An opportunity to make a difference
It all started in 1976 when founder and owner, Rob Forbes, recognized an opportunity to market and distribute a circular saw blade exchange system in Canada. At that time, as a young and enterprising entrepreneur, Forbes noted users of power tool accessories had two choices when their blades became well-used and dull:
- getting used blades sharpened—a time-consuming task that resulted in significant downtime and unreliable results
- buying a brand new blade and discarding the used one
Although the second choice was most common, resulting in thousands of blades being discarded and ending up in our landfills, Forbes came up with a third choice:
- buying a remanufactured blade that had been restored to its original, or better-than original, quality
He figured the majority of dull blades could be remanufactured to original specifications. He also believed that contractors and consumers would be eager to buy remanufactured blades at substantially reduced prices, as long as there was no compromise in performance or quality.
The sustainability bonus
Back in the 70’s, few were seriously talking about sustainability and green was just another color. However, Forbes did some research and learned about the incredible amount of iron ore, coal, energy, and water it takes to manufacture power tool accessories. Additionally, the process produces significant quantities of water pollutants, air emissions, and solid waste. Surely, thought Forbes, if you make something, you should take responsibility for it too. What better way to benefit the planet than by remanufacturing whenever possible, and recycling everything else.
The key to success: getting power tool users to buy-in
EAB’s success was largely dependent on convincing power tool accessory users to buy Exchange-A-Blade accessories. Forbes knew that only if he could produce premium quality, high-performance products that exceeded the expectations of the most demanding users, EAB stood a good chance of converting buyers to his unique green exchange system. It didn’t take long for buyers to catch on to the Exchange-A-Blade concept. Before long, Forbes’ network of distributors and retail store dealers expanded from coast to coast and Exchange-A-Blade quickly became the largest power tool accessory remanufacturer and recycler in North America.
Expanding the business
Since first introducing our saw blades in 1976, EAB has grown our Exchange-A-Blade brand to offer an expansive range of over 500, blades and router bits. It has also introduced its Razor Back brand (also exchangeable) and Stay Sharp brand that is recyclable. EAB products are sold across North American in over 2,700 retail stores and online by participating retailers.