Who Makes Ridgid Tools?
Hand Tools
Trivia

Who Makes Ridgid Tools?

Written by Jessee Bourque
July 20, 2023

Fun fact: Did you know that Tony Stark used a RIDGID pipe wrench in “Iron Man 2?”

Robert Downey, Jr. even signed one of the pipe wrenches after production wrapped up. It’s now kept behind glass on display in the company headquarters lobby.

The Marvel superhero isn’t the only one known to use Ridgid tools.

Apparently, the maintenance crew for the Cleveland Indians does too. So does Saudi Aramco, the Saudi Arabia Oil Company that manages the world’s largest onshore and offshore oil fields. They use RIDGID’s Heavy-Duty wrenches for the toughest jobs.

In the words of one company executive, it’s amazing how - and where - people use Ridgid tools.

But wait, who makes these iconic steel grey and red tools?

Well, it’s a bit of a long story. Read on to get started. 

How It All Began: A Brief History of Ridgid Tools

Ridgid Tools Logo
From the 2.5Ah Advanced Lithium Battery to the distinctive red Straight Pipe Wrench (and everything else in between), Ridgid Tools manufactures over 300 different types of tools as of this writing.

But where did it all begin? 

The Founding of The Ridge Tool Company (Ridgid) 

The Ridge Tool Company was founded in 1923 in North Ridgeville, Ohio. It relocated to Elyria, Ohio, around 1943 but eventually became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emerson Electric in 1966.

In the present day, however, The Ridge Tool Company continues to make and distribute its tools under the Ridgid brand name. 

How Ridgid Tools - And Its Brand - Have Evolved Over the Years

Ridgid Tools Over the Years

 

While Ridgid Tools remains to be an American company, it has since expanded its manufacturing processes to a number of cities all over the world.

The company also has a sizable portion of its operations in Europe, and about half of its business comes from overseas.

The company’s product line initially targeted the plumbing, pipe fitting, construction, and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) trades. Thus, the majority of its product line contains tools like pipe cutters, press tools, and pipe wrenches.

Over the past few years, though, Rigid also ventured into software development.

For instance, RIDGID Connect enables plumbers, electricians, and repair technicians (among others) to store data online and bill or send data to their customers more easily.

Ownership and Manufacturing: The Bigger Picture

Sure, there are hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of power tool brands out there.

But did you know that only a handful of parent companies actually own your favourite tools? 

And this makes answering the question of “Who Makes Ridgid Tools?” a bit more complicated. 

Parent Companies and Licensing Rights

Ridgid Parent Companies

 

As mentioned earlier, Ridgid Tools is a subsidiary of Emerson Electric Co., an American multinational corporation in Ferguson, Missouri. 

In a nutshell, you can say that Emerson Electric Co. owns Ridgid.

And it’s true.

But the licensing rights for making some of Ridgid’s Tools is another story. 

For example, while the company’s main manufacturing plant remains in Ohio, the licensing rights to make some of its cordless power tools belong to another company overseas.

We’re talking about Techtronics Industries Co Ltd. (TTI), a Hong Kong-based company that owns licensing rights for various power tool brand names. One of these is Ridgid. 

Ridgid and Its Affiliates

So, TTI has some licensing rights under the Ridgid brand name, particularly for some of its cordless tools. What does that mean?

It means that TTI has the right to manufacture some cordless tools under the Ridgid brand. This form of “cross-pollination” happens more often than you’d expect in the industry for various reasons.

Let’s illustrate by using a couple of the brand’s affiliates as examples.

Ridgid and Ryobi

TTI licenses both the Ridgid and Ryobi brands for manufacturing cordless power tools (along with other brands like Milwaukee Tool for other power tools).

However, the Hong Kong-based company owns neither brand. Neither are Ridgid and Ryobi the same company. The two still belong to different parent companies. 

Nor does TTI manufacture other tools under the Ridgid brand beyond those specified earlier.  The parent company Emerson Electric (through its subsidiary Ridge Power Tool Company) still manufactures “Red” RIDGID plumbing tools, while TTI manufactures “Orange” RIDGID tools under license.

Ridgid and Home Depot

Some people think that Home Depot owns Ridgid because the two are commonly associated - with the big box store advertising the brand on occasion.

Unlike brands like Behr and Glacier Bay, Ridgid is not exclusive to Home Depot.

It’s simply one of the brand’s many distribution hubs, which also include Zoro Tools, Global Test Supply, and Tool Authority. 

So, while Home Depot does figure significantly in Ridgid’s distribution channels, it doesn’t play a role in the company’s manufacturing processes. 

So, Who Makes Ridgid Tools?

Who Makes Ridgid Tools

 

To recap, Hong Kong’s TTI holds the licensing rights to make some of the Ridge Tool Company’s cordless power tools under the Ridgid brand. 

However, the company itself (though wholly owned by its parent company Emerson Electric Co.) continues to manufacture the vast majority of its product line, particularly the hand tools favoured by plumbers.  

Most parts are manufactured onsite, with human operators overseeing machines and robots involved. The main plant remains in Ohio, but there are also around eight worldwide plants that make components for Ridgid’s 300+ product line. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to be as rich as Tony Stark to enjoy your favourite Ridgid Tools.

At MPR Tools, we have a wide range of these striking red and grey tools available at affordable prices - and with free shipping* too! 

Click here to shop our current inventory of Ridgid Tools today!

*For orders over $150.

Sources:

https://www.ridgid.com/sg/en/the-making-of-an-icon-the-ridgid-heavy-duty-straight-pipe-wrench

https://www.morningjournal.com/2011/08/28/made-in-ohio-elyrias-ridgid-tools-used-far-and-wide-with-videos/

https://www.morningjournal.com/2010/06/06/videos-ridge-tool-goes-global-enters-new-markets-offering-technology-based-tools/

https://www.emerson.com/en-us

https://www.obsessedwoodworking.com/who-owns-ridgid-tools/

https://www.protoolreviews.com/power-tool-manufacturers-who-owns-them/

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Elevate Your Toolbox.

Sign up to get the latest guides and special offers sent to your inbox.