The story behind the company

Mr. A.E. Rutherford founded the business of Rutherford Limited, in 1912. In it’s early years the activities were confined mainly to the sale of general engineering requisites in the shape of packings, brassware, belting etc. In the following years, it became well established in diesel engines, power generating plants, wood working machinery, pumps and electric drills and lathes.

Today, Rutherford is a member of the Hudaco Group of companies and a value added company distributing world renowned brands through its four divisions, each one a leader in it’s category:

Power Tools – Makita of Japan is a leading manufacturer of industrial power tools with factories strategically located around the world. Makita is producing power tools in plants in China, U.S.A, U.K, Germany, Brazil, Romania and Thailand. Makita’s worldwide sales and service network, as well as the stable, high production quality ensured at its plants worldwide, are the embodiment of the Makita brand. Rutherford is the sole distributor in Southern Africa and has been distributing Makita Power Tools for the past 50 years. In recent years, Makita has been developing high-performance, easy-to-handle, and environmentally-friendly cordless gardening equipment based on lithium-ion batteries. In addition to the industrial power tools, Makita also manufactures Makita MT which was introduced to retain most of the qualities of the Makita industrial range, but at an affordable price. Makita offers a full line of high-performance, durable accessories to fit the needs of your operation. The proper accessories (consumables such as saw blades etc) can have significant impact on the quality and efficiency of your work. Furthermore, Rutherford has an extensive after-sale service network, which can support our customers through prompt repairs and timely supply of replacement parts.

Rutherford also distributes a range of light industrial and heavy duty machinery called Martlet which includes jointers, dust collectors, band saws and more.

Grabo is the latest addition to Rutherford’s product list, which is an exciting new invention in the power tools industry. It consists of a handheld vacuum-assisted lifting grabber which is designed to reduce physical exertion, workload and to safely handle construction materials. Designed for flooring professionals, glass installers, carpenters, movers, construction workers, Grabo can be used with auxiliary lifting straps, to lift up to 170 kg, move and transport household appliances, furniture, boxes and entertainment systems. The Grabo vacuum-assisted lifting technology transforms the way heavy lifting and cumbersome moving and installation tasks are performed. It can grab almost any surface: wet, rough or porous. Handle patterned glass, diamond pattern steel, dry wall and other surfaces that NO OTHER product in the market can lift.

Marine – Rutherford Marine has sole distribution rights for the Mercury range of outboards and MerCruiser inboards, along with the Quicksilver range of marine oils. In addition, Rutherford Marine also imports an expansive range of marine accessories from different suppliers around the globe and also supplies a wide range of Marine Boats available from our Rutherford Marine Boat Program

Survey Equipment – V.I. Instruments is the sole importer of the Ruide, GeoMax and South range of survey equipment which involves Levels, Total Stations and Global Positioning. They are also the exclusive importer of the world-renowned Troxler nuclear density gauges and the market leader in compaction measurements for road construction.

Fasteners – Boltworld is the largest distributor to all sectors of the industry. Boltworld stocks a full range of fasteners across material such as steel, stainless-steel, brass and aluminum. Boltworld is the largest distributor of the full range of rivets and riveting tools in the South African market.

All of the above are distributed through our branches in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Klerksdorp, where we employ a total of approximately 350 staff. Rutherford is a BEE compliant level 4 company.


Rutherford Head Office
P O Box 3802, Johannesburg, 2000
Unit 3A & 3B, City Deep Industrial Park
36 Fortune Street, City Deep
Republic of South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 11 878-2600


Rutherford holds three key ISO accreditations: ISO 9001-2015 for quality, ISO 14001-2015 for environment and OHSAS ISO 45001-2018 for occupational safety. These standards are continually updated to incorporate the latest amendments.

Rutherford is a member of the Hudaco group. Hudaco Industries is a South African group of companies specialising in the importation and value added distribution of selected high quality industrial and security products in the southern African region. The replacement market is a particular focus and the group is active in two main areas: Engineering consumables and Consumer related products.

To visit each Rutherford division’s website, please click on the links below: