News and Events - 60 years of Trend

Friday 17 April 2015

Trend has a proud tradition in routing dating back to 1955, when founder and avid woodworker Jim Phillips first saw the opportunity to give British woodworkers a helping hand and he quite literally started a Trend that has subsequently seen generations of tradespeople take the plunge into the world of routing. Now in his 90s, the day-to-day running of the business is in the hands of his employees, although Jim is always on hand to share his experience.

The beginning

Jim tells us: "From a very early age I had always been passionate about woodworking, forever making household items for myself and decided that perhaps I could extend my enthusiasm to local joinery companies, engineers and tradespeople." At this time, Jim happened to have a relationship with the German router manufacturer Elu and several other tooling suppliers there. In Jim's mind, the UK market needed better sources for power tool supplies and he knew where to get the good stuff. It seemed a golden opportunity and a bold vision for a new company. "Jim obtained samples, filled a van and began to tour factories and job sites around the UK. He demonstrated Elu's advanced new router - the first ever with plunging capability - as well as jigsaws and drills," Luke Hulley, Trend's head of marketing explains.

Within two years, customer demand for jigsaw blades and router bits alone enabled Jim to rent a permanent facility for his new enterprise. Trend had now gained a foothold in the UK woodworking industry and Jim would continue to make strides in the woodworking market - both as a product supplier and routing innovator. In the half century since those early days with Elu, Trend has established itself as an industry leader of router supplies in the UK.


Jim tells us: "For me, the key was responding quickly to anyone who was in trouble. Builders, joinery shops and engineering businesses were all crying out for someone to consult when they ran into obstacles, or their existing equipment simply wasn't up to the job. Quite often they had been sold a tool which wasn't fit for purpose, or, had a very expensive bit of kit which sat idle for most of its working life. As a roving trouble-shooter, I was quickly able to build up a picture of common problems and started looking at other power tools and accessories which could improve efficiency."

That ethos of being a friendly advisor rather than an aggressive salesman is a philosophy instilled in all Trend staff, which continues to underpin the company today.

60 years on

"After 60 years, we think we have just about every option covered, but there will always be someone out there who needs something special for a particular cutting task and our in-house team of technicians will make it happen," says Jim.

Many of Trend's one-off products have gone into mainstream production and the showroom is an Aladdin's cave of problem solving jigs, cutters, blades, clamps, drills power tools and tables. For 2015, Trend will see a whole new batch of innovative products launched into the marketplace, including the Diamond Cross range of sharpening stones and mini template profiler router cutters.

Like his beloved router, Jim has made the sort of deep and long lasting impression on the power tool market that very few could ever hope to emulate and has shown that for once, not all Trends have to come and go!


Contact: Trend

Tel: 01923 249 911


Photos, from top to bottom:

1. A selection of old Trend cutter catalogues

2. A photo from 1963, showing a stand at a woodworking event, demonstrating the new Elu router