Klein Captures the Oldest Pair of Pliers
Can you believe that a 109-year-old pair of pliers can still work just as well as the day it was manufactured? I had the opportunity to handle the winning pair of pliers in our Oldest Pliers contest and was in awe at the way they smoothly operated, just as Kleins do today. I still can’t get over the fact that there are working Klein pliers that are over 100 years old. Just holding a piece of history that old in my hand was enough to send shivers down my spine. It’s fascinating to think about who the original owner was and what projects the pliers may have worked on. With a vintage pair of pliers it would make sense to just hold onto them as a collector’s item, but if they were mine I wouldn’t be able to help myself, I’d have to put them to use.
We may never know who the original owner of the winning pliers was, or how many times the pliers changed hands over the years. What we do know is that the winner of the competition, Dan Schmidt of Indio, CA, actually obtained the pliers at a swap meet, a gathering of collectors who barter and exchange items of common interest. A story like this is what every treasure hunter dreams of. After hearing about the contest, Dan went to the Sky Village Swap Meet in Yucca Valley, CA and came away with a pair of Klein side-cutting pliers from 1958, a pair of hose clamp pliers and finally the pair of Kleins manufactured in 1904. For these three tools Dan paid $10. All I can say after hearing this is, where’s the nearest swap meet?
The lesson to be learned here is hold onto your pliers. Our commitment to quality is what allows us to guarantee these tools for life. In 100 years when we have the next Oldest Pliers contest, your grandkids will be happy you never let go of your Kleins.