Tool steels are available in many types, ranging from conventional tool steel, PM tool steel, high-speed steel, stainless steel and specialized knife steels. The are available in many types to serve varied purposes. The data sheets for some of the most common types are listed below.
O-1 Tool Steel Data Sheet
AISI O-1 is an oil-hardening tool steel which may be hardened from fairly low temperatures with little size change. O-1 combines deep-hardening qualities with a fine-grained structure, affording good initial production runs, and good continued production after grinding.
L-6 Tool Steel Data Sheet
AISI L-6 is a tough, high-strength tool steel suitable for general purpose applications. It can be hardened to RC 63.
A-2 Tool Steel Data Sheet
AISI A-2 is an air-hardening medium alloy tool steel which is heat treatable to HRC 60-62. It has wear resistance intermediate between the oil hardening tool steels and the high carbon chromium tool steels. Because it offers a combination of good toughness along with moderate wear resistance, it has been widely used for many years in variety of cold work applications. A-2 is quite easily machined in the annealed condition and exhibits minimal distortion on hardening, making it an excellent choice for dies of complicated design.
A-6 Tool Steel Data Sheet
A-6 is a general purpose tool steel that provides moderate wear resistance and tougheness. It is an air hardening grade that can be hardened at a low hardening temperature.
D-2 Tool Steel Data Sheet
D-2 is a high carbon, high chromium heat treatable tool steel intended for applications requiring high wear resistance.
S-7 Tool Steel Data Sheet
S7 is a shock-resistant air hardening tool steel, designed for high impact resistance at relatively high hardness. It offers toughness to withstand chipping and breaking, combined with high attainable hardness and good wear resistance.
H-13 Tool Steel Data Sheet
H-13 is the most popular and most versatile, hot work tool steel, providing a good balance of toughness, heat check resistance, and high temperature strength, in addition to moderate wear resistance. It may be used for tool temperatures up to about 1000 F, with brief exposures up to 1100 F.
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CPM 15V Tool Steel Data Sheet
CPM 15V is a higher carbon and vanadium version of A-11 PM. The higher carbon and vanadium content provides better wear resistance while sacrificing some toughness.
A-11 Tool Steel Data Sheet
Common Tradenames: CPM® 10V®, Z A-11 PM, ASP® 2011, K294
A-11 is designed with a air hardening base analysis with added high carbon and vanadium for exceptionally good wear resistance, toughness and strength for cold tooling applications. The exceptional wear resistance and good toughness of A-11 make it an excellent candidate to replace carbide and other highly wear resistant materials in cold work tooling applications, particularly where cost effectiveness can be demonstrated.
A-11LV Tool Steel Data Sheet
Common Tradenames: CPM® 9V®, Z A-11LV PM, ASP® 2009
A-11LV is designed for use in tooling which encounters severe wear. Its toughness (cracking resistance) is higher than other high-wear resistant cold work tool steels permitting it to be used in some applications where A-11, D2 or high speed steels do not have sufficient resistance to cracking. It is usually limited in hardness to about 56 HRC or lower, and is therefore not intended for applications requiring high compressive strength.
Z-Wear PM Tool Steel Data Sheet
Z-Wear PM is a cold-work PM tool steel that offers excellent value through high toughness, high hardness, good wear resistance combined with ease of heat treating, machinability and grindability. Z-Wear PM can be hardened to RC 64 and is an excellent substrate for most common coatings.
CPM 3V Tool Steel Data Sheet
CPM® 3V provides more wear resistance and toughness than A-2 and D-2. The optimum hardness range of CPM® 3V is RC 58-60.
CPM 1V Tool Steel Data Sheet
CPM® 1V is a medium carbon tool steel which provides very good toughness and moderate wear resistance. The optimum hardness range of CPM® 1V is RC 58-60. CPM® 1V is suitable for both warm work and cold work applications.
PM M-4 High Speed Steel Data Sheet
Common Tradenames: CPM® M4, Z M-4 PM, PM M-4, ASP® 2004
PM M-4 is a high-vanadium special purpose high speed steel exhibiting better wear resistance and toughness than M2 and M3 in cold work punches, die inserts and cutting applications involving high speed and light cuts.
PM T-15 High Speed Steel Data Sheet
Common Tradenames: CPM® T-15, Z T-15 PM, PM T-15, ASP® 2015
PM T-15 is a tungsten type super high speed steel containing high vanadium for excellent abrasion resistance and cobalt for good red hardness. PM T-15 is ideal for cutting difficult to machine materials where high frictional heat is present.
PM M-48 High Speed Steel Data Sheet
Common Tradenames: CPM® REX® 76, PM M-48, ASP® 2048
PM M-48 is a tungsten type super high speed steel hardenable to RC 68-69. It contains high vanadium for excellent abrasion resistance and cobalt for excellent red hardness. PM M-48 is ideal for special purpose cutting tools requiring super high hardness and red hardness, excellent wear resistance and good toughness.
M-2 High Speed Steel Data Sheet
M-2 is a general purpose molybdenum-type high speed steel exhibiting a balanced combination of toughness, wear resistance and red hardness properties. This is the most popular high speed steel produced worldwide.
M-42 High Speed Steel Data Sheet
M-42 is a 8% cobalt super high speed steel exhibiting superior wear resistance and red hardness properties. This grade can be hardened to RC 67 for the most demanding cutting tool applications.
420 ESR Stainless Steel Data Sheet
Common Tradenames: Stavax® ESR, CSM® 420XL, ESR 420
420 ESR is a high quality heat treatable stainless steel produced by the electro-slag remelt process. 420 ESR is well suited for plastic molds and extrusion dies, due to its excellent corrosion resistance and high polishibility.
440C Stainless Steel Data Sheet
440C stainless steel is a martensitic grade of stainless steel that provides very good wear resistance combined with moderate corrosion resistance in mild environments. 440C is heat treatable to RC 59. This grade is commonly used in cutlery and food processing applications.
PM 420 Stainless Steel Data Sheet
PM 420 stainless steel is a modified version of 420 SS. PM 420 provides much greater wear resistance and good corrosion resistance.
420HC Stainless Knife Data Sheet
420HC Stainless steel is a grade that is commonly used in the commercial knife making industry. 420HC can be sharpened to a very fine cutting edge and a mirror finish. It is becuase of these reasons that 420HC became such a popular grade. 420HC has fair toughness and good corrosion resistance and can be hardened to RC 56-59.
440C Stainless Knife Data Sheet
This is arguably the most popular stainless steel grade used in the knifemaking industry. It is used extensively in the commerical cutlery industry for food grade knives. 440C is a realitively tough grade of stainless, comparable to A-2 or slightly better. It is used in the RC 55-59 range providing good wear resistance and edge-holding ability. 440C also provides the user with decent rust and stain resistance.
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M390 / CPM® 20CV Stainless Steel Data Sheet
M390 / CPM 20CV is a PM stainless steel that offers good wear resistance with excellent corrosion resistance through the use of high chromium and vanadium content. The PM process combined with the high chromium content imparts M390 / CPM 20CV with good grindability and excellent polishability. Its high austenizing temperature imparts M390 with a high attainable hardness of RC 58-62.
CPM® 154 Stainless Steel Data Sheet
CPM 154 is a PM version of the popular 154 CM stainless knife steel. This CPM version offers the knifemaker improved toughness, grindability and better polishing results. CPM 154 offers the user better corrosion resistance, edge retention and more toughness than 440C.
CPM® S30V Stainless Steel Data Sheet
CPM S30V is a martensitic stainless steel formulated to provide a good balance of toughness, wear resistance and corrosion resistance.
CPM® S35VN® Stainless Steel Data Sheet
This CPM S35VN stainless steel data sheet highlights the edge retention and toughness of this knife steel. CPM S35VN is a tougher version of the popular CPM S30V, due to the addition of niobium. With the addition of .5% niobium, niobium carbides are formed, making CPM S35VN tougher and better able to hold an edge. Machinability and polishibility are also improved.
CPM® S90V Stainless Steel Data Sheet
CPM S90V is a martensitic stainless steel that provides excellent wear resistance and good corrosion resistance. CPM S90V offers much better wear resistance than 440C and D-2, while providing corrosion resistance equal to or better than 440C. The toughness of CPM S90V is slightly better than 440C.
H-13 ESR Mold Steel Data Sheet
Common Tradenames: Orvar® Supreme, Nu-Die XL, H-13 ESR
H-13 ESR is a premium version of H-13, melted using the electroslag remelt process to provide a more uniform microstructure and better microcleanliness, resulting in better transverse toughness and polishibility for the toolmaker.
S-7 ESR Mold Steel Data Sheet
Common Tradenames: S-7 XL, S-7 Mold Quality, S-7 ESR
S-7 ESR is a high purity version of S-7 tool steel. S-7 ESR is produced using the electroslag remelt process which produces a more uniform microstructure and better microcleanliness.
4140 Alloy Steel Data Sheet
4140 is an alloy steel that is supplied in either the annealed or prehardened condition. The prehardened condition is heat treated to a medium hardness (HRC 28/32) and is designated as 4140 HT. 4140 annealed is supplied in the soft condition and can be hardened to RC 54. 4140 annealed is designated as 4140 Ann or simply 4140.
We are continually adding new data sheets as new grades are developed. Please check back for updates.
CPM, CSM, 10V, 9V and REX are registered trademarks of Crucible Industries, LLC
ASP is a registered trademark of Erasteel
Stavax and Orvar are registered trademarks of Uddehom