Crescent Nicholson Brand
Crescent Nicholson Logo in White

Crescent Nicholson

William Thomas Nicholson

In 1864, William Thomas Nicholson invented a machine that could consistently produce high-quality files and subsequently launched the Nicholson File Company. In doing so, he revolutionized the file manufacturing industry. In an era when hand-made files were preferred, Nicholson proved his company’s machine-cut files were not only more affordable, but offered more consistent quality than hand-made tools.

Through the decades that followed, Nicholson File Company continued to prosper by refusing to compromise the superior quality of its products. Maintaining this commitment, Nicholson was able to adapt and expand its capacity to make products that served an infinite variety of demands, and by 1893 the Nicholson exhibit at the World’s Fair in Chicago featured more than 3,000 unique styles of Nicholson files and rasps. By the 1950s, Nicholson dominated the file market worldwide. 
More than 150 years after its founding, the brand remains at the forefront. The unwavering dedication to quality and constant attention to detail instilled by William Thomas Nicholson, embodied in the famous slogan “Twelve perfect files in every dozen,” is still evident in every product sold. 
Today, as Crescent Nicholson®, the brand is a market leader for manual material removal products from Apex Tool Group, one of the largest hand tool manufacturers in the world.  The extensive Crescent Nicholson line of products includes files, rasps, saws, and accessories. Crescent Nicholson manual material removal products are among the more than 2,600 quality hand tool products offered under the Crescent name – products professional tradespeople know they can count on to get the job done right.

Crescent. Trusted by the Trades.

A Brief History of Crescent Nicholson

William Thomas Nicholson develops the idea for industrial file making.  Nicholson had designed and patented various items and began thinking about industrial files as early as 1856, but those thoughts were put on hold as the Civil War interrupted his plans.


The 1st File Cutting Machine is Patented on April 5, 1864. William Thomas Nicholson successfully patents his first file cutting machine and founds the Nicholson® File Company in Providence, Rhode Island.


The Nicholson® File Company showcases over 3,000 varieties of files and rasps at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.


The Nicholson® File Company grows with exports all across the globe and opens a new location in Anderson, Indiana.


In 2014 Nicholson® celebrates 150 years of making the leading brand of files from 1864 to 2014.

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