Klingspor in the Congo

Oct 23, 2019

Salire Masuk, from the Congo, brings new life to discarded Kronenflex cutting-off wheels. High quality from Klingspor pays off double.
Salire Masuk, from the Congo, brings new life to discarded Kronenflex cutting-off wheels. High quality from Klingspor pays off double.


Bildmotiv Innovation


It's market day in Aru. Two dozen people from the small village situated in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo swarm around Salire Masuk. He stays completely calm and enjoys the curious glances of the men who are marvelling at his machine. It is made up of a bicycle and interim storage with the Kronenflex A 24 Extra cutting-off wheel from Klingspor mounted onto it. The module operates without electricity, since there is none in Aru. An assistant cranks the pedals. Sparks fly while Salire Masuk carefully holds a bush knife against the Flex disc.


A profession in demand

The 30-year-old is a scissors grinder by trade and uses the grinding machine he has created himself to feed his family of seven. Unlike in Germany, the trade of a scissors grinder is still one of the most sought after professions in the Eastern Congo. Blunt knives, garden tools and spears are not thrown away, but rather resharpened. Buying new tools is something that only very few people can afford in a country that is crippled by poverty after many years of war. Horst Kommerau is the Technical Manager at Diguna, a mission carrying out charitable work in Africa, and remembers his first meeting with Salire Masuk. “A few years ago, Salire came to use at the mission station because his bike frame was broken. We soldered it all back together and that's when he discovered our scrap metal crate”, reports Kommerau. The young man could not understand why the Germans were throwing away the worn Flex discs, which were less than two millimetres thick, and took some of them away with him. Since this time, the young head of the family has travelled from community to community with his bike, making blunt tools usable again. Salire Masuk is known across the whole area around Aru. And he's constantly making new contacts by drawing attention to himself at markets. “The fact that people in Africa are constantly making something out of nothing never ceases to impress me. Just like Salire, he took a worn cutting-off wheel and built his own business from it, and all that without any prior knowledge,” says Kommerau.

Salire Masuk sets up his workplace on the street.

Enthusiastic users

When the story of the enterprising African became known in Haiger, Klingspor has been regularly providing Diguna with leftover items. “Klingspor's grinding tools are used with great enthusiasm here in the Congo. People who do not have very much really value quality and a long service life. On tools with a yellow colour, many of them know now that they can work reliably with them”, affirms Kommerau.

Click here to see the full range of cutting-off wheels for Metals.