The History of Klein Tools

Posted on:March 13, 2015 9:31 am CDT

I wouldn't have classified History as one of my favorite subjects in school, but now that I'm a little older, I have become more and more fascinated by the events of the past, especially the historical journey of people, places, and things and how they came to be where they are today. In my opinion, Klein Tools has had a great historical journey.

From what I can tell, the Home Depot's Built From Scratch team felt the same way after interviewing Klein Tools Chairman Mat Klein and President Mark Klein. Their "Vintage Vibes: Why America Loves Klein Tools" does a really great job of not only explaining the rich 158 year history this company has, but also the family that has guided it through those years. From Mathias Klein, the founder, to the sixth generation of Klein family members who recently took the reins of leadership. It really is a fascinating read and gives a lot of very interesting insight into the company and its mission. Plus, the article has some really cool graphics showing what Klein pliers, crimpers and tool bags looked like then and now!

(From left to right: Thomas R. Klein Jr., Thomas R. Klein Sr., Mathias A. Klein III, and Mark P. Klein)

You may already know some of the history of Klein Tools. The company was founded in the mid-1800's by Mathias Klein, a German immigrant blacksmith. But how is it that a blacksmith becomes the founder of a multi-generational professional tool manufacturing company? Barnaby found out exactly how when he sat down with Chairman Mat Klein III, in this special episode of Tradesman TV:

Founder Mathias Klein

Of course, Barnaby got just a taste of the company's entire history in that video, but Klein Tools has endured a lot in its time. It survived the Great Chicago Fire, the Great Depression, two World Wars, the most recent economic downturn, and a lot more.

But there are two things have not changed in that 158 years: Klein Tools mission has always been to manufacture the highest-quality tools and it has always been led by the Klein family driven by their passion for the industry the company serves. That is part of Klein Tools' history that is sure to withstand another 158 years.