Alloy Artifacts  

Champion DeArment Tool Company


Table of Contents

Introduction

The Champion DeArment Tool Company became most famous for their Channellock plier design, described by patent #1,950,362 and arguably one of the most important tool patents of the 20th century. The company later changed its name to Channellock, Inc., but we'll use the older name here.


Company History

Champion DeArment is actually one of the older American tool makers in continuous operation, with original roots going back to 1886 when its founder, George B. DeArment, operated a blacksmith shop. The company maintains a web site with an interesting page on the Company History [External Link], and readers are encouraged to check there for further information.

[1900 Advertisement for Champion Tool]
Fig. 1. 1900 Advertisement for Champion Tool. [External Link]

Fig. 1 shows an early advertisement for Champion Tool, as published on page 117 of the December 27, 1900 issue of The Iron Age.

At this time the company was located in Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania and specialized in farrier's tools.

[1909 Advertisement for Champion Tool]
Fig. 2. 1909 Advertisement for Champion Tool.

The scan in Fig. 2 shows an advertisement for Champion Tool, as published on page 2 [External Link] of the January, 1909 edition of The American Blacksmith.

The ad shows several Champion products, including the No. 80 "Favorite" pincer and No. 81 "Our Pride" hoof shears, the latter of which are noted as having a ball bearing joint and interchangeable knives. Note also the small "Patented January 5, 1909" text between the handles; the patent for the hoof shears was issued to G.B. DeArment as 908,969 in 1909.

It's also interesting that the ad shows an "Electric Sharpening Hammer" (an electric hammer?) apparently intended for sharpening calks. This shows that the company was offering at least some types of hammers by 1909, somewhat before the time noted in the official company history.

According to the company history, the founder's two sons Almon W. DeArment and J. Howard DeArment became partners in the business in 1911.


Name Change to Champion DeArment Tool

By 1924 the company had changed its name from Champion Tool to Champion DeArment Tool, reflecting its operation as a family business under the founder's sons.

[1924 Advertisement for Champion DeArment]
Fig. 3. 1924 Advertisement for Champion DeArment Tool Company. [External Link]

Fig. 3 shows an ad for the Champion No. 99 utility cutters, as published on page 14 of the September, 1924 issue of American Garage & Auto Dealer.

As a note of interest, this ad shows the "Champion DeArment" name being used even before the first use date of January 15, 1925 in a later trademark filing.


The 1928 Catalog

Champion DeArment published their catalog No. 67 in 1928, and the catalog offers the expected selection of tools for blacksmiths and farriers. But in addition it lists some other type of tools, including Stillson-pattern pipe wrenches and drop-forged S-shaped wrenches.

In our copy of the catalog the S-shaped wrenches are stamped "Discontinued", but the fact that the wrenches were offered at one point shows that the company as looking to move beyond its historical products.

The Channellock Patent

The development of tongue-and-groove pliers described by the 1934 Manning patent #1,950,362 completely changed the course of Champion DeArment, as the company quickly realized the importance of this innovation. The company coined the name "Channellock" for their new pliers.

In conventional pliers the pivot pin is forced to bear both tensile and shear loads, limiting the force that can be applied without distorting or breaking the pin. The Channelllock patent transfers the shear load to a curved ridge and groove of a much larger radius, leaving only a modest tensile load (to hold the jaws together) for the pin.

The Channellock patent was a startling innovation to a sleepy tool that had been largely unchanged for hundreds of years.

And since it was easy to make the pliers with multiple ridges (or "tongues"), Channellock pliers could be easily adjusted for different opening sizes without losing overall strength.

[1936 Catalog Listing for Champion DeArment Channellock Pliers]
Fig. 4. 1936 Catalog Listing for Champion DeArment Channellock Pliers.

Channellock pliers quickly became the company's most important product, and the company also started production of conventional types of pliers as well.

The scan in Fig. 4 shows a catalog listing for Champion DeArment Channellock pliers, as published on page 183 of the 1936 catalog No. 102 of the H. Channon Company, a major distributor based in Chicago.

The listing illustrates the No. 410 Channellock 9.5 inch pliers and the No. 407 Channellock battery pliers. Note that the illustrations include a small inset to show the interlocking ribs of the Channellock design.

The text notes that the Channellock pliers were drop-forged from alloy steel.

The listing also includes the conventional No. 307 battery pliers, which became one of the company's most popular products. The No. 307 pliers were based on design patent D94,156, issued to H.H. Manning in 1934.

After posting this listing we later found that the 1936 Cornwell catalog No. 18 has a more extensive listing of Champion DeArment pliers. The Cornwell catalog offers the same three models as the Channon listing, and in addition lists Channellock models Nos. 417, 420, and 424, plus diagonal cutters No. 437.

The early pliers had a rectangular grid gripping pattern with five or six parallel lines, with short perpendicular lines crossing at the front and darts at the back, so that the longitudinal lines resembled arrows. We'll refer to this as the "Arrow Grid" pattern.

The gripping pattern was simplified in later years to just three parallel lines, but still resembled an arrow.


Contract Production

As the company expanded its production of pliers, it found opportunities to sell to other tool companies. As noted above, Cornwell began to offer Champion DeArment pliers as early as 1936, with five models of Channellock pliers plus battery pliers and diagonal cutters.

The 1941 Cornwell catalog offered Champion DeArment Nos. 407, 410, 420, and 424 Channellock pliers, as well as the No. 307 battery pliers, Nos. 337 and 437 diagonal cutters, and No. 516 combination pliers. This catalog noted that Cornwell was merely acting as the sales agent and that service would be handled through the manufacturer.

Champion DeArment pliers were also listed by name in the 1941 Bonney catalog. The Bonney catalog offered the same Channellock pliers models, but omitted the Nos. 337 and 516 pliers, offering the No. 537 side-cutting combination pliers instead.

The Second Generation Patent

In 1951 the original "Channellock" patent expired, and Champion DeArment was ready with a second generation patent to extend the life of the product line.

As the expiration date approached Champion DeArment had worked on improvements to the original design, the first of which was the addition of a flat rib extending outside the machined grooves, designed to provide greater strength. This design change is described by patent #2,592,927, filed by H.H. Manning in 1949 and issued in 1952.

Several other patents followed in later years.

At the same time, the company now faced competition from other makers of tongue-and-groove pliers. Some companies just used the expired Manning patent for their products, but Utica Drop Forge & Tool developed a method of directly forging the interlocking ribs, so that no machining was needed.

Name Change to Channellock

In 1963 Champion DeArment changed its name to Channellock, Incorporated, as the brand had become very well known by then.

The company continues in business today with management by the fifth generation of the DeArment family.


Patents

Champion DeArment is rightfully famous for its brilliant 1934 Manning "Channellock" patent #1,950,362, easily one of the most important tool patents of the 20th century.

Champion DeArment: Issued and Licensed Patents
Patent No.InventorFiledIssuedNotes and Examples
    11/13/1906 Compound Hoof Nipper
Patent date from catalog
908,969 G.B. DeArment03/07/190801/05/1909 Hoof Shears ("Our Pride")
    07/26/1910 Date from catalog
1,162,141 G.B. DeArment01/20/191511/30/1915Tongs
    07/15/1921 Compound Leverage Utility Clipper
Patent date from catalog
1,950,362 H.H. Manning02/08/193206/08/1934 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers ["Channellock"]
Early No. 407 Pliers
D94,156 H.H. Manning10/27/193312/25/1934 Design for Battery Pliers
No. 307 Battery Pliers
1,986,588 H.H. Manning05/19/193201/01/1935Hub Puller
2,592,927 H.H. Manning08/04/194904/15/1952 Improved Tongue-and-Groove Pliers
Middle No. 420 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers
2,640,381 H.H. Manning07/09/195106/02/1953 Improved Tongue-and-Groove Pliers
Middle No. 420 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers
2,997,903 R. Rommel et al08/19/195908/29/1961 Used for "GripLock" pliers.
3,192,805 H.H. Manning04/17/196307/06/1965 Improved Tongue-and-Groove Pliers
Late No. 420 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers
4,603,607 B.P. Schaffner Jr.02/25/198208/05/1986 Rivet Construction for Slip-Joint Pliers
No. 440 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers

Trademarks

Champion registered the trademark "Champion DeArment" with the first use listed as January 15, 1925. The "Channellock" trademark was registered with the first use listed as May 1, 1932.

Champion DeArment: Registered Trademarks
Text Mark or Logo Reg. No. First Use Date Filed Date Issued Notes
Our Pride 161,434 01/01/1908 08/31/1921 11/14/1922 Farriers' Tools, e.g. Hammers, Nippers, Pincers, etc.
Filed by Champion Tool Company.
Serial 152,415. Published July 25, 1922.
Critics' 161,435 01/01/1912 08/31/1921 11/14/1922 Farriers' Tools, e.g. Hammers, Nippers, Pincers, etc.
Filed by Champion Tool Company.
Serial 152,416. Published July 25, 1922.
Anvil Logo 166,796 01/01/1893 08/31/1921 04/17/1923 Anvil logo.
Filed by Champion Tool Company.
Champion 167,707 01/01/1887 08/31/1921 05/08/1923 Hammers, nippers, pincers, other tools.
Filed by Champion Tool Company.
Serial 152,418. Published July 25, 1922.
Renewed May 8, 1943.
Channellock Logo 310,389 05/01/1932 10/27/1933 02/20/1934 Original Channellock trademark
Channellock 516,728 05/01/1932 10/07/1947 10/25/1949  
Champion DeArment 522,034 01/15/1925 02/23/1949 03/07/1950 Actually in use by September, 1924 based on advertisement.
Channellock 744,756 03/01/1961 04/16/1962 02/05/1963 Used for wrenches and electrician's knives
Champion DeArment 756,374 01/15/1925 04/23/1962 09/10/1963 Actually in use by September, 1924 based on advertisement.

Tool Identification


Anvil-Logo

[Anvil-Logo]
Fig. 5. Anvil-Logo from Trademark #166,796.

The scan in Fig. 5 shows the Champion Anvil-Logo as it was presented for trademark #166,796.


Manufacturing Dates

Champion DeArment tools are not known to have been marked with a date code, so estimates of manufacturing dates must be made on the basis of markings, patents, or other factors.


References and Resources

Photographs and observations of particular tools are based on items in the Alloy Artifacts Collection.

Channellock maintains a web site with an informative page on the Company History [External Link], and readers are encouraged to check there for more information on this company.


Catalog Coverage

Product information was obtained from various Champion DeArment and Channellock catalogs, as summarized in the table below.

[Front Cover of Champion DeArment Catalog No. 67]
Fig. 6. Front Cover of Champion DeArment Catalog No. 67, 1928.

Currently our earliest catalog is from 1928 and is numbered as catalog No. 67.

The scan in Fig. 6 shows the front cover of catalog No. 67, published in 1928.

There are references to catalogs Nos. 68 and 69 in the 1940s or before, but then in the early 1950s the catalog numbering system was changed to the month and calendar year, e.g. No. 353 for 1953.


Champion DeArment: Catalog Resources
Catalog Date Notes
    No. 67 (1928):
No. 67 1928 No copyright, dated 1928. Rare catalog.
Notes Almon W. DeArment as president.
Lists Stillson-pattern pipe wrenches.
Lists drop-forged S-shaped wrenches, stamped discontinued.
    No. 68 (1930s?):
No. 68 1930s? No copy known, but referenced by 1944 price list.
    Wartime Price Sheet (1944):
No. 344 1944 No copyright, dated March 1, 1944. 4 pages.
Wartime Price Sheet, applies to General Catalog No. 68.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
Lists only hammers and farriers' tools.
    Temp No. 69 (1946):
Temp No. 69 1946 No copyright, date estimated as early post-war. 8 pages.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
Lists hammers and farriers' tools.
Lists Channellock pliers Nos. 407, 410, 417, 420, and 424.
Lists "Rounded Nose" linemen's pliers Nos. 346, 347, and 348½.
Lists "Bevel Nose" linemen's pliers Nos. 3046, 3047, and 3048½.
Lists diagonal cutters Nos. 337, 436, and 437.
Lists needlenose pliers Nos. 326 (cutters) and 3026 (no cutters).
Lists long needlenose pliers Nos. 317½ (cutters) and 3017½ (no cutters).
Lists battery pliers No. 307.
    No. 353 (1953):
No. 353 1953 No copyright, date inferred from catalog number. 20 pages.
Includes list price sheet dated April 24, 1953, applies to catalog No. 353.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
Illustration shows advantages of new "Channellock" patents.
Lists Channellock pliers Nos. 407, 410, 417, 420, and 424.
    No. 556 (1956):
No. 556 1956 No copyright, date inferred from catalog number. 16 loose-leaf pages.
Price list dated October 1, 1956 applies to catalog No. 556.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
Lists Channellock pliers Nos. 407, 410, 415, 417, 420, and 424.
    No. 361 (1961):
No. 361 1961 No copy known, but referenced by 1962 price list.
    Net Price List (1962):
Net Price List 1962 No copyright, dated July 16, 1962. 12 pages.
Net price list with small illustrations applies to catalog No. 361.
    No. 68 (1968):
No. 68 1968 No copyright. 20 pages.
Came with price list dated October 23, 1967.
Available for Download [External Link] from ITCL.
Channellock, Inc. company name. Blue grip handles available.
Lists Channellock pliers Nos. 410, 415, 420, 426, 430, 440, 442, and 460-G.
Lists adjustable wrenches in sizes 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 15 inches.
Lists No. 910 "GripLock" pliers based on patent #2,997,903.

Industrial Distributors

Champion DeArment tools were widely available through industrial distributors, and sometimes from other tool companies as well.

We'll add references as time permits.


Hammers and Striking Tools

According to the company's history page, Champion DeArment first started making hammers in 1914. Champion offered a wide selection of ballpeen hammers, with head weights ranging from 3 ounces up to 40 ounces.

Ballpeen hammer sizes are commonly specified by a number indicating the weight of the head without the handle. In this number system a No. 0 hammer head weighs approximately 16 ounces, but since hammers with lighter heads are often needed, the system was extended to include Nos. 00, 000, and so on, up to six zeros.

Marking a long string of zeros could become a bit cumbersome, so an alternate notation is commonly used, with a number followed by a "/0" to indicate the number of zeros. For example, 2/0 indicates No. 00, 3/0 is No. 000, and so on. But to add confusion, the slash separator is sometimes omitted, so that a "3/0" size may be marked "30".

[1928 Catalog Listing for Champion DeArment Ballpeen Hammers]
Fig. 7. 1928 Catalog Listing for Champion DeArment Ballpeen Hammers.

Fig. 7 shows a catalog listing for Champion ballpeen hammers, as published on page 13 of the 1928 catalog.

The table shows the specifications for hammers ranging in size from 6/0 to 8.


Champion DeArment 3/0 8 Ounce Ballpeen Hammers

The next two figures show examples of Champion ballpeen hammers in the 3/0 or 8 ounce size.

[Champion DeArment 3/0 8 Ounce Ballpeen Hammer]
Fig. 8. Champion DeArment 3/0 8 Ounce Ballpeen Hammer, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail.

Fig. 8 shows a Champion 3/0 8 ounce ballpeen hammer, stamped with "Champion DeArment Tool Co." and an anvil logo on the face.

The overall length is 13.2 inches, and the head is 3.3 inches long.

[Champion DeArment 3/0 8 Ounce Ballpeen Hammer]
Fig. 9. Champion DeArment 3/0 8 Ounce Ballpeen Hammer, with Inset for Marking Detail.

Fig. 9 shows a Champion 3/0 8 ounce ballpeen hammer, marked on the face with "Champion DeArment Tool Co." and an anvil logo.

The overall length is 13.0 inches, and the head is 3.2 inches long.


Champion DeArment No. 6 40 Ounce Ballpeen Hammer

[Champion DeArment No. 6 40 Ounce Ballpeen Hammer]
Fig. 10. Champion DeArment No. 6 40 Ounce Ballpeen Hammer, with Insets for Marking Detail.

Fig. 10 shows a much larger Champion No. 6 40 ounce ballpeen hammer, stamped "Champion DeArment" on the face.

The size "6" is marked on the underside of the head, as shown in the lower inset.

The overall length is 16.1 inches, and the head measures 1.7x5.3 inches.


Wrenches


Stillson-Pattern Pipe Wrenches

[1928 Catalog Listing for Champion Stillson-Pattern Pipe Wrenches]
Fig. 11. 1928 Catalog Listing for Champion Stillson-Pattern Pipe Wrenches.

Fig. 11 shows a catalog listing for Champion Stillson-pattern pipe wrenches, as published on page 16 of the 1928 catalog.

Two models were available, No. 33 with a wooden handle in sizes 6, 8, 10, and 14 inches, and No. 34 with a metal handle in sizes 6, 8, 10, 14, 18, and 24 inches.

The listing notes that the wrenches were forged from tool steel. A separate page offered spare parts for the wrenches.


Champion DeArment [No. 33] 10 Inch Stillson-Pattern Pipe Wrench

[Champion DeArment 10 Inch Stillson-Pattern Pipe Wrench]
Fig. 12. Champion DeArment [No. 33] 10 Inch Stillson-Pattern Pipe Wrench, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail.

Fig. 12 shows a Champion DeArment [No. 33] 10 inch Stillson-pattern pipe wrench, marked with "Champion DeArment" and an anvil logo forged into the shank.

The back side is marked with "Champion DeArment" and "Meadville, PA. U.S.A." forged into the shank, but partially obscured by the jaw carrier assembly (see middle inset).

The jaw is also marked with the anvil logo forged into the top, with "Meadville, Penna. U.S.A." partially visible on the shank, and "Champion Dearment" on the back side (not shown).

The overall length is 9.4 inches closed and 10.8 inches full extended.

The wooden handle is secured to a tapered tang by a nut on the end. We didn't find a model number marked on the tool, but the wooden handle identifies this as a No. 33 wrench.


"S"-Shaped Wrenches

While perusing the 1928 Champion catalog we ran across a listing for "S"-shaped double-open wrenches, tools we hadn't known were produced by Champion. We recall seeing some wrenches like this with a "Champion" marking, but since many companies used "Champion" as a brand, we didn't make the connection to Champion Tool.

[1928 Catalog Listing for Champion S-Shaped Wrenches]
Fig. 13. 1928 Catalog Listing for Champion "S"-Shaped Wrenches.

The scan in Fig. 13 shows a catalog listing for Champion "S"-shaped wrenches, as published on page 20 of the 1928 catalog. Ten sizes in a 5xx model series were available.

The listing has been stamped "Discontinued", suggesting that the tools had been dropped shortly after the catalog had been prepared.

Hopefully we'll be able to find some examples of these wrenches and put them on display.


The Channellock Patent

The famous 1934 Manning Channellock patent #1,950,362 changed the course of Champion DeArment, as the company quickly realized the importance of this innovation.

In conventional pliers the pivot pin is forced to bear both tensile and shear loads, limiting the force that can be applied without distorting or breaking the pin. The Channelllock patent transfers the shear load to a curved ridge and groove of a much larger radius, leaving only a modest tensile load (to hold the jaws together) for the pin.

And since it was easy to make the pliers with multiple ridges (or "tongues"), Channellock pliers could be easily adjusted for different opening sizes without losing overall strength.

The figures in this section will show examples of first-generation Channellock pliers based on the 1934 Manning patent.


Early Channellock No. 410 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers

We'll begin with an early example of the Channellock design.

[Channellock No. 410 Pliers]
Fig. 14. Channellock No. 410 Pliers, with Inset for Back Side Detail, ca. 1932-1934.

Fig. 14 shows a pair of Channellock No. 410 pliers, marked "Champion DeArment" and "Meadville, PA." on one handle, with the model number and Channellock logo on the other.

The inset shows the "Pat. Appl'd For" notice on the back side.

The overall length is 9.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The patent pending status for these pliers suggests a manufacturing date from 1932-1934, between the patent filing and issue dates.


Channellock No. 420 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers

[Channellock No. 420 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers]
Fig. 15. Channellock No. 420 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1934-1951.

Fig. 15 shows a pair of Channellock No. 420 tongue-and-groove pliers of the original patented design, stamped with the Channellock logo and "Reg. U.S. Pat. Off." on the lower handle (but barely visible), with "Champion DeArment" and "Meadville, PA." on the upper handle.

The inset in the middle shows a close-up of the patent notice "Pat. In Can. 1933 U.S. Pat. 1950362" on the back side.

The overall length is 10.0 inches when fully extended, and the finish is plain steel.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the simple linear gripping pattern on the handles.

The patent notice refers to the original Channellock patent #1,950,362, filed by H.H. Manning in 1932 and issued in 1934.


Channellock No. 407 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers

[Channellock No. 407 Pliers]
Fig. 16. Channellock No. 407 Pliers, with Insets for Marking Detail and Handle Pattern, ca. 1934-1951.

Fig. 16 shows a pair of Channellock No. 407 tongue-and-groove pliers, stamped with the Channellock logo and "Reg. U.S. Pat. Off." on the handle, with "Champion DeArment" and "Meadville, PA." on the back side.

The upper inset shows a close-up of the patent notice "Pat. In Can. 1933 U.S. Pat. 1950362" on the back side.

The overall length is 7.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Channellock No. 427 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers

[Channellock No. 427 Pliers]
Fig. 17. Channellock No. 427 Pliers, with Inset For Back Side Detail, ca. 1934-1951.

Fig. 17 shows a pair of Channellock No. 427 tongue-and-groove pliers, stamped with the Channellock logo and "Reg. U.S. Pat. Off." on the handle, with "Champion DeArment" and "Meadville, PA." on the back side.

The overall length is 7.4 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Conventional Pliers

Although best known for their tongue-and-groove pliers, Champion DeArment also produced pliers in conventional designs in both fixed-pivot and slip-joint styles. By 1936 the company was offering the No. 307 battery pliers and No. 437 diagonal cutters, in addition to five models of Channellock pliers.

By 1941 Champion DeArment offered three models of diagonal cutters, and also had started making conventional slip-joint pliers.


Battery Pliers

The No. 307 battery pliers were among the first models to be offered as Champion DeArment transformed itself into a pliers specialist. These battery pliers were described by design patent #D94,156, filed by H.H. Manning in 1933 and issued in 1934.


Champion DeArment No. 307 Battery Pliers

[Champion DeArment No. 307 Battery Pliers]
Fig. 18. Champion DeArment No. 307 Battery Pliers.

Fig. 18 shows a pair of Champion DeArment No. 307 battery pliers, stamped with "Champion DeArment" and "Meadville, PA. U.S.A." on one handle.

The overall length is 7.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

These pliers are described by the 1934 design patent #D94,156.


Diagonal Cutters

By 1936 Champion DeArment was offering the No. 437 diagonal cutters, which were listed in the Cornwell catalog for that year.


Channellock No. 436 6 Inch Diagonal Cutters

[Channellock No. 436 6 Inch Diagonal Cutters]
Fig. 19. Channellock No. 436 6 Inch Diagonal Cutters, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, ca. 1963+.

Fig. 19 shows a pair of Channellock No. 436 6 inch diagonal cutters, stamped "Channellock" and "Meadville, PA. U.S.A." around the pivot, with the model number on the back side.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the arrow grid gripping pattern.

The overall length is 6.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel with polished faces.


Channellock No. 437 7 Inch Diagonal Cutters

[Channellock No. 437 7 Inch Diagonal Cutters]
Fig. 20. Channellock No. 437 7 Inch Diagonal Cutters, with Insets for Head and Handle Pattern, ca. 1963+.

Fig. 20 shows a pair of Channellock No. 437 7 inch diagonal cutters, stamped "Channellock" and "Meadville, PA. U.S.A." around the pivot, with the model number across the center.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the arrow grid gripping pattern.

The overall length is 7.3 inches, and the finish is plain steel with polished faces.


Channellock No. 447 Angle-Nose Diagonal Cutters

[Channellock No. 447 Angle-Nose Diagonal Cutters]
Fig. 21. Channellock No. 447 Angle-Nose Diagonal Cutters, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1963+.

Fig. 21 shows a pair of Channellock No. 447 7 inch diagonal cutters with an angled head, stamped "Channellock" and "Meadville, PA. U.S.A." on the back side.

One handle of the pliers has a forged-in "0" code, visible on the lower handle in the photograph.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the arrow grid gripping pattern.

The overall length is 7.7 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Needlenose Pliers

Champion DeArment offered needlenose pliers with side cutters in No. 326 6 inch model and in a No. 317½ 7.5 inch model. Needlenose pliers were also available in the same sizes without side-cutters in model Nos. 3026 and 3017½.


Channellock No. 326 6 Inch Needlenose Pliers with Side Cutters

[Channellock No. 326 6 Inch Needlenose Pliers]
Fig. 22. Channellock No. 326 6 Inch Needlenose Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Marking Detail, ca. 1963+.

Fig. 22 shows a pair of Channellock No. 326 6 inch needlenose pliers with side cutters, stamped with "Channellock" and "Meadville, PA. U.S.A." around the pivot, and with the model number on the back.

The handles also have a forged-in "0" code on the underside, as seen in the lower inset.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the "Arrow Grid" gripping pattern.

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


Channellock No. 317½ 7.5 Inch Needlenose Pliers with Side Cutters

[Channellock 317½ 7.5 Inch Needlenose Pliers]
Fig. 23. Channellock No. 317½ 7.5 Inch Needlenose Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, ca. 1963+.

Fig. 23 shows a pair of Channellock No. 317½ 7.5 inch needlenose pliers with side cutters, stamped with "Channellock" and "Meadville, PA. U.S.A." around the pivot, with the model number on the back side.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the arrow grid gripping pattern.

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

Note that these 7.5 inch pliers have distinctive "fashioned" handles instead of the bow handles on the No. 326 6 inch model.


Channellock No. 3017½ 7.5 Inch Needlenose Pliers

[Channellock 3017½ 7.5 Inch Needlenose Pliers]
Fig. 24. Channellock No. 3017½ 7.5 Inch Needlenose Pliers, with Insets for Back Side, Side View, and Marking Detail, ca. 1963+.

Fig. 24 shows a pair of Channellock No. 3017½ 7.5 inch needlenose pliers, stamped with "Channellock" and "Meadville, PA. U.S.A." around the pivot, with the model number on the back side.

The handles also have a forged-in "0" code on the underside, as seen in the lower inset.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the arrow grid gripping pattern.

The overall length is 7.9 inches. The finish is polished steel, with some discoloration and pitting due to rust.

The No. 3017½ pliers were the same as the No. 317½ model, but without the side-cutters.


Champion DeArment Long Reach (Assembly) Pliers

Champion DeArment also offered two models of "Long Reach" pliers similar to the needlenose models. These pliers are sometimes called "Assembly Pliers", possibly based on their use in the electronics industry.

[1956 Catalog Listing of Champion DeArment Long Reach Pliers]
Fig. 24B. 1956 Catalog Listing of Champion DeArment Long Reach Pliers.

The scan in Fig. 24B shows a catalog listing for the No. 378 duck-bill and No. 3078 needle-nose long reach pliers, as published on page 4 of the 1956 Champion DeArment catalog No. 556.

Both models were 8 inches long and differ only in the shape of the tip.


Lineman's Pliers

Champion DeArment offered lineman's pliers in two styles, a round nose series with model Nos. 346, 347, and 348½ in sizes 6, 7 and 8.5 inches, and a bevel nose series with model Nos. 3046, 3047, and 3048½ of the same sizes.

Champlion DeArment Round Nose Lineman's Pliers

[1946 Catalog Listing of Champion DeArment Round Nose Lineman's Pliers]
Fig. 25A. 1946 Catalog Listing of Champion DeArment Round Nose Lineman's Pliers.

The scan in Fig. 25A shows a catalog listing for the Round Nose series of lineman's pliers, as published in the Champion DeArment Temp. 69 catalog from around 1946.

The text notes the pliers as having a polished head and blued handles with knurled grips.


Channellock 3048½ 8.5 Inch Bevel Nose Lineman's Pliers

[Channellock 3048½ 8.5 Inch Bevel Nose Lineman's Pliers]
Fig. 25. Channellock 3048½ 8.5 Inch Bevel Nose Lineman's Pliers, with Insets for Side View and Back Side Detail, ca. 1963+.

Fig. 25 shows a pair of Channellock 3048½ 8.5 inch lineman's pliers, stamped "Channellock" and "Meadville, PA. U.S.A." around the pivot, and with the model number on the back side.

The top inset shows a side view of the pliers, illustrating the arrow grid gripping pattern.

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

The Champion DeArment catalog No. 556 of 1956 refers to this model as "Bevel Nose Lineman's Pliers". Three sizes were available as models 3046, 3047, and 3048½ with nominal sizes 6, 7, and 8.5 inches respectively.


Combination Pliers

Champion DeArment was producing slip-joint combination pliers by 1941, based on a listing in the Cornwell and Bonney catalogs of that year.


Channellock No. 516 6 Inch Thin-Nose Combination Pliers

[Channellock No. 516 6 Inch Thin-Nose Combination Pliers]
Fig. 26. Channellock No. 516 6 Inch Thin-Nose Combination Pliers, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1963+.

Fig. 26 shows a pair of Channellock No. 516 6 inch slip-joint thin-nose combination pliers, stamped "Channellock" and "Meadville, PA. U.S.A." on the handle.

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


Channellock 548 8 Inch Slip-Joint Combination Pliers

[Channellock 548 8 Inch Slip-Joint Combination Pliers]
Fig. 27. Channellock 548 8 Inch Slip-Joint Combination Pliers, with Inset for Side View, ca. 1963+.

Fig. 27 shows a pair of Channellock 548 slip-joint combination pliers, stamped "Channellock" and "Meadville, PA. U.S.A." on the handle.

One handle of the pliers has a forged-in "0" code, visible on the lower handle in the photograph.

The overall length is 8.2 inches, and the finish is polished steel.


Later Channellock Pliers

The original "Channellock" patent expired in 1951, and as the expiration date approached Champion DeArment worked on improvements to the original design, hoping to extend the life of the product line. The first of these improvements was the addition of a flat rib extending outside the machined grooves, designed to provide greater strength. This design change is described by patent #2,592,927, filed by H.H. Manning in 1949 and issued in 1952. Several other patents followed in later years.

In this section we'll look at examples of these later generation Channellock pliers.


Second-Generation Pliers


Channellock No. 420 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers

[Channellock No. 420 Pliers]
Fig. 28. Channellock No. 420 Pliers, with Inset for Marking Detail, ca. 1953-1962.

Fig. 28 shows a pair of Channellock No. 420 tongue-and-groove pliers, marked "Champion DeArment" and "Meadville, PA. U.S.A.", and with the patent notice "US Pats. 2592927 - 2640381" on the back side.

The overall length is 10.2 inches, and the finish is polished steel.

The first patent number noted on the pliers is #2,592,927, issued to H.H. Manning in 1952. It describes an improvement to the basic tongue-and-groove design for greater strength, consisting of a flat rib extending outside the machined grooves.

The second patent is #2,640,381, issued to H.H. Manning in 1953. This patent describes the use of undercut ridges on tongue-and-groove pliers.


Channellock No. 410 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers

[Channellock No. 410 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers]
Fig. 29. Channellock No. 410 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers, ca. 1953-1962.

Fig. 29 shows a pair of Channellock No. 410 tongue-and-groove pliers, stamped "Champion DeArment" and "Meadville, PA." on the upper handle, with the model number and Channellock logo on the lower handle.

The overall length is 9.8 inches, and the finish is plain steel.


Channellock No. 426 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers

[Channellock No. 426 Pliers]
Fig. 30. Channellock No. 426 Pliers, with Inset for Back Side Detail, ca. 1963+.

Fig. 30 shows a pair of Channellock No. 426 tongue-and-groove pliers, marked "Meadville, PA. U.S.A." with the Channellock logo, and with the patent notice "US Pats. 2592927 2640381 Can. 1953" on the back side.

The overall length ranges from 6.6 inches closed to 7.1 inches fully extended. The finish is plain steel.


Third-Generation Pliers

In 1965 H.H. Manning received one additional patent related to the Channellock pliers design, an improved way of machining the undercut ridge. Patent #3,192,805 was filed in 1963.


Channellock No. 420 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers with Late Patent

[Channellock No. 420 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers]
Fig. 31. Channellock No. 420 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers, with Insets for Construction and Marking Detail, ca. 1965+.

Fig. 31 shows a later pair of Channellock No. 420 tongue-and-groove pliers, stamped with the Channellock name and "Meadville, PA. U.S.A." on the handle, and with "US Pats. 2592927 3192805" stamped on the back side.

The overall length is 10.0 inches, and the finish is polished steel.

The first patent number noted is the Manning 1952 patent #2,592,927, describing a ridge extending beyond the grooves for greater strength.

The second number is patent #3,192,805, filed by H.H. Manning in 1963 and issued in 1965. This patent describes a machining technique to cut a specific shape for the undercut ridge on the pliers.


The Blue Handle Era

Channellock later began providing pliers with plastic handgrips in a distinctive blue color, and in 1988 registered "Channellock Blue" as a color trademark, a new concept in trademark protection at the time.


Channellock No. 440 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers

[Channellock No. 440 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers]
Fig. 32. Channellock No. 440 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers, ca. 1980s+.

Fig. 32 shows a fairly recent pair of Channellock 440 tongue-and-groove pliers, marked "Meadville, PA U.S.A." and equipped with the familiar blue hand grips.

The overall length is 12.0 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

Although not marked with a patent number, these pliers are held together by a rivet as described in patent #4,603,607.


Channellock No. 460 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers

[Channellock No. 460 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers]
Fig. 33. Channellock No. 460 Tongue-and-Groove Pliers, ca. 1980s+.

Fig. 33 shows another example of recent Channellock production, the Channellock 460 tongue-and-groove pliers, marked "Made in U.S.A." and fitted with blue hand grips.

The overall length (fully extended) is 18.1 inches, and the finish is plain steel.

The pliers are equipped with eight grooves, and can provide a parallel opening up to 3.8 inches wide.

The rivet construction is described by patent #4,603,607.


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