January 6, 2013

Foley-Belsaw on Wikipedia - not yet

Over Christmas I wrote and submitted the article below (plus footnotes) to Wikipedia, but it was just turned down for lack of demonstrated significance.  So I will do more searching for articles available on the internet.

Foley-Belsaw is a family-owned group of companies that designs, manufactures, and distributes a broad line of sharpening and locksmithing equipment, and sells home study courses for outdoor power equipment repair, locksmithing, and gunsmithing. Company headquarters and primary manufacturing operations are in River Falls, Wisconsin, with additional facilities in Kansas City, Missouri. The companies and divisions include Foley-Belsaw Company, Foley United, Foley United Industrial, and Neary Technologies. Foley Belsaw is a leading United States sharpening equipment manufacturer.

Foley history

Foley’s history began with Hugh B. Foley (1870-1926), an English citizen living in Seattle, Washington who invented a saw filing machine, US Patent number 837,922, issued December 11, 1906. Foley began manufacturing The Foley Saw Filing Machine after applying for the patent January 24, 1906, according to the name plate on an early machine. Foley formed Foley Saw Tool Company to manufacture the saw filing machine. By 1916 Hugh B. Foley was a US citizen living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and he was granted US Patent number 1,224,293 in 1917 for an improved saw filing machine. Foley continued to invent and patent saw filing and saw setting equipment, with his last patent issued posthumously in 1928.

Walter Ringer purchased Foley Manufacturing Company in 1926 and continued to develop and manufacture automatic saw filers and related saw setting and retoothing equipment in Minneapolis. The product line grew to include machines for sharpening everything from ice skates to carbide saw blades, plus key duplication machines. Foley developed training materials to broaden the market for the sharpening machines. Foley also made a line of household cooking products including the Foley food mill, a rolling pin with ball bearings, a rolling cookie and biscuit cutter, and flour sifters. During the post-World War II manufacturing boom Foley briefly produced a small table saw and gasoline powered reel lawn mower. Many of Foley’s machines were the best selling of their type, particularly the automatic saw filer.

Belsaw history

Belsaw Machinery Co. started in 1928 according to their logo, and they were located in Kansas City, Missouri. Belsaw’s best known machines were the portable sawmill and planer-molder, and they originated the Sharp-All multipurpose grinder and sharpener. Although Belsaw’s product line was smaller than Foley’s, they developed saw sharpening and setting machines that competed with Foley’s equipment.

Current company

Foley and Belsaw merged in 1983 under the Ringer family ownership, now in its third generation. The combined firm eliminated some duplicate products, but continued to manufacture machines developed by both Foley and Belsaw under the new name. Today, its Foley Belsaw division in Kansas City markets the Foley-Belsaw line of machines for key duplication, scissor sharpening, carbide grinding, knife sharpening, lawnmower sharpening, tool sharpening, chain saw grinding, drill and end mill grinding, honing, and skate grinding. Foley United makes sharpening equipment for golf and turf markets. Foley United Industrial makes sharpening equipment for industrial woodworking tools. Neary Technologies was founded in the late 1970s by a former Foley employee and purchased by Foley Belsaw in 1998. Neary sells a separate line of sharpening equipment for the golf and turf markets.


  1. This is a great article and deserves to be on Wikipedia. add those references and it will be perfect. I recently found an old belsaw m14 in the forest and was fascinated yo learn it's history

  2. Please help me find information on a Foley riding rotary mower. We have one with a Wisconsin engine. It is 6 speed with engine and drive on the deck, and the seat on a cart behind, making it a very effective zero turn mower.

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  4. If anyone has a foley belsaw A-14 or information about one or contact info of a sawmill for sale please email me at barrysusanclark@gmail.com