For the record, Ohio is home to several examples of distinctly American genius. Airstream, the iconic RV silver bullet, is rivetted in Jackson Center. Elite NFL quarterbacks whip Wilson pigskins from Ada, and don’t forget about those two bicycle-building brothers turned aviators out of Dayton.

In the same vein, West Ohio Tool has been quietly turning out ground-breaking custom tooling solutions from its Russells Point shop in west Central Ohio for three decades. But after starting as a tool supplier to regional automotive manufacturers, the company has purposely and steadily increased its range in terms of clients and geographical reach.

Over the last four years, West Ohio Tool has broadened its offerings to providing custom tooling and services to a diverse spectrum of manufacturing sectors that now include aerospace and defense. Additionally, the company’s growing customer list includes enterprises from 33 states with more orders in the works.

Diversification and growth have been front and center for West Ohio Tool since the shift in the automotive sector followed closely by the pandemic-induced shutdown. Those two events emphasized the need for West Ohio Tool’s expansion into new markets to ensure its future, so the company adopted a national sales strategy to take it beyond Ohio.

In addition to showcasing its portfolio of carbide and polycrystalline diamond (PCD) custom drills, reamers, mills, end mills, grooving and internal forming tools along with its innovative EdgeX4 tools that dramatically reduce cost per hole to a broader audience, West Ohio Tool made two appearances at the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas. The SHOT show gathers some 50,000 shooting, hunting, military and outdoor trade industry representatives to the largest professional event of its kind in the country.

The company has also concentrated on gaining several certifications, all of which open doors to further government and defense contracting. Acquiring its AS9100D certification in November of 2023 provided West Ohio Tool access to the Online Aerospace Supplier Information System (OASIS) that is maintained by the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG). IAQG sets quality standards for the worldwide aviation, defense and space supply chain.

West Ohio Tool CEO Kaci King, who took over after her father retired, has leveraged the company’s status as a woman-owned business through certifications as a Women-Owned Business (WBE) for the state of Ohio along with the prestigious Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) certification. Both designations increase opportunities for local and federal contracting. The company’s national visibility is also promoted as a member of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) and its affiliate, Women in Defense. King will travel to a NDIA networking event with Defense Department, industry leaders and Office of Secretary of Defense personnel in Washington, D.C., in May.

Most recently, the company achieved compliance for its Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) Level 2 that is required for U.S. Department of Defense contractors to protect sensitive federal contract information (FCI) and controlled unclassified information (CUI).

The word about West Ohio Tool is getting out. From national industry media to national brands and manufacturers, the company has come a long way from its humble beginnings.