Reed Manufacturing in Erie, Pennsylvania is celebrating 125 years of supplying industry with pipe tools and vises for the professional trades. Carl Reed, scion of one of Erie’s pioneer families, along with three partners, started the business in 1896. REED started by manufacturing pipe wrenches and plumbing supplies, as is still the case, but also scales, bicycles, and laundry machinery.

In 1902, Reuben Wright of Westfield, New York, who had created his fortune by selling supplies to forty-niners during the Gold Rush and added to it with lumber interests, bought Reed Manufacturing and installed his sons to run the business. His great-great grandsons Scott (company president and chairman of the board) and Mark (retired and a board member) are actively involved with REED to this day.   

REED tools were used in the construction of the Panama Canal. Subsequently in 1915, REED bench vises were awarded a gold medal and REED pipe dies received a bronze medal at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. A distantly related pair of Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, used a REED vise in their Dayton bicycle/aviation shop. REED was a defense contractor during both world wars, turning out stocks, dies, and pipe cutters in the Great War and wrenches, turbine buckets, and airplane engine mounts for World War II. Additionally, the REED Shaw Machine for pressing collars was installed in all Navy ships and could be found in most commercial laundries across the United States. REED was exporting from early in its existence with relationships in Europe and beyond.

Today, REED sells into over 100 countries. Still housed in the historic building at 1425 West 8th Street, REED remains an Erie landmark.  

From the company’s beginning, REED associates have invented tools that continually become industry standards, including the Quick Release™ Tubing Cutter, various tools for plastic pipe, vises, plus Hinged Pipe Cutters and Rotary Pipe Cutters. Each year REED makes end-user driven improvements and refinements to existing tools. Recent tool additions include Pump Stick® water transfer pump, Clean Ream Extreme® fitting reamers, Bevel Boss pipe beveler, Bear Hug™ squeeze tools, along with continuous improvements to long-standing tools. REED takes pride in manufacturing high quality tools that provide tool solutions.