Five generations of Kleins have had a grip on Klein Tools, a maker of non-powered hand tools. The company's products can be found in the tool pouches of professionals in the construction, electronics, mining, telecommunications, and general industries. (Klein makes their pouches, too.) Its lineup includes cable cutters, chisels, drill bits, hammers, pliers, saws, screwdrivers, wire strippers, and wrenches. Klein also sells diagnostic equipment, occupational protective gear, and specialty chemicals. Products are distributed worldwide and sold by tool retailers and building supply stores, including Home Depot, Ace, and Grainger. Founded by Mathias Klein in 1857, the company is still owned by the Klein family.
Klein Tools has 9 manufacturing plants primarily in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, New York, and Texas, which make over 3,000 thousand products. The company also manufactures the majority of products in the US.
Although known for making non-powered hand tools, Klein has signaled its interest in power-driven gear. The company plans to open a research and development branch in Mansfield, Texas, that will test automated and robotic products. During 2010 Klein purchased a 126,000-sq.-ft. building in Mansfield (located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex) for $4 million. The facility is expected to hire 20 to 30 people, however, more jobs could be coming to the area. Late that year the Mansfield City Council OK'd an economic development deal that could lead to the creation of about 600 jobs and a $76 million investment by Klein. The tool maker also received nearly $3 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund to create jobs in the state.
While exploring powered tools, Klein expanded its existing assortment of diagnostic equipment. In late 2010 the company acquired a 50% stake in UEi Test Instruments, an Oregon-based maker of measurement and testing equipment for HVAC and refrigeration professionals. Klein started peddling the UEi line to certain customers in early 2011.
In 2012 the company added to its manufacturing facilities with its Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center, located in Mansfield, Texas. The facility provides cutting edge manufacturing processes and advanced research and development. – less