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Specialty Pliers


Kraeuter "US" 8 Inch Fence-Cutting Pliers

The next several figures show examples of Kraeuter wire-cutting pliers, believed to have been made as fence-cutters for the military in the first World War.

[Kraeuter US 8 Inch Fence-Cutting Pliers]
Fig. 79. Kraeuter "US" 8 Inch Fence-Cutting Pliers, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1915-1918.

Fig. 79 shows a pair of Kraeuter "US" 8 inch fence-cutting pliers, with markings "Kraeuter & Co. Inc." and "Newark, N.J." plus "Pat. Pend." forged into the handle. The forged-in letters "U" and "S" are also visible at the left.

The overall length is 7.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The pliers have serrated cutting edges placed close to the pivot pin for leverage.


Kraeuter "US" 11 Inch Fence-Cutting Pliers

The next two figures show examples of long-handled Kraeuter wire-cutting pliers, believed to been made as fence-cutters for the military in the first World War.

[Kraeuter US 11 Inch Fence-Cutting Pliers]
Fig. 80. Kraeuter "US" 11 Inch Fence-Cutting Pliers, ca. 1915-1918.

Fig. 80 shows an earlier pair of Kraeuter wire-cutting pliers. The pliers have forged-in markings "Kraeuter & Co. Inc." and "Newark NJ" with a "Pat Pend" notation, and the letters "U" and "S" on both sides.

The overall length is 11.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The pliers have the cutting edges placed very close to the pivot pin, which together with the long handles would provide the leverage needed for cutting hard wire.

The patent for these pliers has not yet been found after a fairly extensive search. The next figure shows another example of this model, but marked "1918" instead of the pending notation, suggesting that the patent might have been issued in 1918.


[Kraeuter US 1918 11 Inch Fence-Cutting Pliers]
Fig. 81. Kraeuter "US 1918" 11 Inch Fence-Cutting Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1918.

Fig. 81 shows a somewhat later model with forged-in markings "Kraeuter & Co. Inc." plus "U.S." and "1918".

The overall length is 11.0 inches. The finish is plain steel with extensive pitting due to rust. (The pliers were electrolytically de-rusted.)


Kraeuter 1943-10 Waterpump Pliers

[Kraeuter 1943-10 Waterpump Pliers]
Fig. 82. Kraeuter 1943-10 Waterpump Pliers, ca. 1940s to 1950s.

Fig. 82 shows a pair of Kraeuter 1943-10 waterpump pliers, stamped "Kraeuter" and "USA" on the handle.

The overall length is 10.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel, with some pitting due to rust.

The pliers have a slip-joint with five positions, and the maximum jaw opening is approximately 1.5 inches.

The model 1943 waterpump pliers were listed as early as the 1934 catalog, with the description noting the use of alloy steel and full nickel finish. By 1946 these pliers were listed with a blue temper finish as part of the "Combination" line.


351-7 Slip-Joint Brake Spring Pliers

[Kraeuter 351-7 Slip-Joint Brake Spring Pliers]
Fig. 84. Kraeuter 351-7 Slip-Joint Brake Spring Pliers, with Inset for Reverse Detail, ca. Mid to Late 1930s.

Fig. 84 shows a pair of Kraeuter model 351-7 slip-joint brake spring pliers, marked with the company name and model number, and with "Pat. Appl'd For" on the reverse.

The overall length is 6.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

These brake spring pliers were listed in the 1934 catalog, with a patent applied notation visible in the illustration.


Kraeuter 451-8 Glass Pliers

[Kraeuter 451-8 Glass Pliers]
Fig. 85. Kraeuter 451-8 Glass Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1924 to Late 1930s.

Fig. 85 shows a pair of Kraeuter 451-8 glass pliers, stamped "Kraeuter" near the pivot, and with "Kraeuter U.S.A." forged into the underside of the handles.

The overall length is 8.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Later Plier Production

In the late 1930s Kraeuter began developing "lines" of tools to appeal to specific industries or buyers. The vanguard of this change may have come as early as 1929, when the model 4801 "Supreme" lineman's pliers were introduced. By the time of the 1939 catalog, Kraeuter had developed a "Professional" line intended for radio, optical, or jewelry workers, as well as a "K-Diamond" line of economy pliers. Somewhat oddly, the 1939 catalog doesn't mention the "Supreme" moniker, although the 4801 pliers were still offered.

By the time of the 1946 catalog, Kraeuter had regrouped all of its pliers models into six "lines", termed "Supreme", "Industrial", "Combination", "Professional", "Jewelers", and K-Diamond. This was basically a marketing change, most likely driven by rising costs and competition, and apparently was intended to group models, features, and finish options into categories that would have greater appeal to for specific industries.

As the product lines were developed, some new model numbers were introduced, with combinations of features and finish appropriate to the grouping. In addition, most of the traditional pliers models remained in production and were classified into one of the new lines. However, some of the high-quality finish options, such as the finely forged gripping patterns, were eliminated or greatly downgraded, except in the "Supreme" line.

In this section we'll document the new models introduced as part of this marketing reorganization. Later production of the traditional pliers models will be listed along with the earlier production, so that the reader can observe the time progression.


The Supreme Line

Kraeuter's "Supreme" line, as the name implies, promised the highest quality in construction and finish. The "Supreme" line appears to have started in 1929 with the introduction of the model 4801 "Supreme" lineman's pliers, and other models were added later in the 1930s.

By 1946 all of Kraeuter's pliers had been divided up into "lines", and the "Supreme" line then consisted of models 2801, 2802, 1831, 1851, 4601, 4611, 1642, 1662, 1782, and 1591.

The "Supreme" line was Kraeuter's attempt to carve out a subset of its product line for which it could continue to offer the highest quality of construction and finish, against the relentless economic forces demanding low cost production. By 1959 (and probably well before) the "Supreme" line had been discontinued.


4801-8-1/2 "Supreme" 8.5 Inch Lineman's Pliers

[Kraeuter 4801-8-1/2 Supreme 8.5 Inch Lineman's Pliers]
Fig. 86A. Kraeuter 4801-8-1/2 "Supreme" 8.5 Inch Lineman's Pliers, with Insets for Reverse, Side View, and Marking Detail, ca. 1929 to Mid 1940s.

Fig. 86A shows a pair of Kraeuter 4801-8-1/2 "Supreme" 8.5 inch lineman's pliers, stamped with "Kraeuter" and "Supreme" across the pivot. The underside of one handle is also marked with a "9" (or "6") code.

The overall length is 8.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows the geometric gripping pattern on the handles, similar to the pattern described by the later 1921 design patent #D59,602, but possibly covered by a different patent.

The model 4801 pliers were introduced in 1934 as probably the first model of the "Supreme" line, but somewhat ironically had already been discontinued by 1946. (The older model 2801 pliers were instead designated as the "Supreme" lineman's pliers.)

As a side note, these fine pliers were acquired recently at a local flea market for a very modest $2 price. For any of our readers tired of paying inflated prices for used tools in online auctions, we'd suggest making a trip to a yard sale or flea market in your area. It's a pleasant way to spend a weekend morning or afternoon, and you may find some real bargains there.


4601-6 "Supreme" 6 Inch Diagonal Cutters

[Kraeuter 4601-6 Supreme 6 Inch Diagonal Cutters]
Fig. 86B. Kraeuter 4601-6 "Supreme" 6 Inch Diagonal Cutters, with Insets for Reverse and Side View, ca. Mid 1930s to 1940s.

Fig. 86B shows a pair of Kraeuter 4601-6 "Supreme" 6 inch diagonal cutters, stamped with "Kraeuter" and the model number around the pivot, and with "Supreme" and "Made in U.S.A." around the pivot on the reverse. The underside of one handle is also marked with a "9" (or "6") code (not shown).

The overall length is 6.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the "Don't Slip" gripping pattern on the handles.

Our first reference for the model 4601 diagonal cutters is the 1934 catalog, which offered this model in five sizes, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, and 7.5 inches. These pliers were probably introduced as part of the future "Supreme" line, although the catalog doesn't mention "Supreme". Interestingly, the 1934 catalog illustration already shows the circular marking style for this model.


951-7 "Supreme" 7 Inch Battery Pliers

[Kraeuter 951-7 Supreme 7 Inch Battery Pliers]
Fig. 86C. Kraeuter 951-7 "Supreme" 7 Inch Battery Pliers, with Inset for Side View, ca. Mid to Late 1930s.

Fig. 86C shows a pair of Kraeuter 951-7 "Supreme" 7 inch battery pliers, stamped with "Supreme" and "Kraeuter" across the pivot.

The overall length is 6.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the finely forged "Don't Slip" gripping pattern on the handles.

Currently our only reference for this model is the 1934 catalog. The 1939 catalog doesn't list this model, suggesting that it had already been discontinued by then.

Note that these pliers do not have the "Kraeuter U.S.A." forged-in marking on the underside of the handles.


The K-Diamond Line

By 1939 Kraeuter had introduced the "K-Diamond" line of economy tools, a selection of popular styles produced with simpler finishes to allow lower prices.

The 1939 catalog shows that the K-Diamond line had already adopted the circular marking style by that time.


K-Diamond 1380-7 Lineman's Pliers

[Kraeuter K-Diamond 1380-7 Lineman's Pliers]
Fig. 87. Kraeuter K-Diamond 1380-7 Lineman's Pliers, with Inset for Side View, ca. Late 1930s.

Fig. 87 shows an example of the K-Diamond line, a pair of Kraeuter 1380-7 lineman's pliers, stamped "Newark, N.J." near the pivot with the K-Diamond logo in the center. The reverse is also stamped "USA" (not shown).

The overall length is 7.0 inches. The finish is black oxide, with pitting on the surface due to rust.

The presence of the Newark marking may indicate earlier production for this example.


K-Diamond 1380-6 Lineman's Pliers

[Kraeuter K-Diamond 1380-6 Lineman's Pliers]
Fig. 88. Kraeuter K-Diamond 1380-6 Lineman's Pliers, ca. Late 1930s to 1950s.

The overall length is 6.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


K-Diamond 4700-7 Diagonal Cutters

[Kraeuter K-Diamond 4700-7 Diagonal Cutters]
Fig. 89. Kraeuter K-Diamond 4700-7 Diagonal Cutters, with Inset for Side View, ca. Late 1930s to 1950s.

Fig. 89 shows a pair of Kraeuter 4700-7 diagonal cutters, marked "USA" with the K-Diamond logo.

The overall length is 7.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


The Combination Line

Kraeuter's "Combination" line included all of the company's slip-joint pliers, plus the model 948 battery pliers.


40-6 6 Inch Slip-Joint Thin-Nose Combination Pliers

The model 40 pliers were part of Kraeuter's "Combination" line.

[Kraeuter 40-6 6 Inch Slip-Joint Thin-Nose Pliers]
Fig. 90. Kraeuter 40-6 6 Inch Slip-Joint Thin-Nose Pliers, with Inset for Side View, ca. Mid 1940s to 1950s.

Fig. 90 shows a pair of Kraeuter model 40-6 slip-joint thin-nose pliers, marked "USA" on the handle.

The overall length is 6.4 inches, and the finish is nickel plating.

The simplified knurled handles for this example suggest production from the mid 1940s onward.


Kraeuter 948 Battery Pliers

Although not actually "combination" pliers, the 1946 catalog grouped this model of battery pliers in with the real combination pliers.

[Kraeuter 948 Battery Pliers]
Fig. 90C. Kraeuter 948 Battery Pliers, ca. Mid 1940s to Early 1950s.

Fig. 90C shows a pair of Kraeuter 948 battery pliers, stamped with "Kraeuter" and "U.S.A." in a circle, with the model number across the center.

The overall length is 7.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The circular marking style was used from the mid 1940s onward for most fixed-pivot models.

The model 948 pliers had been discontinued by the time of the 1959 catalog, so we have estimated a mid 1940s to early 1950s production date for this example.


Striking Tools

Kraeuter had a long history of production of striking tools such as chisels and punches. However, tools of this type (especially the chisels) are difficult to document, as even the best quality tools will be slowly consumed by repeated sharpening. Thus we have only a limited selection of Kraeuter's chisels and punches to display.


330-1/2 Flat Chisel

[Kraeuter 330 1/2 Inch Chisel]
Fig. 107. Kraeuter 330 1/2 Inch Chisel.

Fig. 107 shows a Kraeuter 330-1/2 chisel, stamped "Kraeuter" and "USA" on the octagonal shank.

The overall length is 5.9 inches.


430-3/8 Flat Chisel

[Kraeuter 430-3/8 Flat Chisel]
Fig. 108. Kraeuter 430-3/8 Flat Chisel, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 108 shows a Kraeuter 430-3/8 flat chisel, stamped "Kraeuter" and "USA" on the octagonal shank.

The overall length is 5.2 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


430-3/4 Flat Chisel

[Kraeuter 430-3/4 Flat Chisel]
Fig. 108. Kraeuter 430-3/4 Flat Chisel.

Fig. 108 shows a Kraeuter 430-3/4 flat chisel, marked "USA" on the octagonal shank.

The overall length is 7.0 inches.


430-1 Flat Chisel

[Kraeuter 430-1 Flat Chisel]
Fig. 109. Kraeuter 430-1 Flat Chisel.

Fig. 109 shows a Kraeuter 430-1 flat chisel, marked "USA" on the octagonal shank.

The overall length is 8.4 inches.


635-1/2 Cape Chisel

[Kraeuter 635 1/2 Inch Chisel]
Fig. 110. Kraeuter 635 1/2 Inch Chisel, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 110 shows a Kraeuter 635-1/2 cape chisel, marked "USA" on the octagonal shank.

The overall length is 6.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


403-5/8 Wood Chisel

[Kraeuter 403-5/8 Wood Chisel]
Fig. 111. Kraeuter 403-5/8 Wood Chisel, with Inset for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 111 shows a Kraeuter 403-5/8 wood chisel, marked "USA" on the octagonal shank.

The overall length is 10.4 inches.


342-1/2 Star Drill

[Kraeuter 342-1/2 Star Drill]
Fig. 112. Kraeuter 342-1/2 Star Drill, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 112 shows a Kraeuter 342-1/2 star drill, marked "USA" on the octagonal shank.

The overall length is 12.0 inches.


Wrenches

In the 1920s Kraeuter introduced a distinctive line of open-end and S-shaped wrenches with carefully forged raised-letter markings, including the K-Diamond logo. The wrenches were polished flat after forging to highlight the markings, giving them a striking appearance. But as carbon-steel tools, these fine wrenches were rendered obsolete by the alloy-steel tools being developed around the same time.

Although the exact manufacturing dates are not known, this style of Kraeuter wrenches were being advertised in Popular Science by 1924, and were listed in the 1925 Dunham Catalog. The figures below will show examples of these wrenches.

Kraeuter continued to offer open-end wrenches (without the fancy design) in its catalogs into the 1940s, but these tools are seldom seen and probably sold only in small numbers.


Open-End Wrenches

A1416 7/16x1/2 Open-End Wrench

[Kraeuter A1416 7/16x1/2 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 91. Kraeuter A1416 7/16x1/2 Open-End Wrench, ca. Mid 1920s.

Fig. 91 shows our first example, a Kraeuter A1416 7/16x1/2 open-end wrench, marked "Kraeuter U.S.A." with the K-Diamond logo. (In subsequent figures we'll call this the "standard Kraeuter marking".)

The overall length is 5.0 inches.

Although not marked with an Industry Standard Number, this wrench would have been a model 725.

A1619 1/2x19/32 Open-End Wrench

[Kraeuter A1619 1/2x19/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 92. Kraeuter A1619 1/2x19/32 Open-End Wrench, ca. Mid 1920s.

Fig. 92 shows a Kraeuter A1619 1/2x19/32 open-end wrench with the standard Kraeuter markings.

The overall length is 5.6 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

Although not marked with an Industry Standard Number, this wrench would have been a model 25.

A1820 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench

[Kraeuter A1820 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 93. Kraeuter A1820 9/16x5/8 Open-End Wrench, ca. Mid 1920s.

Fig. 93 shows a Kraeuter A1820 9/16x5/8 open-end wrench with the standard Kraeuter markings.

The overall length is 6.1 inches.

Although not marked with an Industry Standard Number, this wrench would have been a model 727.

A2225 11/16x25/32 Open-End Wrench

[Kraeuter A2225 11/16x25/32 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 94. Kraeuter A2225 11/16x25/32 Open-End Wrench, ca. Mid 1920s.

Fig. 94 shows a Kraeuter A2225 11/16x25/32 open-end wrench with the standard Kraeuter markings. The shank is also stamped with "29", the Industry Standard Number for these opening sizes.

The overall length is 7.1 inches.

A2428 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench

[Kraeuter A2428 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 95. Kraeuter A2428 3/4x7/8 Open-End Wrenchr, ca. Mid 1920s.

Fig. 95 shows a Kraeuter A2428 3/4x7/8 open-end wrench, marked with "Kraeuter U.S.A." forged into the shank on both sides.

The overall length is 7.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The faces are stamped with "7/8 Opening 5/8 [HEX]C" and "3/4 Opening 1/2 [HEX]C", references to the older Hex Capscrew Size Convention.

Although not marked with an Industry Standard Number, this wrench would have been a model 731A.


A2528 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench

[Kraeuter A2528 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 96. Kraeuter A2528 25/32x7/8 Open-End Wrench, ca. Mid 1920s.

Fig. 96 shows a Kraeuter A2528 25/32x7/8 open-end wrench, marked with "Kraeuter U.S.A." and two K-Diamond logos forged into the shank. The shank is also stamped with "31", the Industry Standard Number for these opening sizes.

The overall length is 7.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The left face is stamped with "7/8 Opening 1/2 U.S.S.", a reference to the older U.S.S. Size Convention. The right face was stamped very lightly and is too faint to read, but would have been marked with "25/32 Opening 7/16 U.S.S." based on the known sizes.


A3134 31/32x1-1/16 Open-End Wrench

[Kraeuter A3134 31/32x1-1/16 Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 97. Kraeuter A3134 31/32x1-1/16 Open-End Wrench, ca. Mid 1920s.

Fig. 97 shows a Kraeuter A3134 31/32x1-1/16 open-end wrench, marked with "Kraeuter U.S.A." and two K-Diamond logos forged into the shank.

The overall length is 10.9 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The left face is stamped with "1-1/16 Open 5/8 U.S.S.", a reference to the older U.S.S. Size Convention. The marking for right face would have been "31/32 Open 9/16 U.S.S." but has been clipped by the opening.

Although not marked with an Industry Standard Number, this wrench would have been a model 35.


S-Shaped Wrenches

B1214 3/8x7/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench

[Kraeuter B1214 3/8x7/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 98. Kraeuter B1214 3/8x7/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench, ca. Mid 1920s.

Fig. 98 shows a Kraeuter B1214 3/8x7/16 S-shaped wrench with the standard Kraeuter markings.

The overall length is 6.2 inches.

B1618 1/2x9/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench

[Kraeuter B1618 1/2x9/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 99. Kraeuter B1618 1/2x9/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench, ca. Mid 1920s.

Fig. 99 shows a Kraeuter B1618 1/2x9/16 S-shaped wrench with the standard Kraeuter markings.


B2022 5/8x11/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench

[Kraeuter B2022 5/8x11/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 100. Kraeuter B2022 5/8x11/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench, ca. Mid 1920s.

Fig. 100 shows a Kraeuter B2022 5/8x11/16 S-shaped wrench with the standard Kraeuter markings.


B2426 3/4x13/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench

[Kraeuter B2426 3/4x13/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 101. Kraeuter B2426 3/4x13/16 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench, ca. Mid 1920s.

Fig. 101 shows a Kraeuter B2426 3/4x13/16 S-shaped wrench with the standard Kraeuter markings.


B2832 7/8x1 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench

[Kraeuter B2832 7/8x1 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench]
Fig. 102. Kraeuter B2832 7/8x1 S-Shaped Open-End Wrench, ca. Mid 1920s.

Fig. 102 shows a Kraeuter B2832 7/8x1 S-shaped wrench with the standard Kraeuter markings.


Check-Nut and Tappet Wrenches


C1214 3/8x7/16 Check-Nut Wrench

[Kraeuter O1820 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 103. Kraeuter C1214 3/8x7/16 Check-Nut Wrench, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. Mid 1920s.

Fig. 103 shows a Kraeuter C1214 3/8x7/16 check-nut wrench with the standard Kraeuter markings on the shank. The faces are stamped "7/16 Open 1/4 [HEX]C" and "3/8 Open 3/16 [HEX]C", references to the older Hex Capscrew convention.

The overall length is 4.5 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


O1820 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench

[Kraeuter O1820 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 104. Kraeuter O1820 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench, ca. Mid 1920s.

Fig. 104 shows a Kraeuter O1820 9/16x5/8 tappet wrench with the standard Kraeuter markings.


92 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench

[Kraeuter O1820 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench]
Fig. 105. Kraeuter O1820 9/16x5/8 Tappet Wrench, ca. Mid 1920s.

Fig. 105 shows a Kraeuter 92 9/16x5/8 tappet wrench with the standard Kraeuter markings.

The overall length is 7.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Other Wrenches


K9/16 Single-Offset Box-End Wrench

[Kraeuter K9/16 9/16 Single-Offset Box-End Wrench]
Fig. 106. Kraeuter K9/16 9/16 Single-Offset Box-End Wrench, with Inset for Side View.

Fig. 106 shows a Kraeuter model K9/16 size 9/16 single-offset box-end wrench, marked "Made in U.S.A." on the round shank.

The overall length is 10.9 inches. The finish is chrome plating with polished ends, now mostly worn away.

This wrench is a bit of a mystery, as Kraeuter is not known to have made box-end wrenches of this type. Single-offset box wrenches enjoyed some popularity during the late 1920s and 1930s, but had been discontinued by most manufacturers by 1950 or before. A 1939 catalog from Kraeuter listed mostly pliers and striking tools, but only a few of the older carbon-steel wrenches.

Thus it's not clear when (or why) Kraeuter would have produced this wrench.


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