British Tool and Engineering Co. Ltd. (Britool Limited) first started production in 1908 and was incorporated in Wolverhampton in 1915 and, by 1920, had a large factory in Owen Road. Prior to 1937, it was a subsidiary of Jenks Bros. but, in 1937, Jenks Bros and British Tool Co Ltd were taken over by
John Shaw and Sons (Wolverhampton) Ltd. and moved to a factory in Bushbury.
After pioneering the first full range of bi-hexagon ring and socket wrenches to be produced and marketed in England, the company rapidly gained a reputation for the manufacture of high quality engineers’ hand tools. Although they specialised in wrenches, they made all types of small hand tools.
Demand for Britool’s products grew between the 2 World Wars; indeed, Britool was the principal supplier of tools to the British armed forces, during the Second World War, supplying over 200 million wrenches, sockets and accessories. Following the war, Britool became the number one tightening tool brand in the UK and it has remained the number one choice of professional engineers ever since.
In 1967, Britool was referred to as the “manufacturing subsidiary of John Shaw and Sons (Wolverhampton) Ltd.” In 1969, it was taken over by James Neill and became a member of the James Neill Group of Companies. James Neill was a tool making conglomerate, based in Sheffield, which included not only Britool but Eclipse, M & W, P S Stubbs and Elliott Lucas. Neill’s claimed to be one of the major tool manufacturing organisations in the world.
In 1980, the company moved to its Walsall Road, Cannock factory where it made a vast range of hand tools. It was decided to introduce a new range of hand tools specifically designed by Britool’s top engineers for the professional automotive aftermarket.
A great deal of thought and planning went into this new range. Given that all precious metals carry a hallmark, the decision was made to commission a hallmark that would be stamped into the chrome of each tool to assure the quality to the customer. This new range of products was sold via a network of franchised tool dealers.
In 1991, the main (Industrial), Division of Britool was bought by the International group Facom, Europe’s largest hand tool manufacturer. With the backing of Facom’s strong developmental facilities and vast technical expertise, Britool was able to keep its position as the brand of choice for all areas of engineering; from aerospace to industry and also into the automotive sector.
In 2001, Britool Ltd changed its name to Hallmark Tools Limited and a new company was formed called Facom Group. This company was selling its satin finished products to the industrial sector and the Hallmark range continued to be sold into the professional automotive aftermarket.
In April of that year, the original Britool company, now renamed Hallmark Tools, was sold to TradeMarque Tools Ltd who retained ownership of the Hallmark range. The franchise was dissolved and the range has been sold by mobile independent dealers ever since. The Industrial division of Britool, owned by Facom, has subsequently been acquired by Stanley, Black & Decker Inc and was re-branded as Britool Expert, with it’s extensive product range being being sold as “Expert by Facom” from 2018.
We have continued to invest and develop the Hallmark range whilst retaining the original DNA of its heritage by investing and providing top quality products at reasonable prices.
The highly thought of Hallmark range can always be identified by its hallmark
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