Needle Nose Pliers

Needle Nose Pliers - Early

The offerings started in 1926 with the basic design seen today. There was a 6 inch and a 7 inch long set. Each of these could be purchased with or without a wire cutter making 2 variations and 4 types. These basic designed survive relatively unchanged through 1970. Below are the date ranges and variations of these pliers

Basic Construction was originally described are made from a special electric furnace tool steel and Swedish steel, individually hardened and tempered in oil. The original finish was Nickel  and Copper plated.

They were “tested” and will not spring the jars. These will outlast the competitor pliers several times over.

Pliers Number 96 different stamps

Plier Models

Number 94 and 194. In 1946 a set called Number 94 (4 1/2 inches long) appeared. In 1958 Number 194 appeared (the“1” in 194 means it has a wire cutter)

It seems the Number 94 is much more common than the 194. The early pliers have a single row of Vacuum Grip suction cups and the later and smooth (not vacuum Grip) handles. There is little to no other variation over the years. These were date stamped and marked “USA” on the inside of the handle

Number 95, 095, 395E, 395BP, 951S.

The 96 nand 97 were both introduced in 1926. Thier twins the 196 and 197 with the wire cutters were introduces as well. Number 96 and 196 – The “6” in 96 means 6 inches long, the “1” in 196  has a wire cutter. In 1958 Number 96 disappeared and was replaced with Number 096 (6 3/4 inches long). 951S is an electronics version 5 1/2 inch long with a cutting blade seen in 1962 though 1970

Number 095S. This tool appears in 1960 as discontinued, but does not appear elsewhere. It is spring loaded (S)

Number 97, 197, 497. Number 97 and 197.  The “7” in 97 means 7 inches long, the “1” in 197  has a wire cutter. The Number 97 was dropped in 1931 and the Number 197 was not in the 1950 Catalog, but reappeared in 1962.


In 1958 two new sets called Number 095 (5 3/16 inches long) and Number 95 (6 inches long) appeared. In 1958 Number 195 appeared (the“1” in 195 means it has a wire cutter)

In 1958 a Number 395E appeared, this is a thin jaw version, and in 1960 a black oxide finish was listed – Number 395BP.

Pliers no 96s-400
Pliers No 96 Early and Late Size
Pliers N94 1952 vacuum grip

In 1958 two new sets called Number 095 (5 3/16 inches long) and Number 95 (6 inches long) appeared. In 1958 Number 195 appeared (the“1” in 195 means it has a wire cutter)

In 1958 a Number 395E appeared, this is a thin jaw version, and in 1960 a black oxide finish was listed – Number 395BP.



These are both Number 96 needle nose, the top one is from 1948, the bottom is 1951. Note the difference in size

These are both Number 96. The top is a 1968 and the bottom a 1953. The suction cup pattern changed

In 1926 these were OEMed from Forged Steel Products Co., Newport PA. This later became a part of Snap on and was closed in the 1950s. The vacuum grip was continued past the closing of Newport, but in the late 1950 smooth handled needle nose pliers were offered and the Vacuum Grip was phase out in the 1960s.

Number 96, 96B, 96C, 196, 196B, 196C.  The Number 96C and 196C appeared in 1962. 196C seen in 1962 and has a cutter and needle nose pliers

In 1958 a black oxide finish appeared on 96B and 196B.

These seem very common and can be picked up routinely. The numbers did not change with minor changes in the design. The earlier 96 pliers are shorter, have a different Vacuum Grip pattern. They are marked differently as well. Into the 1950s the 196 and maybe other variants seem to appear with and without the suction cups (Vacuum Grip and smooth)

The catalog also is incomplete. Variants such as a 96S with wire cutters on the tip exist

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Number 96-S


Number 96-S.  I would guess “S” is Special, and the cutters are shown.


In 1936 there was series of Special Textile Mill Pliers. These were made to specifications from Knitting and Hosiery mills. These appeared in the Snap on catalog for one year only. There are 3 types

T-1 6 inch – these are small duck bill pliers
T-2  6 ½ inch with a narrow jaw for tight spots
T-3 5 ¾ inch Reed Pliers. Reed is a fiber used in making seats for chairs and the jaws are textured for grip

So if you want to date your pliers, we know a few things. On the inside of the handles the pliers are marked. There should be a date stamp. Early pliers may be marks with a stamp on the joint. The style of plier can help establish a start date as well. The recessed lable in the handle probablu means it was made in Newport PA, the other stampings likely are Kenosha WI. Kenosha did not start making pliers until the mis 1930s. Smooth handles mean late 1950s or newer. Vacuum Grip was becoming rare after 1970.

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The E-series as shown in the 1962 catalog



The E series. There is an electronic series called the E series. In 1962 there were major changes with a series on plastic handled electronics pliers. These all carry the letter “E” and are

E-700 This is a 4 11/32 inch long, red plastis handled round jaws without cutters

E-701 This is a 6 1/2 inch long, red plastis handled round jaws without cutters

E-702 This is a 6 11/32 inch long, bent tips red plastis handled round jaws without cutters

E-703 Same as E-701 but with serrated jaw edges

E-704 Same as E-702 but with serrated jaw edges

E-705 This is a 4 1/2 inch long, red plastis handled end cutters

E-706 Flush tip cutter reworked in 1965 as E-706B

E-708 This is a set of Midget needle nose pliers

E-712 Std Needle Nose with 1 11/16 inch serrated jaws introduced 1970

E-713 Std Needle Nose with serrated jaws introduced 1970

E-715 This is an E-701 with a slightly different jaw introduced 1970

E-716 This is an E-712 with out serrated jaws introduced 1970


Date Range

Number 94

1946 – 1970

Number 194

1958 – 1970

Number 95

1958 – 1970

Number 095

1958 – 1970

Number 951S

1962 – 1970

Number 395BP

1960 – 1970

Number 095S


Number 395E

1958 – 1970

Number 96

1926 – 1958

Number 96B

1958 – 1970

Number 96C

1962 – 1970

Number 196

1926 – 1970

Number 196B

1958 – 1970

Number 196C


Number 97

1925- 1931

Number 197

1925 -1948

Number 497

1925- 1932

Number 597

1927 – 1970

T – 1


T – 2


T – 3



1958 -on


1958 – on


1958 – on


1958 – on


1958 – on


1958 – on




1965 – on


1958 – on






1967 – on


1967 – on


1967 – on