Our History

Northern Tool traces its roots back to a small farm and ranch mail order tool and supply business started by Donald Kotula in Kasson, Minnesota in 1981. Seeing a need for quality tools at reasonable prices, Don began selling a small assortment of products by mail order from his house. His passion and drive led to rapid growth, quickly outpacing the capacity of his home office and garage.

In 1983, we opened our first retail location in Burnsville, Minnesota. This allowed Minnesota customers to see and purchase our products in person while giving us the warehouse space needed to continue expanding our catalog business nationwide.

Over the next decade, Northern Tool continued to grow by listening to customer needs and preferences. We expanded our product selection to serve professionals and hobbyists in the automotive, welding, concrete, power utility, municipality, arborist, contractor, agricultural, and light construction industries. Our retail presence also grew across the Upper Midwest.

In 1995, to support our rapid growth, we opened a 300,000 square foot distribution center in Burnsville. This new facility gave us the infrastructure needed to scale up our catalog and online business across the country. Our product selection grew to over 10,000 items including power tools, hand tools, outdoor equipment, work gear, generators, pressure washers, air compressors, shop equipment, and other products to help our customers tackle any project.

Northern Tool is still family-owned today by the second generation of the Kotula family. While a lot has changed over the past 40 years, our commitment to providing quality tools and equipment to DIYers, professionals, and businesses nationwide remains the same. Our success stems from listening to your needs and preferences then working hard to deliver an exceptional customer experience. Thank you for choosing us!

Our Values

Northern Tool’s culture and values stem from our Midwestern roots where hard work, integrity, and service to community are highly valued. These principles help guide our business and how we treat customers, employees, and partners.

Hard Work and Passion

Our team has an uncompromising work ethic and passion for helping DIYers and professionals succeed. We are driven to constantly improve.


We operate ethically and transparently in all we do. Our word is our bond.


We exist to serve our customers and community. We listen intently to needs and go the extra mile.


We care for our employees and partners like family. We believe in sharing success, celebrating achievements, and having fun together.

Our Customers

Our customers include everyone from homeowners and DIYers to professional contractors and municipalities. If you have a tough job to tackle, we have the tools and equipment to help you succeed.


Homeowners choose Northern Tool for quality tools to maintain their homes and properties all year round. Our wide assortment of products helps them take on projects and repairs with confidence. We offer everything from generators and pressure washers to help prepare for storm season to log splitters, grass trimmers, snow blowers, and winter work gear when the weather turns cold. Products are priced right and backed by our garantee so homeowners can tackle projects with less stress and hassle.

DIY Enthusiasts

Northern Tool is a top destination for DIYers looking for the right tool for the job. Our products help weekend warriors take on automotive repairs, welding projects, lawn care, concrete work, home remodels, and much more. Our DIY experience starts with expert product recommendations from our technical team. We carry professional-grade products from leading brands alongside our own quality-tested, value-priced products – giving DIYers an ideal assortment of tools and equipment to choose from. Educational tips and guides help customers achieve success once a project is underway.


We support a range of B2B customers with bulk discounts and tailored services. Construction companies, farms and ranches, metal fabrication shops, municipalities, schools, property management firms, and fleet maintenance teams rely on Northern Tool’s catalog of over 30,000 products to stock their tool cribs while keeping tight rein on budgets. Our national presence and distribution network ensure timely deliveries across the US. Dedicated account managers help streamline purchasing and ensure customers have the right products, parts, and accessories on hand when needed.

Public Service

First responders, utility crews, municipalities, schools, and other public service providers choose Northern Tool for our vast selection of professional-grade equipment to support their work safely and efficiently all year round. From generators and light towers to power washers, trimmers, and snow removal equipment, we have the tools and equipment needed to serve local communities. Special discounts and flexible financing options make it easy for municipalities and public works departments to acquire equipment within constrained budgets. Our team stands ready to deliver emergency response assistance when disasters strike.

No matter who the customer, our goal is to listen, understand their unique needs, and deliver solutions that help them overcome challenges and accomplish their goals. The jobs may vary, but our commitment to service and customer success remains unchanged.

Our Products

Northern Tool carries over 30,000 products designed to help DIYers, professionals, businesses, and municipalities tackle tough jobs. Our product brands include:

Northern Tool Brand

Our own Northern Tool brand includes thousands of shop tools, generators, pressure washers, compressors, outdoor power equipment, welding equipment, lifting equipment, and more. Rigorously tested to meet our stringent quality standards, Northern Tool branded products offer exceptional value and capability.

Other Leading Brands

In addition to our Northern Tool brand, we carry industry leading national brands known for performance and reliability. Top brands include Honda, Lincoln Electric, DeWalt, Milwaukee, Bauer, Husqvarna, NorthStar, Strongway, Briggs & Stratton, Champion, and many more. Combining these quality brands with our own Northern Tool products gives customers best-in-class choice.

Exclusive Products

We also offer exclusive products only available at Northern Tool. Exclusive brands like Klutch, Trail Boss, and NorthStar give professionals access to premium tools and equipment at outstanding values unmatched by competitors.

Innovative New Products

Listening to customer needs, we continually search the globe and work with our manufacturing partners to identify, develop, and introduce new problem-solving products not available elsewhere. Recent innovations include Camplux portable water heaters, electric truck bed coatings, Esteem wireless security systems, and Cen-Tec garage floor tile. New products arrive daily across all our categories.

American-Made Products

Northern Tool prioritizes American-made products. We are proud to support US manufacturing and jobs. Over 2,000 of our products are made right here in the USA. We also assemble many products in our own ISO-certified factories including generators, pressure washers, air compressors, log splitters, sprayers, lifts, trailers, and more. Look for our “Made in USA” badge online and on packaging to easily find American-made items.

This vast selection of exclusive, American-made, innovative, and premium products gives our customers unmatched choice when equipping their shop, garage, jobsite or public works department. We offer the right tool for any tough task.

Our Passion for Service

Since 1981, our passion has been helping customers succeed at their DIY and professional projects by providing quality tools delivered with exceptional service. We demonstrate our commitment to service in everything we do:

Advice and Education

Our technical team offers friendly advice to help customers choose the right tools for their specific needs. Product guides, videos, and other DIY content help ensure success. We love sharing our tool knowledge.

Customer Reviews

Detailed customer reviews help users make informed purchase decisions. Our 4+ star average review rating demonstrates our commitment to quality and service. We listen to feedback and continually improve.


Industry leading guarantees back our products and service. If something goes wrong, we make it right quickly with no hassle.

Special Offers

We provide exclusive discounts and financing options so cost never gets in the way of tackling a project. Preferred accounts help pros save.

Fast Shipping

Orders ship same-day with standard free ground delivery across the US. With distribution centers nationwide, we get products to customers fast.

Easy Returns

Need to return something? No problem – we offer free returns for any reason within 90 days. Just print a free pre-paid label and send the product back.

American Call Centers

Friendly experts in our Midwest call centers stand ready to assist customers with orders, returns, technical questions, and warranty claims. Give us a call!

Delivering this high standard of service nationwide from our Minnesota headquarters requires passion, commitment and caring about our customers like family. Our entire team shares these Midwestern values. It’s who we are.

No matter what you’re working on, Northern Tool is here to help you choose the right tools, get the job done right, and tackle your next project with confidence. Let’s get started!