The first Paiste cymbals were produced in 1906 by Estonian musician Toomas Paiste in his instrument repair shop in Saint Petersburg, Russia, to customer orders. Toomas had served in the Czarist Guard, and retired in 1901 to open a music publishing business and music shop.
The cymbal making aspect of the business expanded with the passing years, despite the disruption of several moves necessitated by war, first to Tallinn in Estonia in 1917, where Toomas' son Mihkel Paiste decided to concentrate on cymbal production and export. In 1940 the family and the cymbal making operation moved to Poland, where they continued under extremely difficult conditions, and in 1945 to Germany, and then in 1957 a new headquarters and production facility was established in Switzerland. The business was continued by Mihkel's sons Robert and Toomas, with both the Swiss and German operations as the main manufacturing centres.