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Quality — Made in Germany

Our history

A success story since 1882

What started as a small village smithy has now developed into the world's leading specialist for professional pliers. Learn more about our development and milestones in over 140 years.


KNIPEX celebrates its 140th anniversary. More than 1,600 employees are now working in Wuppertal. 
including more than 75 trainees in both technical and commercial professions. 59,000 pliers are produced here every day, which are sold in over 100 countries worldwide.


Meanwhile, KNIPEX is also already actively shaping its own future: 
New investments, new production and logistics buildings, new office space by 2030. KNIPEX keeps growing.



New needs of users require new tools. The large KNIPEX Cobra® family has been developed over the last 36 years and is available in many different sizes and special variants. The latest member is the KNIPEX Cobra® XS, a pair of particularly small but fully functional water pump pliers measuring just 100 millimetres. The small size makes this pair of pliers ideal for any trouser pocket or as an on-board tool on a bicycle or motorbike.


Sustainability award

Having been committed to sustainability issues for many years and in a variety of ways, KNIPEX has received the prestigious award "German Sustainability Award 2019 - Winner of medium-sized companies". The prize recognises companies "that combine exemplary economic success with social responsibility and environmental protection and thus promote the idea of a sustainable society in a special way."


Aerial view of the KNIPEX company; New production hall

KNIPEX employs around 1,200 people at the Wuppertal location, and around 1,900 in the group. Additional production and office space is being built and extensive investments are being made in additional machines and systems, including an automated hardening shop.



In 2017, the KNIPEX group is joined by a new member: The software company LMIS in Osnabrück, of which KNIPEX acquires a majority stake, brings skills in special “tools”: programming and digitisation. An important step into the future, because this gives the KNIPEX Group direct access to increasingly important topics in information technology.


Photos of ErgoStrip®, StriX and side cutters

In 2016, KNIPEX launched the universal stripping tool "ErgoStrip®" – a worldwide innovation. It combines three cable processing tools in one and enables the user to work quickly and effectively.
KNIPEX once again expands its range of expertise in the field of tools for electrical installation.


125 years KNIPEX: sculpture in front of the Wuppertal town hall

KNIPEX celebrates its 125th company anniversary.
Sales have doubled in the past ten years. 800 employees now produce 45,000 pliers every day, which are sold in over 100 countries around the world. KNIPEX has become the world's leading pliers brand.


Orbis Will

In 2003 ORBIS in Ahaus / Münsterland becomes a part of the Knipex group, in 2006 the WILL company in Neustadt / Hessen joins as well. The two traditional companies manufacture pliers under the brands of their customers.


Portrait Ralf Putsch, world map

Ralf Putsch, who joined the company in 1987, takes over the overall management of the company. The international business share is sustainably expanded – to over 60% today. In 1998 KNIPEX opens a sales office in Moscow. In the following years, further subsidiaries are founded in the USA, China, Dubai, Japan, Mexico, Brazil and India.


Pliers wrench product photos

The "pliers wrench" is invented: a completely new tool with parallel gripping jaws and ratchet function that gently grips even sensitive surfaces.




Rennsteig-Werkzeuge in Thuringia becomes part of the KNIPEX group.
The addition significantly amplifies the KNIPEX range in the areas of cutting - stripping - crimping.
In the following years, Rennsteig becomes the leading European supplier in its product range, which also includes striking tools.


KNIPEX CoBolt: old product sheet and photos

The "Cobolt®" compact bolt cutter is launched: Its sophisticated force transmission increases the manual force of the user up to 20 times. At the same time, the design is simple and very compact.



KNIPEX Cobra: draft drawing and product photo

KNIPEX develops the "Cobra®": water pump pliers that can be adjusted quickly and with fine gradations at the push of a button.



Karl Putsch, old KNIPEX advertisement for the alligator

Innovations are becoming increasingly important. A breakthrough in the field of gripping pliers is the "Alligator®": a new type of water pump pliers that grips round and angular workpieces equally well. It is no longer necessary to press the handles together during use – the pliers jaws have a self-locking effect.



Karl and Ilse Putsch

The grandson of the company's founder, Karl Putsch, takes over the management of the company. He is a passionate engineer, modernises the manufacturing processes and extends the product range. Karl and his wife Ilse, who has been with the company since 1951, lead the company to be the market leader in Europe.



Certificate brand entry KNIPEX, old company logo

Carl Putsch develops the "KNIPEX" brand and registers it. The brand name is more distinctive than the regionally common surname.



Carl Putsch

After the death of his father, Carl Putsch takes over the management of the company, and in 1927 already 27 employees produce around 7,000 pliers per week. The craft business becomes a small factory.


Portrait of Carl Gustav Putsch and old smithy

In Cronenberg, Carl Gustav Putsch founds a small smithy for pliers with a journeyman and two apprentices.
In the basement of his house, they forge carpenters' and farriers' pincers.