Since 1792, when John Bedford began manufacture of a range of hand tools, the Bedford name has been synonymous with both "Sheffield" and "Quality".

From modest beginnings, the Bedford reputation for manufacturing excellence spread throughout the world.

Many changes have taken place over the last 200 years but one of the major reasons for the survival of the Bedford Company during the turbulent history of the Sheffield Steel Industry is our ability to manufacture Hollow Drill Steel Bar.

The current method of manufacture of Hollow Drill Steel was invented and developed at these works, culminating in a patent, issued in 1919, covering the manufacture of hollow steel bar using the "copper core process."

Prior to the patent, the method of manufacture involved the punching or drilling of billet which was then packed with sand and sealed at both ends. The billet was rolled into bar and when cooled, the sand was removed. The resulting holes were of irregular quality and further development was necessary.

John Bedford & Sons introduced the new method of producing hollow drill steel with a smooth, regular hole through the centre of the bar. As indicated in the patent document, the sand filling was replaced by a copper core which was drawn from the bar when rolling was complete.

Since those early days, research and development have continued and today, the copper core is no longer used. More suitable core materials are now available which allow rolling at higher temperatures and permit more extensive control of the finished product. Hollow Drill Steel is our speciality - our expertise in the field is recognised by the mining and construction industries of the World and forms a basis for the high quality which this experience and knowledge gives to all of our other products.

In 1972, the hand tool manufacturing Division of John Bedford & Sons Ltd was absorbed into the Spear & Jackson Company and Bedford Steels Ltd was set up as a separate entity within the Gardner Denver Group, located in the USA.

Presently, Bedford Steels is a trading style of Padley & Venables Ltd, based in Dronfield, Sheffield and both companies are part of the Brunner & Lay International organisation, who have manufacturing plants in the USA and Canada and a world-wide distribution network through which their Mining & Construction Tools are sold.