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LK tools's Expertise in Tool Steel CNC Machining Services

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Tool Steel CNC Machining at LK tools:

Understanding the Various Types of Tool Steel for Precision Tooling

Tool steel is an essential material in the manufacturing industry, known for its versatility and ability to withstand demanding conditions. Classified into six main types, each category of tool steel serves a distinct purpose, with the selection based on factors such as cost, operating temperature, hardness, strength, and resistance to shock and toughness. Here's a detailed look at the different types of tool steel:

Classification of Tool Steel:

Water-Hardening: These tool steels are hardened using water and are known for their impressive surface strength.

Cold-Work: Designed for operations at lower temperatures, these steels offer variations that can be hardened with oil (O), air (A), or exhibit high carbon and chromium content (D).

Shock-Resisting (S): These steels are built to withstand sudden impacts or shocks during use.

High-Speed: Composed primarily of tungsten (T) or molybdenum (M), high-speed tool steels maintain their properties even at elevated temperatures.

Hot-Working: These steels are categorized based on their alloy bases:

H1-H19: Chromium base

H20-H39: Tungsten base

H40-H59: Molybdenum base

Plastic Mold (P): Used specifically for the crafting of molds for plastic.

Tool steel is renowned for its durability, high hardness, and resistance to wear and deformation, making it ideal for creating cutting tools, gauges, dies, and wear-resistant tools.

With our extensive experience in tool steel CNC machining, we understand the complexities of machining this tough material. You can trust in our capabilities to deliver high-quality results.

LK tools provides comprehensive services that span from product design to prototype development, catering to both individual parts and batch production needs.

Explore our expertise in tool steel machining and discover how we can contribute to the success of your manufacturing processes.

At LK tools, we are equipped to handle the challenges of tool steel machining, offering precision, efficiency, and a commitment to your project's success. Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can assist with your tool steel machining requirements.

Special Purpose: This category includes low alloy (L) and carbon tungsten (F) tool steels for specific applications.

In the United States, the AISI (American Iron and Steel Institute) and SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) provide classifications for tool steels based on their defining properties.

AISI-SAE Grades and Characteristics:

Water-Hardening (W): Known for their hardening capabilities in water.


Oil-Hardening (O): Suitable for oil quenching.

Air-Hardening; Medium Alloy (A): Air-hardened with a balance of alloys.

High Carbon; High Chromium (D): Contains high levels of carbon and chromium for durability.

Shock Resisting (S): Tailored to resist impact and shock.

High Speed:

Tungsten Base (T): Offers a tungsten-based composition.

Molybdenum Base (M): Contains molybdenum as the primary alloying element.

Hot-Working (H): Categorized by the alloying base, suitable for high-temperature applications.

Plastic Mold (P): Specifically for plastic mold making.

Special Purpose:

Low Alloy (L): Offers specific properties with a low alloy content.

Carbon Tungsten (F): Comprises carbon and tungsten elements.

Understanding the nuances of various tool steel types is critical for selecting the right material for your manufacturing needs. Whether you're creating cutting tools, dies, or molds, the right tool steel will ensure optimal performance and longevity. Contact us for guidance on selecting the appropriate tool steel for your project.

Machining Water Hardening Tool Steel for Precision Applications

Water hardening tool steel, noted for its ease of machining and forming, contains 0.6%-1.4% carbon and minimal alloying elements, which enhances its machinability. Here's a closer look at the characteristics and applications of water hardening steel:

Properties of Water Hardening Steel:

Water hardening steel, also known as W-grade steel, requires rapid quenching in water to achieve maximum hardness due to its low hardenability.

This rapid quenching process gives the steel its name and ensures the attainment of the desired hardness.

Applications at Optimal Temperatures:

Ideal for operations at lower temperatures, water hardening steel is used for tasks such as knurling, cold heading, creating taps, and stamping.

The Benefits of O1 Tool Steel for Precision Machining

O1 Tool steel is renowned for its machinability, making it a top choice for oil-hardened, general-purpose cold-work applications. Here's an insight into the machinability and benefits of O1 Tool steel:

Characteristics of O1 Tool Steel:

This steel is known for its excellent hardness and wear resistance, making it suitable for a variety of demanding applications.

It boasts ease of machining and a lower heat of hardening compared to other grades, streamlining the manufacturing process.

After undergoing tempering and hardening, O1 Tool steel exhibits exceptional stability, resisting deformation. (For projects requiring even greater dimensional stability, A2 tool steel might be preferable during the hardening process.)

The maximum Rockwell hardness achievable by O1 tool steel ranges from HRC57 to HRC62.

The Benefits of O1 Tool Steel for Precision Machining

It's crucial to note that W-grade steel begins to lose dimensional stability above 150 degrees Celsius, hence, it is recommended for small parts operating below this temperature threshold.

The high carbon content allows for the material to be utilized without additional heat treatment, simplifying the manufacturing process.

Water hardening steel can achieve a Rockwell hardness of HRC57 to HRC60.

With a melting point of 1538°C, its yield strength ranges between 380 to 690 MPa.

Typical Usage:

W1 tool steel is commonly used for manual metal cutting tools, including drill bits, cold-heading dies, embossed taps, drill pipes, reamers, high-strength mechanical keys, and bushings.

Water hardening tool steel offers a balance between ease of machining and the ability to achieve high hardness levels, making it a practical choice for a variety of precision tools and components. If you're considering using water hardening steel for your project, reach out to us for expert guidance on machining this versatile material.

Material Properties:

O1 Tool steel has a melting point of 1538 degrees Celsius and a yield strength ranging from 345Mpa to 682Mpa.

Common Applications:

O1 Tool steel is utilized in the production of bending dies, piercers, broaches, blanking dies, forming dies, gauges, cutting dies, and bushings.

Its exceptional properties also make it an excellent material for knives, drawing dies, and high-quality cutlery.

O1 Tool steel's combination of machinability, hardness, and wear resistance makes it a versatile option for precise machining and toolmaking. Whether you're crafting intricate dies or durable cutlery, O1 Tool steel offers the quality and performance needed for your projects. Contact us to learn more about utilizing O1 Tool steel and other materials for your machining needs.

A2 Tool Steel: Ideal for Precision Machining with Enhanced Stability

A2 Tool Steel is recognized for its superior properties, making it a preferred choice for applications that demand greater dimensional stability and ease of machining. Here's what you need to know about A2 Tool Steel's machinability:

Features of A2 Tool Steel:

This air-hardening cold-work steel offers enhanced stability and hardening safety compared to O1 tool steel, making it suitable for more rigorous applications.

It boasts wear resistance and cost efficiency on par with D2 and O1 tool steels, providing a balanced option for toolmakers.

Material Specifications:

A2 steel has a melting point of 1438°C and a yield strength of 745Mpa, indicating its durability and resistance to deformation under stress.

The Robust Machinability of D2 Tool Steel for High-Wear Applications

D2 Tool Steel stands out as a premier choice for fabricating tools that encounter high wear and tear. As an air-hardened, high-carbon, high-chromium, cold-work steel, it offers excellent wear resistance and durability.

Characteristics of D2 Tool Steel:

D2 steel is renowned for its superior hardness, reaching a Rockwell hardness of HRC62-C65.

With a melting point of 1385°C and a yield strength of 765 Mpa, D2 steel is robust and maintains its form under pressure.

Its ability to deep harden without cracking or chipping is particularly beneficial for tools that undergo rigorous use.

Applications of D2 Tool Steel:

Typical Uses of A2 Tool Steel:

A2 steel is utilized in situations where wear resistance is paramount. Common applications include:

Cutting dies for blanking, tools, and trimming

Stamping dies, embossing and drawing dies

Dies for extrusion, as well as punches and shearing blades

Slitting blades, knurling tools, gauges

Mandrels, rolls, and various machine parts

A2 Tool Steel's blend of wear resistance, machinability, and dimensional stability makes it an excellent material for manufacturing durable and precise tools and components. If your project requires a material that can withstand the rigors of demanding applications, consider A2 Tool Steel for your machining needs. Contact us to explore how A2 Tool Steel can enhance your manufacturing process.

The cost-efficiency and material properties of D2 steel make it an optimal selection for tooling processes that demand prolonged wear life and heat-treatment durability.

It's ideal for manufacturing tools such as thread rolling dies, laminated dies, blanking dies, molding dies, trimming molds, embossing tools, drawing dies, and extrusion dies.

D2 Tool Steel's machinability and resilience to wear position it as a top material for tools and dies meant for long production cycles and challenging environments. If you're looking for a material that combines wear resistance with cost-effectiveness and dimensional stability, D2 Tool Steel is an excellent choice. Contact us to discuss how D2 Tool Steel can fulfill your tooling requirements with unmatched durability.