Sandvik – History

I’ve always liked Sandvik hand tools. I had a chance to use my Dad’s Sandvik saws and chisels when I was a kid. I’ve kept them and I still use them today. Their steel and the workmanship is terrific!

Sandvik not only made hand tools, they also supplied excellent quality steel to other tool manufacturers. A good example is the fine carbon steel they supplied to E.A. Berg in Esklistuna, Sweden for Berg chisels, plus other Berg hand tools and cutlery. Berg respected Sandvik quality and mentioned them as their steel supplier in their advertisements of circa 1939.

The manufacture of hand tools was a very small part of Sandvik’s business, although it was an important one for over 100 years. For instance, between 1918 and 1939 steel was the dominant product group, locally and for export. Manufactured products such as saws, conveyor belts, complete conveyors, and razor blades accounted for only six percent of sales. Although revenues from hand tool manufacturing and sales were typically modest, quality and design never wavered.

Below is a brief outline of Sandvik’s history that focuses on hand tool production up until 1999 when Sandvik Saws and Tools was sold to Snap-On International.

Sandvik was, and is, a huge multi-national corporation that now focuses on Tooling, Mining and Construction, and Specialty Steels. Most highlights in those areas are not included below, although they are interesting in their own right.

1858: On July 18, Göran Fredrik Göransson produced steel using the Bessemer process for the first time in the world.

1862: Göran Fredrik Göransson founds the company Högbo Stål & Jernwerks AB in Sandviken, Sweden.

1866: Högbo Stål & Jernwerks AB goes bankrupt.

1868: The company was re-established under the name Sandvikens Jernverks AB. Anders Henrik Göransson, son of the founder, is appointed General Manager.

1868: The “Sandvik” trade name was registered.

1879: President (and the son of the founder), Anders Henrik Göransson received approval from the Swedish Board of Commerce to use the trademark “Fisk och Krok” (Fish and Hook).

1885: Sandvik’s first hand saw was delivered as Sandvik begins making some manufactured products from the steel it produces.

1900: Göran Fredrik Göransson, founder of Sandvik, dies.

1901: Sandvik was introduced on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. The Göransson family continues it’s role as the dominant owner.

1947: Production of Bessemer steel was discontinued.

1957: Sandvik issues public shares and dominant ownership moves from the Göransson family’s to the Kinnevik Group.

1972: The company name was changed to Sandvik AB from Sandvikens Jernverks AB.

1978: Sandvik buys the Disston Division from the H.K. Porter Company of Pittsburgh and it becomes the Henry Disston Division of Sandvik Saws and Tools.

1981: Open-hearth production was discontinued, thereby marking the end of all ore-based steel production.

1983: Swedish company Skanska succeeded Kinnevik as principal owner of Sandvik.

1984: Sandvik’s operations are restructured into six core business areas: Sandvik Tooling, Sandvik Rock Tools, Sandvik Hard Materials, Sandvik Steel, Sandvik Saws and Tools, and Sandvik Process Systems. A new decentralized organization was introduced within Sandvik that included the parent company, separate business areas, regional companies and service companies.

1984: Sandvik sells the Henry Disston Division of Sandvik Saws and Tools to R.A.F. Industries of Philadelphia where it becomes  known as Disston Precision Incorporated.

1991: Sandvik acquired Bahco Tools and adds them to the Sandvik Saws and Tools area.

1999: Sandvik sells it’s Saws and Tools area to Snap-On Incorporated.

1999: Sandvik concentrates its operations to three core areas: Tooling (Sandvik Coromant, Sandvik CTT, Sandvik Hard Materials), Mining and Construction(Sandvik Tamrock, Driltech Mission, VA-Eimco, Roxon) and Specialty Steels (Sandvik Steel, Kanthal, Sandvik Process Systems).

Please see the items below this heading for specific information on Sandvik.

One comment on “Sandvik – History
  1. Randall Nelson says:

    Birch:
    There does not seem to be any info in the Sandvik Chisels article, just the “Leave a Comment” section- did it get deleted? I was just wondering what the time frame was for when Sandvik was making tools in Sweden, vs when chisel production was moved to Holland.

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