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US Manufacturing

US manufacturing

Since the end of the Great Recession, one of the brighter parts of the U.S. economy has been the manufacturing sector. American manufacturers added $1.7 trillion to the U.S. economy, about 6.6% higher than the previous year, in 2010. The rest of the economy went up about 2.2%. As surprising as it may be, the United States manufactures more than any other country, including China. Also, in 2000 the U.S. factories reached their all time greatest output, a record they are close to reaching again much like they did in 2007. 2011 brought about some 120,000 new factory jobs. This was the first year-over-year increase in manufacturing employment since the late 1990’s. Despite this growth in manufacturing jobs, 11.8 million Americans work in manufacturing today; this is 40% less than the peak in June 1979. Looking back further, in 1953, 32% of American workers were employed in manufacturing. In today’s age, 9% of Americans are in manufacturing, a significant difference from the peak of American manufacturing. American factories have become much more productive in terms of output per hour, in the past three decades. This production increase is three and a half times higher than production was in 1979. The increase in production is helped by the offshoring of low-value jobs and the automation of factories. These productivity increases are more pronounced during recessions, as manufacturers lay off workers for the purchase and use of machines to increase production as the economy grows and demand rises. U.S. output increases and American manufacturing competing with low-cost operations in developing countries is good for the economy, but when it comes to new jobs and avoiding another recession, factories are not the answer.

(Article by Dave Sader,, 6-18-2014)

The Carbide Die Makers Tool Box

The Carbide Die Makers Tool Box

What’s the employment outlook for Carbide Die makers?
Here’s some data on jobs working in the Tool and Die industry, as a machinist or die maker. Carbide die specialists, CNC specialists or other specialists may make more. Obviosly experienced workers, formen and plant (floor) managers will make more than this. Unfortunatly this info is a little dated, US manufacturing has been doing well the last couple of years and need for tool and die workers in particular has been increasing considerably, this isn’t reflected in the numbers below. However, this should give you a good idea of what’s going on.

2012 Median Pay – $40,910 per year or $19.67 per hour
Entry-Level Education – High school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in a Related Occupation – None
On-the-job Training
Long-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2012 – 476,200
Job Outlook, 2012 – 7%
Employment Change, 2012 – +33,700
What Machinists and Tool and Die Makers Do?
Machinists and tool and die makers prepare and operate a variety of computer-controlled and mechanically-controlled machine tools to produce precision parts, instruments, and tools. These parts are typically

manufactured out of tungsten carbide or steel.

Work Environment:
Machinists and tool and die makers can work in machine shops, tool rooms, and factories. Machinists work full time during regular business hours most of the time, although overtime is often common, as is evening and weekend work.

How to Become a Machinist or Tool and Die Maker:
There are many paths a future machinist can take such as apprenticeship programs, vocational schools, community and technical colleges, or receiving training on-the-job. Becoming a fully trained tool and die maker takes a combination of several years of technical instruction and on-the-job training. A high school diploma is necessary.

Where to find online work:
Just get online and look around. Here’s some leads for you.

Note: If you are in SE Michigan check this Carbide Dies manufacturer

In May of 2012, the median hourly wage for machinists was $18.99. The median hourly wage for tool and die makers was $22.60 in the same month.

Job Outlook:
Machinist and tool and die maker employment is projected to grow 7 percent from 2012 to 2022. Employing computer skills and being about to perform multiple tasks in a machine shop will create the best job opportunities.


The web provides a variety of sites that can help anyone interested in carbide dies. From online forums to informational websites, just about anything about carbide dies, cold heading and cold forming can be found online. Do you need to know what carbide is exactly or what the best chemical composition is for your application? What ever the question there is a link below with the answers!

What are carbide dies?
What is a carbide die?
What is are extrusion dies and what are they used for?
What about draw dies?

What is Carbide anyway?
Carbide chemistry, a compound or something?
How does Carbide die manufacturing work?

Where can I talk to some people that know about carbide dies, extrusion and machining in general?
practical machinists, a machinists forum
Carbide Dies Blog
Good luck with your carbide related endeavors!

Extrusion Dies

Posted: February 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

Extrusion dies are used to force a medium threw them creating different shapes. Perhaps the simplest way to imagine what  an extrusion die is to think of toothpaste being squeezed out of a tube of toothpaste. The round shape of the nozzle part of the tube shapes the tooth paste in a rounded fashion. This is essentially what an extrusion die does. Many things can are extruded, from liquorish and other candies to sausages. However what we are concerned about is the use of extrusion dies in manufacturing.

Carbide Extrusion Die

Extrusion Die image provided by Raven Carbide Die


Typical items that are extruded include pipes, tubing and rods. Extruded parts can be used for the manufacturing of musical instruments, automobile exhausts and even flag poles. There is an extremely wide range of items that are created using an extrusion process, but the basic principle remains the same. Hard materials, such as metals, are forced through a carbide extrusion die or for softer materials steel may be used. Carbide is frequently used for extrusion dies due to its ability to resist wear, creating long lasting dies. Some common metals that are extruded include steal, copper and nickel, as well as a many different alloys. Less commonly extruded metals include lead, brass and even gold.

Extruded items can be shaped into different cross sections by the different shapes present in inner diameter. Round, oval and square are common shapes, while star shaped or hexagonal are less common. Basically any desired shape can be extruded though. A quick look around your home, school or business will reveal countless items that use extrusion dies in their manufacturing.


Why use Tungsten Carbide Dies?

Posted: February 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

The simple answer to that question is hardness. Tungsten carbide is about three times harder than steel and it is denser than titanium. What this means for people who use dies is that a tungsten carbide die will have a much better rate of wear when compared to dies made out of other materials. When dies last longer that saves companies money in not having the cost of replacing them and in not having down time for machinery waiting for new dies to be installed.

Tungsten carbide has a Moh’s hardness rating between 8.5 and 9.0. Diamond has a hardness rating of 10, however, diamonds aren’t as versatile and are obviously a very expensive proposition for die material. Tungsten carbide is generally formed using diamond powders and grinding wheels however, as something harder than tungsten carbide is needed to cut, polish and shape carbide dies and tooling.

The tungsten carbide used for die making comes in a wide variety of grades; these different grades have different properties and therefor different applications. The amount of tungsten compared to the amount of carbide in these grades is what makes this difference. By adjusting the tungsten to carbide ratio, dies with better wear properties or greater resistance to impact can be manufactured.

In the end, superior hardness combined with the versatility of tungsten carbide result in its use in many industrial applications. Products produced using tungsten carbide dies include tubing, nails and nuts. Actually, a list of these products would be very, very long, and that’s where the versatility part of the equation comes in to play!

Machine Shop Machinery

Fire Up the Machines!

This is a one stop shop blog for everything about carbide dies and tooling, machine shops and machining. Our focus is on the carbide die industry but we won’t be stopping there, the world of machining is a big one. Also look for links to machining resources, tips on general machining and even a bit about the state of manufacturing in the US. 

So if your new to machining or an old hat, this will be one of your stops on the web. So fire up that mill, lathe and grinder as well as your laptop! It’s a new age of CNC machining and an ancient art form all wrapped into one.

Thanks for finding us!
The Carbide Dies Blog

Get your news and information about tool and die. From whats in your machine shop to why use a carbide dies. Information from dies 101 to carbide extrusion dies 440 (That’s college talk for highly skilled apparently). Some of the first posts with broad topics will be for beginners, while following posts will dig into specific subjects. You can guess by the names of the articles. So an article titled “Draw Dies” will be the basics while another article called “How much impact is enough in cold forming” will be a more advanced article. You get the drift. Thanks for checking out the Carbide Dies Blog!