Best Product – Goodbye Armstrong Tools, Hello Gearwrench and Crescent?

Armstrong Tools to Gearwrench and Crescent Tools

Two years ago, we picked up on a story that Apex Tool Group was closing Armstrong and Allen tool brands. Despite this, they kept the website up, giving me the impression (and hope) that the brand name would live on in some manner.

Today, I received a message asking for help with an Armstrong torque wrench service request. I looked at Armstrong’s website, and what I found was a single page directing customers to other Apex Tool Group brands – Gearwrench and Crescent for most tool categories, and Campbell for eye bolts.


I’m sure that Armstrong tool warranties will still be honored, and that Apex Tool Group will continue to service the tools.

Here’s what they say:

Thank you for visiting the Armstrong® Industrial Hand Tools website.

Three other Apex Tool Group brands offer the same quality, strength, and durability you’ve come to expect from Armstrong.

Below, please select the product category you are looking for to view equivalent products from GEARWRENCH®, Crescent®, and Campbell®. Thank you for your trust in Armstrong.

I’m not happy about Armstrong’s closure. There are limited choices when it comes to USA-made hand tools, and Armstrong was a strong brand. Granted, I only own a handful of Armstrong tools, but a fair number of my USA-made Craftsman and Craftsman Professional hand tools are widely believed to have come from the same factory.

Could the brand have been saved? Possibly. Or maybe not. There are too many factors to know for sure.

Armstrong Tools to Gearwrench and Crescent Tools Categories

Gearwrench is a great brand, and Crescent has some good tools as well.

Armstrong will be missed, but I find myself wondering – is it hypocritical for me to be unhappy about this development even though it’s been years since I’ve bought any new Armstrong tools? I understand that I’m not part of their target audience, which I’d guess includes government, aerospace, and industrial customers.

We’ve known about the brand closure for two years, and so the updated website shouldn’t come as a surprise. Nothing has really changed, aside from the sense of finalization. Still, I can’t help but feel disappointed.

Armstrong Tools was founded in 1890 by four brothers, the sons of a Scottish immigrant blacksmith, who created the Armstrong Bros. Tool Company in Chicago. They began by manufacturing and distributing bicycle parts, and added novel lathe tool holders in 1895. Drop-forged wrenches were added to their tool line in 1909, and sockets, ratchets, and other hand tools came later.

From Apex Tool Group’s brand portfolio:

It’s not just STRONG. It’s ARMSTRONG®. That’s the credo we live by for Armstrong® Industrial Tools. The demanding industrial and commercial environments of today call for the highest quality, durable, and strongest tools we can provide. Whether managing a maintenance tool crib, or constructing the towers and transmission lines that keep us all connected, or responsibly mining or harnessing the natural resources of the earth, sea, wind, or sun, we manufacture Armstrong® tools with your specific needs in mind.

The Armstrong® product line now includes more than 4,000 items, including hand sockets and drive tools, wrenches, striking wrenches, torque wrenches, impact sockets, C-clamps, screwdrivers, pliers, punches and chisels, tool storage, and related industrial products.

Goodbye Armstrong Tools.