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About Us

70 Years of Quality, Service and Innovation

Quality, innovation and service are integral parts of Wagner's history. From 1947, to our operations today, we continue to focus on the values that have guided us through 7 decades. The timeline below represents just a few of the milestones Wagner has accomplished. We look forward to working with our Customers to build a strong and promising future!

Ontario HQ
1947 Wagner established as Frank Wagner & Son in Alhambra, CA

The first Wagner location, opened in 1947 in a modest corrugated steel building on Date Avenue in Alhambra, California. The building housed company offices and machinery used to produce seamless tubing punches and other grinding operations.

1950 Wagner leads the way with Rush and 24-hour service

A Wagner ad, circa 1950 featuring both Frank and Robert Wagner, promoting Wagner Punches with same day shipping for Standard Punches, and industry-leading 24-hour turnaround on “Special” punches. Wagner also carried steel rule, tempering of shaped steel rule, tool steel punches, even self-cleaning punches. Wagner lead the way with innovative products and industry-leading service, as we do today!

1958 Wagner Bender receives it US Patent.

Wagner’s Bender receives it’s patent in 1958. These precise and robust benders provided the industry with quick changing dies, and the power to bend a wide variety of rules with ease. Many are still in use to this day. Frank Wagner innovations continued, developing and refining punch production, working to improve die performance, even developing a punch numbering system that is still in use today.

1969 Wagner expands into larger facilities in Alhambra, CA

Wagner expands it’s location adding an additional 10,000 sq.ft. building adjacent to the original building. The building houses additional equipment and expands the capacity of Frank Wagner & Son. The company continues to expand into die supplies, besides punches, die room equipment and grinding services. Later in 1969, Robert Wagner passes away from illness.

1971 Knutson family purchases Frank Wagner & Sons.

Frank Wagner sells Wagner Die Supply to his friend and company CPA Ellsworth Knutson. The Knutson Family steers Frank Wagner & Sons into expansion and continued growth into a full-service die industry supply resource. The Knutson family continues to oversee Wagner to this day.

1971 Knutson family purchases Frank Wagner & Sons.

Wagner Die Supply Chairman, Ellsworth Knutson addresses attendees and the Grand Opening of Wagner’s Education & Resource Center in July of 2006. Mr. Knutson, or “El” as he is known, is a WWII veteran who served in the U.S. Navy on the battleship Iowa. El continues to serve as chairman of Wagner Die Supply.

1982 Die Supply Company of Dallas, Texas joins Wagner.

Wagner adds an 8,000 sq ft. facility in Dallas, Texas to service the die industry in the Southwest, lower Midwest and the Southeast as well. The Dallas location stocks a wide variety of steel rule products, punches, ejection materials, matrix, die board and a wide selection of related tools and equipment.

1987 Wagner introduces advanced heat treating – Enduro CBNTM

Wagner adds an 8,000 sq ft. facility in Dallas, Texas to service the die industry in the Southwest, lower Midwest and the Southeast as well. The Dallas location stocks a wide variety of steel rule products, punches, ejection materials, matrix, die board and a wide selection of related tools and equipment.

1989 Henderson Storage Systems joins Wagner team.

Henderson Storage Systems becomes part of the Wagner family. Designed exclusively for storage of flat and rotary dies, plates and even pails of ink, Henderson Storage Systems provides the industry with an intelligent and safe solution for flat, platen and rotary die storage. Originally in Long Beach, California, Henderson moved to Wagner’s Ontario, California headquarters in 1993.

1991 Wagner moves headquarters to Ontario, CA.

Ontario, California became the new headquarters home for Wagner in 1991. Expanding into a 30,000 sq. ft. facility. The custom-built facility featured additional space for expanded production and warehousing, as well as dedicated office space for management, sales and support staff.

1993 Wagner introduces the Extractor 2000

Safety has always been a major concern in the steel rule die industry. And one of the more dangerous aspects of our business is re-ruling or re-knifing of die boards. It used to be done with simple rule pulling pliers, and hands, knuckles and fingers were dangerously exposed to sharp cutting rule – one slip could mean disaster, and a trip to the local emergency room, and down time for valuable personnel. Wagner developed the Extractor 2000 rule puller in an effort to improve safety and efficiency at the same time. Now an industry standard, Wagner’s Extractor pulls rule in an ingenious way – straight upward, without the rocking back and forth to loosen the rule from the kerf. This straight-up motion, preserves the integrity of the kerf and minimizes any damage to the die board and surround elements of the die. With thousands in service around the world, it has been copied, but remains as the only rule puller of its kind designed and manufactured entirely in the USA.

1993 Wagner introduces the Extractor 2000

Wagner’s Extractor 2000 design is as innovative today as it was in 1993 when it was introduced. It’s unique design allows for the pulling of rule securely, straight-up! Without causing damage to the die board, the rule kerf, surrounding rule and most-importantly the user! Shown with the included urethane pads that can be used in tight rule layouts.

1993 Wagner Midwest moves from Grand Rapids, MI to Elmhurst, IL

In 1986, Wagner opened a full-service location in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Similar to our Dallas, Texas facility it provided a full line of die industry products like punches, steel rule, ejection materials as well as wide selection of tools, Supplies and equipment. In 1993, the location was moved to the Chicagoland Area, in order to customers from a centralized regional location. The Elmhurst facility is 8,500 sq. ft. in size, and houses an extensive line of steel rule industry supplies, tools and equipment.

1995 Wagner becomes the first and only U.S. punch manufacturer to Achieve ISO-Certification.

In 1995 Wagner became the first and only U.S. punch manufacturer to achieve ISO Certification. It was a detailed and demanding process. The disciplines and techniques developed are still in-use at Wagner today, ensuring top-quality, unsurpassed service and a dedication to provide the very best for our customers.

1996 Wagner introduces Identity-etched punches.

As the selection of Wagner punches continued to increase, it became apparent that a way to allow customers to identify punches for reordering needed to be developed. Wagner introduced “Identity-Etching” in punches in 1996. Using the information etched on a Wagner punch, customers could easily identify and reorder punches – ensuring consistent accurate and reliable sizing, whenever a Wagner punch required replacement.

1998 The Wagner Express: The only Die Industry Tradeshow on wheels!

The first and only of it’s kind, the Wagner Express was the die industry’s first and only traveling ‘trade show on wheels.’ Launched in 1998, the Express visited die industry locations “Across America.” The Wagner Express included the latest equipment and supplies of the time, including an automatic rule bender, bench equipment, storage, steel rule, rubber and a wide variety of tools and accessories used by the steel rule die industry. During it’s tenure, the Express logged over 150,000 miles and visited 32 states, and brought the latest in die supplies directly to die industry facilities. It was truly a trade show on wheels. The Express was ‘retired’ in 2006.

1998 The Wagner Express: The only Die Industry Tradeshow on wheels!

Fully loaded with die industry supplies and equipment, the Wagner Express truly was a ‘die industry trade show on wheels.’ From the latest in rule processing equipment, to hand operated equipment, steel rule, ejection material, matrix, tools, even adhesives and accessories – the Express probably had it on-board!

1998 The Wagner Express: The only Die Industry Tradeshow on wheels!

The Express travelled Across America until it was officially retired in 2005. In eight years, the Express often travelled through, rain, sleet and even snow to reach it’s destinations – die shops and die cutters, “All Across America!”

1998 The Wagner Express: The only Die Industry Tradeshow on wheels!

Inside or outside, the Wagner Express brought the trade show to the customer. A rare inside location is shown in the photo, just as the Express set-up to welcome customers.

2000 Wagner introduces Grip'N Strip Adhesive.

Responding to an industry need for an effective die ejection adhesive that holds securely and strips easily and cleanly, Wagner developed Grip N’ Strip. Water-based with no added solvents, Grip N’ Strip is not only an effective, easy-to-use adhesive, but when it comes time to re-rubber a die, it strips cleanly and easily – with no scraping or sanding – making the process quick and easy. Plus, since it’s water-based, clean-up is with soap and water!

2001 Inside-Bevel, Inside-Serrated – ‘IBIS’ – rotary punches debut.

Punch innovation is something Wagner is known for, and in 2001 the IBIS made it’s debut. A Wagner innovation, the IBIS series of punches feature an inside bevel and serration, and make cuts that are sharp and clean with less pressure, and waste strips more cleanly than with traditional rotary punches.

2001 Inside-Bevel, Inside-Serrated – ‘IBIS’ – rotary punches debut.

Wagner Inside Bevel, Inside Serrated [IBIS] punches provide a sharp clean cut, unlike traditional punches they perform a rougher cut. And they cut cleaner with less pressure! Plus, the inside bevel design of the IBIS punch makes for easier ejection of waste, even without an ejector!

2006 Wagner opens the first education and research center dedicated to the steel rule die industry – Wagner Education & Resource Center – WERC.

Frank Wagner founded Wagner Die Supply to be an innovative resource, a place where customers can go to get information and ideas, as well find innovative products and servcies that will make a positive difference to their businesses. From this premise came Wagner’s Education and Resource Center or 'WERC.', WERC was not only a training facility, it was a place where die industry suppliers could come and test-out new products and ideas. Courses included 'Basic Training' which focused on the very basics of die making and die cutting, all the way up to advanced die making, stripping and blanking. Classes were hands-on, and also featured classroom sessions. Equipment used included bench equipment, EZ-Bender, Flow Waterjet, Brausse clamshell press, Sabermatic saws and ruling drum. Students learned not only how to work and assemble dies, but also how to put together an efficient and productive die room. WERC opened in July of 2006, offering courses and training to all. Although the center closed in February of 2016, the spirit of WERC lives-on with Wagner's dedication to providing technical assistance and information to our customers, as part of our day-to-day operations.

2009 EVOL & DRO rotary die storage racks from Henderson added.

Effective and efficient die storage for EVO and DRO dies became a priority as soon as these types of high-speed rotary presses began appearing in the USA. Adding these units to the Henderson family of storage units was a natural. These units share all of the heavy duty traits as our standard rotary die storage units, but are specifically-design to fit EVO and DRO specifications. The photo shows a typical EVOL die storage system installed and in-use. Transport carts to take dies to and from storage to press are also available.

2009 EVOL & DRO rotary die storage racks from Henderson added.

DRO dies can be stored safely and efficiently using Henderson Storage System racks. Racks are designed to DRO die specifications, and transport carts are also available.

2010 Frank Wagner (Wagner Die Supply) honored for his “Unsung Achievement” of the Steel Rule Die Industry by the I.A.D.D.

Wagner Die Supply Founder Frank Wagner, was honored by the International Association of Diecutting & Diemaking (I.A.D.D.) on October 2, 2010 for his contributions to our industry. Frank Wagner, passed away in 1994, but he left a legacy of advancements and innovations in our industry that live-on today. Among his many achievements, Mr. Wagner’s dedication to education, creativity and industry innovation, was the inspiration behind the Wagner Education and Rescource Center (WERC) which opened in July of 2006.

2013 Wagner Extractor 2000 celebrates over 5,000 units worldwide!

Just in time for it’s 20th Anniversary, the Wagner Extractor 2000 rule puller celebrated it’s 5,000th unit sold in 2013. To commemorate the milestone, Wagner made one “20th Anniversary” Extractor 2000 and it was raffled-off to a lucky attendee at the IADD’s Odyssey Expo in 2013. Often imitated, genuine Wagner Extractor 2000 is an industry standard for safety and efficiency, and remains as the only rule puller of it’s kind designed and manufactured exclusively in the USA.

2017 Wagner Celebrates it’s 70th Anniversary!

2017 marked the 70th Anniversary of Wagner’s founding. The first event where Wagner’s anniversary was highlighted was at the 2017 I.A.D.D. Odyssey Expo in Schaumburg, Illinois, Wagner’s booth featured a 70th Anniversary theme including a special 70th Anniversary Exractor 2000. A limited production run of the 70th Anniversary Extractors was released, and several were awarded to attendees at 70th Anniversary Seminars across the country. These seminars, were free of charge, and presented by Rick Putch of National Steel Rule, featured a wealth of important information for die makers, die cutters and anyone involved in our industry. Events culminated with a 70th Anniversary Golf Tournament held near Wagner’s Ontario, California headquarters in early November.

2018 Wagner introduces SuperSet Adhesives

Wagner’s SuperSet line of adhesives is the die industry’s most complete line of Cyanoacrylate adhesives. Available in three viscosities [Light – LV, Medium-MV and Heavy-HV] SuperSet is an industrial-grade adhesive specifically-designed to bond rubber to die board. SuperSet is double-filtered to remove impurities, enhancing its performance and shelf-life. Also available in Gel version, and our QT-2 Activator is also available. Optional to use, QT-2 speeds up setting time from 8 seconds to 4 seconds!

2019 Wagner moves Dallas facility to Grand Prairie, TX

Located in Dallas since 1982, in 2019 Wagner Southwest relocated to a new 7,000+ sq. ft. facility in Grand Prairie, TX. The facility has additional warehouse space, improved offices for sales and service and has two truck docks as well as a ramp to process shipments.