In 1889 a salesman in Sweden named Bengt August Hjort joined with two inventors of handtools, F. E.
Lindstrom who had invented wire cutters so strong they could cut the hard wire used to make fish
hooks, and J. P. Johansson who had created the first adjustable pipe wrench. Mr. Hjort named the
enterprise after himself: B. A. Hjort Company, which was eventually shortened to BAHCO and is now
commonly written as Bahco. Around the same time in France, the Pradines brand had begun
manufacturing pruning shears to supply vineyards in the Loire Valley, and the two companies were
destined to meet. The Bahco brand expanded to service a wide range of needs throughout Europe. In
1934 an enterprising young man named Roger Devillé solved a cutting problem for farmers much the
way Lindstrom had simplified the fish hook making process.

In France were many orchards that required pruning. The common method was to use ladders to reach
the high branches and handsaws or shears to cut them. In 1934 Mr. Devillé adapted the cutting blade
from pruning shears and mounted the mechanism on a pole that could reach the high branches,
actuated by a rope and pulley, which amplified force put on the rope and allowed the user to cut
branches easily. Orchard workers adopted the new tool and welcomed the opportunity to leave their
ladders behind. That same year Mr. Devillé bought Pradines, and within the decade moved the
production to Baugé in the Loire Valley, making hand pruners and loppers as well. As the wine industry
grew in France Pradines became the dominant brand for French vineyards and in the mid-1900s a
salesman from Bahco met Mr. Devillé and they came to an agreement. Bahco would sell the pruners
under a co-branded name, Bahco Pradines, and distribute the tools. By 1999 when Snap-on Inc. acquired
Bahco, we already had presence on the West Coast and were in small chains coast to coast, serving
professionals in landscape and horticulture, flower farming and viticulture, orchards and tree services.

Over time contractors and workers came to appreciate the hard Swedish steel and patented French
designs of Bahco pruners. Even well- worn tools that have spent seasons in the fields can be identified as
the “original French” brand by FRANCE stamped into the head bolts and the Bahco fish & hook logo on
the handle.