Magna-Matic began as the brand/model name of the now MAG-1000 Blade Balancing Instrument. Much like Kleenex is synonymous with facial tissue, Magna-Matic became the word for lawn mower blade balancer. The company started in the early 1940's as A.J. Karrels Company, owned and operated by A.J. Karrels the original inventor and patent holder of the Magna-Matic lawn mower blade balancer, originally located in Port Washington Wisconsin. The A.J. Karrels company was a small rural Ferguson Tractor dealership operated out of an old family farmstead. In addition to Ferguson Tractors A.J. Karrels handed such brands as Homelite chainsaws, Briggs & Stratton engines, Red-Tip mowers, and etc.
In the mid-1950's A.J. Karrels began developing the lawn mower blade balancer due to walk-behind push mowers warranty problems. Being a small engine repair shop and lawn mower dealer, he encountered the major warranty problems that Briggs & Stratton was having at the time. A.J. Karrels recognized that the lawn mower blade acted as the flywheel of the engine, and realized that the out-of-balance condition of the blade was destroying the crank shaft bearings. A.J. Karrels invented the now MAG-1000 to be able to accuratly balance the blades and elimiate the warranty disputes of the mower manufacturers.
We mark 1958 as the begining of Magna-Matic with the release of the Magna-Matic lawn mower blade balancer. Through the 1950's and 1960's A.J. Karrels company sold the Magna-Matic Balancer directly through Briggs & Stratton as a dealer required tool. He machined and manufactured all of the parts for the balancer in an oversized garage/workshop, where he also provided small engine service. As the popularity grew A.J. Karrels sold the balancer to other distribution networks and direct. A.J. Karrels Company continued to be a small engine repair and mower dealership, and when Ferguson Tractors were purchased by Ford, the tractor dealership was lost during restructuring. Moto-Ski snowmobiles were also handled by A.J. Karrels Company for most of the 1960's and 1970's until that brand was purchased by Ski-Doo.
By the mid to late 1970's most of the brands that A.J. Karrels Company handled had been moved to larger locations, or brands had been bought up by competition. The Magna-Matic lawn mower blade balancer was a source of constant growth. In 1978 A.J. Karrels and his family moved from the original farm, to a new house with a large manufacturing facility to make the balancer attached right to the home. As A.J. Karrels grew older and the market demand continually increased for the Magna-Matic lawn mower blade balancer, he began to have difficulty filling orders. His unrelenting desire for quality and pride for the product prevented him from jobbing our or hiring additonal staff outside of family. The accuracy and precision of the Magna-Matic lawn mower blade balancer was far too important to him. At this time due to his increase in market demand, and no increase in supply, some foreign manufactured tried to copy the balancer. All of the first attempts failed trying to match A.J. Karrels mastery of precision and accuracy at a very low cost.
During the late 1980's A.J. Karrels began to look towards retirement, and his pride for the Magna-Matic name would not be sold to just anyone. He would have to be sure that the quality, accuracy, and precision would be maintained. Gerd F. Bauer the son-in-law of A.J. Karrels who had spent 30 years as an engineer was interested in finally owning a company himself rather then always working for someone else.
MORE COMING SOON !