Handtool, Cutlery & Flatware Manufacturing Industry Profile

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Excerpt from Handtool, Cutlery & Flatware Manufacturing Industry Profile

Companies in this industry are primarily engaged in manufacturing metal cutlery, nonpowered hand and edge tools, saw blades, metal kitchen utensils, and metal kitchen pots and pans. Major US companies include Blount International, Klein Tools, Lifetime Brands, LS Starrett, Snap-on, and the tools unit of Stanley Black & Decker.

The US handtool, cutlery, and flatware industry includes about 1,100 companies with combined annual revenue of about $10 billion.


Demand depends heavily on the construction and building repair industries. The profitability of individual companies depends on effective marketing and efficient production. Large companies have economies of scale in purchasing and production. Small firms can compete by making specialty products. The US industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies account for about 70% of the revenue.


Handtools (including wrenches, hammers, scissors, vises, clamps, screwdrivers, pliers, chisels, measuring devices, and saw blades) account for about 70% of industry revenue. Cutlery (including kitchen knives, sporting knives, razor blades, "flatware" (table knives, forks and spoons), and metal kitchen cookware accounts for about 30%.

Manufacturers use a variety of fabrication processes, including forging, stamping, bending, forming, and machining, to turn purchased metal into final products. Steel is the major raw material, often in the form of alloys with special properties such as hardness or resistance to corrosion. Plastic is frequently used for handles.

Small manufacturers may buy semi-finished forgings or castings from outside suppliers; large manufacturers ...

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