1904 pliers net man $5,000
Klein Tools Chairman Mat Klein III (left) and Mark Klein, vice president of domestic sales (right) presents Dan Schmidt a check for $5,000 for winning the company’s oldest pair of Klein pliers contest.

Dan Schmidt bought a pair of 1904 Klein pliers at a swap meet in Yucca Valley, Calif.

He didn’t know it at the time, but those $10 pliers were the oldest pair of side-cutting pliers that Klein Tools could find and earned the man $5,000 in the company’s contest. 

“We were overwhelmed with the inquiries and heart-warming stories of Klein tools being handed down from one generation to another,” said Thomas Barton, product marketing manager. “Stories such as our second-oldest pair from Robert Armstrong Jr. really exemplify what the Klein Tools’ brand is all about. His pair of 1906 pliers were handed down to his father in 1941 while on the job as a line foreman in Dyersburg, Tenn., and then handed down to Robert.”

The pliers Schmidt submitted to the contest originally sold for $3.60 in 1904 — not an inexpensive purchase. They were a deluxe model with a factory-applied nickel coating that cost an extra 30 cents. 

“The value placed on our products is exceptional,” said Mark Klein, a sixth-generation Klein who serves as the company’s vice president of domestic sales. “As a company, our goal is to produce the highest quality product possible. In exchange, we are rewarded with incredible customer loyalty.” 

More entries and the stories behind them are available at www.kleintools.com/content/oldest-pliers.