Tool ApplicationTool RequirementsTool Steel Choices
ArborsLess likely to crackO1
Battering toolsGood hardenability, shock resistanceS1
Bending diesHigh hardnessO1
BlankingToughness, wear resistanceM2
Blanking coiningToughness, wear resistanceM2
Burnishing toolsHigh hardness, wear resistanceD2
CamsHigh stress and enduranceO1
Chipper knivesMinimum cracking, toughnessA8
Chisel blacksmithsHot hardness, abrasion resistanceH11
CoiningHigh hardness, wear resistanceD2
Cold extrusionHigh hardness, wear resistanceH11
Cold formingSurface finish, high hardnessO1
Cold heading die insertsRed hardness, high hardenabilityH11
Cold shear knivesHigh strength, toughnessO1 / D2
Cold swagingHigh impact toughnessS7
Cold trimmingHigh hardness M2
ColletsHigh hardness, softer coreW1
CutleryCorrosion resistance, toughnessD2
Die bendingWear resistance, toughnessD2
Die holdersPolished finish, less likely to crackP20S
Embossing toolsWear resistance, toughnessD2
File cuttingCorrosion resistance, easy to sharpen420
Forming rollsHigh strength, toughnessO1 / D2
GaugesWear resistance, toughnessD2
General-purpose toolsHigh strength, toughnessO1 / D2
Heavy-duty press toolsHot hardness, increased hardnessH11 / M42
Hot shear bladesHot hardness, high toughnessH11
JigsAccuracy and interchangeabilityO1 / D2
KnivesToughness, corrosion resistance, wear resistanceO1 / CPM 3V / M42
Knurling toolsHigh toughness, hardnessD2
LaminationHigh hardness, wear resistanceA2
Lathe centre knivesWear resistance, toughnessA2
Machine knivesEdge retention, corrosion resistanceA2 / D2
Medical equipmentCorrosion resistance420
Mould toolsHigh hardnessP20S
Paper knivesWear resistance, impact resistanceO1 / D2
RailsWear resistance, resistance to fracture1084
Rotary slittersLong wear life, high hardnessD2
Scrap shear bladesLong wear life, high hardnessD2
ShaftsHigh loading strengthO1
StripsHigh hardnessP20S
TapsHigh strengthO1 / M2
Wire drawingHigh strengthO1
Woodworking knivesWear resistance, deformation resistanceO1 / A2 / D2

Ultimately, the tool steel you choose for your project will depend on a number of factors, so if you’re wondering how to choose the correct tool steel visit our detailed guide. Although we have recommended grades listed above in our tool steel application chart it does not necessarily mean that is the definitive choice for your application. There are many other options available, and we recommend calling our team on 0114 233 5291 to discuss further.