The Warwood Tool Company was founded in 1854 by Henry Warwood and was moved to its current location in Wheeling in 1905.
Just under two years ago, the business was purchased by Mike and Phillip Carl and Logan Hartle.
Phillip had a background in sales. Logan had a background in engineering, and they say taking over this local business came with its challenges.
“I bet the aggregate age of employment here is probably 15 to 25 years, so you’ve got two young kids that know nothing about manufacturing, nothing about forging, nothing about this 162 year old business at the time that are coming in with ideas and plans and we’re doing this and we’re doing that. We had to assimilate to them, not the other way around,” said Vice President Phillip Carl.
Warwood Tool specializes in manufacturing industrial grade tools, and railway maintenance is their biggest market.
They employ 16 people, including Phillip and Logan who both grew up in the Ohio Valley.
They say their location is actually beneficial to their business.
“Half of the U.S. population lives within a 500 mile radius of Wheeling, so that’s huge. That’s absolutely massive. There’s a lot of industry around here. Oil and gas is booming around here again. Coal is making a little bit of a resurgence, but there’s still coal. There’s a lot of industry around here that we can capitalize on,” said President Logan Hartle.
Warwood Tool is American through and though, using 100% U.S. steel and 100% U.S. union labor.
Recently the success of Warwood Tool was recognized at the nation’s capitol.
They were invited to meet with President Trump on two occasions as a nod to the importance of manufacturing in the U.S.
They say owning a successful business is always a work in progress, and they are learning along the way.
To other young entrepreneurs, they say: be ready for the challenge.
“Know yourself. Know what you’re good at. Know what your talents are. Know what your strengths are. But make sure you’re in it for the long haul,” said Carl.
“Do your homework. Know what you’re getting into. There’s always going to be risk, no matter what, and have the persistence to stick it out and keeping going and going and going,” said Hartle.
You can find a full catalog of Warwood Tool products on their website WarwoodTool.com.
They say if you pick up one of their tools, you can feel the quality and history in your hands.