History of Sutton Tools
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1912
William Henry Sutton arrived in Australia

William Henry Sutton, a British Immigrant, opened a tool room at Thompson’s Foundry at Castlemaine. He was recognised as one of the leading tool engineers in England before his departure to Australia.

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1917
An iconic Australian family brand started

Nearing the end of World War 1 in 1917 after been seconded back to the UK to help with the war effort, W. Henry Sutton at the age of 54, established the Sutton Tool & Gauge Manufacturing Co. at Plant Street Westgarth, Victoria.

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1921
Patience and Nicholson (P&N) founded in Australia

The P&N brand was founded, providing cutting tools for the professional and serious DIYer in Australia.

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1933
Sutton moves to Northcote after business booms

It soon became evident to local manufacturers’ they could now buy domestically produced tools of equal or better quality than those from overseas. With the original factory ‘bursting at the seams’, Sutton Tool & Gauge moved to a 13,000 square foot factory in Northcote, Melbourne.

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1936
Thread production begins

Sutton Tool & Gauge commenced the
manufacture of Thread Tooling, expanding it’s product portfolio.

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1939
A broader market goal

Sutton Tool & Gauge first export was to
New Zealand, a consignment of reamers.

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1940
The next generation

Both sons of W. Henry, Henry George Sutton and Leslie Sutton became managing directors of the business whilst William Henry at age 77 continued to take an active interest.

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1946
Frost (Tools) Engineering

Frost started manufacture, sourcing and supplying hand tools and power tool
accessories in Australia.

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1950
Industry Legend

William Henry Sutton, born 1863 - died 1950, a highly regarded tool and gauge engineer prior to the founding business owner of Sutton Tool & Gauge. William was a pioneer of the Australian Engineering Industry.

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1959
Increasing demand

The demand for high quality tools made by
Sutton’s continued, and to meet with
increasing sales the firm opened another 45,000 square foot factory in Thomastown.

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1960
Ground-from-Solid

A team of engineers were sent across the globe to investigate the best method of producing the finest drill in the world. They came back with the “Ground-from-Solid” process. All endmills, slot drills and taps up to ½” diameter were produced by this method. Sutton Tools purchased and installed specialised equipment and was
considered to have one of the most modern facilities in the world.

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1961
Manufacture of Jobber Drills

Sutton Tool & Gauge commenced manufacturing Jobber Drills in Thomastown.

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1970
Third generation

Sutton Tool & Gauge acquired an adjoining factory in Thomastown. The third generation Suttons, Bill and Jim, consolidated and extended Sutton Tools’ position in the
market, through their absolute commitment to quality, innovation and persistence.

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1971
Company name changed to Sutton Tools

With the expansion into a greater range of products the company officially changed its name from ‘Sutton Tool & Gauge’ to ‘Sutton Tools’.

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1989
Surface Technology Coatings

Sutton Tools established Surface Technology Coatings and for the first time could offer physical vapour deposition (PVD) coatings on their products. Previously any coated tools sold in Australia were imported.

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1990
4th Generation

During the 1990’s Peter and Robert Sutton joined the family business. Their combined experience and passion in cutting
tools has positioned Sutton Tools as an Australian champion in manufacturing.

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1993
Achievement of ISO 9001 Accreditation

Sutton Tools achieved quality accreditation ISO 9001. The structure of controls and checks throughout the manufacturing process ensures that we continually manufacture products that will exceed customer expectations.

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1994
Manufacturing and Distribution Centre in New Zealand

Sutton Tools acquired Patience & Nicholson New Zealand (Evacut) to increase manufacturing capacity. Our popular Viper drill bits are made at this factory.

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1995
A global vision

Robert Sutton was appointed Sutton Tools first Export Manager. His vision leads to rapid expansion into the ‘high performance’ product category to compete in the global market.

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2000
Asia distribution centre

To provide a greater level of service to the company’s South East Asian customers, an office and distribution centre was established in Singapore.

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2001
P&N and Frost join the Sutton group

Sutton Tools acquire Patience & Nicholson (P&N), the only other large scale tool manufacturer in Australia with
manufacturing facilities in Maryborough and Hamilton. Frost became part of the Sutton group with the acquisition of P&N.

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2005
Distribution of Lockjaw

Sutton Tools became the exclusive agent of the Lockjaw brand, industrial and trade quality clamps and pliers.

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2006
Export Milestone

Sutton Tools sold the 5 millionth drill bit to Germany.

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2008
Australian Made Campaign

Sutton Tools becomes licensee of the Australian Made campaign, reaffirming our commitment to Australian Manufacturing.

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2008
The Tech Centre

Facilities for specials and regrinding services were established to support the market in high performance cutting tools, with a specific focus on carbide.

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2009
Europe warehouse opened

Sutton Tools Europe was established with an office and warehouse based in the Netherlands.

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2009
Partnership with DMTC

Sutton Tools becomes a member of Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC) a collaborative venture between industry, universities and government research agencies. Sutton Tools invests in state-of-the-art equipment, bolstering its R&D capability to produce new advancements in cutting tools at the highest level.

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2010
Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame

The Victorian Government, in partnership with the Victorian Industry Manufacturing Council,
inducted Bill and Jim Sutton into the Victorian
Manufacturing Hall of Fame Honour Roll for their outstanding contributions to manufacturing excellence.

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2012
USA Warehouse and Distribution Centre

Sutton Tools USA was established. With a Warehouse and Distribution Centre in North America, Sutton Tools can now be recognised as a global company providing world-class cutting tools.

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2013
Distribution of Ceratizit

Sutton Tools increases its cutting tool portfolio to include carbide inserts from Ceratizit. Sutton Tools is now able to offer a more complete range of cutting tools and services to the Australian market.

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2013
Distribution of AMEC

Sutton Tools increases its cutting tool portfolio to include carbide inserts from AMEC (Allied Machine & Engineering Corporation). AMEC is a leading manufacturer of replaceable-tip drilling systems.

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2016
4th Generation Suttons

Peter and Robert Sutton took the helm to move Sutton Tools into the next century

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2017
Sutton Tools Celebrates 100 Years

In conjunction with our 100th year anniversary, we were awarded Manufacturer of the year at the 2017 Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame.

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2018
Carbitool acquisition

Sutton Tools acquired Australian manufacturer Carbitool Pty Ltd to expand the carbide tools and wood working range.

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2021
P&N Celebrates 100 years

Iconic Australian tool brand, Patience & Nicholson celebrates 100 years in Australia. A fantastic milestone.

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