Elektroinstallationsgeschäft von Josef Krampe in Ascheberg-Herbern.

The history of JOKARI: The path from being an inventor to a world-renowned expert for wire stripping solutions

“The JOKARI” is a well-known trade term among electricians. For more than 50 years, the name JOKARI has stood worldwide for high-quality stripping tools “Made in Germany” and it is not uncommon for the sentence “Hand me the JOKARI!” to be heard on the construction site.
Currently in the third generation of owner-management, we are now able to successfully assert ourselves on the international market as a family business. Below is a brief history of JOKARI showing how just one innovative thought, can change an industry.

The history of our company begins with Josef Krampe. From 1949 he ran an electrical installation business in Ascheberg-Herbern, located in the beautiful Münsterland region. Based on the location in the countryside, this business had to do much more than electrical installations. People relied on this shop for televisions, radios, kitchen appliances, washing machines and more! All needs for anything electrical passed through the doors of this small shop! To run this shop successfully in this post-war period meant that the focus on just the sale of items wasn’t plausible for staying in business. Electrical appliances were purely luxury items at the time and not many people had the money to afford these devices. As a result, Josef Krampe’s shop also offered repairs of electrical appliances. He also installed electrical systems in private homes, farms and commercial enterprises.

Elektroinstallationsgeschäft von Josef Krampe in Ascheberg-Herbern.
Josef Krampe’s electrical installation business in Ascheberg-Herbern.

From a practical invention to the world’s first cable knife

Josef Krampe was an extremely resourceful mind who always had new ideas, perfected them in their implementation and brought them to patents. In  1957, together with a friend, he received a patent for an automatic cable rewinder for dry shavers, which he later handed over to a company for licensed production.
Due to the numerous repair jobs – there was a lack of good tools at the time – he developed tools that made life easier for him in the electrical trade.
At the beginning of the 1960s, the wires and cables used in domestic installations changed. Cables with a plastic sheath were increasingly used, for which a kind of folding knife was usually used for stripping. Those who did not have much practice here quickly damaged the cable conductors.

With his inventive spirit and a great deal of determination, Josef Krampe tackled this problem: In his small workshop, he tinkered, tried things out, discarded ideas and finally developed the first cable knife of its kind: The knife fixes the cable by means of a metal bracket and a spring in such a way that the cable could be stripped off by a rotating hand movement. The invention of the cable knife, which is still used for installation and repair today, was a revolution for the industry! Josef Krampe received the patent for the first cable knife in 1966.

Das erste JOKARI Kabelmesser – heute vielfach kopiert.
The first JOKARI cable knife – widely copied today.
Josef Krampe erhält 1966 das Patent für das erste Kabelmesser.
Josef Krampe received the patent for the first cable knife in 1966.

Of course, a good idea and a patent do not ensure resounding success. So Mr. Krampe started looking for a partner for sales while he devoted himself to new development and production.

The foundation of the company JOKARI

In 1969 the company JOKARI was founded. The naming of the company JOKARI is to be interpreted as follows: JO = Josef KA = Krampe RI = name of the daughter Maria.
The success did not stop and in 1974 the classic electrical trade business with a garage production for stripping tools was transformed into an industrial company. This was followed by  the construction of a production hall with an office wing in the industrial area of Ascheberg-Herbern, our current company location. From then on, the workshop was run by son-in-law Heinrich Grosserichter. In the years that followed, further inventions of tools made it easier to strip cables and wires. In 1983, the electric operation was finally abandoned. Heinrich Grosserichter and his wife Maria, the daughter of Josef Krampe, continued to run the JOKARI company in the second generation.

In the 90s, he took a step into the world

The success story continued and sophisticated tools were successfully developed and brought to market in the years that followed. In 1990, JOKARI started to build up its own national and international sales network and from then on took care of the marketing of the smart stripping tools itself. 2009, the production facility was significantly expanded.
In the meantime, Andrea Bünnigmann, the granddaughter of the company founder, and her husband Carsten Bünnigmann are the third generation in the family business. They are successfully leading the company into the new millennium with many further developments in the tool sector, but also with a contemporary brand relaunch. Today, JOKARI is active worldwide and has an international sales network. From now on, the innovative product range will be adapted to changing market conditions. In this way, we offer innovative solutions for every kind of challenge and thus maintain our position as a well-known manufacturer of precision tools in stripping and stripping technology.

Of course, a resourceful mind like Josef Krampe has never stopped inventing interesting and useful things. In addition to automatic bicycle saddles and rain gutter decorations, he applied for other patents until he passed away in 2012. His inventiveness and immeasurable energy can still be felt in the company today. He would certainly be proud that JOKARI is constantly evolving. Always with the entrepreneurial goal of the company founder in mind: production of high-quality and safe professional tools 100% Made in Germany.

You might also be interested in: “Tools 100% Made in Germany: JOKARI wire stripping solutions

To the author Carsten Bünnigmann