After working for years as the Chief Engineer for a major saw chain company, Ray Carlton realized that manufacturing saw chain was not only a profession it was a highly skilled technology.
Ray felt that the existing method of sharpening cutters before the chain was assembled was flawed and knew he could improve the product by changing the process. In 1963, Ray decided to pursue his concept by re-engineering the manufacturing process. Ray’s new concept not only automated the production but completely changed the assembly sequence to increase the reliability of the cutting edge of the chain. This innovation in saw chain manufacturing quickly established Carlton Company as a quality supplier in the industry.
Starting out with the Carlton E-Z Feed and Stay-Sharp chain.
Carlton chain is considered the easiest to maintain in the field by many professionals. By 1965 the company is firmly established in the industry as a major supplier of saw chain.
The development of the File O Plate® sharpening tool was one of many Carlton advancements. This design provided the industry with a hand held tool that would allow them to duplicate factory cutting angles.
By 1974 Carlton Company had experienced consistent growth that was demanding more and more production space.
In May of this year the company completed a new office and manufacturing facility in Milwaukie, Oregon more than doubling existing manufacturing capabilities.
Several years of research in the 70’s resulted in a patent issued to Carlton Company for the development of a progressive stamping die and new process to form cutters.
The progressive forming eliminated metal fatigue through a cold forging process and provided a finished product with the strongest top plate in the market.
Continuing innovations resulted in the introduction of the deflector depth gauge in 1980.
The new design which reduced kickback and improved the smoothness of the cut was so well received by the industry that it was later added to all other chain types.
As the company grew so did our expertise in the market.
In 1981 Carlton Company was actively involved in the development of industry safety standards including the drafting of the ANSI ANSI B175.1 safety standard for gasoline powered chainsaws.
In November of this year Carlton Company introduced the new Magna Chisel .325 chain.
The chain was specifically designed for the the lightweight, mid-horsepower professional saws. The unique design included more cutters than standard 3/8” chain increasing the cutting speed and the toughness required for use in harsh conditions.
The Guard link saw chain series was the first low kickback saw chain to earn certification to the ANSI B175.1 standard.
Our experienced personnel and technical expertise positioned Carlton Company as the choice for testing all major chainsaw manufacturer’s products.
G7S - 3/4” pitch harvester chain was introduced.
The “Chipper” style cutter design and superior quality became the industry benchmark for 3/4” pitch chain.
Russell German was named President of the Company.
Sustained growth during the 1980’s and 1990’s demanded the expansion of our manufacturing facilities. In 1995 we completed a second facility dedicated the manufacture of 3/8” low profile saw chain.
Bumper guard links replaced bumper tie straps on 3/8” low profile and .325” pitch saw chain.
Russell German named President and Chief Executive Officer.
This year marked our 35th year of manufacturing high quality professional saw chain.
By now, the company had expanded distribution to almost every country in the world and a sales office in Italy was opened to provide localized service and support for our European customers.
Our continued commitment to quality was recognized in May of 1998 as Carlton Company achieved ISO 9001 Certification.
Carlton Company realized that the saw chain market was evolving from a commercial market.
The smaller, low horsepower, chainsaw models were reaching a more casual consumer market. In 1999 we expanded our presence in the U.S. market with a private label line of chain saw accessories designed for sales in the Home Depot stores throughout the United States and Canada.
The evolution of low horsepower gas and electric chainsaws created an increased demand for smaller, lighter saw chain and guide bars.
Carlton quickly reacted to the new demand with the introduction of 3/8” low profile narrow kerf (.043”) and .325” narrow kerf chains and bars.
Private label successes in the consumer market led Carlton Company to introduce a Carlton branded line of retail products.
The product line was launched with a complete selection of the most popular chains, accessories and combinations.
Our Harvester product line was expanded to include a complete range of accessories to complement the chains and bars.
As the consumer market expanded it became obvious that Carlton would have to make some changes to maintain their high standard of customer service.
To increase speed to market and improve delivery to our retail customers a distribution facility was established in Atlanta, Georgia to service the eastern half of the United States.
Year over year continued growth made further expansion a necessity. In 2003 Carlton completed a 100,000 + square foot addition adjacent to our existing manufacturing facility in Milwaukie, Oregon.
The new complex resulted in improved efficiencies and record breaking production.
The product line was expanded again with the introduction of 1/4” pitch chain and bars.
The reduced size and weight of 1/4” pitch products are specifically designed as a flexible tool for the detailed art of carving timber.
Carlton Company further increased it’s presence in Europe by opening a distribution facility in The Netherlands and a sales office in Germany to increase support and service for that market.
The Carlton Company was purchased by Blount International.
Blount International is a global manufacturer of replacement parts, equipment, and accessories for the forestry, lawn and garden; farm, ranch, and agriculture; and concrete cutting and finishing markets. Blount is the market leader in manufacturing saw chain and guide bars for chain saws and sells its products in more than 100 countries around the world.