How to Choose the Right Tool Steel Grade for Your Project

by Jun 26, 2020industry news, Information, Metal Supply, Services, Tips0 comments

Tool steel is a form of steel with increased levels of alloying elements like carbon, which enhances certain physical properties and makes it ideal for many applications. Tool steel is used in a wide variety of common tools, and it comes in many different grades made for different applications. Water-hardening steel, air-hardening steel, oil-hardening steel and shock-resistant steel are only a few examples. When working with tool steel, it’s important to know which tool steel grade is best for the job. Here’s a guide to choosing the ideal tool steel grade for your next project.

Questions to Ask Before You Choose

You should choose your tool steel grade based on the conditions it’ll need to endure. If your steel will be exposed to hard, sudden impacts, you should opt for shock-resisting tool steel, which is commonly used in hammers and chisels.

If your tool steel will be used at high speeds, you should go for an accommodating grade made for use in drill bits and cutting blades. 

If your tool steel will be used for plastic molding, you should only use the Type P family of tool steels made for that application.

Why Temperature Matters

Tool steels are typically heat-treated to bring out their desired properties, so you should be careful when using them in high temperatures. Go for hot-work tool steels designed to be exposed to high temperatures without losing their properties.

The same goes for low temperatures. Cold-working tool steels are ideal for low temperature applications, since they’re treated in a way that makes them more resistant to the cold. Cold-working tools can be more costly than other grades of tool steel, but they’re sure to last longer than other grades that aren’t designed for low temperatures.

Consider Your Budget

If you’re using tool steels on a budget, you might not be able to afford some grades of tool steel. Low-budget metalworking with tool steel is possible, as long as you find a grade that works for everything you’re doing. We recommend water-hardening tool steel for all-in-one use. This grade of tool steel is cheaper than most others, and it has a good compromise of properties for use in many different projects. Water-hardening tool steels are the most commonly used for low-budget manufacturing, and they have a high resistance to wear and tear from regular application.

Full-Length Metals and More at Short Iron Store

Contractors, companies, and hobbyists are sure to find what they’re looking for when they shop at Short Iron Store. We carry a wide range of full-length metals and metal hardware both in-store and online, and custom orders are fulfilled using our in-house CNC plasma cutter. At Short Iron Store, you’re sure to find prices so good you won’t need a discount! We’re happy to serve every contractor and DIYer who comes through our doors, and you’re sure to love the quality and price of our products. Call or visit our website to get in touch with us or find a store near you!