Sandvik was founded in 1862 by Goran Fredrik Goransson in Sweden. Goransson was the first person to succeed in using the Bessemer method of steel production. The company listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange in 1901 and expanded into Europe at the beginning of the 20th century and then into the US, South Africa and Canada.

During the Second World War Sandvik was forced to reorganise and concentrate on the Swedish domestic market. After the war the company gradually began exporting back into Europe and the rest of the world. Increased investment during the 1960s resulted in new mills and offices opening in South America, Australia and Japan. In 1964 specially designed saws from Sandvig were used when statues were relocated from the Abu Simbel temples in Egypt during the construction of the Aswan dam.

Sandvik continued expanding by creating new subsidiaries and acquiring new companies so that by 2012, when it celebrated its 150th anniversary, it had a presence in over 130 countries, producing tools and tooling system, advanced stainless steels, special alloys and titanium as well as metallic and ceramic resistance materials. The company is involved in a number of industries such as mining, machinery solutions and construction on a global scale.