Soup it up: Tool sets, storage systems firm’s specialty

Larry Edsall
Special to The Detroit News

After World War II, two friends in the Netherlands started producing their own hand tools. Eventually their sons took over the business, which became known as Sonic Equipment with headquarters in Holland and Hong Kong.

And at the recent Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas, Sonic officially launched into the North American market as Sonic Tools.

Based in Auburn, Alabama, Sonic Tools already has signed a three-year contract to be official tools supplier to the IMSA sports car racing series.

“We offer great product and great value,” said Johnny Petrina, chief operating officer of the American arm. Petrina said most of the tools are produced in Denmark and Germany, with cold forging done in Taiwan.

And it’s not just tools that Sonic is selling. It also offers an innovative tool storage system everything from its suitcase-size tool box to its wall-sized set up of drawers and shelving and cabinets and counters.

Open a drawer with one of Sonic’s foam tool holders and there’s a specific and labeled cutout area for every tool, from sockets to screwdrivers.

Here’s one example: The S10 toolbox, retail priced at $1,675, is about 3 feet long, 24 inches deep and 41 inches tall. It has 8 drawers, 7 shallow and one deep, with a blocking system so the whole thing doesn’t tip over if you try to open every drawer at the same time.

The powder-coated drawers have auto-return ball-bearing slides. The top, made of ABS, has a built-in cupholder and the side has an integrated paper roll holder. There’s also an integrated garbage bin. The S10 rides on four large wheels with rolling and turning brake. It weighs 200 pounds and can hold more than 880 pounds of tools and is available in black, red, blue or light gray powder-coated color.

And, for $5,450, you can buy the S10 with its drawers filled with more than 375 tools, all arranged and labeled in their foam cubbies.

Petrina said shop owners seem to like the way the foam forms encourage technicians to put their tools away immediately after they’re used.

“It’s more efficient,” he said. “They can be working more, not spending their time putting tools away at the end of the day.”

For tradesmen who travel, such as those who service appliances, Sonic offers suitcase-style tool carries with more than 90 or more than 130 tools included, priced at between $1,150 and $1,900. The largest version includes wheels and a pull handle that slides out of sight just like a piece of luggage you might carry onto a flight.

Various tools and tool sets also are available, from socket sets to portable lights and from garage jacks to a box of assorted drain plug gaskets.

For more information, visit the website.

Larry Edsall is a Phoenix-based freelance writer. You can reach him at