Multitool.org
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
+-

Hello Lurker! Remove this ad and much more by logging in.


5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF 5481

Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,276
5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« on: December 31, 2011, 07:05:43 PM »
Take two single-bladed folding knives, fashion the end of each one into a plier jaw, then rivet the two together and you have yourself a PLI-R-NIF. Not an overly sophisticated multitool to be sure, but completely effective. The PLI-R-NIF must have been quite the classy bit of kit when it first came out back at the turn of the last century.





Thin and lightweight enough to be carried almost unnoticed in the pocket all day, this early multitool could be called upon to perform any number of tasks when needed.





The plier jaws themselves, although stubby by today’s standards, were more than capable of handling light-duty chores. Also featured was a large wire cutter notch at the base of the jaws, which due to being located very close to the plier pivot, gave the user plenty of leverage to cut fencing or bailing wire. (note how close the wire cutter is to the pivot's center point, as compared to the Leatherman Freestyle shown below)





Folding blades include a spear-point knife blade…..





…. as well as an awl type blade with a dished-in cross section.  In his Guide to Knives and Their Values, Bernard Levine (www.knife-expert.com) refers to this blade as a “punch”. A large cutout in the side of the PLI-R-NIF gives the user’s thumb easy access to the punch blade.





The pliers, which are integral with the backsprings, are forged from carbon steel, as are the folding blades. Inside liners are stamped from nickel silver. Aluminum is used for the outside handle scales, which is somewhat unusual, as aluminum was still rather uncommon in those days, and not yet widely available outside of industrial or military applications.




 
Perhaps as interesting as the tool itself is the history of the PLI-R-NIF.  It was originally conceived as a much more complex device by blacksmith/inventor Christian Heilrath, of Sacremento California. (who incidentally invented a folding toothbrush at about the same time) As patented on May 23, 1905, the plans called for numerous folding blades, including two knives, a can opener, an awl, and even a corkscrew. 





But then, like Tim Leatherman’s experience almost 80 years decades later, the design was considerably simplified in order to make it economical to manufacture.

According to Levine, the patent was subsequently transferred to a G.M. Parkinson of San Francisco, who gave the PLI-R-NIF its name and started producing them in his factory there.  But it was a fateful time, and less than a year later, San Francisco was devastated by damage and fire from the Great Earthquake of 1906, which leveled most of the city. Efforts were made to resume production across the bay in Berkeley, but judging by how few examples of the PLI-R-NIF survive today, these were largely unsuccessful.




Which is unfortunate, as San Francisco had become a real center of knife production at that time, and it would have been interesting to see what the PLI-R-NIF could have evolved into in the decades that followed.



In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
No Life Club Posts: 1,644 my best friends a dog
Re: 5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2011, 07:21:18 PM »
What a fascinating little tool, great pics and info, thanks for sharing :tu:

"I like me, my wife likes me"

JC PT&A
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,917
Re: 5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2011, 07:21:46 PM »
What an intersting tool and history.   :)

What? Enablers! Are you serrrrious? Where? I dont see any.

Hold Fast
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,253 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: 5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2011, 10:47:57 PM »
Interesting- I've never seen one of these before, let alone TWO of them!  :D

What is the marking in this photo:



And are they both marked the same? 

Also, it seems interesting that both handle blades open on the same side- wouldn't it have been easier (cheaper?) from a manufacturing point of view to have the blades open on opposite sides so that the plier frame components would be the same?

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Turd Bucket No Life Club Posts: 2,633
Re: 5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2011, 10:54:35 PM »
Absolutely awesome! Thanks bob
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,276
Re: 5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2011, 10:57:14 PM »
Interesting- I've never seen one of these before, let alone TWO of them!  :D

What is the marking in this photo:

(Image removed from quote.)


The top one has PAT'D MAY 23 '05 stamped onto one of the handles. The other one has no such stamping, and as a matter of fact, has handles and pliers that are completely different. Makes me wonder if one is from before the big earthquake, and one is from afterwards, after they resumed production across the bay? :think:

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,276
Re: 5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2011, 11:00:16 PM »
Also, it seems interesting that both handle blades open on the same side- wouldn't it have been easier (cheaper?) from a manufacturing point of view to have the blades open on opposite sides so that the plier frame components would be the same?

Def

Sure seems like it :salute: And like you say, that way the plier jaws, which are integral with the backsprings, could have both been made from the same forging, instead of two different ones.

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Global Moderator Zombie Apprentice Posts: 12,152 North American Meetup: May13-15 2011
Re: 5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2012, 12:03:52 AM »
Amazing Bob!  Fantastic bit of multitool history

Ambidangerous Mistress of Mod Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,072 I'm not all bad, I'm just drawn that way.
Re: 5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2012, 12:13:34 AM »
Do you think the name stopped it from catching on?! :D

Very cool kit - thanks for the info.

A dyslexic man walks in to a bra...

All my music for free: http://soundcloud.com/chrissyvandyke
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,723 The MTO handshake.
Re: 5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2012, 02:05:59 AM »
Very cool MT Bob  8) 8) 8)


"Downunder Mod (that sounds dirty, doesn't it?)"
Yeh Baby :P >:D >:D
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 21,458 Gone

dks cy

********* *
Re: 5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2012, 11:15:31 AM »
 :pok: Made in 05? I have LM Micras older than that!  :rofl:

I like the Swiss Army knife style Blade. Maybe even in those (Them) days there was some "borrowing" of ideas too.

Kelly: "Daddy, what makes men cheat on women?
Al : "Women!"

[ Knife threads ]  [ Country shopping guides ]  [ Battery-Charger-Light threads ]  [ Picture threads ]
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 17,800 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: 5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2012, 01:54:24 PM »
Never seen one of those either.

I like these old tools simply because one realizes that the multi is far older than 1983, which a lot of people seem to think was when it all began.

A little Leatherman information.

Leatherman series articles
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,253 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: 5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2012, 05:08:26 PM »
Never seen one of those either.

I like these old tools simply because one realizes that the multi is far older than 1983, which a lot of people seem to think was when it all began.

That fact is pretty well the whole point behind starting this site.  Bob's collection and subsequent articles entitled "Before There Was Leatherman" should be required reading for any multitool nut.

Before There Was Leatherman, Chapters 1-10

Before There Was Leatherman, Chapter 11

This was also the reason I made sure to poach Bob from Bladeforums when I started this site!   >:D

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
No Life Club Posts: 4,531 Hello...is this thing on?
Re: 5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2012, 11:00:14 PM »
Good to see you are still surprising people with random tools from the past, always nice to see how things have evolved :)

Life is like a sandwich...the older it gets the crustier it becomes!
No Life Club Posts: 2,824 Lifelike and remarkably self similar
Re: 5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2013, 04:32:59 AM »
The first time I saw this tool was on this website.

Now there's one on fleabay.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=knife+r+5&_osacat=43329&_fln=1&_catref=1&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.X&_nkw=PLI+R+NIF&_sacat=43329&_from=R40

Usual disclaimer, don't know them, not recommending them, just an FYI.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2013, 04:34:42 AM by Yadda »

"Drink your big black cow
And get out of here." -  Steely Dan
No Life Club Posts: 4,310 Apparently it is possible to have too many tools;)
Re: 5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2013, 06:54:50 AM »
The first time I saw this tool was on this website.

Now there's one on fleabay.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=knife+r+5&_osacat=43329&_fln=1&_catref=1&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.X&_nkw=PLI+R+NIF&_sacat=43329&_from=R40

Usual disclaimer, don't know them, not recommending them, just an FYI.

Thanks for the FYI.

I'd love one (it ticks all my boxes - it's old, unusual, rare and it's got pliers and knives ! ), but I'm just not sure I can persuade myself to even try for it, when bidding starts at $199.99   :o (but I'll probably cave and give it a whirl)   ???

What are estimates on the final winning bid ?
« Last Edit: October 10, 2013, 06:56:26 AM by gregozedobe »

babola: "Enjoy your tools and don't be afraid to air your opinion and feelings here, but do it in courteous and respectable way toward others, of course."
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,550

Zed gb

******** *
Re: 5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2013, 08:42:39 AM »
Very cool bob  :salute: oldschool edc   :tu:
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,943 I'm not a pessimist, I'm an experienced optimist!
Re: 5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2013, 08:54:23 AM »
Thanks for the FYI.

I'd love one (it ticks all my boxes - it's old, unusual, rare and it's got pliers and knives ! ), but I'm just not sure I can persuade myself to even try for it, when bidding starts at $199.99   :o (but I'll probably cave and give it a whirl)   ???

What are estimates on the final winning bid ?

$199.99  :P



The cantankerous but occasionally useful member, formally known as 50ft-trad
No Life Club Posts: 4,310 Apparently it is possible to have too many tools;)
Re: 5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2013, 02:49:21 PM »
What are estimates on the final winning bid ?

$199.99  :P

Maybe I'll do what I've done in the past when items have had a minimum bid more than I'm willing to pay - put it on my watch list and hope no one bids and the seller re-lists for a lesser amount.  I have snagged a few by doing that, but you run the risk some one is willing to pay the minimum bid price.

babola: "Enjoy your tools and don't be afraid to air your opinion and feelings here, but do it in courteous and respectable way toward others, of course."
No Life Club Posts: 2,824 Lifelike and remarkably self similar
Re: 5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2013, 08:23:42 PM »
What are estimates on the final winning bid ?

$199.99  :P

Maybe I'll do what I've done in the past when items have had a minimum bid more than I'm willing to pay - put it on my watch list and hope no one bids and the seller re-lists for a lesser amount.  I have snagged a few by doing that, but you run the risk some one is willing to pay the minimum bid price.

Previous versions have gone for up to $500.00+ US.  This one looks really bright, which makes me wonder if they cleaned it. 

Way out of my price range.  I would definitely put it on the watch list.  You might be so bold as to contact the seller for the provenance....

"Drink your big black cow
And get out of here." -  Steely Dan
Hero Member Posts: 959
Re: 5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2013, 01:16:18 AM »
First time I've seen two of them together;a rare old piece to be sure. I have a similar one made by the Oscar Barnett Tool Co of Newark NJ right around the same time. Seems there was quite an interest in multi-tolls even then!
Here are a couple of pics of the Barnett;will have to take a pic of it open.The folding handle also has a hoof pick in the end for removing stones from a horse's hoof and the center liner of the knife extends slightly to form a straight screwdriver tip.The punch blade was used to repair a horse harness and the screwdriver to install temporary screws in place of broken rivets in the harness.Some early horseman's knives actually had a couple of spare harness screws on the knife for in the field repairs.
The other pic is of a knife with folding pliers made by Valley Forge Cutlery;another New Jersey company.That one dates slightly later(late 1920's-early 1930's).Unfortunately the master blade is broken.
No Life Club Posts: 4,310 Apparently it is possible to have too many tools;)
Re: 5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2013, 11:02:43 AM »
Thanks for the FYI.

I'd love one (it ticks all my boxes - it's old, unusual, rare and it's got pliers and knives ! ), but I'm just not sure I can persuade myself to even try for it, when bidding starts at $199.99   :o (but I'll probably cave and give it a whirl)   ???

What are estimates on the final winning bid ?

$199.99  :P

And the prize for the closest estimate goes to ....... Al (he was spot on, it went for $199.99, which is quite a bit more than I am willing to pay for that particular shelf queen, generally I'd rather buy 4 or 5 cheaper/less rare tools with that sort of money)


Warning for Yadda in particular - do not read on, look away now or you may spend many, many hours (and possibly some $$$) if you start looking at the following list of tools !!   :pok:  :D

For anyone else who wants to get some more ideas on what old tools to look out for, this Auction listing from 2006 has quite a few (not many "pliery" ones, but lot 172 shows that Gerber's 650 evolution wasn't the first tool with interchangeable plier heads  :pok: )

http://home.southwind.net/~donhaury/gaier-auction-2006/catalog.html
« Last Edit: October 20, 2013, 11:10:12 AM by gregozedobe »

babola: "Enjoy your tools and don't be afraid to air your opinion and feelings here, but do it in courteous and respectable way toward others, of course."
No Life Club Posts: 2,824 Lifelike and remarkably self similar
Re: 5) Old/Rare multitool of the month: PLI-R-NIF
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2013, 09:00:24 PM »
The KKK Kombination tool is on my trophy list.  They pop up on fleabay regularly, but none in my price range. The wrenching news auctions and several others prime my imagination on a regular basis.

"Drink your big black cow
And get out of here." -  Steely Dan

 

Donations

Operational Funds

Help us keep the Unworkable working!
Donate with PayPal!
August Goal: $300.00
Due Date: Aug 31
Total Receipts: $51.00
PayPal Fees: $3.48
Net Balance: $47.52
Below Goal: $252.48
Site Currency: USD
16% 
August Donations

Community Links


Powered by EzPortal
SMF 2.0.15 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.095 seconds with 34 queries.
© 2018 Defender Web & Tool