The company’s humble beginnings set the tone for how Arbortech does business and solidified the creative process behind the invention of unique tools. In 1983, Kevin Inkster set out to create a sculpted wooden chair, playing around with the idea of fitting a crude disc attachment to his angle grinder instead of using a chainsaw. The disc was a big success and proved very popular. This marked the start of Arbortech, which in time led to the introduction of ‘power carving’ and other unique cutting products and technologies. Today, Arbortech is the world’s leading manufacturer of innovative tools, beloved the world over by those looking for function, inspiration or both. As a company we take care of each other, as well as look outward to the wider community to ensure we do what we can for the planet. We believe creativity is subjective and we’re constantly ‘playing’, making new things and encouraging others to practice inspired creativity.
“Play is more important than work. If they can be the same thing, then that’s the perfect scenario,” Kevin Inkster, CEO, Abortech.
“I got thrown out of one store!” Kevin said. “The owner told me, ‘no-one is going to pay $50 for a bottle top!’”
They almost gave up when they saw an opportunity to showcase their disc attachment at the Melbourne Woodworking Show. With a simple bench and a lump of wood, Kevin demonstrated his invention. They had only made a few hundred discs, which almost completely sold out at the show. After placing a small ad in the local newspaper, Kristine would get phone calls at all hours from people wanting to order the woodcarving blade.
In 1988, Kevin and Kristine drove from Nannup to Sydney so Kevin could appear on a TV show called Towards 2000, an ABC TV show that showcased developments in science and technology. When they returned home, there were bags of mail on their front doorstep. Each filled with envelopes containing $50 notes or cheques from people placing orders after watching the show.
“That’s when we knew we were onto something and we started employing people and setting up the company,” Kevin said.
Kevin's first experimental blade circa 1985
Kevin doing what he does best; tinkering around in his shed.
One of Kevin's first comissioned pieces, a power carved accent chair.
Kristine, Kevin and their son with their first order bound to the US
Kristine outside the front of Arbortech HQ in Perth, Western Australia circa 1991
Fast forward 30 years later to the current day Arbortech warehouse.
The blade that started it all... Check out the original packaging!
Going global! Arbortech's offices around the world
Kevin and Kristine still making furniture in their shed
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