A Brief History

Pilot Tools was founded on 1 September 1939. The company commenced with the manufacture of tungsten carbide tipped tooling for the mining and metal cutting industries. Carbide blanks were imported from Europe.

Started purchasing a portion of our tungsten carbide blank requirements from a South African manufacturer, Powder Industries (Pty) Ltd. Purchases a 25% interest in Powder Industries.

Pilot Tools purchased the remaining 75% interest in Powder Industries. The Powder Industries hard metals factory is now a 100% owned subsidiary of the Pilot Tools Group.

A new democratic South Africa emerged. Sanctions were lifted and South Africa re-entered the international community. Pilot Tools became a global supplier of tungsten carbide blanks to O.E.M.s in the mining and metal cutting industries.

Extensive R&D into materials technology. Focus on metal cutting product development. Partnered with leading European thin-film coating specialists.

The Pilot Tools’ designed P-Shank coal tool, was patented. We became a leading supplier of tungsten carbide tipped tooling to the mining and engineering industries.

Gained recognition as a leading manufacturer of tungsten carbide brazed tooling for lathes.

World economic sanctions were imposed on South Africa, restricting access to capital equipment and international trade. This forced the group to diversify its product offering and focus sales efforts within South Africa. We partnered with Huddy Diamond (Pty) Ltd and introduced the taper bit for hard rock mining into the South African market.

Streamlining and re-focusing of the Pilot Tools Group into two business units:
- Mining & Construction
- Metal Cutting

Launch of e-commerce European sales channel for metal cutting products.



Pilot Tools continuously invests in its people and equipment so as to deliver consistent and quality products. The company operates from four manufacturing facilities, located in Denver, Johannesburg, South Africa:
Grinding, Edge Condition and Post
Coating Treatment
High Precision Design and Manufacture
of Press Tooling
Hard Metals Factory
Tungsten Carbide Recycling Facility

Quality Assurance

Pilot Tools’ approach to quality assurance is based on a focused philosophy of attention to detail and continuous improvement. Pilot Tools aims to master its selected discipline and strives to continuously improve our products, processes and services daily.

Our quality management system, which complies with ISO 9001, ensures that all the processes within our organisation operate safely and efficiently and are subject to continuous improvement.

Research & Development

New product development is a priority.

We are continually delivering new products and innovations to our customers. A cutting tool grade comprises a substrate fashioned and designed in a particular geometry and is usually coated to improve performance. Our materials development has focused on improving the material properties of the substrate, tailoring each grade for its target application.

We collaborate with leading universities and research institutes to improve our substrates, focusing on continuous improvement and performance. We search for the optimum geometries for each material and application, utilizing state-of-the-art design concepts and manufacturing methods to achieve this. We work closely with leading European thin-film coating providers to ensure that our products have the latest and best coatings, guaranteeing superior and consistent performance. We undertake collaborative research and development projects with industry, tertiary institutions and government, spanning a wide range of materials testing, manufacturing methods and engineering disciplines in order to develop our range, increase efficiency and improve our performance.

Customer Service

Our dedicated support team strives to ensure you have a seamless experience from order placement to delivery and after sales support. Our website enables access to our products 24/7 anywhere in the world. All the relevant information is provided to enable you to order the correct items quickly and easily and then track the delivery of your goods to your door step.

Distribution &

High stock availability, quick and easy order placement and fast and reliable logistics are imperative to our customers’ businesses. To meet and exceed our customers’ expectations, Pilot Tools has invested in high stock levels, an e-commerce user friendly website and computerized picking processes. We have partnered with a leading international courier company to ensure the farthest global reach in the shortest possible time.