Sidchrome

The Sidchrome brand is an icon in the Australian & New Zealand tool industry, and it is the preferred choice among mechanics in Australia & New Zealand since 1942.

Sidchrome has built its reputation on supplying mechanics with high quality, premium and professional products that last a lifetime, which is evident through Sidchrome’s lifetime guarantee against faulty workmanship and material on most products.  Sidchrome is also renowned for its innovation in product development and has always been the leader in introducing new technology, such as the patented AntiSlip Design (ASD).

AntiSlip Design is only exclusively available on Sidchrome products. Sidchrome open end spanners and the open end of combination spanners (up to 32mm or 1 1/4″) feature the innovative AntiSlip Design. ASD features a locking groove to prevent slippage and knuckle injury. The unique arc design increases surface contact by over 400%. This means increased torque is applied to the fastener, resulting in fewer rounded fasteners and injuries. As any mechanic knows, new technologies and business practices have changed the demands of the job. Sidchrome leads the introduction of new mechanic tool technologies in the Australian & New Zealand markets.

As a subsidiary of the worldwide company Stanley Black & Decker (acquired in 1990), Sidchrome is part of the largest and most experienced tool manufacturer and continues to be an innovator and supplier of leading edge products. With the support of Stanley Black & Decker’s global engineers, designers and state-of-the-art factories, Sidchrome is equipped to effectively meet the specific hand tool requirements of the 21st century mechanic. Whether they be in an Industrial or Automotive environment.

Sidchrome’s extensive product range includes: Tool Kits, Socket Sets, Spanner Sets, Air Tools, Sockets & Socket Accessories, Spanners & Wrenches, Pliers, Hammers, Punches & Chisels, Screwdrivers, Hex Keys & much more.

THE ORIGINS OF SIDCHROME

Royston Siddons, manufacturer, was born on 15 December 1899 at Williamstown, Melbourne, eldest child of Joseph Siddons, a miner from England, and his Victorian-born wife Florence Rees, née Gibbs. Royston attended state schools in Western Australia and Victoria, but left at the age of 14 to help his father’s troubled carrying business in Melbourne. Two years later the family moved to Wonthaggi where he worked for the State Coal Mine, eventually as a shift engineer. In the evenings he continued at the local technical school the electrical engineering studies he had begun at Swinburne Technical College.

In 1923 he set up as an electrical contractor with his own shop, but sold out in 1927 and returned to Melbourne. In 1931 he leased a metal-casting factory at Collingwood and moved to larger premises at Clifton Hill in 1934. Having perfected the die-casting of padlocks from zinc alloy, he manufactured them under the brand name, Sidco. In 1939 he formed R. Siddons Pty Ltd.

A fire at the factory in 1941 and wartime controls forced a new departure. Siddons obtained Commonwealth approval to rebuild, on condition that a drop forge was installed to manufacture hand tools for the armed services. Friends provided the bulk of the capital to establish and equip Siddons Drop Forgings Pty Ltd (1942). As well as hand tools, the company contributed gun parts and bomb caps to the war effort. By 1945 Siddons was supplying the domestic market, in which postwar shortages of imported tools offered the opportunity for expansion. Sidchrome spanners, pliers, chisels, wrenches, hammers and screwdrivers soon became the firm’s main profit earners. In 1948 a new site was purchased at West Heidelberg. Next year the business became a public company, with Siddons as managing director in charge of 145 employees, including 35 tool-makers.

In 1949, while touring factories in the U.S.A., John Siddons encountered the revolutionary Ramset fastening system. He bought a machine and was offered the Australian franchise. Ramset Fasteners (Australia) Pty Ltd was incorporated as a division of Siddons Drop Forging in 1952, with John as General Manager of Ramset, and Royston as chairman of Siddons. Import restrictions forced the company to manufacture Ramset guns and pins in Australia much earlier than intended, a technologically demanding transition that was achieved rapidly and smoothly under John’s superintendence.
John Siddons oversaw the installation at West Heidelberg of a new forge and a steel-rolling mill (the second such mill in Australia). When he became a Director of Siddons in 1953, the emerging tensions between father and son over management and marketing were transferred to board level. In 1955 Royston moved John from the highly successful Ramset subsidiary and made him General Manager of the parent company, while retaining for himself overall control as Chairman and Managing Director.

Following disagreements with five successive General Managers of Sidchrome, Royston handed their post to his son and left on an overseas trip. During his absence advertisers coined the famous jingle, ‘You canna hand a man a grander spanner’. The Sidchrome trade mark became a household name throughout Australia & New Zealand.