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By December 1908, the partners had already established the Sharp-Hughes Tool Company in Houston, Texas, to produce the blade in a rented space of 12 meters (20 by 40 ft). After the death of Walter Sharp in 1912, Hughes bought half of Sharp’s company. The company was renamed the Hughes Tool Company in 1915 and was inherited by Hughes Jr. after the death of his father in 1924. Hughes Tool Company remained privately owned by Hughes during the 1950s and 1960s. While Hughes worked in Hollywood and aerospace companies, Houston executives like Fred Ayers and Maynard Montrose kept the tool company growing through technical innovation and international expansion.
In 1958, the Engineering and Science Laboratory was expanded into six laboratory sections with special equipment such as a direct reading spectrometer and an X-ray diffractometer. In 1959, Hughes introduced self-lubricating, compacted bearing stone blocks. After collecting data on thousands of bit runs, Hughes provided the first comprehensive guidelines for efficient drilling practices in 1960; In 1964, the X-Line stone blades were introduced, combining new cutting design models and hydraulic nozzles.