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!
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.
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 façade 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 initiatives helping to propel KBC into the future. But most important to the company’s success are its clients, to whom it owes a sincere ‘thank you.’ Many customers have been doing business with KBC for so long that we know them by voice when they call, despite having never met them in person! These old friends know that their order - like every order - is important to KBC.
Thank you for choosing KBC!
Paula Bass John Earles
President Vice President
P.S. If you’re in the area, please drop by, say hi, have a cup of coffee,
and check out the latest in tooling solutions.