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M. Klein & Sons Knives

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Getahl, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. Getahl


    Dec 22, 2007
    Hi all,

    A little over a week ago, my company decided to send me to Las Vegas for a couple days on business. If you're not so much the gambling type, and the wife can't get off work to join you, Vegas is pretty dull when you're all by your lonesome. So I do some wandering.

    On day number one, I had about four hours between the time my plane landed and my first appointment, and decided to check out the local Bass Pro Shop. It was fun for about an hour, and I did fondle the offerings of Case, Hen and Rooster, and Boker. I discovered how large the normal Sodbuster truly is, and how its size belies its weight. However, the store is nigh identical to the one in San Bernardino, which is closest to my home, so it was nothing new to write home about.

    Fast forward to that evening. I decided to peruse an antique mall that I had seen driving up LV Blvd, about 3 miles south of the Strip (I was staying at South Point, which is about as far south in Vegas you can get and still call it Vegas). The parking lot was absolutely empty, and I thought the place was closed. Fortunately, it wasn't :)

    As I wandered through the aisles and stalls, I couldn't help be surprised at what some people call antiques. Star Wars toys from episode two, which is circa 2002. Half-melted VHS cassettes. Dr. Seuss book reproductions from the nineties. People were willing to sell anything, it seems.

    I notice several stalls with knife paraphernalia: a Boker peanut, not unlike the one that was offered as a giveaway not too long ago, a Buck Prince, various specialty cigar knives, and company sponsored SAKs. And lots and lots of no-name crap.

    Toward the end of my counterclockwise tour, I struck up a conversation with a very nice gentleman named Don. He asked what I was looking at and what I collect, and I mentioned antique pocket knives. He came back with a box full of stuff. Some was junk, although there was a Leatherman PST II w/ sheathe in great condition that I'm kicking myself for not picking up. There were also a bunch of SAK knock offs, and some Imperials with more sideways play than back and forth motion, and other random stuff. One that really caught my attention was an M Klein & Sons coping blade, which I originally mistook for a sheepsfoot.


    He's an old feller, but in great condition. Great walk and talk, a very handsome patina, well worn wooden handle, a bail (which I absolutely adore), and no corrosion to speak of whatsoever. Whoever owned this one obviously took good care of it. The tang reads "M Klein & Sons", over "Chicago", over "Made in USA".

    I had never heard of this cutler, so I employed a little Google-fu on my part. I found out that the company itself was founded in 1857, and is now Klein tools. These types of knives are still available on their website, along with a couple others. There was an equally aged hawkbill, but I opted against it. I don't think the wife would have liked me bringing home more knives than I need to :)

    All in all, it's a nice knife that has already seen some pocket time since it's light, with a blade style that is unique among my other pocket knives. I like it a lot :)

    Here it is next to my Case large stockman (sheepsfoot extended) and GEC 3" Barlow for comparison:

  2. stockman242


    Jan 14, 2008
    I have one that is exactly like yours. Very useful when doing some electrical work.


  3. 4Mica


    Sep 15, 2008
    If you know and don't mind telling me, what was he asking the the hawkbill. If the price is right I might head up there after work and take a look at it.
  4. Getahl


    Dec 22, 2007
    I don't know off hand, but it can't be more than $25. The coping blade was originally $20, but he lowered down to $10. His booth was on the far left when you first enter, where the glass cases were. I think the name of the place was America's Antique Mall, or something similar. It looked to be in pretty good condition, although I didn't handle it thoroughly.
  5. 4Mica


    Sep 15, 2008
    Thank you, Getahl. I appreciate the info.
  6. Getahl


    Dec 22, 2007
    No sweat. It was an interesting store :)
  7. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    Klein Tools is the tool manufacturer for electricians.

    Nice find!
  8. neeman

    neeman Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Klein for hand tools and safety Linemans belts.
    Ideal makes electrical testers and then went in to copies of Klien hand tools.
    Channellock also moved from Channel Lock pliers to electrical hand tools.

    Klein and Ideal sold work knives.
    I do not know, but I doubt they manufactured them.

    Colonial, Camillus, and Queen all made electricians knives.
  9. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    Well of course you are right on all points.

    Funny thing is today the church asked me to do a small electrical fix-it. In taking out my tool belt I happened to notice that I still have an old Klein electrician's knife in my pouch. My boss gave it to me on my first day of electrical work in about 1978. He looked at what tools I had brought, then dug around in his used tool bin and added a couple. One of them was this knife, which was pretty old even then. We did home remodels and we used a hawkbill blade to open up the old style romex that was wrapped in fiber reinforced cardboard type insulation. I had brought a knife, but it wasn't a hawkbill.

    Now that I finished the job at church, Here are pics of my old Klein knife.
    (the brass sticking up is a liner lock for the screwdriver blade.)

    BTW, electricians (or at least this one) like electricians knives with a bale because even when you store it with the blade open, when it is in your pouch it is short compared to everything else and the bale lets you grab it more easily.


  10. Trent Rock

    Trent Rock

    Jun 29, 2007
    Here is mine
    I think the handle is some form of "particle" wood?
    I don't think it is plastic
  11. Getahl


    Dec 22, 2007
    I've been toying with the notion of picking up an electrician's knife. Maybe one with a clip point and the screwdriver.
  12. cj65

    cj65 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 30, 2008
    I know how great yellow handled Klein tools are, and enjoy using them. I bought an older Klein & Sons Chicago electricians knife with the screwdriver listed above for under 10 on ebay, probably around 12 with shipping, which is fine, for effortless shopping. It is a great durable beater that I do not mind going ape with. I used it to cut drywall for a room partition I did. It is a gorilla beater if you need it to be. Strongly recommend it!
  13. neeman

    neeman Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    As a union electrician in NYC we had to have an Electricians tool pouch.
    The knife was clipped on to the clip on the outside of the pouch.

    I still have the Colonial two blade knife.
    The supply houses in NYC only sold Colonial.

    The material here in Israel is different so I no longer used the knife for work.
    I used a plastic locking knife with the long disposable blades.

    I still have my Klien 9NE Linesman pliers from 1973.
    It still will cut 10 penny nails!

    It is too loose to use as my main plier, but I used it for rebar work when I was laying pipe before concrete pours.
  14. duderubble


    Jun 11, 2015
    I know this is a necrothread, but I got a few knives today that had belonged to my wife's grandfather (her mother's stepfather actually ). Among the was this electricians knife marked M. KLEIN & SONS CHICAGO. It has gotten some snap back after a soak in wd40. There is some pitting but it's a fun find especially because of the family connection.

  15. AreBeeBee


    Sep 3, 2013
    Your original Klein (single blade) appears to be a lifeboat knife. These were placed in lifeboats ca. WW2 so that people escaping a sinking ship could cut the rope falls for the lifeboat and set it free when it reached the water.

    They are often called "rope knives" and there's several BF threads on them. Camillus made a great many of them during the war, though not all by any means.
  16. Modoc ED

    Modoc ED Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Ya got that right Frank!! When I worked at NASSCO on the repair side as a Marine Electrician, 98% of the tools I used were made by Klein - wire cutters, crimpers, strippers, along with screwdrivers, etc..
  17. Old Hunter

    Old Hunter

    Jul 12, 2012
    I grew up in a family of electricians (my Granddad and Uncle both owned electrical contracting companies and after college I managed a third one). I have a pair of Klein side-cutters and a leather pouch that I bought in 1972 and still use; I have quite a few Klein tools that came later but are still 25 - 30 years old and still work fine. I bought this knife in a pawnshop just a year ago and use it for cutting drywall samples - a couple of weeks ago I used it and a hand sledge to take an old sleeper sofa apart so I could get it in a dumpster. It cuts the fabric off a sofa a whole lot easier than taking a DW sample out of a wall or ceiling! OH


  18. scrteened porch

    scrteened porch Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 19, 2012
    Didn't or doesn't Utica make the Klein Tools knives?
  19. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    Klein has never made knives. In the past, the knives sold by Klein were made by Camillus. It is possible Utica makes the current ones.
  20. r8shell

    r8shell Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jan 16, 2010
    A Camillus for comparison. Most of the one's they made for Klein had a woodgrain texture.


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