A.J. Burton founded Burton Saw and Supply in 1903. When the company started in Vancouver, British Columbia they only sold saw manufacturer supplies to the mills of Western Canada. Once the nature and location of Burton’s business focus gradually changed to supply smaller operations with the equipment they needed. They started supplying the wood products industry as a whole as opposed to just selling to Canadian mills. This is when Burton Saw and Supply realized they had to change the way the once did business with their existing customers. In 1927 The Burton Saw Company moved to Eugene, Oregon and by the 1950’s Burton was an established presence in the Oregon Wood Products industry.
While the business was still growing, the then owners Fred Burton and Ray Ralls, realized they needed to make some changes. They decided to start providing a combination of new and used mill equipment, saws, knives, and consumable supplies. Then, in the 1970’s Dick and Rod Ralls became the sole owners. They then decided to focus primarily on customers in the saw filing and knife grinding rooms, laying the groundwork for what Burton Saw and Supply has become today. This decision to focus on this customer base allowed them to become not only the leaders in the Oregon industry, but also a main competitor in the Wood Products industry nation-wide.
The 80s and 90s saw continued expansion for Burton Saw with subsidiaries opening in Idaho, Alabama, and New Hampshire. With the purchase of Max Manufacturing of San Jose, California in 1983, and its’ ACME brand of post grinders, Oregon Select Inc. was formed to manufacture the machines and specialty products our customers required. In 2001 Burton Saw merged back the business spinoffs it had created to form a single North American corporation. With this merger Duncan McLean and Mike Kehoe were brought in as managing partners. The new millennium was a very busy time, when Burton Saw acquired the assets of several long-term sawmill distributors.
The 2002 acquisition of Postle Owen in Surrey, British Columbia marked our entry into the Canadian market and completed our long journey back to our city of origin. In 2004 the partners of Burton Saw formed a new company for the purpose of acquiring Wright Machine from Betty Wright. Wright Machine is now an important strategic partner with Burton Saw. Our latest venture was the opening, in 2006, of an Eastern Canadian sales office in Rouyn Noranda, Quebec.
Much of the success of our company as we move forward, can be attributed to our rich history. Over 100 years of interesting people and interesting stories provide us with a special connection to our industry.