The Finish 1st® brand is designed for both professional and DIY customers. Finish 1st® incorporates all standards for sanding and finishing projects that any working enthusiast would expect as well as innovative new approaches to your basic sanding tasks.
Ali Industries got its humble beginning in 1961 with $400 and a dream. Frank Ali, using his tool and die experience, started his business in his Ohio garage creating and supplying specialty abrasives to the growing Aerospace Industry. He worked with McDonnell Douglas to help develop the Gemini Rocket program that propelled America forward in its aerospace achievements. He also met John Glenn during the space capsule development process, not knowing that John would soon become an American Icon.
In the 1970's there was a recession in the aerospace industry. It was during this time that Frank diversified into the DIY Hardware Industry. His approach was to supply a line of affordably-priced consumer abrasives that performed at industrial levels. He marketed his line of products under the ALI-GATOR®-GRIT Brand using the iconic alligator® as a feature within the logo.
Frank was raising a family while he grew his company, and his four sons eventually joined him in the family business. The young men all brought special skill sets to the company and helped expand the number of retailers carrying the Gator® Grit brand. They also supplied private label product to many customers. Ali Industries remains a private, family-owned company, and this strong sense of family has helped Ali Industries become the abrasives leader it is today. A lot of people have asked us, \"What's the difference that makes Ali Industries so special?\" The answer is quite simple… \"It's Our People\" and the pride and dedication they bring day in and day out!
Pushing the envelope in the DIY sector has always been an important part of Ali Industries, and now Ali has over 40 patents. The first patent was on the Twist & Lock Quick Change Sanding Disc for high speed grinding. It was Frank’s number one seller for over ten years. Other innovations include the lap joint sanding belts that can run in either direction, and the hook and loop backing on abrasive products. Both have become industry standard, and Ali continues to be a leading industry innovator with the Zip Sander® product line.
In 1995 Ali Industries decided to become fully integrated and began manufacturing their own abrasives in-house. Over a two-year period, they developed their own state-of-the-art high speed making machine. They then acquired their own printing equipment, allowing them better control over product development from initial design to delivery to the customer. This integration remains a strategic enterprise in our business today.
In the new millennium Ali Industries entered the automotive industry with the introduction of Finish 1st® line of abrasive products created specifically for the demands of automotive bodywork. The goal was of offer a comprehensive line of products specifically designed for both the pro and the do-it-yourselfer that delivered top performance at an unsurpassed value. The success of this program was quickly followed by the introduction of other auto body repair products under the Finish 1st® brand name, which included body filler, resin, and fiberglass auto body repair kits. During this period, Ali Industries also launched a complete line of professional quality premium abrasive products to the DIY market under the Shopsmith® banner. This complete line of professional quality abrasives are sure to set a new standard in performance and quality for the next generation.
Our dedication to providing customers with the finest in quality and innovation at an exceptional value, remains as strong as ever. Today, Ali Industries produces a wide variety of performance-designed, high quality, and durable abrasives for the DIY and Automotive Industries. These include sandpaper sheets, fiber discs, sanding belts, orbital sheets, abrasive rolls, sanding discs, sanding sponges and pads, wet and dry sandpaper, grinding wheels, sharpening stones, cutoff wheels, floor abrasives and drywall abrasives.
Ali Industries currently supplies automotive sandpaper and abrasive products to over 25,000 hardware co-op and automotive stores throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and Mexico under the Gator, Finish 1st, and Shopsmith brand. Our continuing goal is to provide the industry with durable, performance-designed premium quality sandpaper and abrasives that will more than satisfy the consumer. Our founder’s philosophy that “Price only gets people in the door once, but higher quality is what brings our customers back” still remains and is an important reason why we have been able to develop such a successful company.