality, innovation, and expansion, making it a trusted brand among professionals and hobbyists alike.

The Beginnings: 1958

JET Tools, now owned by JPW Industries, was founded in 1958 by Leslie P. Sussman. The inception of the company is attributed to a serendipitous event: Sussman took a trip on the first Boeing jet airplane from Seattle, Washington, to Japan. Inspired by this pioneering journey, he named his new venture "JET" and began by importing and selling manual chain hoists and trolleys from Japan. These products were initially sold from a small hardware store in Tacoma, Washington, marking the humble beginnings of what would become a significant player in the tools industry.

Expansion and Diversification: The 1960s to 1980s

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, JET Tools expanded its product line to include a broader range of industrial and material handling products. The company’s commitment to quality and innovation helped it establish a strong foothold in the market. By the late 1970s, JET Tools had moved into the woodworking and metalworking machinery markets, further diversifying its offerings and strengthening its brand.

Acquisition and Growth: The WMH Tool Group Era

In 1988, JET Tools was acquired by Walter Meier Holding AG, a Swiss-based conglomerate. This acquisition marked a significant turning point for the company, as it gained access to greater resources and a more extensive distribution network. The name was changed to JET Equipment and Tools in 1989, reflecting its expanded product range.

Under Walter Meier’s ownership, JET Tools experienced rapid growth and continued to innovate. In the late 1990s, the company acquired Performax Products, a manufacturer known for its innovative drum sanders, and Powermatic, a well-respected name in the woodworking machinery industry. These acquisitions allowed JET to expand its product offerings and enter new markets.

In 2002, JET Tools merged with Wilton Tool Group, another acquisition by Walter Meier. This merger formed the WMH Tool Group, which brought together some of the most trusted names in the industry under one umbrella. The combined entity was well-positioned to dominate the woodworking and metalworking markets, offering a comprehensive range of high-quality tools and equipment.

Continued Innovation and Market Leadership

JET Tools has consistently prioritized innovation, continually improving and expanding its product lines to meet the evolving needs of its customers. Over the years, the company has introduced numerous new products, often setting new standards in the industry. For instance, JET’s long-bed jointers, parallel clamps, and advanced mortisers have received accolades for their innovative designs and superior performance.

The company’s commitment to quality is evident in its rigorous testing and quality control processes. Every product is designed and manufactured to meet stringent standards, ensuring durability, precision, and reliability. This dedication to excellence has earned JET Tools a loyal customer base and a reputation for delivering top-notch products.

JET Tools Today

Today, JET Tools is part of JPW Industries, which also owns other renowned brands like Powermatic and Wilton. The company continues to thrive, offering a wide range of tools and equipment for woodworking, metalworking, and material handling. With its headquarters in LaVergne, Tennessee, JET Tools serves customers across the globe, maintaining its commitment to quality and innovation.

JET Tools’ product portfolio includes everything from air tools and hand tools to sophisticated CNC machinery, catering to both professional and DIY markets. The company’s products are known for their robust construction, advanced features, and user-friendly designs, making them a preferred choice for many.

The Future of JET Tools

As JET Tools looks to the future, it remains focused on innovation and customer satisfaction. The company invests heavily in research and development to introduce cutting-edge products that meet the demands of modern users. With a rich legacy of quality and a forward-thinking approach, JET Tools is well-positioned to continue its leadership in the tools industry.

In conclusion, the history of JET Tools is a testament to the power of innovation, quality, and strategic growth. From its humble beginnings in a small hardware store to becoming a global leader in the tools industry, JET Tools has consistently pushed the boundaries to deliver exceptional products to its customers. As it moves forward, the company remains committed to upholding its legacy of excellence and driving the industry forward with new and innovative solutions.