View from the inside at Steel City Tool Works

December 15, 2013

Now that I’ve been back from my three day adventure at Steel City Tool Works I’ve had a chance to reflect on all I took in. Some of you asked what I was doing there in the first place and if it was a sign of a partnership with SCTW and MBW?


Part of the reason for my visit was to add a little variety to the discussions that took place between the staff of SCTW and the select vendors who were asked to come in and visit the new facilities. What do I mean by “add a little variety”?

The underlying purpose of course was to talk business and give the vendors a hands-on experience with the latest tools (including some that are being prototyped right now), but it was also a chance to talk about the soon to be released new and improved Steel City website and how they can work together to make the online experience of the customer much better by providing as much information about the tools as possible.

This is kind of where I came in. While I don’t know a lot about Ecommerce, or how to make it better, I do know the best way to engage with an audience on a blog or social media platform is to offer more than just notifications about sales or new products.

In a nutshell…my advice was to create content, pure and simple. Tap into the resources they have on hand already by inviting knowledgeable staff members, and even customers, to share what they’re doing in their own shops with their online audience. Again…create content, not just sales flyers!

As I mentioned, there were a few new items heading to the stores right now, including:

And a few items in the prototype stage which are exciting to see but still a little ways off before they’ll be in the stores yet, especially this new larger indexable cutter for the helical-style cutterheads.

If there’s one thing I learned from my visit is that both the vendors and the staff at Steel City Tool Works ARE listening to the customer. There were many times during the conversations when the vendors would make suggestions based on everything you were telling them and the result was a back and forth that will lead to changes on the prototypes and the eventual equipment that lands in your shop.

A huge thanks again to everyone at Steel City Tool Works!

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Comments (7)

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  1. I really like that heavy duty stand and will be curious to see what the price point is. The legs remind me of the Festool MFT, which is a good thing! I think part of the problem with Steel City is there lack of exposure. I never see them being advertised, or talked about in the magazines or in the forums. I really new nothing about Steel City until I found your website a couple years ago.

    • Matt says:

      Yeah unfortunately they came onto the scene with guns a blazing and they kind of disappeared. A shame really considering they have some really great tools.

      Nice to see them coming back. I can’t wait to some of the products coming down the line over the next year and more.

  2. Ronald Seto says:

    All power tools (most) are made in China. What is the difference between a Steel City machine made in China and any other companies made in China machine? I’m sure they all come out of the same factory in China, although that seems to be a trade secret. Most of the machines on the market look alike, except for paint color and minor differences, like position of the switch or type of fence supplied. As a consumer, I like to get all the information available, especially for big ticket items.

  3. Yvon says:

    Thanks for the article, it is fun to hear about the new steel works equiptment. I am thinking about getting into metal works. I have been working with wook as a hobby for a while, but I’ve been thinking, the only thing more manly than a woodshop is a metal shop. It would require a big investment though.

  4. Steve says:


    It seems you have some sources on SCTW. I bought their bandsaw a couple of years ago and recently purchased their jointer, drill press and mortise machine through Woodwerks. Literally days after I received my machine the SC website went down. On the phone number they said Steel City was ending and referred you to a phone number for parts or your distributor. I was sick!

    Do you know what is going on at SCTW? Someone told me that a Canadian Company bought them and everything is going to Canada.

    Some of us who have invested in Steel City Tools have a pit in their stomach worried about service, parts and the line of tools.

    Thank you, Steve

    • Matt says:

      Hi Steve,

      Unfortunately my connections with Steel City weren’t all that deep. I’m also equally surprised to hear about their apparent shake up, but even when things were good between us it wasn’t very longterm or easy for me to get answers.

      At this point I wouldn’t even know where to begin or who to reach out to in regards to questions about what happens next. I wish I had an answer for you. At this point I can only hope the new company honors SCTW’s promises.

  5. In fact when someone doesn’t know then its up to other viewers that they
    will assist, so here it happens.

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