You may hear us say that we make The World’s Best Blades, but did you ever wonder how we make such high-quality, precision wire stripping blades at the best price around? Keep reading to discover just how JWB hand crafts each blade in our Tempe, AZ machine shop. Before we get started, we have to let you know that the key to our success lies in our pledge to truly be Made in USA. Everything that goes into our final product is Made in USA, from the steel to the boxes and tape it our final product is packaged with and shipped in!
Making The World’s Best Wire Cutting & Stripping Blades:
1. You have to start with choosing the right steel. When the steel first arrives it is bought by width in lengths of 3 feet. There are many different types of steel, but when making blades it is important to always use high-speed Tool Steels and Carbide. Since there are many of these to choose from, we are able to custom make each blade order based on the best steel for that specific application. Although we make blades from many different kinds of steel, there are three main types we use for the majority of our blades: A2, D2, and Tungsten Carbide.
- A2 Steel. This steel is the most universal steel when it comes to making wire cutting and stripping blades; it works for majority of the applications customers bring to us.
- D2 Steel. This steel is denser than A2. It has a high resistance to wear and is able to fend off rust better than other non-stainless steels.
- Tungsten Carbide. This material is known for its ability to withstand temperatures higher than any other high-speed steel. It is also extremely resistant to wear, making it a great option for large runs.
- Other Steels. Some of the other steels we commonly use for custom orders include S-7, M2 and O1, though these are rarely required for most applications.
*For more about the different types of steel visit this page!
2. Cut the steel down to size. Once the steel is chosen, it is cut down from 3 feet to its proper length for that blade style. At this point, if the blade requires holes, the blades are squared up and the holes are put in using a milling machine.
3. Heat treatment. The next step is to heat treat the steel to ensure hardness. Different steels require different heat treatment processes during this phase.
4. Grind and sharpen. After the heat treatment is completed, the blades are put through various machines that grind them down and sharpen the blades into a smooth edge. While most of our competitor’s blades are made using Electric Discharge Machining (EDM), we’ve found that hand crafting the blades using grinding results in an edge with no nicks in its surface. This allows for enhanced precision and can contribute to a longer blade life.
5. Reinforce. At this point, we give our customers the option to reinforce their blades with a titanium coating that strengths the blade. Though we do not do this phase in our Tempe shop, rest assured it is still done in the USA!
6. Inspection. Each of our blades is hand inspected onsite before being shipped out. This allows us to guarantee customer satisfaction.
7. Shipping. The final step is to ship the blades out our final product to customers. The average turn-around time for standard blades is next day. For custom blades that require a specific radii or multi-conductors, the average turn-around is 2-7 days. For our regulars, we keep stock on hand.
Making wire cutting and stripping blades is no easy task. From choosing the right steel, to properly heat treating, grinding and sharpening the blade, a lot of work goes into hand crafting blades.