With a well-deserved reputation for building some tough electric tools, Milwaukee Electric Tool is a leading woodworking power tool supplier. Their distinctive red and black case designs can regularly be seen in shops and on construction sites, in use by professionals who need reliable, powerful tools.
The over 90-year history of Milwaukee Tools goes back to a connection to, of all people, Henry Ford.
A small manufacturing company headed by A.H. Petersen had been providing tools and dies for the quickly-growing Ford Motor Company. Ford asked Petersen to devise an improved 1/4" power drill, a tool that was not only sorely lacking in 1918, but would be vital to Ford's plans for building his innovative assembly line for manufacturing cars.
Petersen devised a five-pound drill that was as powerful as machines that were much heavier. Dubbed the "hole-shooter", Petersen's drill delighted Ford, as it was truly the first one-handed drill (as opposed to the two-handed units that were the best previously available at the time) that was powerful enough the heavy workloads that Ford required.
After about five years of growing success, a fire damaged the fledgling company's manufacturing building beyond recovery. Petersen's partner, A.F. Siebert, bought the rights to the Hole-Shooter at auction in 1924, and thus, the Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. was born.
In the years to come, Milwaukee engineers would spend time learning from other tools on the market and using what they learned to improve the Hole-Shooter. In the 1930's, they added a concrete hammer drill and welding grinder to the mix, but their next great innovation came in 1951, with the world's first reciprocating saw, to this day known as the Sawzall. The reciprocating saw is a mainstay for carpenters, plumbers and other tradesmen.
Milwaukee in Today's Marketplace:
Today, Milwaukee Electric Tool is a subsidiary of the Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd., commonly referred to as TTI. Some of the other companies within the TTI framework include Ryobi and AEG power tools, Homelite power equipment, and Dirt Devil, Royal and Regina floor care appliances. Milwaukee Tools boasts a lineup of over 500 tools and 3500 accessories, and employs over 1000 people worldwide.
Milwaukee Electric Tool has been credited with a number of important innovations in the world of power tools. In addition to the aforementioned Hole-Shooter and Sawzall reciprocating saw, Milwaukee claims to be the first to have introduced a right-angle power drill (in 1949) and the first power tool manufacturer to employ lithium-ion batteries in their cordless tools, a mainstay among cordless tool manufacturers.
Source: TTI Co. Ltd (http://www.milwaukeetool.com)