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Portable sawing and drilling

By Russ Olexa

September 2010 - FFJournal: Earlier this year, you and your partner, Peter Smith, purchased SteelMax. What are your plans for it?
Allen: Pete and I bought SteelMax this past April. We saw in SteelMax a company with a strong brand that had, unfortunately, gotten into financial difficulty but still had tremendous potential. SteelMax sells a line of metal-cutting saws and magnetic-based drills and all the consumables that go with them, which include a large offering of metal-cutting saw blades and annular cutters for the drills. Our objective is to take this well-thought-out brand and rectify it financially while getting new products in place for distribution. We also want to expand our distribution channels, so more customers can take advantage of the products we bring to market.

Currently, we offer two hand-held metal-cutting saws, a 7 1/4-in.-diameter metal blade and a 9-in. model. We also offer a 14-in. chop saw that has a 14-in.-diameter metal blade that is a much better cutting solution than abrasive saws.

For the chop saw, we use a cast-iron base, unlike some manufacturers that use aluminum. This cast-iron base gives the saw greater stiffness and heft, eliminating the need to bolt the saw to a bench during cutting, which affords our customers great versatility. It costs more to produce but results in a quality product our customers like.

Q: Will you be introducing any products in the near future?
Yes, we are working on introducing new products and already have expanded our drill line with what we call the D2X, an industrial magnetic-base drill with a 2-in. diameter and 2-in. depth-of-cut capacity. Later this year, we’ll introduce a larger D3X magnetic-base drill capable of drilling 3-in.-diameter holes through 3-in.-thick material. We are also in the process of expanding our offerings of consumables, both saw blades and annular cutters.

SteelMax always has had a line of high-speed steel M2AL cutters that our customers tell us they like better than ones using a cobalt formulation and, in the smaller sizes, better than the carbide-tipped ones. For our cutters, once you go above 2 to 2.5 in. in diameter, the HSS ones really aren’t the right ones for most applications. Therefore, we’ll be introducing a line of carbide-tipped cutters using proprietary grinds on the tips for cutting because the HSS cutters in these 2- to 2.5-in. diameters tend to have more breakage than the carbide-tipped ones. We are pretty excited about this expansion of capabilities in our drill line.

Q: What do you see in SteelMax’s future?
Our mission at SteelMax is to provide our customers with the finest and most innovative steel-fabrication tools available. We will look to improve our current products continuously and add new ones to the line as well. In the near future, we will further expand our drill line with the D4X, a 4-in.-diameter-by-4-in.-depth-of-cut magnetic-base drill. This is a huge, robust drill for very specific applications. We also are evaluating a variety of metal-fabrication tools beyond metal-cutting saws and drills and hope to have these available before the end of the year.

In addition to growing our product line internally, we also will look for potential acquisitions to add complementary product lines. We think SteelMax has the ability to expand and become a much larger company with a broader product line to help solve a much greater range of problems that our customers might be facing. Lastly, we will continue to do everything we can to make sure our operation is as lean as possible, so we can offer these tools at the very best possible prices to our customers. FFJ

 

 

 

 

 

Sources

  • SteelMax
    Centennial, Colo.
    phone: 303/690-9146
    fax: 303/690-9172
    www.steelmax.com

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