Recycling has always made good sense from the standpoint of sustainability and cost-effective manufacturing. Utilizing recycled metals and reconditioned tools reduces the industry’s overall carbon footprint and individual shop tooling costs. Now, a new tool recycling program for West Ohio Tool partners makes good “cents” on spent carbide tooling.

Some shops have limited or no access to recycling outlets that will take their used brazed carbide tooling. As a result, the carbide tools get tossed into the same bin as scrap steel for the scrap steel price. In a business economy where every penny counts, the difference between what one can get for recycled carbide versus that of scrap steel is staggering. As of early June 2024, scrap steel went for $0.0825 per pound. Carbide, on the other hand, fetched on average just north of $6 per pound.

Little wonder, then, that West Ohio Tool’s high-volume tooling customers are enthusiastic about the company’s complimentary recycling program.

Rolled out in April 2024, the West Ohio Tool recycling program provides containers to participating customers for any steel, carbide and dirty carbide (carbide brazed to a different material) tooling and inserts. Clients are not required to sort the bins, which are picked up by West Ohio Tool when they are full. Back at West Ohio Tool’s shop, the items are sorted by type (i.e., steel versus carbide, etc.), and any tips are debrazed from steel or carbide tooling, which allows the carbide to be recycled at the higher rate than simple steel recycling.

West Ohio Tool then stores the materials to be recycled in its warehouse and monitors the markets for the best time to sell. At the optimal strike price, participating partners are notified and their approval to sell is obtained. West Ohio Tool then ships the material to the appropriate recycling facility and issues a check to the customer within 30 days.

The program is presently offered as a regional service, and West Ohio Tool President Rea King said the initiative has been well received. Recycling scrap metal has long been an industry priority in manufacturing. In addition to lessening the environmental strain caused by mining and other extraction methods and processes recycling programs have become a priority for customers across all business sectors. Job shops that leverage recycling opportunities enjoy more cost-effective machining, an improved bottom line and a competitive advantage.

To learn more about West Ohio Tool’s recycling program, contact the company at