One key component of our vision here at Haus of Tools is our desire to bring you the finest tools from everywhere in the world – tools you can’t just go pick up at the corner hardware store or from the big box guys. With that in mind, we’re proud to present to you an exciting new brand that we’ve discovered – PB Swiss. OK, technically they’re not new, far from it, but if you’ve never heard of them, they’re new to you.
So, what makes PB Swiss a brand worth all of our time?
Like many of our favorite brands, they have small origins but developed their reputation over time which led to unprecedented international growth. Based in Wasen, Switzerland, a land renowned for its mechanical craftsmanship and precision, PB Swiss has a long history of excellence behind them. Stretching all the way back to even well before the Great War, PB Swiss had its humble beginnings in a village black smith shop all the way back in 1878 – that’s 145 years! This small village smithy was known for making whatever metal objects were needed including metal pieces for livestock and traps that served as pest control.
As this smithy prospered in the following years, Paul Baumann took control of the family business in 1918 and renamed it PB and the name stuck. With the new name, the company presumably shifted focus to making high quality tools as by 1939 they were making hand tools for the Swiss Armed Forces. In the following decades, they further honed their craft to produce better and better tools. Some milestones include: purchasing an injection molding machine (new technology at the time) from the USA in the 50s, an international expansion in 1970, individually serializing their tools in 1992 to help facilitate their lifetime warranty, color coded hex keys in 2000, an electronic torque handle featuring a digital display in 2007, and an expansion into the medical field with their Operace product in 2011.
Throughout all of these achievements and growth over the years, PB Swiss has remained in the Baumann family and at present is in its fifth generation of family ownership. This is an important note because it’s almost unheard of for a business to remain owned by a single family for this length of time and it speaks to the dedication to quality craftsmanship that the Baumann family has and continues to represent.
In addition to these milestones and achievements there are still other reasons to take a closer look at PB Swiss. Firstly, all of their tools are back by a lifetime guarantee against defects in the materials or workmanship of a given tool. This process is facilitated through PB’s website and requires the serial number from the tool which helps them find when a given tool was made and presumably if there are trends in a certain date range this will help them find it.
Another thing that helps set PB Swiss apart from other manufacturers is that they strive to eliminate waste and operate sustainably. To accomplish this, they make most if not all of their plastic handles from renewable resources like wood. They have also reduced their water and fossil fuel consumption by incredibly large amounts. In doing this they have been able to streamline their processes and costs without sacrificing quality.
With this background and operational mindset, PB has expanded their catalog over the years to include many of the common tools you would expect such as high-quality L-keys, striking tools, screwdrivers and awls. They’ve also come up with a few different toolsets like bike tools and roll up cases. PB Swiss also produces a number of specialty tools such as insulated tools (with a high reputation for safety), interchangeable blade tools, universal cabinet keys, specialty pics and in a decidedly Swiss move, PB Swiss fondue forks featuring their trademark handle (a must for the Tool Junkie that appreciates fine dining as well as fine hand tools).
If you’ve been looking for another brand of high-quality tools to check out, PB Swiss just might be the tools for you and your collection. They have a long history and strong reputation for quality and make really fine versions of many of the common tools you would expect a toolmaker to produce.
Give PB Swiss a good look!