|Founded||1882 (Wuppertal, Germany)|
|Products||Pliers, Cutters, Crimping tools, Wire strippers, Insulated tools|
|Employees||850 (Knipex group 1.300)|
Knipex is a German manufacturer of pliers for professional use. The headquarters are located in Wuppertal-Cronenberg. For four generations, Knipex has been an independent, owner-managed family company.
The company was founded in 1882 by C. Gustav Putsch as a forge. In the early days manufacturing was focused on pincers and blacksmith’s tongs, initially handmade then increasingly produced using drop forging hammers and various machines. In 1942 Carl Putsch, the second generation representative, registered the “Knipex“ brand. Especially since the 1950s the program has constantly had additional types of pliers added to it. Karl Putsch took over as manager in 1954. Manufacturing operations became increasingly automated and product innovation took ever greater importance. Starting in the 1990s various subsidiaries joined the Knipex Group. The fourth generation took over the company’s reins. Foreign sales offices were established, and nowadays more than 60 percent of output is exported to numerous countries worldwide.
The program currently comprises approximately 100 types of pliers, totalling more than 900 different variants in terms of length, shape and finish. These include commonly used types of pliers such as combination pliers, side cutters and water pump pliers as well as more specialized pliers for use in electrical and plumbing installation and electronics. The range also includes special tools for cutting, stripping and crimping including tools for applications in aerospace, solar power technology and optical fiber installation. Knipex also offers a broad program of high-voltage insulated tools.
Employment and training
More than 800 staff are employed at the Wuppertal site, including more than 50 trainees in different apprenticeships. There is a dedicated training workshop for industrial trainees. All trainees are offered additional works classes.
In addition to specializing in pliers, the company strategy includes complete in-house manufacturing. The intention here is to directly influence all the products' quality based characteristics, like precision, hardness and ease of operation. In addition to drop forging with its own tool manufacturing the production offering also includes machining (broaching, drilling, milling and grinding) as well as laser machining. The joining of the two pliers shanks - typically by riveting – is followed by repeated heat treatment (heating and tempering) as well as various surface treatments (chrome-plating, painting, polishing).
Knipex is the original parent company of the Knipex group, with a total of over 1,300 employees in four German production companies as well as a number of sales companies abroad, including the USA, Russia and China and the Middle East.
The company is home of a two storey museum exhibiting machinery, tools, workplaces and everyday objects showing what working and living conditions were like in the region's tool industry in the past. The museum is open to the general public once a year as part of the Wuppertal-24h-live event.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Knipex.|
- Klaus Koch: Weltklasse – Marktführer aus Wuppertal. Girardet Verlag, Düsseldorf 2003, ISBN 3-00-012682-1.
- Jürgen Eschmann: Wirtschaftsstandort Cronenberg. Die Unternehmen, die Menschen, die Produkte. Wuppertal 2007, S. 74 ff.
- Ohne Knipex bleibt der Airbus unten - Press article in the Westdeutschen Zeitung - Newspaper