Oliver Machinery can trace its roots all the way back to 1890 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The company, founded by Joseph W. Oliver, originally designed and manufactured wood trimmers that reduced labor time from 15 minutes to only a few seconds, winning Oliver a gold medal for merit at the 1900 World's Fair in Paris.
In 1908 Oliver introduced the round cutterhead, a much safer alternative to the standard square cutterhead. The new safety feature was so apparent that many states soon began requiring their installation.
In 1923 Oliver introduced the Straitoplane, a combination planer and jointer that could plane a warped board perfectly flat and straight on both surfaces in one pass. In 1929 Oliver sold over 9,000 of these machines. Other woodworking machine companies have since copied the design, testifying to its quality and distinctiveness.
Over the span of the twentieth century, Oliver adapted to the ever-changing American economy, manufacturing bread-slicers during the Depression, saws for cutting aluminum, brass, copper, steel and titanium during World War II, and packaging and printing machinery during the 1950's and 60's.
By 1994, Oliver had produced over 150,000 machines, 75,000 of which were still in operation on a daily basis worldwide. Even today, replacement parts are available on many of the popular models through an agreement with Eagle Machinery in Coopersville, MI.
In 2000, the operations were moved to Seattle, WA, but the dedication to supplying the absolute finest in heavy-duty woodworking machines continued. To introduce the new offering, in 2002 Oliver began participating at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta, GA. That presence continues today as the company plans for its tenth exhibition in 2020.By 2004, Oliver began offering select models with US-built Baldor motors and it also began voltage conversions to meet the demands of our growing customer base. In 2005, Oliver was one of the first brands to offer BYRD Shelix cutter heads as original equipment manufacturer on select jointer and planer models. Oliver’s distributor network continued to grow, and in 2012, the first Distributor Summit was held in Seattle with over 30 participants attending. This became an annual event and the number of dealers in attendance grew each year. In 2013 Oliver began a partnership with Belgium-built Robland and was named their Exclusive US Agent. With its dedication to the woodworking industry at all levels, in 2016, Oliver began development and introduced on a line of affordable small shop, high-end hobbyist models that continues to grow today. Heavy-duty, industrial tools are still the focus. A line of parallelogram jointers and a variable speed shaper will arrive in late 2019. While still supporting its nationwide network of local dealers, in 2019, Oliver launched a direct sale eCommerce website to service a larger marketplace, provide first-class service, and share its passion for the industry Oliver proudly serves.
Oliver Machinery has a long tradition of innovation. Ever since the turn of the century when Oliver introduced the round cutterhead, they have been consistently improving and modernizing their machines to give the user the best product.
In the spirit of American ingenuity, Oliver machines improve on existing technology by utilizing features such as carbide helical cutterheads, spiral cutterheads, computerized controls and sensors, segmented infeed rollers, and advanced safety features.
In addition to their technological determination, Oliver remains true to the traditions of woodworking machinery. This means their machines are consistently more rugged, heavier-duty, and better designed than the competition, which means that your wood comes out straighter, more precise, and better crafted than with any other machine.
Oliver's machines consistently utilize cutting-edge materials, precision engineering, and innovative features to put them above and beyond the competition.
to see what we mean.