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Scandinavian Hand Tools with Kim Malmberg


 
 

Erik Anton Berg – Maker of Pliers by Kim Malmberg

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In another story on this website I mentioned that the Erik Anton Berg company made a lot more than just chisels and plane irons. Berg was also a prominent maker of pliers, amongst other things.

I have an unhealthy affection for those odd tools. I like files, knives, measure tapes, and I like pliers. They are a necessity when I restore old tools, but they are also beautiful.

So there’s no surprise then that I have found myself collecting pliers. I’m not fussy. I like American ones, English and German ones, but most of all I am always on the lookout for Berg pliers.

I have no clear picture of how wide their range was as I have no documentation of Berg products. But due to my unhealthy interest in this company I have found the range to be promisingly wide.

I don't know what to call all these pliers so please accept my apologies if my vocabulary is incorrect. Insofar I have gathered 13 pliers, ranging from small nippers to musical wire cutters, side cutters, polygrip pliers, round nose and long nose pliers. I have also seen pictures of blacksmiths pliers, gigantic bolt cutters and pruning scissors. Berg also made knives, razors and cutlery.

I am expecting to do more discoveries, but already I have seen enough to realize how much Berg produced and better understand why the Berg line of pliers was considered so attractive by the other Swedish tool giant Bahco, which at the time was a market leader in wrenches.

Same model, but different clothes. A Bahco pliers with handles clad in red plastic accompanied by a Berg pliers.

Also, another very exciting thing has come up. I must have been blind before because I have several Berg pliers for years and never realized that the pliers hold important keys.

Not all, but most of the Berg pliers seems to have been stamped with a year. I am not sure if it actually states the year when the pliers were made or if it is a starting year of a certain production range of pliers. But the stamps can still prove to be very helpful as I try to pinpoint different eras and match them up against the varying Berg logotypes and fish depictions (read more here).

Some of the pliers are stamped with a suffix after the year, for example 1958-2 or 1968-3. I have a feeling it might indicate a quarter of the year, meaning a pliers stamped for example 1958-2 would have been made in the second quarter and one stamped 1968-3 would have been made in the third quarter of the year and so on.

So what does the pliers tell us about the Berg company? Well, the range of pliers seems to have been very wide, since all of my pliers have been found at flea markets in the southern parts of Finland. I have not actively been hunting these down, they have really just found their way to me.


 
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