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  1. #1
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    Default Opinions on "New To Me" Tooling Manufacturers

    Over the weekend I was doing a tooling inventory in preparation for replenishing my stock of drills and end mills. I like to purchase made in the US products if at all possible. In the past I have stuck with name brand tooling, like Niagara, Precision Twist Drill, Triumph, Cleveland, and other well-known brands. I also like to purchase from local manufacturers should they have comparable products available.

    After determining what was needed, I did an online research to find some local vendors and stumbled across several local manufacturers I hadn't heard of before. The "new to me" companies are all within my home state of Wisconsin, and less the 200 miles from my location. Their prices seem competitive, and in some cases considerably less than more recognized name brands. Having had no experience with their products I’m wondering if they are in the same league as the previously mentioned national brands.

    The first company in question is Advanced Tooling Inc.:

    Endmills | Advanced Tooling Inc | Tool & Cutter Design & Manufacturing | Wisconsin

    This company is based out of Mount Calvary Wisconsin and specializes in:
    Drill mills, chamfer mills. Corner rounding end mills, engraving mills, extended reach tapered shank and bull nose mills, spot drills, and 2 and 4 flute end mills and other tooling for exotic materials

    Secondly is ICS Cutting Tools Inc:

    ICS Cutting Tools

    They are based out of Casco Wisconsin and specialize in cutting tools similar to Advanced Tooling, but also have an extensive line of drilling products

    Third is Integrity Saw and Tool:

    IST - Custom Endmill Wisconsin - End mill - Endmill Sharpening

    This company is in Fond du Lac Wisconsin and specializes in HSS and Carbide end mills for general and specialty applications.

    The fourth is Midwest Cutting Tools:

    Midwest Cutting Tools - Carbide End Mills, Industrial Brushes

    This company is in Waukesha Wisconsin and also specializes in HSS and Carbide end mills for general and specialty applications, as well as carbide burrs and rotary files.

    I'm wondering if anyone has done business with any of these manufacturers, and if so, what did you think of the quality of their tooling?

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  3. #2
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    I have a little experience with ICS, as I needed some metric cobalt center cutting EM, 8mm and 11mm, for a one off. They were available in stock at Production Tool and Supply. They did what they were supposed to do, about 150 holes and on size.

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    Quote Originally Posted by upthebikes View Post
    I have a little experience with ICS, as I needed some metric cobalt center cutting EM, 8mm and 11mm, for a one off. They were available in stock at Production Tool and Supply. They did what they were supposed to do, about 150 holes and on size.
    PTS. Production Tool & Supply, Warren, Mich,

    PTSolutions

    ..has been my version of "the thinking man's MSC" since around 1959 or 1960 off the second or third year of their ever-so-welcome dream-book AKA "dead tree catalog" and the recommendations of the already grey-haired mentors I was privileged to study under.

    Personal use, or shops of more than one employer, we haven't yet had ANYTHING arrive from PTS as didn't do what it was meant to do.

    Old Skewl "mill supply house", in an ever-changing world, they keep track of which suppliers have decent goods and which do not, one year, score of years, or small batch to the next.

    So I don't HAVE to.

    Saves time. Saves money. Avoids failure and aggravation. They do their tasking well so I can concentrate on doing MY part of any task?

    I'm good with every damned bit of that, lo sixty years.... and still counting.

    Warren Buffet has only been "voting" on their value for a mere TEN years since his Berkshire Hathaway bought PTS, 2010.

    ... but you'd have to know how the old fox thinks.

    Probably evaluated it for fifty years, first!


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    I couldn't even get a call or email back from Midwest Cutting Tools when I was trying to set up the tool crib at the old shop. Ended up with the distributor DXP Enterprises, who support a ton of different tool brands.

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    No experience with any of those guys, but thanks for letting me know to look at them. Another American manufacture to add to your list that I DO have experience with is MITGI, out of Minnesota. Tons of standard carbide tools, available in 3 days if they're not currently in stock, great prices, and great tools. Awesome customs, too. MITGI | Precision micro cutting tool manufacturer since 1993.

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    On the opposite end horrible fright sells trailer hitches. Not sure which is worse to be towing with one or to be behind someone using one on the road.
    Bill D

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    Another good USA product is Garr end mills out of Michigan.
    GARR TOOL - High Performance Solid Carbide Cutting Tools

    And correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Kennametal made in the USA also?

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
    .....
    And correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Kennametal made in the USA also?
    That is a complicated question.
    Less now than in the 70's-80's and when Latrobe was the city of choice to go for carbide and putting for dollars with Arnold Palmer on his home turf.
    Bob

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
    Another good USA product is Garr end mills out of Michigan.
    GARR TOOL - High Performance Solid Carbide Cutting Tools

    And correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Kennametal made in the USA also?
    Garr makes very good "budget" tooling for sure. They are my go-to unless I've got something difficult or high-volume. Then I go to Helical/Harvey.


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