First Cut reaches 60-year milestone

One of South Africa’s leading manufacturers and distributors of capital equipment, cutting consumables and precision measuring tools to the metal, timber, textile, meat, DIY, paper and plastic industries, First Cut (Pty) Ltd, has just reached another milestone in the company’s history – 60 years in business.

“This is another significant event in the history of the company as not many companies in our industry can boast such longevity,” said First Cut’s current Managing Director Andrew Poole.

“We have had many important and strategic occasions over the years. One of the first was when my father John established Alexander and Poole after negotiating the distribution rights in South Africa for the Starrett range of products.”

“Starrett is a major, worldwide manufacturer of saw blade products. The product group now includes three categories. Band saw blades are used primarily in manufacturing facilities. The Power Tool Accessories and Hand Saws group include hole saws, jig and reciprocating blades and hacksaw products. The jobsite and workshop group includes tape measures, levels, protractors and other tools used primarily on construction jobsites and in workshops.”


Andrew Poole and Ian McCrystal

“In 1998 the business acquired a local cutting consumables manufacturer. Then in 2002 these two companies merged to form First Cut. Central to this deal was the negotiation of an agreement with Neill Tools UK to manufacture their products under licence in South Africa. Since then the consumables division has pioneered innovation in the business and provided the foundation for First Cut’s ensuing diversification and continued success.”

“Another notable milestone in the business was when we acquired Bandsawing Services in 2002, facilitating First Cut’s entry into the capital equipment market. The subsequent conclusion of a deal with the Everising Machine Company provided a sound base from which to begin selling capital equipment to the structural steel, sheet metal, tube and pipe industries.”

“Everising, a company based in Taiwan, has been manufacturing mid to large size band saws and circular saws since 1982. We believe that we are the number one company in South Africa selling this type of equipment and that includes bandsaw machines, CNC high-speed machines and HSS machines.”

“Our success with Everising and the consumables we sell led to us taking a major decision in the company’s history when we decided to extend our exposure in the capital equipment market in the 2000s.”

“First Cut’s consumable division specialises in bandsaw blades, circular saw blades, magnetics, precision engineers’ tools, small saws and frames and abrasives. We were well known in industry in supplying these products. We would constantly receive enquiries to supply the equipment that these consumables were used on. So began the research to source quality and reliable manufacturers of the equipment that matched the consumables we were selling.”

“This has led us to establish firm and mutually beneficial relationships with international manufacturers of equipment for the structural fabrication industry including beam processing, plate processing (plasma and oxy), flat angle processing, surface treatment, assembly and welding, beam welding, beam rotation, as well as the sheet metal processing industry including laser cutting, bending, waterjetting, storage and automation, polishing and deburring, and also the tube processing industry including mills, bending, laser cutting, sawing and end-forming.”

“Some of the well known international manufacturers that we now represent in this division include Bystronic, Timesavers, Stierli-Bieger, Voortman, the BLM Group, Birlik Makina and USM.”

“We did not acquire these agencies overnight but strategically added the various complimentary disciplines as and when the need arose. For example we only started supplying and servicing tube and pipe manipulation equipment when we acquired the agency for Italian machine manufacturer the BLM Group after they decided to close their subsidiary in South Africa in the beginning of 2015.”

“This division now supplies international capital equipment and supports a range of machinery from entry level bandsaw and circular saw machines, CNC lathes and machining centers to state-of-the-art CNC controlled drilling and cutting lines and coping robots.”

Service division
“You cannot expect just to supply capital equipment without a back up service and this is one area that we have invested in substantially. Our service and spares division now comprises 32 staff and the majority of the staff have all been factory trained at our international principles manufacturing plants.”

“The service division of the company completes the triangular business model that First Cut operates under with the points of the triangle being made up of consumable sales, capital equipment sales and the provision of service and spares.”

“We believe, and that includes CEO Ian McCrystal who joined the company shortly after me in 1995 and our fellow Directors, that we have now set up the company to take it forward to reach the 100 year milestone and beyond. It is our aim going forward to provide solutions for companies, whether they are cutting, bending or shaping metal, meat, timber, textiles, paper and plastic or any other materials that require our products, consumables or services.”

For more information contact First Cut on TEL: 011 614 1112, email:, or visit the website on or contact Andrew Poole on 082 903 4135.