Kowa tools

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Kowa Seiki have made tools for Honda since 1956, initially making their special workshop tools and then going on to make the tool kits for all their bikes from the 60s until the early 2000s.

Kowa factory, 1950s

From the 1970s they also made tools for the Japanese government, Mazda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha and Mitsubishi. Add all that production to the 100 million tool kits sold with the C90s and that is a lot of spanners!

Kowa is surely a contender for being the most prolific automotive tool producer in history and yet most people will never have heard of them.

There is a potted history of the company on their website,

Kowa were founded in Tokyo in 1947 and are still trading- in fact they still make posh Honda branded tools

new Honda branded tools by Kowa

So it seems the humble c90 tool kits have a prestigious heritage. Bearing in mind that the same tools were supplied with bikes costing 4x the amount perhaps they deserve a bit more attention.

3 thoughts on “Kowa tools”

  1. Hello again – commented on your QR vice thread — more on this please.

    But back to Kowa – I believe the Seiki part of their name means something like ‘precision’ and that they are the same Kowa who made a line of popular cameras in the ’60s. They were also known as lens makers -if anything an even more precision manufacturing skill. They cut back in this field, but the last I remember was a line of extremely fine high resolution enlarging lenses (Kowa or Computar) in the 1980s, as good as any by Nikon, Leica etc.

    Did/do they also have a business making equipment for opticians and dentists?

    Danny, Sheffield (sold my Kowa camera and lenses, but still have (more) fine C19th quick release British vices)


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