Industrial Machine Knives


Custom Industrial Machine Knives

Precision Machine Blades for OEM’s & End-Users

Every cutting application comes with its own set of unique challenges. After over a century in the machine blade business, all we can say is: we get it.

As an OEM, you want a reliable solution that’s cost-effective, quick to turn around, and consistent. We can work with your engineering team to design the best cutting industrial blades for your specific cutting application.

As an end user, you want the most economical solution to your machine knife needs without having to go back to your machine’s OEM. You might even be looking for a better blade solution for the “same old machine.” As long as we don’t already have a working relationship with your machine’s OEM, we are more than happy to serve you directly.

Our Machine Blades Include:



What Our Customers Are Saying

I have been buying custom manufactured saws and knives from York Saw and Knife for over 35 years and have always found their quality and customer service to be exceptional.

– Emil Kiss, Paco Winders

No Matter Your Role – Count on YSK to Deliver the Best Machine Knife


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The Challenge: Stump Our Team With Your Cutting Quandry

We talk to a number of people out there and visit with others at shows or on the road when we can. We’re unsure, however, how many of you are aware of York Saw and Knife’s capabilities to manufacture specialty knives for OEM’s and their end users.

OEM or end-user, we challenge you to stump our customer support team and applications engineers with a blade that you intend to produce and use. We’re confident we can manufacture any industrial blade you can throw at us (although we’d prefer if you just mailed it or sent drawings).

Our version will be high-quality, economical, tough, precise and feature a shorter lead time.


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York Saw & Knife can design a blade for the most widely used machine knives for almost any industrial application available, including:

  • Skinning — For the meat and food processing industry, our industrial machine knives deliver the cutting edge, blade hardness and material strength needed to process various meats — including fish, pork and beef — and vegetables, like potatoes, with fast accuracy.
  • Dicing — Our straight industrial machine blades streamline food and meat processing with their clean and efficient cuts. Manufacturing our straight knives in different materials also lets you choose the most appropriate one, from stainless steel to high carbon, for your facility and product.
  • Splitting — Bulk quantities of foam, leather, rubber, paper and other materials don’t stand a chance against our industrial band knives. These industrial cutting blades come with or without teeth — based on your preferences — and can be welded-to-length or delivered in coils.
  • Trimming — Cut mass amounts of textiles with our industrial machine knives. Whether you need a circular, band, straight or custom knife for your operations, you can count on the century of experience and commitment to quality that we provide here at YSK.
  • Scoring — Harness the optimum cutting edge of our industrial machine blades to score film, glass, stone, concrete or other materials. We configure our USA-made knives to your needs, from their edge style to composition, which gives your cutting machine what it needs to create accurate score lines.
  • Perforating — Deliver perforated metal, paper, packaging, plastic, bubble wrap and more with the superior cutting edge and blade hardness of our circular industrial machine knives. With their custom configurations, from their tooth and edge style to their material, you can trust you’ll find the exact blade your facility and machinery needs with our experienced team.
  • Cutting — Put the unparalleled quality of our industrial cutting blades to work processing food, steel, film, foil and a collection of other materials. Our guillotine or cutoff knives offer a cut that many industries trust, alongside our straight, band and circular blades. And we can help you customize each according to your unique cutting needs.
  • Creasing — Prepare softer materials like cardboard and paper with our industrial machine blades. Our circular and straight knives offer customized designs and deliver superior and consistent creasing you can count on when processing mass orders.
  • Slitting — Process textiles, nonwovens, adhesives, plastics, foil, metal and more with the precision and strength of our industrial cutting blades. Choose from standard styles of our industrial knives or configure a custom blade with our knowledgeable team for manufacturing at our U.S. facility.
  • Miscellaneous — Our family-owned and operated business has a century of firsthand experience in designing and manufacturing custom industrial machine knives, whether for coring, portioning, slabbing, skiving or another task. No matter your industry or needs, we’ll develop a solution that delivers the results you need.

Already know what machine knife you need? Call us at 1-800-233-1969 or submit your request for a free quote on our custom industrial blades now.

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Interested in our manufacturing process? Click to learn it here!

If you’re in the industrial manufacturing and packaging industry, you’ll appreciate the value of having quality cutting tools. Industrial machine knives are indispensable components in your system. They’re used to reduce material size while processing every conceivable product from paper to steel. While you may intricately know your business process involving machine knives, you likely don’t know much about the actual machine knife manufacturing process.Most manufacturing plant owners and operators focus on safe production with product volume being a key element for profitable success. Machine knives play a huge role in delivering dependable production. But knives rarely get much credit for their part. They’re barely noticed unless something goes wrong. As in every manufacturing system, there’s a distinct process to making top quality machine knives. York Saw and Knife Co. is America’s leading manufacturer of precision knives and saw blades. No matter what industry you’re in, we can supply your cutting tools and deliver you durable, accurate knives at affordable prices. Part of our customer service commitment is sharing information. Today, we’d like to explain how we manufacture machine knives.

Machine Knife Blade Metal Characteristics


Sharp knives are crucial in everything from food processing to manufacturing and packaging. There’s a wide variety of knife blade material, however, there are two main characteristics that go into keeping knives sharp. One is the blade material hardness. The other is blade material toughness.

Don’t be confused. These are two separate issues and need to balance to produce excellent machine knife blades that give long service. It’s the combination of hardness and toughness that builds great blades.

Hardness refers to the knife blade density. In the machine knife blade industry, we measure metal hardness on the Rockwell C scale. Generally, the higher the Rockwell C number is, the denser and therefore harder the material is. But just because a certain metal has a high Rockwell scale doesn’t mean the material is durable or tough. Many high-scale metals easily erode and quickly lose their edge.

Toughness refers to how well the knife blade resists erosion and abrasion. We measure a metal’s toughness by its Transverse Rupture Strength (TRS). In metal science, Young’s modulus of elasticity is the physical principle or guidance that scores a metal’s toughness. The higher a metal’s TRS score, the tougher it is.

You’d think that knife blades with high Rockwell C and TRS numbers would be ideal materials. Unfortunately, that’s not possible. TSR and Rockwell scores are inversely proportional. Physical properties dictate that harder metals tend to be brittle and damage easily. Softer metals can turn out to be incredibly tough as they exhibit elasticity that absorbs foreign forces.

Finding the right balance of metal hardness and toughness is what York Saw and Knife customers depend upon. We have a selection of proven blade metals and rely on those as backbones for our manufacturing process. Still, we often get customers shipping us their own machine knife blades to replicate or reproduce.

The first thing we do is analyze the metal and determine its characteristics to reverse engineer it. Then we follow a simple six-step process in manufacturing machine knives. We use this process regardless if we’re producing stock knives or building custom applications.

Here is how the York Saw and Knife Manufacturing Process Works:

Step 1: Send Samples


We first start with a machine knife blade sample or drawing. That’s usually provided by our customer who has existing machinery with specific knives. We’re asked to reproduce the knife’s configuration. Often, we’re also asked to improve its performance characteristics to make the replacement model harder or tougher.

We always recommend you call our sales engineers or converse with them by email. It’s helpful to attach digital photos or drawings of your blade. We’ll discuss your application, and try to solve your problem and provide a workable solution. We’ll also ask specific questions about your existing knife material type, the geometry of your blades and the types of products you’ll be cutting.

We’ll then request you ship us your blade or blades for testing. There’s no charge for testing at York Saw and Knife. It’s part of our extended customer service. Once we’ve looked at your knives, we’ll provide you a complimentary quote. From there, we’ll wait for you to authorize us to proceed with Step 2.

Step 2: Reverse Engineering the Knife

Reverse engineering is a fancy term for doing things backward. In a normal manufacturing process, a product starts life after engineers spent tremendous time doing research and development in designing and testing prototypes. This is long before the final product turns out.

When you ship us a machine knife to replicate, we’re now starting with a finished product and have to figure out how it was built. That’s engineering in reverse. We can see your configuration but have no idea what it’s made of until we do engineering tests.

First, we use an optical comparator to build a computerized model of your machine knife blade. This assesses the physical size, precise angles, and specifications like blade serrations and mounting pin-holes. We also assess any difficulties we might foresee when replicating an operational model.

Next, we use a Rockwell testing machine to determine how hard your blade is. We also assess your existing metal’s toughness. Then, we conduct a metallurgical analysis to find out your existing metal characteristics. This way, we’ll know if we can reproduce the blade with similar metal or if we should recommend changing to another alloy.

Finally, we do precise physical measurements. That involves a computerized press to load strain on the blade, measuring with digital calipers and using a precision micrometer similar to what’s in a machinist’s toolbox. Once we’ve reverse engineered and have a physical compilation of your blade along with steel attributes, we send this information to our Engineering/Estimation department. They’ll prepare you a detailed and firm quote for production.  To learn more about reverse engineering, click here!

Step 3: Cutting and Heat Treating the Blade


All York Saw and Knife products begin with raw steel. We have a regular stock of proven metals that we know will properly perform against the materials you’re cutting. Our mainstay steel stock includes spring steel, carbon alloy steel, tool steel and high-speed steel. Although we rely on these proven metals, we’re capable of custom building you any form of machine knife profile.

Once you’ve approved shop drawings for your knife, we cut its profile from steel stock. We use two different cutting processes depending on the order. One is water-jet cutting where extremely high pressurized water slices through the metal stock. The other cutting method is done by laser or amplified light. Laser cutting is our preferred method, and we’ve invested in a Trumpf Laser 2025 machine for the most accurate cuts possible.

Once your knife if cut or profiled, we put it through a series of heat processes. This determines the final hardness and toughness of your blade. There’s a three-step process to hardening:

Hardening: Iron-based steel alloys get sent to a furnace with temperatures set at 1,750 degrees Fahrenheit. This is below the melting point but sufficient for letting metallurgical changes take place. The metal type determines how long the blade stays at this heat. Time is a critical factor in the hardening step, and it’s crucial for the blade to spend the exact period under heat.
Quenching: Once your blade has spent its precise time basking in the oven, it’s quickly removed and rapidly cooled. Usually, that’s by dropping it in water. This causes a molecular structure transformation. Again, time is a prime factor for successful quenching. Molecular changes continue until your blade reaches ambient or room temperature.
Annealing or Tempering: Once your knife blade reaches ambient temperature, it’ll be at its maximum hardness. That’s not necessarily the best for performance given the inverse relationship between hardness and toughness. The metallurgical experts at York Saw and Knife know the exact steel hardness they’re looking for. Now they temper or anneal the blade to lower its hardness for optimum performance. Your blade goes back to an oven at temperatures between 300 and 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit for four hours or more.

Step 4: Machine Finishing, Grinding and Sharpening


Once your machine knife is properly tempered, it’s ready for finishing, grinding and sharpening. This starts with flattening and tensioning that relieve built up stresses inside the blade. At York Saw and Knife, we use proven processes to destress and flatten your blade. Some involve sophisticated computer-aided machines. Others rely on the keen eye and skilled hands of our machinists.

If flatness is an issue with the blade being out-of-true, we use a Levelling and Tensioning machine. This device is designed specifically for the machine knife making industry. It helps our Anvil Room Technicians save labor and hours by automatically sensing out-of-true faults and correcting them.

Still, there’s no replacement for the human touch. Some knife profiles require special lighting examinations to find blade body inconsistencies. We use different weights and face-grind configurations such as the Dog and Twist approach. That might sound sophisticated, but often our machinists and technicians simply use special hammers to tap away problems.

Other truing steps include flattening blades with an auto-feed press, spinning them on an axle while checking trueness with a dial indicator and laying the blades on a flat table and visually examining them with a machinist’s straight edge. At this stage, workers use a precision hammer for corrections and alterations.

Finally, your new blade is finely ground for a sharp edge. We employ both automated and manual grinding and sharpening methods. Mechanical grinders put a rough edge on blades while final honing leaves the finished product with a razor’s edge. It’s the last knife-making stage before entering quality control.

Step 5: Final Quality Control Check

No matter how sophisticated our equipment is, we can’t depend on automation alone for quality control. Each of the previous process steps has its quality control parameter. However, every so often a flaw slips through. At York, flaws are not acceptable.

When you receive your York machine knives, you’re assured every blade passed a visual inspection. We look for obvious flaws and the not-so-obvious mistakes. Any blade not meeting the York quality control check is pulled from the line. Faulty blades are either reworked or discarded.

Part of our quality control process relies on experience. York Saw and Knife started manufacturing in 1906. That gives us well over 100 years of experience. We know how to manufacture top-quality machine knives and saw blades. As a result, our initial manufacturing processes are excellent, and we rarely have issues with our products. If so, they’re caught by sharp eyes and never leave the shop.

Step 6: Shipping and Using the Blade

Finished machine knives are precision products. They deserve to be treated as such. We take great pride in every blade we manufacture, and we’re determined to see it arriving at your door in pristine condition. As a York Saw and Knife customer, you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Our packaging department pays special attention to sharp edge protection. We package all our shipped products with extreme care and attention to detail. Once we protect the primary cutting edge, we ensure the blade is individually wrapped to avoid metal-to-metal contact when we ship multiple blades in one order.

Our shipping department makes sure there are no loose products in any order. We isolate all machine knives even if they’re mass-shipped to your facility. Our outer packaging materials are proven as reliable performers, and they protect your valuable blades on their way from our shop to yours.

Once you install and begin using your new York Saw and Knife blades, take time to look at your finished products. If you’re not satisfied for any reason, contact us immediately and we’ll rectify the situation. Problems with York knives are unlikely. We’ve built our reputation on quality and dependability.