Our History
Carl Gustav Putsch


With one journeyman and two apprentices, Carl Gustav Putsch starts up a small forge for pliers in Cronenberg.

They forge carpenters' and farriers' pincers by hand in the cellar of his home .


Carl Gustav Putsch acquires the first drop hammer. The entire house shakes when the hammer is in operation.

A separate forge is built on the neighbouring site - only then is the crockery safe and domestic harmony assured.

The staff increases to seven employees.

Carl Putsch


After his father's death, Carl Putsch takes over the management of the operation.

27 employees produce about 7,000 pliers each week.


Carl Putsch develops and registers the "KNIPEX" brand.



Karl Putsch, grandson of the company founder, takes over the management of the company.

He expands the product range and modernises the production processes.

Karl and his wife Ilse, who has been working in the company since 1951, develop the company into the market leader in Europe.


The "Alligator" is launched on the market: a new style of water pump pliers with self-locking jaws for pipes and nuts.

It is no longer necessary to press the handles together when using them.


In the year of its hundredth anniversary, the company has 390 employees.


KNIPEX develops the "Cobra" water pump pliers: a water pump pliers which can be adjusted quickly and in fine increments at the touch of a button.


The "Cobolt" compact bolt cutter is launched on the market: its cleverly devised lever-action mechanism increases the user's manual force by up to 20 times.


The firm of Rennsteig-Werkzeuge (a tools company) in Thuringia joins the Knipex group.

The range is enhanced considerably in the cutting, insulating and crimping areas.


The "Pliers Wrench" is developed: a fully new style of tool with parallel gripping jaws for gentling holding smooth surfaces also.


Ralf Putsch, who joined the company in 1987, takes over the management of the company. Exports are expanded significantly. 

Sales branches are set up in USA, Russia and China.


KNIPEX receives the Wuppertal business award for "Enterprise of the Year".

In addition to innovation and growth, the jury also recognises KNIPEX' commitment to and beyond the location.


KNIPEX celebrates its 125th anniversary.

KNIPEX has succeeded in doubling sales over the past ten years. 800 employees produce 45,000 pliers a day, which are sold in over 100 countries around the world.
A very high degree of importance is attached to the qualification and training of the employees.
Today, KNIPEX is the world's leading brand in pliers.


KNIPEX draws up a mission statement to guide its future actions.

In addition to quality, innovation and performance, other important cornerstones are sustainable actions and value-guided orientation.


KNIPEX can look back at 2011 as the most successful year so far in the company's history.

The KNIPEX group now employs more than 1,300 people.

A branch is being set up in Dubai.

At the hardware fair in Cologne the company presents a large number of important innovations.


KNIPEX is given the regional apprenticeship award “Bergischer Ausbildungspreis 2013“ in September in recognition of the sustainable and fair procedure for selecting apprentices and the company’s high level of commitment which goes beyond the mere training mandate.

KNIPEX intensifies the service level on the Asian market and establishes a further subsidiary in Osaka in the form of “KNIPEX Tools Japan K.K.“.


KNIPEX receives the TÜV Rhineland’s “Employer of Excellence“ award for HR processes.

With the certification of the two environmental and energy standards to ISO 50001 and ISO 14001, KNIPEX operates a future-oriented environmental and energy management system. One of the goals is to reduce the use of energy per pair of pliers by 20 % by 2020.


The KNIPEX Group continues to grow.
The number of employees worldwide rises to a total of 1,500. In the Wuppertal-Cronenberg plant, 1,000 employees now produce some 40,000 pairs of pliers for over 100 counties.
At the same time the sixth distribution company is established in Mexico.

With the introduction of new and innovative solutions – particularly in the segment of specialised pliers for automotive, electrical and plumbing applications – the range is increased to 1,640 articles (2015/16 price list).

Successful recertification by TÜV Rhineland as “Employer of Excellence“ and first company in Germany to receive the “Training Centre of Excellence“ award.