Powermatic traces its roots back to McMinnville, Tennessee, circa 1921, when Leonard F. Smith Sr. was trying to find a better way to smooth the rough-cut lumber he was in the business of selling. Rather than purchase an off-the-shelf planer, he resolved to build his own model in the workshop of his family farm. The machine sped up his lumber business so much that, soon after, he received an offer to buy the planer. The proceeds from that sale allowed Mr. Smith to build four more planers, which he quickly sold.
As word spread of the quality and efficiency of his machines, so did the sales, and eventually, Mr. Smith left the lumber business to launch a tool manufacturing company. In 1928, he dubbed the company “Powermatic,” and, spurred by strong sales, moved into an old blacksmith shop in town. He rolled out a series of innovative products, including a variety of sanders, drill presses and another new-comer to the industry: the tilting-arbor table saw.
By 1954, as demand for their tools had grown, the company had gone through a series of progressively larger factories. That same year, Mr. Smith’s sons purchased a plot of land on the outskirts of town and built a 38,000 square foot facility specifically tailored to Powermatic’s operations. Four years later, the company built its very own 50,000 square-foot foundry, a step that ensured their ability to keep tight control on the quality and precision of their castings. In 1966, the Smith brothers sold the business, which continued to operate locally.
Today, Powermatic tools consistently receive top marks for impeccable engineering and high quality. The 400,000 square-foot facility in LaVergne, Tennessee is a testament to the enduring success of the company. Their product line has grown to include everything from planers and jointers, to table saws, band saws, and wide belt sanders, all of which boast the high standards that Powermatic has come to represent. When it comes to the workhorses of the woodworking shop, Powermatic keeps its promise to always go for the gold.