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Japanese Tool Makers [Under Construction]


Table of Contents


Introduction


Asahi Tool

The company's website (in Japanese with a few subtitles) is at Asahi Tool[External Link].


Asahi 36mmx41mm Offset Box-End Wrench

[Asahi 36mmx41mm Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 1. Asahi 36mmx41mm Offset Box-End Wrench, with Inset for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 1 shows an Asahi 36mmx41mm offset box-end wrench, marked with "Asahi Tools" and an "ASH" logo forged into the front, with "Chrome-Vanadium" and a "40-77" code forged into the reverse. The metric sizes are stamped with "41" on the front and "36" on the back.

The overall length is 18.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Daido Corporation: Allenite and Truecraft Brands

The Daido Corporation is a Japanese import and export trading company with products including automotive and motorcycle parts, power transmission chains, conveyor chains, motion control products, and power and hand tools. In 1951 Daido established a subsidiary in the United States and began offering hand tools, initially under the "Allenite" brand.

Daido later acquired the Truecraft Tool Company and began using the "Truecraft" brand for its hand tools. Daido's Truecraft Tool division offered high quality medium-priced tools from the early 1960s until about 2000, when the division was closed. Most of the production was done in Japan, but the company also did some manufacturing in the United States and in Palmera, Spain.

Daido's website (in English) is available at Daido Corporation[External Link]. The US subsidiary is now called Advantech International and has a website at www.advantechinternational.com[External Link].

We have a substantial selection of Truecraft tools available, including wrenches, pliers, and socket tools up to the 1 inch drive size, and this section will be expanded as time permits.


Allenite 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench

[Allenite 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 2. Allenite 1/2x9/16 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse, ca. 1950s.

Fig. 2 shows an Allenite 1/2x9/16 open-end wrench with raised panels, marked with "Allenite" and the fractional sizes forged into the shank, with "Drop Forged Tool Steel" and "Japan" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 5.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with traces of chrome plating.


Truecraft A106B 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench

The next two figures show examples of Truecraft tools sourced from Palmera, Spain.

[Truecraft A106B 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 3. Truecraft A106B 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 3 shows a Truecraft A106B 5/8x/34 open-end wrench with raised panels, stamped with "Truecraft" and "Palmera Spain" on the front panel, with "Alloy Steel" and the model number on the reverse. Both sides are also stamped with the fractional sizes.

The overall length is 8.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Truecraft A104B 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench

[Truecraft A104B 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 4. Truecraft A104B 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 4 shows a Truecraft A104B 9/16x5/8 tappet wrench with depressed panels, marked with "Truecraft" and "Palmera Spain" forged into the front panel, with "Chrome Vanadium" and the model number forged into the reverse. Both sides also have the fractional sizes forged into the shank.

The overall length is 7.4 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Truecraft 30130 3/8-Drive Fine-Tooth Ratchet

[Truecraft 30130 3/8-Drive Fine-Tooth Ratchet]
Fig. 5. Truecraft 30130 3/8-Drive Fine-Tooth Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View.

Fig. 5 shows a Truecraft 30130 3/8-drive fine-tooth ratchet, stamped with "Truecraft" and the model number on the front, with "Chrome Vanadium" and "Japan" on the reverse.

The overall length is 7.8 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The ratchet mechanism uses a 42-tooth gear with a single-action pawl. The mechanism is held in place by a flat coil spring and can be removed for cleaning or replacement.


Truecraft 30134 3/8-Drive Flex-Head Ratchet

[Truecraft 30134 3/8-Drive Flex-Head Ratchet]
Fig. 6. Truecraft 30134 3/8-Drive Flex-Head Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View.

Fig. 6 shows a Truecraft 30134 3/8-drive flex-head ratchet, stamped with "Truecraft" and the model number on the front, with "Chrome Vanadium" and "Japan" on the reverse.

The overall length is 11.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The flex head is held in place by a friction ball and has five indexed positions.

The ratchet mechanism uses a 42-tooth gear with a single-action pawl. The mechanism is held in place by a flat coil spring and can be removed for cleaning or replacement.


Truecraft 40130 1/2-Drive Fine-Tooth Ratchet

[Truecraft 40130 1/2-Drive Fine-Tooth Ratchet]
Fig. 7. Truecraft 40130 1/2-Drive Fine-Tooth Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse and Side View.

Fig. 7 shows a Truecraft 40130 1/2-drive fine-tooth ratchet, stamped with "Truecraft" and the model number on the front, with "Chrome Vanadium" and "Japan" on the reverse.

The overall length is 10.0 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

The ratchet mechanism uses a 44-tooth gear with a single-action pawl. The mechanism is held in place by a spring clip and can be removed for cleaning or replacement.


Truecraft B719B 19mm Flex-Box Combination Wrench

[Truecraft B719B 19mm Flex-Box Combination Wrench]
Fig. 8. Truecraft B719B 19mm Flex-Box Combination Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 8 shows a Truecraft B719B 19mm flex-box combination wrench with a panelled shank, stamped with "Truecraft" and the metric size on the front panel, with "Drop Forged Tool Steel" and "Japan" on the reverse panel. The reverse shank also has a forged-in code "B 19-2" visible at the left.

The overall length is 10.3 inches fully extended, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Truecraft 204 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Truecraft 204 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 9A. Truecraft 204 4 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 9A shows a Truecraft 204 4 inch adjustable wrench, marked with "Truecraft" and the model number forged into the shank, with "Cr Vanadium Truecraft" and "Japan" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 4.3 inches, and the maximum opening is 0.5 inches. The head thickness was measured at 0.35 inches.

The finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Truecraft 206 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Truecraft 206 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 9B. Truecraft 206 6 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 9B shows a Truecraft 206 6 inch adjustable wrench, marked with "Truecraft" and the model number forged into the shank, with "Chrome Vanadium Truecraft" and "Japan" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the maximum opening is 0.8 inches. The head thickness was measured at 0.40 inches.

The finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


Truecraft F208 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench

[Truecraft F208 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 10. Truecraft F208 8 Inch Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 10 shows a Truecraft F208 8 inch adjustable wrench, marked with "Drop Forged Tool Steel" and "Top" forged into the shank, with "Truecraft Tool" and "Japan" forged into the reverse. The reverse is also stamped with the "F208" model number on a small raised panel.

The overall length is 7.9 inches, and the maximum opening is 0.9 inches. The head thickness was measured at 0.47 inches.

The finish is chrome plating with polished faces.

The "Top" marking is believed to indicate production by the Top Kogyo Company.


Kyoto Tool Company: KTC and Nepros Brands

The Kyoto Tool Company is a well-known toolmaker offering high quality tools for professional use under the Nepros and KTC brands. The company also provides extensive contract manufacturing services for a number of customers, and KTC-made tools can be found under many other brands.

The company's website (in English) is available at KTC Kyoto Tool[External Link]. The website includes an interesting Brand History[External Link] section which describes its roots from the 1930s, when it produced tools to maintain the famous "Zero" fighter planes.


Award 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench by KTC

[Award 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 11. Award 15/16x1 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse and Marking Detail.

Fig. 11 shows an Award 15/16x1 open-end wrench with depressed oval panels, marked with "Chrome Vanadium" and the fractional sizes forged into the shank, with "Drop Forged" and "Japan" plus the KTC-Circle logo forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 11.9 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.

Currently we're not familiar with the Award brand, but the KTC-Circle logo indicates that the wrench was produced by the Kyoto Tool Company.


Lobtex Company: Lobster Brand

The Lobtex Company (formerly the Lobster Tool Company) was founded in 1888, making it one of the oldest tool companies in Japan. The company's earliest products were hair clippers, and by 1928 the company had begun production of wrenches and pliers.

The company's website (in English) is at Lobster Tools [External Link], and an outline of the company's history can be found on the Historical Milestones [External Link] page.


New Lobster 200mm Adjustable Wrench

[New Lobster 200mm Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 12A. New Lobster 200mm Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 12A shows a New Lobster 200mm (8 inch) adjustable wrench, marked with "New Lobster" and "Made in Japan" plus the company's "Lobster" symbol forged into the shank, with "Forged Alloy Steel" and the JIS logo forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 8.1 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.0 inches. The head thickness was measured at 0.47 inches.

The finish is chrome plating.


Maeda Metal Industries: Tone Tool Brand

The company's website (in English) is at Tone Tool[External Link].


Tone Tool 22mmx24mm Offset Box-End Wrench

[Tone Tool 22mmx24mm Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 12. Tone Tool 22mmx24mm Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 12 shows a Tone Tool 22mmx24mm offset box-end wrench, marked with "Tone Tool" and the metric sizes forged into the shank, with "M45 Cr-V" and "Japan" plus the JIS logo forged into the reverse. Note that the reverse markings have been rotated for readability. (The size markings are repeated on the reverse side, but were omitted from the photograph to avoid confusion after the rotation.)

The overall length is 13.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Tone Tool 24mmx27mm Offset Box-End Wrench

[Tone Tool 24mmx27mm Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 13. Tone Tool 24mmx27mm Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 13 shows a Tone Tool 24mmx27mm offset box-end wrench, marked with "Tone Tool" and the metric sizes forged into the shank, with "M45 Cr-V" and "Japan" plus the JIS logo forged into the reverse. Note that the reverse markings have been rotated for readability. (The size markings are repeated on the reverse side, but were omitted from the photograph to avoid confusion after the rotation.)

The overall length is 14.1 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Mitoloy

The company's website (mostly in Japanese) is available at www.mitotool.com[External Link].


Mitoloy 449 1/2-Drive Ratchet

[Mitoloy 449 1/2-Drive Ratchet]
Fig. 14. Mitoloy 449 1/2-Drive Ratchet, with Insets for Reverse, Side View, and Marking Detail.

Fig. 14 shows a Mitoloy 449 1/2-drive ratchet, stamped with "Mitoloy" and the model number plus the JIS logo on the cover plate (see lower inset). The deeply panelled shank is marked with "Forged Alloy" and "Japan" forged into the front, with "Quality Ratchet" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 9.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel with traces of an iridescent metal coating.

One unusual feature of the ratchet is the 20mm double-hex opening on the top side, suggesting that this tool was designed for a special application.

The ratchet mechanism uses a 20-tooth drive gear, with dual pawls alternately disabled by a cam connected to the shift lever.


Mitoloy 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle

[Mitoloy 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle]
Fig. 15. Mitoloy 1/2-Drive Flex-Head Handle, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail.

Fig. 15 shows a Mitoloy 1/2-drive flex-head handle, stamped "Mitoloy" and "Japan" with the JIS logo on the shank.

The overall length is 11.9 inches. The finish is plain steel, possibly with traces of cadmium plating.

The handle piece is made of tubular steel with a knurled gripping surface. The hollow handle would reduce the weight for normal service, and would also allow the use of an extender bar for extra leverage if needed. The handle also has a drilled cross-bar hole to allow use as a Tee-handle.

The construction of the tool reveals a design for a strong but light tool of minimal cost. The tool consists of three simple parts -- a forked flex head, a bar shank, and a tubular handle -- all held together with two spring roll pins.


Super Tool Company

The Super Tool Company is a Japanese manufacturer of general hand tools, plumbing tools, and factory maintenance equipment, with operations in Sakai City, Osaka prefecture, Japan. Further information can be found on the company's Japanese website at Supertool[external link], or at Supertool (English)[external link].


Super Tool 200mm (8 Inch) Adjustable Wrench

[Super Tool 200mm (8 Inch) Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 16. Super Tool 200mm (8 Inch) Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 16 shows a Super Tool 200mm (8 inch) adjustable wrench, marked with "Vanadium Steel" and a "Super" diamond logo forged into the shank, with "Drop Forged" and "Japan" plus the JIS logo forged into the reverse. The reverse shank also has a forged-in code "H 1-02 1447" to the right of the JIS logo.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the maximum opening is 1.0 inches. The maxium head thickness was measured at 0.53 inches.

The finish is chrome plating.

Some design and construction differences were noted for this wrench, when compared with examples from other Japanese makers. In particular, note that the gullet is square rather than hexagonal, allowing a closer grip on square nuts. Another difference is that the adjusting knurl is secured with a press-fit pin rather than a threaded rod. The hole for the pin is drilled through to the top, allowing the pin to be removed with a drift punch in the event replacement is necessary.


Three Peaks Giken Company

The Three Peaks Giken Company is a Japanese manufacturer specializing in nippers and pliers, with operations in Sanjo City, Niigata prefecture, Japan. Further information can be found on the company's website (mostly in Japanese) at Three Peaks Giken Company[external link].


Truecraft K-358-G 8 Inch Lineman's Pliers

This next figure shows an example of pliers made by Three Peaks as contract production for the Truecraft brand, a brand owned by the Daido Corporation.

[Truecraft K-358-G 8 Inch Lineman's Pliers]
Fig. 17. Truecraft K-358-G 8 Inch Lineman's Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Construction Detail.

Fig. 17 shows a pair of Truecraft K-358-G 8 inch lineman's pliers, stamped "Truecraft" with the model number on one side, with "Japan" and the 3-Peaks logo on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The lower inset shows a close-up of the "3-Peaks" logo, a design showing three mountain peaks within a circle. We were unfamiliar with this meaning of this logo, but one of our readers from Japan kindly sent an explanation with a link to the company's website. The logo design is used by the Three Peaks Giken Company[external link], a Japanese tool maker specializing in nippers and pliers.


Three Peaks 200 8 Inch Lineman's Pliers

In addition to offering contract production, Three Peaks also provides tools under their own name, as the next figure illustrates.

[Three Peaks 200 8 Inch Lineman's Pliers]
Fig. 18. Three Peaks 200 8 Inch Lineman's Pliers, with Insets for Reverse and Side View.

Fig. 18 shows a pair of Three Peaks 200 8 inch lineman's pliers, stamped with "Three Peaks Cp" and the JIS logo around the pivot. The face is also stamped with "TD" and the 3-Peaks logo, with "Japan" on the reverse.

The overall length is 8.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Toho Koki Company: HIT and Strong HIT Brands

The Toho Koki Company is a Japanese toolmaker best known for its "HIT" brand tools, including Crescent-style adjustable wrenches, pipe wrenches, and bolt cutters. The company was founded in 1938 and is located in Yamatokoriyama, Nara prefecture, Japan.

Toho Koki has several trademarks registered in Japan, including "HIT", "Strong HIT", and a logo with "HIT" in the center of a gear, referred to as the HIT-Gear logo on this site.

The company maintains a website in Japanese and English at www.hittools.co.jp, and information on the company's history and products can be found there.


Hit 21mmx26mm Offset Box-End Wrench

[Hit 21mmx26mm Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 19. Hit 21mmx26mm Offset Box-End Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reversde Detail.

Fig. 19 shows a Hit 21mmx26mm offset box-end wrench, marked with the fractional sizes plus "HIT" and the The shank also has the JIS logo forged into the shank, with "Chrome Molybdenum" and the fractional sizes forged into the reverse. (The inset shows the markings in their natural upside-down position.)

The overall length is 14.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


"HIT ROI" 150mm (6 Inch) Adjustable Wrench

[Hit ROI 150mm (6 Inch) Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 20. Hit "ROI" 150mm (6 Inch) Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 20 shows a Hit "ROI" 150mm (6 inch) adjustable wrench, marked with "HIT ROI" and "H Alloy" plus the JIS logo forged into the shank, with "Toho Koki Co." and "Japan" plus the HIT-Gear logo forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating with polished faces.


"Strong HIT" 200mm (8 Inch) Adjustable Wrench

[Hit 200mm (8 Inch) Adjustable Wrench]
Fig. 21. "Strong HIT" 200mm (8 Inch) Adjustable Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Reverse Detail.

Fig. 21 shows a "Strong HIT" 200mm (8 inch) adjustable wrench, marked with "Strong HIT" and the JIS logo forged into the shank, with "Cr-Mo Drop Forged" and "Japan" plus the HIT-Gear logo forged into the reverse. The shank also has a forged-in code "H 657" to the right of the JIS logo.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating, with some losses due to rust.


Top Kogyo Company, Ltd.

The company's website (in Japanese) is at Top Kogyo Company, Ltd.[External Link]. Although the website has only a few English subtitles, there are lots of pictures and it's easy to browse through their tool selection.


Top 36mmx41mm Specialty Box-End Wrench

[Top 36mmx41mm Specialty Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 22. Top 36mmx41mm Specialty Box-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 22 shows a Top 36mmx41mm specialty box-end wrench with laterally offset openings, somewhat similar to an S-shaped wrench. The wrench is marked with "Top" and the metric sizes forged into the front, with "Chrome Vanadium" and the sizes forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 18.3 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


Other Tool Makers

This section will show examples of tools from other Japanese brands for which the manufacturer is not yet known.


Showa 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench

[Showa 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 23. Showa 5/8x3/4 Open-End Wrench, with Inset for Reverse.

Fig. 23 shows a Showa 5/8x3/4 open-end wrench, marked with "Showa" in an oval logo and "JTF" forged into the shank, with "119" and "Japan" forged into the reverse.

The overall length is 7.2 inches, and the finish is chrome plating.


References and Resources

Photographs and observations of particular tools are based on items in the Alloy Artifacts collection.


Feedback

If any readers have additional information on these Japanese tool makers, please let us know via the "Contact Us" link on the home page. Your comments and suggestions are welcome as well.


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