100 years of FLEX Cutting metal with an angle grinder, sparks flying

100 years of FLEX

A proud past, an exciting future

Founded in 1922 in the Swabian town of Bad Cannstatt near Stuttgart, the company Ackermann + Schmitt from which the FLEX brand emerged has always been synonymous with an extraordinary enthusiasm for innovation and the ambition to develop even better tools from good ideas.

We are proud of 100 years of inventiveness and a passion for power tools - true proformance.

And we're looking forward to the future even more: always keeping at it, showing full commitment and so celebrating success time and time again. That's what motivates not just our customers but us ourselves, day after day.

Proud past

The "flexible shaft", which acts as an intermediate piece connecting the drive and the tool, is the origin of the company brand FLEX and became the generic term for the angle grinder. In the early days of the company's history, this was the starting point for numerous product ideas and developments that contributed to the rapid growth of the company. As early as the 1930s, the company headquarters had to be relocated and enlarged several times to meet the increasing demand. Abruptly interrupted by the Second World War and the early death of Hermann Schmitt, the success story was continued in 1946. With 4 employees and the production of scissors and a hand-held grinder, the company quickly picked up speed again. Growth, international expansion and successful new developments were to shape the subsequent decades. The successive expansion of the new company headquarters in Steinheim continued into the 1980s.

With the first high-speed angle grinder, the DL 9, FLEX finally made industrial history in 1954. This key product for the modern brand history was to be followed by many more.

Exciting future

Cordless angle grinder LBE 125 18.0-EC with variable speed adjustment from FLEX

Through consistent dialogue with the trade and decades of experience, FLEX is constantly developing new innovative solutions for ergonomic and economical working.

We will continue to consistently pursue this spirit of innovation in the future: FLEX impressed in the 29th round of the TOP 100 competition as a powerhouse of ideas, and was awarded the 2022 TOP Innovator seal.

Here's to an exciting future - with yet more innovations for true professionals in the trade.

Success based on innovation

The history of FLEX

  • Hermann Ackermann & Hermann Schmitt, founders of FLEX

    1922

    Founded by Ackermann + Schmitt

    On 7th December 1922, Hermann Ackermann and Hermann Schmitt founded the company of the same name in -Bad Cannstatt near Stuttgart to manufacture and sell their own invention - the MS 6 hand-held grinding machine with a flexible shaft.

  • First angle grinder Ackermann & Schmitt today FLEX DL 9

    1954

    Angle grinder invented

    In 1954, the company Ackermann + Schmitt (now FLEX) launched the first high-speed angle grinder with the type designation DL 9.

  • Historical polishing machine from FLEX

    1987

    FLEX polishing system

    A high sheen is what's needed! FLEX develops complete systems to gently polish car paintwork, furniture and natural stone floors.

  • Historical burnishing machine FLEX

    1989

    New working method: Burnishing

    Brilliant surfaces! FLEX unveils a new working method: Burnishing - for seamless surfaces on metal and stainless steel.

  • FLEX The original logo History

    1996

    FLEX-Elektrowerkzeuge GmbH

    Ackermann + Schmitt becomes FLEX in 1996.

  • FLEX historical Giraffe

    1997

    The FLEX Giraffe®

    FLEX was the first power tool manufacturer in Europe to introduce the long-neck grinder for work on walls and ceilings - the FLEX Giraffe®. A development that revolutionises the work of painters, drywallers, plasterers and many other trades.

  • FLEX angle grinder

    2002

    FLEX presents the angle grinder generation for the 21st century.

    Innovation down to the very last detail The FLEX inventor delivers 8 new models of between 710 and 1300 watts in an extremely slim design, with outstanding handling characteristics and many innovative product features such as microprocessor-controlled electronics or the FLEX SoftVib handle on the side.

  • FLEX swivel-action wall chaser

    2007

    FLEX wall chaser innovation

    The FLEX wall chaser enables the machine to be converted for a vertical pull cut as well as a horizontal push cut. Swing it over, let it click into place - and that's it! 

  • FLEX VarioGiraffe WST 700VV

    2009

    Vario-Giraffe® with telescopic function

    Vario-Giraffe® WST 700 VV. The further development of the successful FLEX Giraffe® sets new standards with an innovative telescopic function and an interchangeable grinding head

  • FLEX Retecflex

    2010

    RETECFLEX RE 14-5 115

    The innovative tool system. Can be quickly and easily adapted for different requirements: The renovation specialist that can grind, mill, perforate and polish.

  • FLEX history Polishflex

    2011

    Polishflex

    The gentle power pack for professional working on painted surfaces. A compact variable-speed, high-torque polisher with an extremely quiet motor and gear unit.

  • FLEX first Handy-Giraffe with interchangeable head system

    2011

    Wall and ceiling polisher Handy-Giraffe® with interchangeable head system.

    WSE 7 Vario It's the optimum addition to the Vario-Giraffe®, especially when it comes to working in narrow spaces and on smaller wall and ceiling surfaces.

  • Chervon logo

    2012

    FLEX is taken over by Chervon Holdings Ltd.
  • FLEX History GE 5

    2014

    GE 5 / GE 5 R, the most handy FLEX Giraffe® ever

    Great ease of use, surprising versatility and reliable quality – made in Germany: The FLEX Giraffe® is now lighter, more flexible and more robust than ever before. Thanks to the new rotating edge segment, the GE 5 R can also be used to work on edges and wall-to-ceiling transitions.

  • FLEX History Battery Technology "KEEP COOLTM Technology"

    2015

    The new cordless generation with "KEEP COOLTM Technology"

    The new generation of FLEX cordless tools is setting new standards of quality and performance thanks to their mature concept for the tools and batteries. The good performance of the FLEX cordless tools is based on a unique innovation. The battery cells are jacketed with a cooling material that actively reduces the build-up of heat. The "KEEP COOL™ technology" impresses with a measurably longer battery run time.

  • FLEX History TRINOXFLEX

    2016

    TRINOXFLEX - two for the price of one!

    The new TRINOXFLEX from FLEX offers a versatile and above all adaptable finishing system for working on stainless steel. Just one click takes you from pipe belt sander to burnishing tool

  • FLEX History random orbit polisher XFE 7-15 150

    2017

    Random orbit polisher for perfect surface finishing

    The FLEX eccentric polisher XFE 7-15 150 is particularly suitable for perfect surface finishing. Holograms are prevented thanks to the free running and a 15 mm stroke. Surface temperatures are also low, and this protects the paintwork even more. The machine is very easy to handle and is the ideal supplement for a two-stage polishing process.

  • FLEX History first battery polishing machines

    2018

    Cordless polishing with no compromises!

    High-end surface finishing then becomes as independent and flexible like never before. Cordless rotary polisher PE 150 18.0-EC for powerful removal and cordless random orbit polisher XFE 15 150 18.0-EC for gentle removal and hologram elimination.

  • FLEX History PXE Smart Polisher

    2019

    The new PXE smart polisher

    The smart tool for spot repairs & preparation: FLEX launches the first cordless smart polisher - the PXE 80 has a unique tool-free quick-change system and impresses as a rotary polisher, random orbit sander and spot sander thanks to its interchangeable drive.

  • FLEX Air Purifier Coronavirus

    2020

    Limiting the spread of coronavirus

    FLEX converts the VAC 800-EC air purifier. The new FLEX air purifiers with a HEPA 14 filter filter up to 99.995 % of virus and bacteria particles out of the room air. The risk of infection with Covid-19 can thus be effectively and significantly reduced.

  • FLEX TOP 100

    2022

    FLEX is awarded the TOP 100 seal

    In 2022 during the 29th round of the TOP 100 competition, FLEX won an award as a powerhouse of ideas. compamedia awards the TOP 100 seal to medium-sized companies in recognition of special innovative strength and above-average innovative success.

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