Koken Hand Tools


In 1927 Mr.Yamashita had returned to Japan and was Vice-President of General Motors Japan Co. Ltd. His grasp of the English language was almost perfect and his long association with Ford Motor Co Ltd meant he was very well acquainted with technical details of the cars.

1940 the closure of General Motors Japan was necessary due to political pressures arising from the war.Mr. Yamashita returned to his home town of Daito SHIZUOKA at the end of 1945. The following year he founded Ko-ken Tool Co. Ltd. Initially the factory was established in a reconditioned warehouse formally used for farming.

Ko-ken started exporting sockets and accessories in 1957/1958. Before packing, every individual product was inspected to the very last detail. Koken was one of the first to adopt such a rigid 'quality control' process. New Zealand was the first export market for Koken and continues to be a strong supporter of the brand.

In 1961 Koken took on an extra 6 staff bringing the total to 50. Most stayed with Koken until their retirement. In the office they had Rockwell and Vickers hardness testers, with torque testing carried out using their own made machinery In 1962 further expansion plans were put in place.

Today Koken is recognised as one of the leaders in the international tool production industry. The company's success comes from it's core desire to continually push the barriers of quality and precision. Every Koken tool is made to perform far beyond it's intended use, all come with Koken's Lifetime Guarantee.

Koken Tools high performance tools for todays professional

"For the master mechanic" is a theme that has consistenly featured from the beginning of the Koken catalogue. The first catalogue had only 20 pages and 400 products... Today's catalogue spans 280 pages and totals ove 6000 products due to Koken's continued heavy investment into research & development. It is still aimed at the professional.

Koken's Products are designed and manufactured using the latest technologies such as 3D-CAD, Maching centres and computer controlled heat treatment systems in order to deliver the highest quality and most modern designed sockets and accessories.

The Koken Story is truly inspiring

In 1907 Mr. Soichiro Yamashita (aged 18) went to the U.S.A. to follow the American dream. He started off working as a servant for a rich American family as well as working in a restaurant doing dishes. His real passion was working on Ford Model-T cars. If he was repairing one, he wouldn't stop until it was finished — not even for dinner.

Mr.Yamashita finally got his break when he was given a job interview by non other than Mr. Henry Ford himself. Mr. Ford was so impressed he hired him to work for Ford Motor Co. thus becoming he first foreigner ever to work there! He lived in the USA for 18 years in Kansas City, got married and had two sons. The first was named Henry after Mr. Ford.

Hobeca is proudly 100% New Zealand owned and operated.

Established in 1979, Hobeca has evolved to become a leading supplier of trade-quality tools and consumables, supporting industries ranging across electrical, engineering, automotive, paint specialty, plumbing, hardware and more. 

We are passionate about what we do and we value the partnership of our Suppliers and our Distribution Partners/Customers.