Multiple Product Reviews

Manufactum and Kaufmann Mercantile Company


Purveyors of fine goods

While it’s probably familiar to any European readers, Manufactum is to the quality products and goods what Cool Tools is to, well, the recommendation of quality products and goods. It’s a store that seeks to only sell the best, long lasting products that exemplify their categories; something I think that most CoolTools readers are likewise trying to do. They say it best:

We have selected items of quality in the widest sense of the word. They are manufactured with great skill according to traditional methods and are thus reliable and practical. The materials are carefully chosen to suit the purpose, and are, therefore, attractive. They are made from traditional materials, i.e. metal, glass, wood etc., can be repaired and are environmentally friendly.

The result of all our homework is this online shop. Somewhere in the region of 1,500 quality items have been selected for inclusion, some of which are true classics which have stood the test of time. They are made from materials of the highest quality, they function well and will outlive any trend or fashion.

While in Munich recently I wandered into one of their locations. Their store is a veritable playground, with all of their wide variety of products available for examination/perusal/purchase. Their website lists many, if not most, products for sale in their stores, and for those who would rather look at things in print, there is a large and lush catalog available.

— Zach Zaletel
kaufmann mercantile.jpg
This is not about a specific tool. The Kaufmann Mercantile Company is a cousin of the Cool Tools site. It bears the same general philosophy: exceptionally well made, functional tools. If you’re a fan of Cool Tools and go this site, you’ll probably click through every page on the site, as I did.

What led me there was a link to some shoe brushes. I have long lamented the apparent disappearance of quality brushes. I treasured a simple scrub brush that my uncle left with me years ago. He was in the Navy and they were issued this brush to scrub their clothes clean. It had a solid wood palm-fitting handle, and REAL bristles, not plastic. I lost it and have never found an identical replacement. It seems scrub brushes now have plastic bristles, which just seem to splatter water everywhere when used, without really thoroughly scrubbing the surface.

The Kaufmann Mercantile site led me to the Magnolia Brush Company in Clarksville, Texas, which supplies some of the brushes in their catalog.

-- Glenn Crumpley 03/7/12

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