While 25 years of business could be marked with great fanfare, GREX would rather see this as the right time to launch an innovative cordless 21-gauge brad nailer. Celebrating anniversary milestones is lower on the priority list, and that suits the folks at GREX just fine.
“Frankly, we didn’t even remember it’s our 25th year in business,” admits Raymond Wong, GREX’s vice president of sales and marketing.
When his father Frank started GREX in the family’s garage in 1995, the challenge to become a new brand name in the fastening tool industry, among many other well-established brands, was daunting.
“My dad did not know a single thing about the fastening industry,” Raymond says. “He had never even used a pneumatic nailer or stapler before. But that didn’t stop him. He’s always been a quick learner and a hard worker.”
The time was also ripe in the industry for change. Nailers and staplers produced in Taiwan were considered to be high quality, and the opportunity was there for more Taiwanese tool brands to enter the field. Through acquaintances of friends and family, Frank formed a partnership with a group in Taiwan that wanted to open a new fastening tool factory.
Quality for a Value Price
Frank was the company’s only sales force. Still, slowly but surely he convinced other tool retailers to begin carrying his products. Eventually GREX came to be known as the value brand providing quality, industrial-grade tools at a reasonable price. Then a string of successful 23-gauge pin nailers galvanized GREX’s reputation in the marketplace.
“We believe this revolutionized the industry — many applications that used to use 18-gauge, 2″ brads now could be replaced with 23-gauge, 2″ nails instead,” Raymond says. In recent years, GREX has also innovated several cordless nailers that are powered by fuel cells, including the GCP 650 23-gauge pinner and the new GCH850 21-gauge brad nailer.
“We still design and build tools like they used to be made years ago. I like to say we are ‘old school,'” Raymond says. That commitment to quality is key to its reputation among the pros.
“For my father, GREX was started as a means to provide for his family. There were no intentions to grow a huge corporation or to sell the most tools. It was about building a sustainable and respectable business, offering great products that we believe in and are passionate about. That same 25-year-old philosophy still guides our company today.”