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You are here: Home >> Cutters >> What cutters cost?

What’s cutters really cost?

A Case Study:
For years, Eaton Teague would buy his cutters from anyone with the cheapest price. It didn’t matter who it was, but if there was a special delivered by letter, fax, email or phone Eaton would buy.

Sometimes the cutters met his expectations but many times not. When it failed, he would find out quickly, either it didn’t fit, fell apart quickly, order never arrived or the wrong quantity was delivered. His crews never knew what they were going to get and often griped at the inconsistencies and the downtime. It wasn’t until his supervisor, Jerrod took over purchasing that the true cutter costs were discovered. Jerrod simply did a simple time study among the 3 most reliable suppliers from 6 companies he used in the past. He nixed three of the companies because of quality inconsistencies. He recorded the cutter life by monitoring removal footage from set-up to change-outs. His conclusion, found the American produced SMITH, offering the ultra-premium grade was the most cost-effective, followed by a high quality cutter manufactured in Germany and the third was another imported brand from Japan. The Japanese import was the least expensive but the cutter had the shortest life.

A separate 3 year study corroborated Eaton’s personal study with data collected from 7 striping contractors using 3 styles of tungsten carbide flail cutters on their multi-head removal trucks. The contractors reported the cutter life of a CF3150 style (3” OD carbide tipped cutter) after removing a minimum of 50,000 SF of thermoplastic on asphalt roads in California, Colorado, Texas, Illinois, Georgia, New York, and North Carolina. The results concluded that the imported grade 12 pt TCT cutter cost almost 3X more than an ultra-premium grade SMITH cutter after removing 50,000 SF.

Cutter Costs

Conclusion: A company offering consistent production and quality controls using virgin (non recycled) materials with larger carbide and priced within 25% of the lowest cost import serves as the best model.

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