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.
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.
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.