Made in the USA: SILCA

Here’s an unusual Made-In-USA story: SILCA, a manufacturer of bicycle pumps and assorted tools, was founded and operated in Italy until the death of its founder, at which point the new owner brought it to the United States. More specifically, he brought it to Indianapolis. I’ve heard so much about SILCA’s stuff, and all of it good, so when they put a few items into a scratch-and-dent sale I figured I had no choice but to pull the trigger.

The SILCA hex head wrenches look to be absolutely bulletproof. Anniversary edition toolsets, like the one I purchased, come in an American Walnut heartwood box.

I also bought the SuperPista pump. The photo I took of it came out really blurry so here’s a link to the product on the SILCA site. It’s rebuildable and should last forever. Over the past couple of years I’ve had a few Blackburn pumps literally disintegrate on me so this should be a welcome change.

This stuff is obviously a bit over-the-top. I raced bicycles for two decades using cheap-ass Craftsman allen keys that were periodically lost and broken without much regret. You have to be a bit of a tool yourself to think that you need your tools to come in a custom walnut box. So here’s an American Alternative for one-tenth the price: color-coded Bondhus allen wrenches. They’re made in the USA and I can personally attest to both their strength and their durability.

If you want an American-made floor pump, however, you will find that SILCA’s $125 Pista, which is made using components from Italy, Taiwan, and the USA, is your cheapest bet. Look at it this way: I rarely get more than two or three years out of $45 Blackburn pumps. If a SILCA lasts ten years before a rebuild, you’re ahead of the game!

10 Replies to “Made in the USA: SILCA”

  1. Keith

    Thanks for the heads up on Silca, I have a floor pump I bought in ~1980 that needed a leather piston to work reliability and I just ordered one and some of the piston oil. Thanks Keith

    Reply
  2. Ronnie Schreiber

    I have both Bondhus and PrecisionCraft allen wrench sets and they appear to come out of the same factory. Eklind and BTI also make allen wrenches in the USA.

    Reply
  3. Nicholas Gomez

    I’ve got the hex key set but in plain wood. Doesn’t look as good but I love them! Better than my Snap-On Allen Key set.

    Reply
  4. -Nate-Nate

    I find working with good quality tools makes the job more pleasurable .

    Thanx for the links .

    One of my tire pumps is close to 50 years old, the leather is really worn now .

    -Nate

    Reply
    • Nick D

      ‘Good quality tools’

      I didn’t have a true understanding for this until I started racing and working on the car during build weekends at a true tradesman’s house. He has very nice tools – way better than the China Dump hazard fraught garbage I’ve got.

      Reply
    • Unknown

      I have a Silva that must be pushing 30 years old. Italian made. Pumped up innumerable pushy tires to ungodly pressures for my track racing friends. Car tires. Bicycle tires. Motorcycle tires (slicks,road,motoX, trials (not that they need any pressure))
      Great bit of equipment. Even the pressure gauge has stayed true (‘calibrated’ against multiple hand held gauges)

      Reply
  5. Cdotson

    I’ll vouch for the quality of Bondhus hex wrenches. I work in custom industrial automation and our default fastener is a socket-head cap screw. All our techs use Bondhus tools purchased on their own dime.

    I’ve lost track of how many Eklind ball-end hex wrenches I’ve seen that have wrung the ball off – enough that I became wary of using ball-end wrenches. Our techs with Bondhus tools use pretty much only ball-end wrenches and I’ve never seen a failure.

    Reply
  6. galactagog

    this is inspiring…..I want to go work on my MTB now, sitting neglected in the basement

    I bet that pump is pretty good at inflating air mattresses too?

    although it’s always good when you find the auto-inflator, just in the nick of time

    Reply

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