This article first appeared in the 2013 Industrial Distribution January/February issue. You can view it here.
The right tool for the job is more than just a saying – it’s a reality. It’s also a saying never truer than when discussing cutting tools. A hammer of any size or shape will usually pound at least a few nails for you, but a blade designed for plywood is never going to make much of a dent in concrete or steel.
“Choosing the right tool is so important with regards to performance, safety, and investment,” says Brian Delahaut, Vice President of MK Diamond Products, Inc. Better performance from a cutting blade typically translates into better longevity from the product – and the user’s patience. Consequently, the right tool for the job has a direct impact on safety as well.
“The best tool will give you the best in terms of cut quality and tool life,” notes Eric Pfeiffer, Director of Sales and Marketing at Hyde Tools’ Industrial Blade Solutions Division. He also notes, however, that “in the real world, sometimes you have to ‘make do’ with what you have, due to time and/or cost pressures.” While this is a reality in almost all situations involving industrial products, Pfeiffer notes that a good manufacturer/distributor team can help to alleviate the problem by working together to provide consistent “just-in-time” replacement cutting tools and blades.
In doing so, suppliers can alleviate most or all worry from the end user, resulting in a better customer experience on several levels. Not only will the customer have the adequate amount of the proper tool, the blades will last longer and perform better, causing higher customer satisfaction in the long haul.
Delahaut echoes this sentiment, noting that a lot of standard one-type-fits-all applications when it comes to cutting tools don’t stand the test of repeated usage, losing their shape as they are whittled away by improper use. A new blade series from MK Diamond seeks to alleviate this issue. According to Delahaut, the DiamondX® series helps reduce vibration, sparks, and debris during the grinding process, translating to longer life and better overall performance.
When selecting cutting tools, Pfeiffer urges both distributors and end users to look past price and ask the following questions:
• Are they an established company that will be around tomorrow?
• Is the product suited for my needs? Do they offer the support I need?
• Is performance data consistent with market expectations?
• Does the company follow through on fill rate and delivery promises?
Above all, he says, “focus on dependability, honesty, and ethics” in selecting a supplier, rather than just price. With cutting tools, better performance comes with better value – not just better prices.