Our History – A Timeline of Events

Our family’s involvement with saws dates back to 1919 when Raymond R. Harris, having just completed school, found himself managing the Burnt Forest Saw Mill in Kenya. He soon discovered that his knowledge and experience with saws was non-existent.

He arranged to travel to the United Kingdom where he received training and experience with Spear and Jackson in Sheffield, T. Robinson and Son in Rochdale and CC Dawe Ltd in London. From 1923 until 1930 he worked in Kenya as a saw doctor. The depression in the ‘30s forced him to seek work in South Africa. Here his first job was with South African Railways – secured because of his experience with wide band saws. In 1934 he started a saw repair shop in Johannesburg. The bulk of the business being circular saws, with hot saws for steel mills accounting for about 60% of the business.

The name changed to R. R. Harris and Sons in 1962.

The manufacture of hot saws from local steel started in 1964. In 1966 Roy Harris joined the company. The heat treatment plant was commissioned in 1973. The first automatic TCT sharpening equipment installed as well. In 1975 Cedric Harris joined the company. In 1977 Harris and Sons was bought by Norton Abrasives who owned Lasher Tools (successor to Spear and Jackson SA).

In 1979 Roy Harris broke away from Norton and started Harris Sawing Equipment. He began producing diamond saw bodies including laser weld quality, inserted tooth saws, slitting knives and specialised TCT products. Michael Harris, third generation family, joined the company in 2002. In 2008 we installed the largest automatic tungsten carbide tipping machine in South Africa, capable of tipping saws from 180 mm diameter to 1,000 mm in diameter.

In 2012 we commissioned and installed the most sophisticated automatic straightening and tensioning machine (at that time) in the Southern Hemisphere. From 2013 to 2015 we have continually installed new automatic equipment for the manufacturing of circular saw blades such as automatic TCT sharpening machines and automatic polishing machine.

Our current manufacturing includes:


TCT saws


Food grade stainless steel blades


Circular saws from 8 mm diameter to 3,000 mm in diameter


Plate saws


Hot saws

The largest and smallest circular saw we produce is a record for the African continent.