RENNSTEIG is a fast-growing, mid-sized company based in South Thuringia in Germany, a region with a centuries-old tradition of tool manufacturing. This is also where they work with the team of close to 400 employees to develop, manufacture and market their quality tools. On 1 July 1991, the company became an independent subsidiary of the prestigious KNIPEX-Werk C. Gustav Putsch KG in Wuppertal (NRW, Germany).

Due to a high level of added value, almost everything from the idea to the dispatch of the products takes place under one roof and with regional partners. 

Interview with Sascha Zmiskol, Managing Director at Rennsteig Werkzeuge GmbH.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Sascha Zmiskol: Our company’s traditional roots lie in our factory in the Altersbach district of Steinbach-Hallenberg, where production was already underway in 1959. Today, we are one of the world’s most productive makers of quality tools for construction and industrial use.

In the early 1990s, we expanded our product portfolio to include pro-quality tools for the cutting, stripping and crimping of cables. Ever since, we’ve been making high-quality tools for cable assembly at our company head office in the Viernau district of Steinbach-Hallenberg.

We produce hand tools for cutting, stripping and crimping, as well as crimping machines for cable assembly. These are used in trade, industry, service, maintenance, prototype construction and small series production. For the construction and industrial sector, we produce quality tools such as impact, hole, assembly and disassembly tools, nail irons and pipe wrenches.

Rennsteig Werkzeuge GmbH_employees

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

S.Z: Every year, Rennsteig develops and produces 2-3 new tools with its in-house development department and continuously works on dozens of modifications as well as continuous improvements to existing tools, new tool kits and locators. A number of patents, even beyond the borders of Germany, document our ability to innovate. 

Apart from expanding our production capacities and continuous improvements to our production processes, we are also keen to keep expanding our product portfolio. As a result, our in-house R&D Dept. produces a steady stream of new products while also making optimizations to existing tools. A large library of patents – not restricted solely to German territory – also document our innovative strengths.

Our exceptional flexibility in production has also enabled us to specialize in the creation of unique, customer-specific tools for use in a very wide range of industry applications. Brought into their development processes at an early stage, we work closely with them to develop effective solutions. For many years, leading German and global companies have been relying on our know-how, our flexibility and our industry expertise.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

S.Z: We produce quality tools for use in construction and industry at our facility in the Altersbach district of Steinbach-Hallenberg. From here, we ship out many thousands of chisels, pin punches, pry bars, screw extractors, hollow punches and pipe spanners each and every month. 

RENNSTEIG_product range

Our RENNSTEIG handheld tools and crimping machines for cable assembly are manufactured at our company head office in the Viernau district of Steinbach-Hallenberg. These tools find use in the skilled trades, manufacturing, service, maintenance, prototyping and low-volume production. Our international segments range from electrical installations in construction through to wiring harness production in aviation. All of our tools are designed to promote longevity and ergonomics, to ensure the optimum handling of your day-to-day jobs as a professional.

We manufacture our products with modern, industrial methods using materials of the very highest quality. As our customer, this ensures you enjoy optimum quality and longevity when using our RENNSTEIG products.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

S.Z: As one of the world’s leading manufacturers in the field of quality tools for cable assembly as well as construction and industry, we are active in various industries, including automotive, electronics, construction, agriculture, aviation, photovoltaics, sanitation, cable assembly, metal industry and information electronics. We are supporting the global KNIPEX sales system. Depending on political and economic frame conditions the market development is not always consistent, but in average we are growing quickly with a rate of 10 % + per year.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

S.Z: Tradition and quality from the Thuringian Forest

Along with technical innovations, there is always a need for tools with which one can work more precisely, faster and more cost-effectively. Rennsteig Werkzeuge GmbH is an expert in developing these and always adapting them to new market situations and customer requirements. RENNSTEIG has been producing professional hand tools since 1959, from the idea to the series product. Since the beginning, numerous well-known manufacturers have been development partners and loyal companions. More than 50 international patents impressively demonstrate the lead of RENNSTEIG products in global markets. At RENNSTEIG we focus on quality and above all on tools with a long service life. Our focus is on reducing the manual strength required, better ergonomics and the use of pneumatic or battery-powered solutions.

Multistrip10 plus

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

S.Z: “MultiStrip® 10 plus” / KNIPEX NexStrip®

The smart multifunctional tool RENNSTEIG MultiStrip® 10 plus combines the three necessary work steps to completely process ferrules with a cross section of up to 10 mm²: cutting, stripping and crimping. With its functions and the large area of application, the tool permanently reduces the need for additional tools. In addition to combining three tools in one, the multifunction tool from RENNSTEIG stands out from its competitors with the self-adjustment of the stripping function and the large cross-section range when crimping. The RENNSTEIG MultiStrip® 10 plus is self-adjusting in the cable cross-section range from 0.08 to 10 mm², whereas other pliers have to be adjusted themselves. The RENNSTEIG tool also offers the additional function of adjustability so that the user can react to special insulation and special temperatures. With the RENNSTEIG MultiStrip® 10 plus, ferrules can be crimped with a precise square crimping in the range from 0.25 to 4mm² and twin ferrules from 2×0.25 to 2×2.5mm² according to DIN 46228 part 1+4, while competitors only up to 2.5 mm² can crimp.

In addition to optimizing the work steps, the focus was also on ergonomics. Thanks to the comfortable reach and the low weight, you can work comfortably and with little fatigue. A quick, tool-free and cost-effective change of the knife block when worn rounds off the user-friendliness and also offers an important sustainability aspect. 

Adjustable Centering Punch- Drill metal with success

In order to transfer a hole to a second workpiece or a base plate without offset, it must be ensured that the punching for the hole preparation is absolutely centered. The RENNSTEIG center punch is ideal for this complicated step. The center punch is inserted into the bore and widened using the knurled screw. The widened centering sleeve ensures exact positioning of the grain in the center of the desired drill hole. Hitting the center punch with a hammer sets the required indentation for guiding the drill. The RENNSTEIG center punch range offers a choice of three different sizes.

Adjustable Centering Punch

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023?

S.Z: We work on the continuous further development of our products, intensify our social media activities and invest in the expansion of infrastructure and pr