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Manufacturers Index - Kneisley Electric Co.
Last Modified: Feb 2 2016 10:18AM by Jeff_Joslin
If you have information to add to this entry, please contact the Site Historian.

Left to right—Yager, K2000, K2100 and K2200. Photo courtesy Bob Holcombe

Kneisley Electric Company was a small manufacturing facility started by Richard F. Kneisley in Toledo, Ohio. The company's core product was the Kni-Tron power rectifier and other equipment for motion picture projection. Kneisley also manufactured stock tank heaters and surface planers.

Richard Kneisley came to Toledo from Upper Sandusky, Ohio in 1928. He worked in design and development for The American Floor Surfacing Machine Co., where he designed and patented wood finishing and surfacing sanders. Among his patents was the model 207.2230 three drum sander sold by Craftsman. From 1931 through 1934 Kneisley was employed by Strong Electric Company. Strong produced motion picture projection equipment. Kneisley's contributions included inventing a long lasting projector bulb far superior to any at the time. Although employed by Strong, Kneisley continued his development work for American Floor, filing patents for them into the first part of 1940. In 1936, while working for Strong, he started Kneisley Electric Company in his garage at 3852 Watson Ave., Toledo. Later Kneisley moved to a larger industrial site at 16 St. Clair Street and later to 500 South St. Clair.

Kneisley's original wood planer design was the 10" x 2-3/4" Yager Thickness Planer first advertised in 1938. Sometime before 1948 the "Yager" name was removed from the side castings and the design of the base was given a modern look. This modified model became the K2000 Thickness Planer. Also introduced in 1948 was a 12-3/4" x 4" model, the K2100. This model was redesigned around 1953 and became the K2200.

Kneisley made thickness planers were badged and sold by at least three different companies—Kneisley Electric Company in Toledo, Foster Manufacturing Co. in Buffalo, NY, Astro Wood Planer Co., Bristol Conn. Montgomery Ward sold both planer models in its Powr-Kraft catalogs from 1949 through 1955. From 1949 through 1952, Powr-Kraft sold them as Foster Thickness Planers. The 1953 through 1955 catalogs listed them as K-Line planers. Freeman Supply in Toledo sold the K2000 as the M7A precision planer.

Kneisley also sold twist drill bits, dado and saw blades made by Vermont American as K-Line badged products.

In the 1970s the K-Line portion of Kneisley Electric Company was sold to Reitz Tool and Die, Inc. in Toledo. The remaining stock of Yager and K-Line K2000 planers were sold by the Astro Wood Planer Company in Bristol, CT in the mid '70s. Keith Bohn has noted that Astro advertised the A2000 up through issue 15-March/April 1979 of Fine Woodworking magazine. By the beginning of 1980 the Astro ads ceased. The assets of Reitz were auctioned in 2005.

More Information

More Kneisley information is available in the Wiki, including history, product type studies and guidance on maintaining and using Kneisley planers.

Information Sources:

The information on this page was submitted by OWWM Member Bob Holcombe, who has done considerable research on Kneisley and Yager planers.