Snap-on Incorporated
Company typePublic
FoundedApril 21, 1920; 104 years ago (April 21, 1920) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
  • Joseph Johnson
  • Bill Seidemann
Key people
  • Nicholas T. Pinchuk (Chairman & CEO)
  • Aldo J. Pagliari (CFO)
ProductsProfessional automotive and industrial tools and equipment
RevenueIncrease US$4.73 billion (2023)
Increase US$1.31 billion (2023)
Increase US$1.01 billion (2023)
Total assetsIncrease US$7.54 billion (2023)
Total equityIncrease US$5.09 billion (2023)
Number of employees
c. 13,200 (2023)
Footnotes / references
Snap-on walk-in dealer van in Westland, Michigan
A Snap-on ratcheting screwdriver

Snap-on Incorporated is an American designer, manufacturer, and marketer of high-end tools and equipment for professional use in the transportation industry including the automotive, heavy duty, equipment, marine, aviation, and railroad industries. Headquartered in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Snap-on also distributes lower-end tools under the brand name Blue-Point. Their primary competitors include MatcoMac Tools, and Cornwell Tools.


Snap-on Inc. operates plants in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Elizabethton, Tennessee, and Elkmont, Alabama. Wheel balancers and tire changers are produced in Conway, Arkansas. Power tools, both cordless and pneumatic are produced in Murphy, North Carolina. Torque products are made and assembled in City of Industry, California.[2] The company manufactures tool storage cabinets in its Algona, Iowa plant.[3] The company's Milwaukee facility manufactures sockets, extension bars, pliers, screwdriver blades and bits.[4]

Snap-on produces hand-held electronic diagnostic tools for the computer systems used in most modern cars and heavy duty vehicles at their Kenosha site. Software development happens in the US, Ireland, Australia, Mexico, Brazil and China. Automotive emissions control diagnostics equipment is produced in its San Jose, California diagnostic facility. Snap-on diagnostic products are sold in Europe and Brazil under the name Sun.

Sales approach

Snap-on tools are only available through franchisee dealers who visit their customers' workplaces weekly in vans loaded with items for sale.[5][6]

The Snap-on TechKnow Express is a van that showcases Snap-on diagnostic equipment,[6] and the Rock 'n Roll Cab Express is a truck with tool storage showing customization options, including units larger than what can fit on a standard franchisee van. These trucks are typically assigned to a particular region and work within that region.[6][7]


Snap-on was founded as the Snap-on Wrench Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1920 by Joseph Johnson and William Seidemann.[8] The business manufactured and marketed ten sockets that would "snap on" to five interchangeable handles. The company's slogan was "5 do the work of 50".[9] In 1930, the company's headquarters moved to Kenosha, Wisconsin.[10][11][8]

After World War II, Stanton Palmer advertised for a military officer to organize and develop a larger sales force for the expected post war sales boom.[12] Newton Tarble was hired, and came up with the idea of developing routes for company dealers to see mechanics on a weekly basis. Eventually these salesmen became independent businessmen and authorized dealers using larger walk in vans to carry a growing product line.

In 1956, the company continued to expand with the use of test equipment and wheel service products. This was the start of the company's jump into manufacturing automotive test equipment into the Snap-On line. Equipment included voltmeters, ammeters, disruptors, and alternator testers.[8]

The company opened its wrench forging plant in Elizabethton, Tennessee in 1974.[13] The next year, Snap-on opened a manufacturing plant in Johnson City, Tennessee and closed the plant in 2007.[14]

In 1998, workers at the company's Milwaukee plant voted to join the Teamsters labor union[15] and the company expanded the facility in 2013.[16] Also in 1998, the company began a partnership with Lowe's home improvement chain retailer to produce its Kobalt line of tools.

In 2010, the Murphy, North Carolina plant was named one of the top 10 plants in North America by IndustryWeek.[17] In 2011, J.H. Williams & Co was officially renamed Snap-on Industrial Brands.[citation needed]

In 2022, the company announced an expansion to its Milwaukee facility to grow its hand tool business.[4][18]


In 2014, the company acquired New Hampshire–based Pro-Cut for $42 million.[19]

In October 2016, the company acquired Car-O-Liner Holding AB, a Swedish collision repair tool company, for $155 million. Later that year, the company acquired Sturtevant Richmont for $13 million.[20]

In May 2017, the company acquired Norbar Torque Tools Holdings Limited for $72 million.[21]

In August 2019, the company acquired Cognitran Ltd for $31 million.[22]

In September 2020, the company acquired AutoCrib Inc. based in Tustin, California for $36 million.[23]

In March 2021, Snap-on acquired Canada-based Dealer-FX Group for $200 million.[24]

Racing sponsorships

The company has sponsored Penske Racing teams in the NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series as well as IndyCar. The first driver Snap-on became associated with was Rick Mears in 1979. Since 1992, Snap-on has sponsored Cruz Pedregon. In 2004, the company began sponsoring Cruz’s brother Tony Pedregon. Snap-on has also sponsored Repsol Honda Team in MotoGP since 1998.[25]

Snap-on sponsored NHRA drag racer Doug Herbert from 1992 until 2008.[26] For the 2010 racing season, the company sponsored Penske Racing.[27]


  1. ^ "Snap-on Inc. 2023 Annual Report (Form 10-K)". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. February 16, 2024.
  2. ^ 2017 Snap-on catalog, p. 1
  3. ^ "Snap-on to expand in Algona". Globe Gazette. Retrieved December 15, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Smart, Ashley (September 1, 2022). "Snap-on to expand its Milwaukee facility". BizTimes - Milwaukee Business News. Retrieved January 4, 2023.
  5. ^ "Snap-on Franchise Cost & Fees | How To Open | Opportunities And Investment Information". Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  6. ^ a b c Rifkin, Glenn. "How Snap-on Tools Ratchets Its Brand". Strategy+business. Retrieved March 15, 2023.
  7. ^ "How to Locate a Snap-on Tool Sales Representative". Bizfluent. Retrieved March 17, 2023.
  8. ^ a b c "Snap-on Tools History: Founding, Timeline, and Milestones - Zippia". August 27, 2020. Retrieved March 17, 2023.
  9. ^ Snap-on Museum Experience
  10. ^ Rovito, Rich (April 27, 2020). "Is It Still Made in Wisconsin?". Milwaukee Magazine. Retrieved April 13, 2022.
  11. ^ "Snap-On timeline". Kenosha News. Retrieved April 13, 2022.
  12. ^ "Snap On, Incorporated". March 21, 2021.
  13. ^ Thompson, John. "Snap-on plant in Elizabethton joins in company's centennial celebration". Johnson City Press. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  14. ^ KEELING, JEFF. "Snap-on Tools closing Johnson City plant - 150 to lose job; Elizabethton Plant to continue operations". Kingsport Times-News. Kingsport, Tenn. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  15. ^ Gallun, Alby (September 6, 1998). "Snap-on workers vote to join Teamsters". Milwaukee Business Journal.
  16. ^ Lockwood, Denise (December 18, 2013). "Snap-on expands Milwaukee hand tool facility". Milwaukee Business Journal.
  17. ^ Jusko, Jill (December 14, 2010). "2010 IW Best Plants Winners: Excellence Thrives". IndustryWeek. Retrieved April 13, 2022.
  18. ^ Kirchen, Rich (August 30, 2022). "Seeking more capacity, Snap-on will expand Milwaukee plant". Retrieved January 4, 2023.
  19. ^ Lockwood, Denise (June 2, 2014). "Snap-on acquires New Hampshire manufacturer". Milwaukee Business Journal. Retrieved April 13, 2022.
  20. ^ Shafer, Dan (November 17, 2016). "Snap-on buys Illinois manufacturer Sturtevant Richmont for $13 million". Milwaukee Business Journal.
  21. ^ Shafer, Dan (May 4, 2017). "Snap-on acquires British tool company for $72 million". Milwaukee Business Journal.
  22. ^ "Cognitran acquired by Snap-on | Cognitran | Market Leading Aftersales Solutions". Retrieved April 9, 2024.
  23. ^ "Snap-on Acquires AutoCrib". September 29, 2020. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  24. ^ Lawson, James (March 8, 2021). "Snap-On acquires Canadian-based Dealer-FX Group for $200 million". Kenosha News. Retrieved May 26, 2022.
  25. ^ "Repsol Honda Team Sponsors". Repsol Honda Team. 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  26. ^ "Doug Herbert and Snap-on End 16-Year Relationship". Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  27. ^ "Snap-on to Sponsor Sprint Cup, Nationwide, IRL, NHRA teams". December 31, 2019. Retrieved February 9, 2022.