This is how Hultafors' folding rules are made

Hultafors - Ireland

In the folding rule factory, in Hultafors Sweden, we make our classic folding rule. The model 59, in downy birch with red painted ends. All parts are made locally by a skilled and efficient workforce.

The downy birch from the county Dalecarlia arrives in Hultafors sawn into wooden blocks. Before the manufacturing can begin the birch is dried to the exact right humidity. The blocks are sawn into strips and planed before each strip get its ends painted red. Thereafter the scale is printed and each strip is lacquered before final assembly. 


Throughout the manufacturing process each strips is photographed twice by high speed cameras and closely inspected three times by experienced staff. This is to secure that no birch strip shows signs of anything but excellent wood and to inspect that every printed scale is clear and exact.


To make the folding rule extra hardwearing to both wear and moisture we make sure to lacquer every strip all over before assembly, even under each joint. By doing this we seal the wood and minimize the chance of moisture finding its way into the wood, causing it to swell.


The smooth yet stable joints of the Hultafors folding rule is an important part of the original invention. These hinges are made by Hultafors from cold rolled strip steel and greased at three different spots to achieve the right smoothness. 

Before the final assembly, there is a last close inspection of each strip by experienced eyes. The smallest of errors and a strip is discarded.

The shorter end-strips get a brass endtip before the steel joints are added. And at last the machine folds each folding rule together.

Every day 400 000 strips pass through the factory and become 40 000 folding rules, ready to use. 


The answer to the question why the Hultafors folding rule has remained the first choice of professionals is as easy as it is complicated. It’s the attention to detail, and the pride in knowing that we remain the superior maker of the iconic measuring instrument we invented ourselves more than 130 years ago.

First we build the machines

When you invent something there is nobody to follow, no parts to order. At Hultafors we have always taken pride in making everything ourselves.

We have always made our own machinery

Pick the right material

Apart from making our classic wooden folding rule we also offer folding rules made from aluminium and fiberglass.

Birch, aluminium or fiberglass?

Names tend to stick

In Swedish the folding rule is mostly referred to as a “tumstock”, meaning “inch rule”. This has been considered confusing since Swedes nowadays mostly rely on the metric scale.

Same name with inches and metric scale?

The red end

The red end of the Hultafors folding rule has long been the sign of a true pro. Since its invention in 1883 our folding rule has changed how work trousers are sewn. And to this day it’s the craftsman’s first choice for measuring.

When you are a pro. You know.

Ask us