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Process Manufacturing

Cutting tool orders up more than 25% from July 2020

Analysis of cutting tool consumption is a leading indicator of both upturns and downturns in U.S. manufacturing activity.

By Patrick McGibbon September 23, 2021
Courtesy: AMT

July 2021 U.S. cutting tool consumption totaled $162.3 million, according to the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute (USCTI) and the Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT). This total was down 5.7% from June’s $172.1 million, but it was up 25.5% when compared with the $129.4 million reported for July 2020. With a year-to-date total of $1.1 billion, 2021 is up 4.6% when compared to July 2020.

These numbers and all data in this report are based on the totals reported by the companies participating in the CTMR program. The totals here represent the majority of the U.S. market for cutting tools.

According to Brad Lawton, chairman of AMT’s Cutting Tool Product Group, “The cutting tool industry continues to show year-over-year positive growth for 2021 from the low of the pandemic year. However, the last few months have slowed for many reasons and have produced an up-and-down performance because of disruptions to the normal business conditions. Supply chain shortages, labor shortages, inflation, weather disruptions and of course, the continuing COVID effects have all played a part in the roller-coaster ride, but in the end, the manufacturing industry shows the demand for growth, and the cutting tool industry is poised to respond.”

Courtesy: AMT

Courtesy: AMT

Chris Kaiser, executive advisor of Big Kaiser, commented, “July’s cutting tool report slipped to the negative compared to the previous month, probably due to supply chain disruptions and summer vacations. On the positive side, the 12-month average follows durable goods, which is increasing slowly and may get to pre-pandemic levels by the end of Q1 2022. If cutting tool consumption follows the machinery order trend, which it normally does with a two to five-month lag time, we should see better numbers by year-end and a good start to 2022.”


Patrick McGibbon
Author Bio: Patrick McGibbon was promoted to Chief Knowledge Officer for AMT in early 2019. As CKO, Pat is the association’s chief economist, ombudsman and a member of AMT’s Strategic Alignment team. He heads survey expansion projects, inter-association collaboration in business intelligence, R&D on intelligence projects, and is staff liaison for AMT’s Economics & Statistics Committee and AMT/USCTI’s Joint Statistics Committee.