How do you find the right industrial machine knife manufacturer to give your business the edge? The best knife blade manufacturers offer precision, quality, and consistency in both products and service.
What Makes a Great Industrial Machine Knife Manufacturer?
A wide range of processing and packaging industries use industrial machine knives to cut product quickly and effectively. OEMs, distributors, and end users all rely on specialist machine knife manufacturers to supply them with bulk cutting blades.
Quality workmanship and materials are essential in a machine blade. Knife makers and end-users know precision-made blades cut cleaner and wear longer, and consistency in manufacturing ensures their replacements are just as good. That means a better quality end product, longer runs, and less production downtime.
If you’re looking for an industrial machine knife supplier or partner, you’ll need a company that delivers high-quality blades and stands behind its products with efficient stocking, short lead times, customized solutions, and strong sales support.
Here’s what to look for:
1. A reputation for craftsmanship
Blade making, especially for industrial knives, is a precision craft. While new technologies may make it easier or faster, consistently producing good blades remains technically challenging.
With 100+ years in the business, there’s no substitute for TGW International’s depth of experience, understanding of the craft, and ability to partner with you to solve problems.
2. Diverse experience, industry focus
Choose a manufacturer that serves a wide range of applications within the industrial machine knife industry. Some knife makers specialize in specific applications. Others provide custom machine blades, but also serve entirely separate industries, such as wood processing.
You’ll benefit from working with a company like TGW International since we have experience designing and manufacturing machine knives for a broad scope of applications such as packaging, converting, processing, and printing.
3. A wide range of quality materials
Blade material defines a knife’s performance. For instance, while harder steel blades will last longer, they may lack the toughness needed to flex under pressure or hold their edge. Balancing material characteristics to maximize performance is the heart of the knife maker’s trade.
TGW International has vast experience with a range of steels and other materials, including:
- High carbon steels
- Stainless steels
- Tungsten carbides
- High-carbon high-chromium tool steels
- High speed steels
4. A manufacturing process that matches your needs
Depending on the manufacturer, different technologies are used to cut and shape machine knives. Some prefer highly customizable, small-batch technologies. Others, like TGW International, opt to cut batches of knives using a more traditional crush grind and finishing technique that produces very consistent tooth profiles.
The way in which a company manufactures its industrial knives determines how accurately it can replicate OEM equipment. The manufacturing process also dictates the range and cost of the knives that the manufacturer keeps in stock.
5. The blade shapes you need
The shape or geometry of a blade’s edge determines its performance. The right blade shape will cut product or packaging cleanly thereby reducing waste, shredding, or burring. TGW International will match the edge or tooth shape of existing knives or can work with you to determine the best edge geometry for your application, including:
6. A wide range of blade types
Reliable industry players should also be able to provide knives in a range of different blade types to work in original equipment. Common blade types include:
- Straight knives
- Circular knives
- Cutoff knives
- Tray knives
- Guillotine knives
7. Quality coatings and finishings
Coatings are as important to your application as blade and tooth design. TGW International uses coatings such as TiN (titanium nitride) and PTFE (Teflon) to help:
- Improve cutting
- Prevent corrosion
- Reduce friction
- Minimize adherence
8. Quality assurance
The true test of any reputable knife maker is the ability to guarantee consistent quality over time. Machine knife manufacturers use quality assurance to ensure their work meets the high standard their customers expect.
For TGW International, controlling all parts of sourcing and manufacturing operations allows us to maintain unrivaled quality throughout our value chain.
9. Ability to stock orders
Is the knife manufacturer able to stock your knives in the required volumes? A company that can hold more of its knives in stock will be able to serve its customers faster and at a lower cost per blade than one that will need to manufacture a blade from scratch.
TGW International holds most of our knives in stock. That means up to 70% of orders are ready to go out the door immediately.
10. Volume pricing
Does the knife manufacturer offer volume pricing? Larger numbers of knives can be produced by more traditional grinding and finishing than is the case with specific, custom knives. Therefore companies that focus more on custom or small batch processing may struggle to match the savings that a company with volume pricing can offer.
TGW International works closely with customers to anticipate their needs and adjust our stocking accordingly. We can pass on savings—sometimes even on custom orders— because we stock more. We also manage our own manufacturing process worldwide, which gives us more control of costs when blades are made to order.
11. Flexible orders
A reliable machine knife manufacturer will work with you to provide flexibility around the ordering process, while still maximizing savings by stocking as much of your inventory as possible.
For instance, TGW International allows some customers to order in bulk and then holds the stock for them, only billing as they ship.
12. Short lead times
How long will it take to get your blade? While exact lead times vary depending on inventory, if the manufacturer has your blade in stock, most orders should be fulfilled with same-day shipping.
If the order needs to be manufactured, lead times will of course be longer. With full control of their manufacturing process, TGW International can fill most unstocked orders within 5 weeks or less. We are currently working on improving logistics to reduce this time even more.
13. Custom orders
How well equipped is an industrial knife maker to handle custom orders? Is it able to replicate a particular blade or match OEM equipment? What is the minimum size for an order?
Customized orders will usually cost more per blade, especially for very small one-off orders. TGW International partners with customers to find innovative ways to handle special or emergency orders quickly and cost-effectively.
Why TGW International?
TGW International traces its origins to the proud tradition of stainless steel knife makers in 18th century Sheffield, England. We continue that heritage today as the largest supplier of industrial machine knives to the processing and packaging industries worldwide.
The superior quality of our knives, our unrivaled service, and our vast knowledge of the industrial machine knife space make us a valued partner and supplier to businesses worldwide.
Click below to learn more about how we serve your industry.