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View Full Version : New Britain micrometers?



macona
02-06-2008, 12:41 PM
Anyone know what kind of quality New Britain mics are? Decent? Local tool shop has a 0-5" set for $45 wondering if it is worth picking up.

pcarpenter
02-06-2008, 12:50 PM
At $45 for a set, my guess is they are made in "old Shanghai".

Seriously though, the chinese import stuff comes in so many labels that its hard to even keep track of...and if you called them tomorrow and said start making them with "New Macona" on them, they would.

Paul

macona
02-06-2008, 02:39 PM
They are used. (This is a second hand tool shop.)

Made in USA.

topct
02-06-2008, 03:00 PM
New Britain is or was a Napa auto parts tool product line. Used to be very good tools. I would not know who made them for Napa however.

John Garner
02-06-2008, 04:38 PM
New Britain Machine Company had a couple of different divisions, one making multi-spindle lathes, another making mechanics' hand tools.

New Britain's Hand Tool Division branded their wrenches with several different names, including the premium lines badged New Britain [which by the 1960s was sold exclusively through the National Auto Parts Association) or Blackhawk (sold mostly through non-NAPA auto parts channels), and economy lines badged Sparta (another NAPA exclusive), Husky, Mustang, and with several stores' house brands, including J C Penney's Penncraft.]

New Britain purchased a variety of tools that they did not manufacture and had them branded with their tool-line names, and that included a short selection of "automotive machinist" tools badged with the New Britain and Blackhawk names.

Having said that, the only micrometers I can recall seeing in the flesh (in the metal??) were crankshaft micrometers, and that's been thirty-some years ago.

As a bit of machine-and-technological trivia, the Hand Tool Division was a division of the Lucas Machine Division of The New Britain Machine Company. They built a greenfield manufacturing plant in South (IIRC) Carolina in the mid to late 1960s, intending to use powdered-metal technology to produce wrenches and sockets. Unfortunately, New Britain bet their hand tool business's future on the wrong technology, and didn't fare well in the marketplace in comparison to their competitors who invested in cold-forming technology. The New Britain Hand Tool Division closed in the early 1980s.

National Hand Tool of Dallas bought the Blackhawk and Husky brandnames when New Britain shuttered their Carolina plant. A couple of years later, Stanley Works bought National Hand Tool, including the rights to the Blackhawk and Husky names.

John

pcarpenter
02-06-2008, 05:24 PM
Thanks for the clarification. When I thought they were new tools, the "$45 doesn't buy much" thought kicked in and I assumed it was something like lathes that say "Bridgeport" on them but are made by Romi (a decent lathe I am told) or modern import lathes that have the "South Bend" name and logo.

I knew that Stanley was in New Britain, CT (as were other tool makers in the past) and vaguely recalled that I had seen some other tools with that moniker on them. I wasn't thinking of used tools when you said "tool store" however. Sorry to be so disparaging. Perhaps they are decent. I found a New Britain depth mic set on Ebay and its the only other reference to it I can find currently.

Paul