Metals are the beating heart of our industry. The skilled team at Anderson Shumaker knows their metals inside and out. But, not everyone is familiar with the many metals we forge. Each metal has its own unique properties and attributes. Not all metals are appropriate for all products. Last week we discussed the pros and cons of stainless steel. Today we’ll take a look at tool steel, a fantastic material that is more commonly used than most people realize.
What is Tool Steel?
Tool steel is the metal used to make hand tools and machine dies. It’s also used to cut through other metals. It’s a tough steel with non-deforming properties, it possesses high abrasion resistance, and it holds a sharp cutting edge even when used at various pressures and temperatures. Not only do we forge tool steel, Anderson Shumaker uses tool steel every day on our shop floor.
How is Tool Steel Made?
Like all metals, tool steel is made under carefully controlled conditions. It is a carbon and alloy steel, with a carbon content is between 0.7% to 1.5%. Tool steel can be physically made using many methods: electroslag melting, hot and cold drawing, power metallurgy, primary melting, rolling, and other processes.The steel’s manganese content is kept low to avoid the material breaking during quenching. No matter how it’s made, proper heat treating is an essential part of producing tool steel. The percentage of carbon determines the metal’s ability to harden with heat treatment, and the tool’s hardness determines its ability to hold a sharp cutting edge under pressure.
Anderson Shumaker Tool Steel Grades
Specific applications require specific tool steel grades. Before selecting a grade, it’s important to know exactly how the final product will be used. Our current available tool steel grades are:
A-2 H-11 M-42 Chipper Knife
A-7 MOD H-12 O-1 Lesco Wear
A-8 H-13 O-6 Typlex
A-9 H-21 S-5 Vasco Die
D-2 L-6 S-7
D-3 M-2 T-1
D-5 M-3 T-15
Don’t see the grade you need, or not sure which grade to choose? You can always call us (800) 932-0357 or request a quote to talk a member of our sales team. We often work in many metals and grades not listed on our website or current Stock List. Contact us today to get your tool steel project rolling!
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