Saw Blades and Handsaws

SIC 3425

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

This category covers establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing handsaws and saw blades for hand- and power-driven saws. Establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing power-driven sawing machines are classified in the major group for industrial and commercial machinery and computer equipment.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly 175 establishments operate in this category. Industry-wide employment in 2000 totaled 9,724 workers receiving a payroll of almost $344 million. Of these employees, 6,703 worked in production, putting in almost 14 million hours to earn wages of more than $196 million. Overall shipments for the industry were valued at approximately $1.293 billion in 2005.

After 2001, the U.S. Census Bureau combined the saw blades and handsaws industry with another, for the purpose of tracking employment, to form the larger category of hand tool and saw blade manufacturing. Industry-wide employment in this larger category was 44,271 workers in 2004 (down from 51,603 in 2002) receiving a payroll of $1.7 billion. Of these employees, 31,758 worked in production, putting in more than 63 million hours to earn total wages of $1 billion.

Blount International Inc. of Montgomery, Alabama, the industry leader at the time with 1998 sales of almost $832 million and 5,300 employees, merged with Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking Partners II L.P. in an April 1999 consolidation worth $1.35 billion. By 2003 Blount had moved its headquarters to Portland, Oregon. Sales in 2005 totaled $756 million. Vermont American Corp. of Louisville, Kentucky held second place in the industry with sales of more than $400 million. In 1998 Vermont American implemented training and teamwork programs for its non-unionized manufacturing workers and its unionized distribution center workers, resulting in improved customer service, improved turnover of inventory, and profits surpassing corporate projections. In 2000 Robert Bosch GmbH raised its stake in Vermont American from 50 percent to 100 percent, making it a wholly owned subsidiary. Other industry leaders included Black & Decker Corp.'s Power Tools and Accessories division of Towson, Maryland; L.S. Starrett Co. of Athol, Massachusetts; and W.C.I. Outdoor Products Inc. of Nashville, Arkansas.

Blount International Inc. reported revenues of $597 million in 2008 and 3,600 employees. Throughout the first decade of the 2000s, Blount's revenues and employees were on the decline. The company acquired Oregon-based saw manufacturer Carlton Holdings, Inc., in mid-2008, further strengthening its global presence, since 80 percent of Carlton's revenues were derived overseas.

Blount acquired SP Companies, Inc. along with its wholly-owned subsidiary, SpeeCo, Incorporated in August 2010. SpeeCo's revenues have grown from about $53.3 million in 2006 to $77.1 million for 2010. The acquisition of GenWood HoldCo, LLC, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Woods Equipment Company followed on September 7, 2011. Woods Equipment Company generated an estimated $160 million for the 12 months that ended July 31, 2011. Blount increased its sales to $611.5 million in 2010, up 25.5 percent over 2009 sales figures at $502.4 million.

Shipments for the saw blades and handsaws industry fell steadily through the late 1990s and the early years of the first decade of the 2000s, declining from $1.32 billion in 1998 to $1.07 billion in 2001. Shipments were fairly steady thereafter, valued at nearly $1.2 billion in 2002, almost $1.1 billion in 2003, and $1.16 billion in 2004.

Traditionally, production in the saw blades and handsaws industry was centered in the New England area of the United States, paralleling the development of SIC 3421: Cutlery. The shift away from reliance on skilled craftsmen to mass production techniques resulted in the establishment of the industry in the heartland states. The industry tended to follow the source of inexpensive materials and markets, differentiating it from cutlery by its marked westward migration.
The challenge to the industry early in the twenty-first century was to maintain a high level of precision for the cutting edges and to produce new metals and composites to reduce the increasingly diverse range of hard-to-cut man-made materials. Modern blades must be able to last long periods of time, operating in unmanned, automatic-feed industrial applications.

Sales in the saw industry were tied closely to the health of such industries as steel, housing, and lumbering, which used large quantities of saw blades and handsaws. However, the strength of the housing market early in the first decade of the 2000s was not enough to offset major declines in the steel and lumber industries, which struggled with increased imports, among other things. At the same time, the saw industry itself faced increased competition from inexpensive imports throughout the late 1990s and the early years of the first decade of the twenty-first century.

Manufacturers strive to extend the life and performance of the blades with product introductions like "laser blade body features, coatings and improved carbide formulations, which expand cutting to include many composite materials, synthetics and metals, while limiting noise and vibration," according to Jeff Griffin in the November 2007 edition of Electrical Contractor. Griffin added that "the trend continues toward specialty blades for different materials."

According to industry statistics, there were an estimated 197 manufacturers of handsaws and saw blades for hand- and power-driven saws with industry shipments valued at $258.8 million and industry-wide employment at 4,561 workers in 2008. States with the highest concentration in descending order were California, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, and Georgia. Saw blades and handsaws were manufactured at 92 facilities that comprised nearly 47 percent of the industry share, with 2,546 employees and $139.6 million in product shipments. Hand saws for metalworking or woodworking held more than 25 percent in market share with 51 facilities, with 460 employees who added $28.9 million to the industry total. There were roughly 43 facilities that manufactured saw blades specifically for hand or power saws and accounted for nearly 22 percent in market share or $66.7 million in shipments. Manufacturing of saw blades (chain type) had 11 operations with 201 employees who generated $23.5 million in this sector.

U.S. demand for hand tools was projected to decline about 12 percent in 2009 with the ongoing weakened housing market. Until consumer confidence returned in the housing market, the remodeling sector was not expected to perform that much better, which would further suppress hand tool demand. Retail sales of home improvement products, including hand tools, fell 11.2 percent during the first quarter of 2009. Meanwhile, the price of steel stood at roughly $854 per ton in 2008, cutting into industry profits with no forecast for the stabilization of steel prices.

Current Conditions

Despite the slow and recovering economic conditions throughout 2010, tool manufacturers were developing new and improved tools. For example, "There has been much advancement in cutting accessories," Web Shaffer, director of global product management at Lenox told Electrical Contractor in August 2010, adding that "Cutting accessories now utilize blade geometries for specific applications. Blades incorporate a high-speed steel cutting edge or bimetal technology welding high-speed steel to backing steel. Specialty coatings are applied that dissipate heat and extend blade life including titanium nitride coatings." Tool demand across the board reached double-digits in 2011.

The industry generated an estimated $1.1 billion in revenues for 2010, while gross profit was approximately 32.28 percent. The United States imported $442.2 million in saw blades and handsaws from 52 countries. In addition, the United States exported $305.7 million in saws and handsaws to 127 countries, and total U.S. consumption of saw blades and handsaws was $1.2 billion in 2010.

U.S. demand for power and hand tools was projected to increase 4.1 percent annually to $11 billion by 2014, with power tools at the forefront. Remodeling and DIY projects were expected to spur demand in the near term since the housing market was not expected to experience any significant movement until 2014. In addition, manufacturing was projected to increase, which would further tool demand. New product development, such as enhanced cordless tools, were expected to drive demand for tools.

© COPYRIGHT 2018 The Gale Group, Inc. This material is published under license from the publisher through the Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan. All inquiries regarding rights should be directed to the Gale Group. For permission to reuse this article, contact the Copyright Clearance Center.

News and information about Saw Blades and Handsaws

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PPI Detailed Report; December 1, 2015; 700+ words
...06 Other handtools, n.e.c. 1042-0155 06/06 All other handtools, 1042-01554 12/11 n.e.c. Saw blades and handsaws 1042-0168 12/03 Plumbing fixtures and fittings 105 Plumbing fixture fittings and 1054 trim Plumbing fixture...
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PPI Detailed Report; November 1, 2014; 700+ words
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Plant Engineering; June 1, 2005; 437 words
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Plant Engineering; September 1, 2005; 421 words
...metal to the petal as the rate at which inflation sped up increased from March 2005 to June 2005. Only one-saw blades and handsaws-cut its average product prices. [GRAPHIC OMITTED] The top five price hike culprits can be found among manufacturers...
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...332212-M Secondary products 332212-S Saw blade & handsaw manufacturing 332213 Primary products 332213-P Saw blades and handsaws 332213-0 Secondary products and miscellaneous receipts 332213-SM Miscellaneous receipts 332213-M Secondary...
Wipo Publishes Patent of Remo Beier Gharaee for "Handsaw Having a Rotatable Triple Saw Blade" (American Inventor)
US Fed News Service, Including US State News; December 8, 2014; 412 words
...of the invention: "HANDSAW HAVING A ROTATABLE TRIPLE SAW BLADE."Applicants: Remo...relates to the field of handsaws, that is to say saws which are not driven...invention relates to a handsaw the saw blade of which has a...
Wipo Publishes Patent of Remo Beier Gharaee for "Handsaw Having a Quadruple Saw Blade" (American Inventor)
US Fed News Service, Including US State News; December 8, 2014; 382 words
...Title of the invention: "HANDSAW HAVING A QUADRUPLE SAW BLADE."Applicants: Remo...relates to the field of handsaws, that is to say saws which are not driven by...invention relates to a handsaw the saw blade of which has a plurality...

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