Dmitry Kalinovsky | Dreamstime
Cutting tools on an automated lathe.

US Cutting Tool Demand Remains Positive

Oct. 20, 2023
Reflecting overall manufacturing activity, cutting tool consumption is up 8.6% YTD as threats loom from labor disruptions, high interest rates, and global conflict.

U.S. machine shops and other manufacturers purchased $219.2 million worth of cutting tools during August according to the latest Cutting Tool Market Report, rising 16.2% from the consumption total for July. The new total remains 4.0% ahead of last August’s total. Cutting-tool consumption is an indicator of overall manufacturing activity because those purchases reflect activity across a range of manufacturing market segments served by machining operations.

“The industry has seen some softening in recent months, but the overall cutting tool market remains positive,” observed USCTI president Jeff Major. “Several market segments are leading the continued demand for tooling.”

Through eight months of 2023 activity, cutting-tool consumption stands at $1.65 billion, which is 8.6% higher than the January-August 2022 total.

“It will be interesting to see how the automotive labor issues affect the market in the coming months,” Major noted.

“The August cutting tool report shows the continued strength of the manufacturing sector,” offered Costikyan Jarvis, president of Jarvis Cutting Tools. “Obviously, there are some concerns, both immediate and medium-term. On the immediate side, the UAW strike creates uncertainty around automotive production.

“On the medium-term side, where and how the higher interest rates affect production remain to be seen, and, globally, we now have two major armed conflicts.

“Even with these concerns, there is promise for continued improvement,” Jarvis continued. “There is considerable investment in infrastructure projects, and reshoring the production of many components and entire processes will drive increased cutting tool demand.”

The CTMR report is a monthly presentation by the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute (USCTI) and AMT – the Association for Manufacturing Technology. CTMR data is based on purchases reported by participating companies who comprise the majority of the U.S. market for cutting tools.

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