Last July, we reported on Diamond Machining Technology’s (DMT) “Sweet 16” anniversary of their award-winning DuoSharp® sharpening stones in an Industry Interview (to read it, click here). At that time, Mark Brandon, DMT’s owner and president, shared more about the company’s important history in the sharpening tools business. Over its tenure, the company has produced more than 125 American-made products from its headquarters in Marlborough, Massachusetts, and it’s been granted over 10 patents. Surely, many eZine readers are already familiar with DMT products and use them to maintain knives, chisels, plane irons and other woodworking edges.
This year, DMT is celebrating its 40th anniversary with pivotal news: it now is under new ownership. In a deal that was completed Feb. 2, DMT’S assets were acquired by Acme United Corporation. Acme United produces a variety of cutting, measuring and safety products for the school, home, office, craft, hardware, sports and industrial markets. Its brands include, among others, Camillus® cutlery; Clauss® scissors, shears and cutting tools; Cuda® fishing tools; FirstAidOnly medical supplies; and Westcott school supplies. Brandon, who will help facilitate the integration of DMT with Acme United, will remain with DMT until June.
He, and Rick Constantine, Acme United’s vice president of marketing and general manager (for Camillus, Clauss, Cuda, Westcott and now DMT brands) sat down with us to share the details.
Reflecting on four decades of innovation, a highlight for Brandon is the many iconic DMT products he’s seen come to market over the years, including the Diamond Whetstone™.
“That (product) started the company on a path to today’s wide assortment of sharpeners for almost every edge,” Brandon says. “Along the way, Diafold® brought portability and a wider range of grits, and DuoSharp® delivered a large, very stable surface for woodworkers in particular.
Brandon says DMT has a loyal customer base, and to help celebrate 40 years, customers are invited to share their DMT stories on a special page the company has created on its website (to share a DMT story, click here). Customer reflections will be collected and posted on the website throughout 2016.
DMT also was also honored this week, at the International Hardware Fair (IHF) in Cologne, Germany, with a Loyalty Award. It marks 22 years of exhibiting at IHF.
“We are pleased to be recognized for our decades of participation,” Brandon says. “The International Hardware Fair is an important event for DMT, allowing us to meet our many overseas customers, introduce new products and learn about what our users would like to see next from DMT.”
In that regard, the opportunity to grow DMT product lines both here and abroad was of mutual interest to Brandon and Acme United’s CEO, Walter Johnsen. The two met at a trade show several years ago, and Brandon says synergies between DMT and Acme United were quickly obvious.
“We both recognized early on that DMT would be a good strategic fit with Acme United’s edged product lines, and that Acme, with its greater resources, could help DMT grow even faster,” Brandon says. “Last fall, the timing was good for both companies, and discussions (about acquisition) began in earnest.”
Even now, Acme United is setting brisk new-product goals for DMT, undergirded by better infrastructure. Constantine reports that Acme United will add automation efficiencies to DMT’s day-to-day operations, as well as additional machinery to allow for future growth and production capacity. The net result will benefit both DMT and Acme customers soon.
“We are planning to step up our new product development for DMT dramatically,” Constantine projects, “and the process has already begun. We hope to launch the first round of new and innovative sharpeners before the end of 2016.”
There will be positive crossover effects for both DMT and Acme brands, Constantine explains. With DMT’s family of products now under the Acme United umbrella, sharpeners can be added to its Clauss, Camillus and Cuda cutting tool lines. And, DMT sharpening products will also broaden Acme United’s industrial, hardware and sporting goods brands. Conversely, Acme will begin to market its various cutting tool brands to new customers, such as woodworkers, which it has not done previously.
“For some of our (DMT) retailers,” Brandon adds, “the opportunity to carry other Acme United brands such as Camillus and Cuda knives and Clauss shears will be very interesting.”
But even with all the changes and stepped-up efficiencies, some of DMT’s current processes will remain as they are — and for good reason: Don’t fix what isn’t broken. Constantine assures that DMT’s operations will remain in Marlborough, where it will “continue to build the finest sharpeners in the USA.” And, DMT’s staff will keep their jobs. “(They) are dedicated employees and have contributed to DMT’s growth and success and will continue to do so going forward,” Constantine says.
Forty years of innovation in sharpening products has forged a proud legacy for DMT, and Acme United plans to make the most of that heritage and knowledge base.
“(We’re) pleased to add the DMT brand to our family of brands … We sell millions and millions of cutting implements, and now we have the very best in sharpening products to service those tools,” Constantine says.