Celebrating 50 Years | The Axminster Tools Story
Axminster Tools began life 50 years ago in the rural market town of Axminster in East Devon. In an age before computers, when virtually all jobs were done manually, two sons joined their father and together they opened a high street shop. The early years were hard; the hours were long and at times it was difficult to make ends meet. A passion for great craftsmanship and a job well done got them through and before long, the family business earned a reputation as a trusted tool shop run by friendly and knowledgeable experts, with a service second to none. The rest is history, as they say, but we couldn't let 50 years pass us by without celebrating our heritage. Let's look back at some of the milestones that have taken Axminster Tools from a small high street shop to the global mail order business it is today.
The Axminster Tools story
Who better to tell our story than the family behind the business? We gathered them together to talk about how it all began, passing the baton to the next generation and the vision for the future of Axminster Tools.
We share your passion
So much has changed and yet our roots remain firmly embedded in a passion for woodworking, a sense of family belonging and a set of values that ensure we always put the customer first.
Whilst we celebrate our past, it's important to look to the future. We do what we do to support a sustainable future for Axminster Tools, the woodworking industry and the communities we engage with.
My family taught us the value of hard work and never giving up on your goals. We too will work hard to live up to the high standards set over the past 50 years. When you work together anything is possible and together we will continue to grow our woodworking community; so we all have a place to share our passion.Alan Styles, Managing Director, Axminster Tools.
Our 50th year
To celebrate 50 years of trading we'll be sharing even more inside knowledge and behind the scenes footage. We'll show you around our Axminster based manufacturing facility, give you the inside scoop on how we source our top quality tools and meet more of the people behind the brand.
We'd love to reminisce with you. Do you have photos from an event, a machine still going strong years later or a catalogue from way back when? Share it with us for your chance to win a £50 Axminster Tools gift card. We'll choose one winner every month until the end of October 2022.
Simply take a photo.
Use the #AxminsterToolsTurns50 hashtag, tag @axminstertools, and upload it to one of the following;
The winner will be selected at random, each post will count as one entry and you can enter as many times as you like.
Terms & Conditions
- Entrants under 18 will need parental or guardian permission to enter;
- Duplicate content taken from other sites will not be allowed and will result in removal and disqualification;
- By entering this competition, you represent and warrant that you own the content you are submitting and there are no other entities with ownership claims over it;
- Axminster Tools employees and their immediate families are not eligible for the prize;
- Any entries with abusive, threatening or offensive language will be removed, blocked and disqualified from the competition;
- Once we have confirmed the winner, we will aim to deliver the prize within 7 days;
- This promotion is not connected to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram nor is it sponsored, supported or organised by Facebook, Twitter or Instagram;
- By entering this competition, you agree to have your name, location, photo and entry featured in the promotion of this competition and any future Axminster Tools promotional material;
- There is no purchase necessary to enter, but standard broadband rates apply.
Wouldn’t it be great if the ninth shop could be in one of the biggest cities without an Axminster shop, the nearest being nearly two hours away. So could the next milestone say “new shop opens in Milton Keynes”
a Axminster fan who has to do all his from the internet when he would really like to visit a shop and discuss the items
How about a shop in every city? 50 years ago the family would never have dreamed Axminster Tools would be a global business and have eight stores across the UK so you never know. For now, if you're ever in the area of one of our stores please pop in and say hello - we like to discuss ideas, projects and products too. We also have a friendly team of experts on the end of the phone so feel free to give us a call.
Liverpool needs Axminster as we don’t have any woodwork shops any more.
MK based woodturner Agree it would be great if we didn't have to travel so far to get touchy feely with the equipment
I have bought such a lot of equipment over the last two years and I still keep seeing things I want. Fantastic Company and an excellent service.
A mega thank you to all at Axmintertools for not only supplying all the many tools and equipment I have in my workshop as well as backup and advice, but for giving me the passion I now share with you. The “passion” has been passed onto my son and my 5 grandchildren as well as a number of my neighbours in a little club we have, so guaranteeing it for at least another 50 years! I wish you all the very best for the future, meanwhile, I hope you all have a happy 50th birthday!
I visited the shop in Warrington today for advice about my future workshop. John was very helpful and informative. The machines are very good quality and the layout is excellent.
Great video - nice to see such strong family ties resulting in a successful business. Would love a new store in the Leeds / Yorkshire area ……. Don’t think my wife would though!
I remember when I first went into the first shopin Axminster, thought it looked like a alladins cave, I also used your marine department before this was turned over to woodworking, I have purchased many tools of all sizes from youover the last 45 years, I have moved away from Devon now but still order from you, your service is remarkable ans always good value for money, many thanks to you all and I wish you the best for going forward.
I love your outlets, have visited most. From every visit, one comes away with a new idea or little tool that makes life better. I was very lucky to attend your open day. To see the machines in action making UJK products. To see the planes on arrival being stripped, tested and tuned so the customer was receiving the best one can buy.
It was an eye opener to see the dedication of the work force. The long service board.
Thank you for you vision, may it have a long future.
Been a customer of yours for a good few years, I visited the shop in Chard St on one or two occasions back in the day and went to one of your woodworking shows in the town hall, must have been very early 90's.
Good to see a company like yours grow as you have but still keeping it in the family.
Here's to the next 50 years
I have been visiting the Axminster stores in their various Axminster locations since moving to Devon in 1978 I have very fond memories of the original shop (the Aladdin's Cave) and selecting my choice of Multistar accessories from halfway up the stairs ! and of regularly "bumping" into the elder Mr. Styles as he kept an eye on his little empire. Who ,too, can remember the show in the Axminster Guild Hall, a few steps away from the current store, where it was almost impossible to see what was on offer due to the press of bodies? The "upgrade" move to the shows at the venues in Exeter and Shepton Mallet were eagerly anticipated days out. Sadly no longer staged.( we have to rely on Y*****s for this currently !!!!! Congratulations to all at Axminster. I already have plans for yet another purchase.
please let the next store you open be in Milton Keynes as there are no good tool shops .I have bought such a lot of equipment over the last two years and have to travel to High Wycombe