Cutting tools are an essential component of many industries, from construction and manufacturing to healthcare and more. Generally, they’re used to trim, minimize or remove certain materials and items. Because of this function, they’ve become a staple of certain tasks and projects, but nothing more, meaning demand has remained stagnant.
This particular segment of the market has always been relatively slow when it comes to growth. Advancements have been made and new technologies introduced, but at a much slower rate than comparable sectors. But due to several looming trends — like an abrupt increase in customer demands — all that is about to change.
According to a new Global Info Research report, the worldwide market for cutting tools is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.4 percent over the next five years. The proposed result is a total worth of $34000 million in the U.S in 2019 and up to $39200 million by 2024.
What’s contributing to this growth, and what does it mean for industry professionals?
Why the Industrial Cutting Tools Market Is Growing
Several factors are contributing to the overall growth of the market, not the least of which includes a significant jump in customer demands. For certain tasks — milling especially — both carbide- and non-carbide-based cutting components are more desirable simply because they’re relatively easy to repair and have a low cost. Most cutting tools have removable tips or add-ons that can be replaced after they wear down. This feature is in direct contrast to more conventional solid tools, which have to be replaced outright when something goes wrong or after they wear down.
Cutting tools such as machine knife blades do require a certain level of precision depending on the task and purpose they serve, but again, the beauty of these types of tools is that certain components are easily and cheaply replaced. They can be made much more durable and reliable by swapping base materials as well. High carbon, stainless steel and solid carbide blades tend to be much more durable than, say, ceramic. Yet they all serve a distinct purpose.
Even fiberglass blades and knives are warranted in some cases because they deliver clean cuts with hard or brittle raw materials. Each cutting tool can be modified to meet the needs of the project through the simple replacement of tips or components.
The Shift Into Growth
These benefits have helped influence a shift in the way customers use related tools. Certain industries that have had a higher acquisition rate will reverse while others become more prominent. Until recently, for example, the aerospace industry was a huge proponent of cutting tools, but as of 2017, that has changed. It’s now one of the least demanding industries, falling behind the defense and medical sectors.
Believe it or not, distributors play a major role in the rise and fall of these types of tools. Distributor networks help companies and operations pinpoint various solutions, recommending offerings based on current conditions or tasks. In recent years, these networks have recognized the potential that cutting tools provide, with high quality and reliability ratings despite low costs.
And all of this is in addition to the changing state of offerings and services in the market. Due to the nature of today’s landscape, many cutting tool manufacturers and providers are now offering value-added services alongside their products. Subscription-based pricing, for instance, might include continual shipments of parts and components alongside always-on customer service. That boost in support is lucrative and could mean the difference in competitive operations — when there’s an urgent event, faster response times are critical.
Of course, many of these positive changes have an impact on investor interest as well. More eyes are on the cutting tools market than ever before.
What Does It Mean for Industry Professionals?
For anyone involved with the cutting tools market — be it the manufacturing and development side or the machining side where these tools are actually used — the increase in demand is certainly going to be beneficial. It will encourage research and development, further driving innovation in the sector. However, it will also introduce a wave of new investments and supporters further enhancing the level of success the market sees.
The high-speed steel and metal-based cutting tools market is especially lucrative, with Asia-Pacific regions seeing unprecedented growth and demand. For professionals, it means more nuanced opportunity to excel and succeed in the field.
Overall, we’re looking at an incredibly positive and encouraging wave of growth in the market, which is beneficial for everyone involved.