Our History

In Memory of Herman Somma

Somma Tool Company of Waterbury, CT takes pride in over 80+ years of service to the screw machine industry. Founded in 1939, the company began as a specialty form tool grinding house, servicing primarily Connecticut shops. It has since become a leading manufacturer of cutting tools, tool holders and work holders, serving customers nationwide and overseas.

Gerard J. Somma, the founder of Somma Tool Company, came to the United States from Italy in the early 1900s. Since he had been a machine apprentice in Italy, Somma was able to find employment in the screw machine departments of brass mills and clock companies in Waterbury. Through these experiences with screw machines and form tools, he quickly became a skilled tool grinder. Eventually, Gerard Somma decided to take a big risk and start his own company. He believed that he had a chance to succeed since there was no other local company providing screw machine tooling.

Mr. Somma offered his customers precision ground form tools "to print" and also began to make standard form tool blanks for customers who chose to do their own grinding. The standard blanks were the beginning of an increasing range of standard tools that became available from Somma's small Connecticut shop.

Gerard Somma's children, Herman, Henry and Emily, followed through on their father's dream. A network of distributors was developed, and the company acquired satisfied customers across the country and around the world.

The first catalog, from the 1940's, offered only circular form and cutting tools. In the 1960's tool holders were added when Somma acquired the R&L Tool Company of Philadelphia. Eventually, the Somma's decided they should concentrate on standard catalog items and in 1972 discontinued the manufacture of "to print" circular form tools.

The catalog grew again with the acquisition of the Balas collet line in 1982. In 1990, Somma Tool Company signed on with Kennametal to sell and promote the Erickson brand of collets and work holders, further expanding the range of tooling available from Somma.

Somma also purchased Reynolda Cutting Tools in 2017 providing more choices in cutting tools to our customers, and purchased Max-Bar Tool in 2019 which made Somma a key supplier to the Swiss CNC industry.

The third and fourth generations of the Somma family and the company's twenty-plus employees in Waterbury are always ready to listen to what customers need. Company personnel seek input at national and regional PMPA functions, on sales calls and at trade shows.