KBC Tools company
Paula & John
Keeping North America Working Since 1965.
YOU’RE FAMILY AT KBC.
We combine old fashioned family values of integrity, trust, good
value, friendship, and hard work with new high tech products and
solutions. All that plus extensive inventory, sharp pricing, and
what you need, when you need it has kept North America ordering
from us since 1965.
WITH KBC, WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET.
We don’t hide anything. We offer you total honesty, realistic
deliveries on tooling, let you choose from good, better, or best
depending upon your project, and know that your word and your work
are at the heart of who you are also.
NO JOB TOO BIG. NO JOB TOO SMALL.
All of our team members, including our managers, make sure your
order gets out the door and to you. We work as a team to pick,
pack, and ship it. Don’t be surprised to find any one of us in the
warehouse, on the phone, or at the counter. Your satisfaction is of
top priority at KBC!
The original location of KBC on 8 Mile
ONE ORDER AT A TIME.
We earn our paycheck every day, just like you. We work to ensure
that we get you the best tools and solutions for your job every
day. We’ve been in business since 1965, and we know that we earn
your business one order, one tool at a time.
KBC Tools and Machinery Inc., originally known as Kabaco Tools” was
started in 1965 by Karel Bass in Detroit, Michigan - The Motor
City. KBC began as a catalog house selling surplus and English
tools to the metalworking industry at a discount. Its motto became
We Will Not Be Undersold,” and it still is. KBC’s original home was
1,000 square feet of rental space on Eight Mile Road, right next to
a Top Hat Hamburger Drive Thru, a Detroit tradition. For the next
three years, Karel commuted back and forth from London, England to
Detroit, Michigan. Then, in 1968 with business growing, he hired
John Earles as Vice-President and decided that it was time to move
to the Motor City permanently with his wife Sheila and daughter
Paula. Shortly after, KBC moved further up Eight Mile Road to more
spacious and glamorous digs.
Finally, after adding onto the building several times, KBC outgrew
its home on Eight Mile Road and moved up in the world to Eighteen
Mile Road in Sterling Heights, Michigan - its current headquarters.
With business booming, the catalog grew - more suppliers, products,
and pages - and the clients just kept on buying.
Founder of KBC Karel Bass
Always looking for new opportunities and challenges, John and Karel
bought a supplier’s business in the 80’s in California, and the
first KBC branch was born. It didn’t take long for the kinks to be
worked out and for John and Karel to figure out that the success of
the branch in California could be duplicated in other places. So,
late in the 80’s, with the promise of free trade between Canada and
the US, the first Canadian branch was opened just outside of
Toronto, Ontario. KBC had become international.
In 1990, KBC embraced the idea of nepotism, and the first of the
second generation joined the team. Paula, Karel’s daughter became
the manager of the Toronto branch, and in 1993 Paula became
President of the whole shebang.
Guided by a talented management team, KBC Tools has demonstrated a
firm commitment to expansion and improvement. The establishment of
new branches strengthened the company’s North American presence
while maintaining the commitment to customer service, top quality
tools, and competitive pricing set forth by Karel at the outset.
Not content to merely establish new locations, KBC has continually
enhanced older and newer facilities alike. In 2001, the three
Toronto branches were amalgamated into a 40,000 square foot
showroom, warehouse, and Canadian headquarters that proudly
maintains the coveted ISO 9001 quality management standard. South
of the 49th parallel, the Detroit headquarters received a complete
facelift from the faade to the warehouse and across the road at the
machining division, while visitors to the Chicago branch can now
admire both the new building (2005) and the classic 1952 Chevy
which graces the premises (not to be outdone, the Toronto branch
sports a lovely 1953 Ford truck in its showroom!).
Customers are encouraged to pop by any KBC branch showroom to have
a coffee, ogle the many machines and precision instruments on
display, and talk with the friendly team regarding their tooling
needs. Open Houses are also a great excuse to pay a visit and take
advantage of regular showroom specials including discontinued
items, one of a kind ‘dinged and danged’ tools, and other fine
products discounted and ready for use.
The first decade of the new millennium has certainly been exciting
for KBC Tools. The creation of the company website, the addition of
tens of thousands of new catalog items (including name brand and
quality imports), and the publishing of new sales flyers every six
to eight weeks are just a few of the initiati