Cold Work Tool Steel

Ignorance Is Not Always Bliss
Article-Originally published in Stamping Journal, this article explains the powder metallurgy (P/M) process and how it can affect productivity.

Tools for UHSS get Tougher
Article-Originally published in The Fabricator, this article discusses the challenges of improving tool life when stamping Ultra-High Strength Steel.

Cracking Under Pressure
Article-Originally published in Stamping Journal, this article explains the importance of choosing the proper steel to minimize abrasive and adhesive tool wear.

Powder Metallurgy Tool Steel - An Overview
Article-Originally published in Metalforming, this article describes the benefits of PM Tool Steel, and how these materials were developed.

Cold work tool steel is exposed to high stresses and requires great resistance against wear, impact and bending. The development of new steel grades is mainly guided by analyzing damage suffered by tools in various processes. In each area of use, properties are sought which will extend the working life of the tool. Different types of wear demand different types of steel. Product development is moving towards producing more robust steel with higher resistance to wear and greater durability, such as our 3RD GENERATION powder metal steel grades.

We can help the tool user to choose the right steel and heat treatment for the application. This usually results in lower tooling costs, lower maintenance costs and less downtime.


The following work material properties must be considered to establish the dominating wear pattern (abrasive, adhesive or mixed) to be expected:

  • Type of work material 
  • Hardness of work material 
  • Presence of hard particles in the work material 
  • Thickness of work material 
  • Type of coatings, if any or the work material, e.g. zinc (galvanizing)

This is the most fundamental step because it will determine which wear resistance profile the tool steel should have.

For recommended materials for Blanking, click here.

For recommended materials for Metal Forming, click here.

For recommended materials for Powder Compacting, click here.

Title Type/Filesize Download

BOHLER Cold Work Product Guide (Revision 06.2008)

PDF / 1586 KB PDF Download

BOHLER Powder Metal Steel (Revision 05.2007)

PDF / 1388 KB PDF Download

BOHLER Steel for Punching and Blanking (Revision 10.2010)

PDF / 968 KB PDF Download

BOHLER Survey of Cold Work Grades (Revision 05.2008)

PDF / 112 KB PDF Download

BOHLER Survey of High Speed Steel (Revision 02.2010)

PDF / 106 KB PDF Download

UDDEHOLM Steel for Cold Work Tooling (Revision 06.2011)

PDF / 824 KB PDF Download

UDDEHOLM Steel for Powder Compacting (Revision 01.2009)

PDF / 263 KB PDF Download

UDDEHOLM Tooling Solutions for AHSS (Revision 07.2015)

PDF / 2142 KB PDF Download

Welding of Tool Steel (Revision 11.2008)

PDF / 449 KB PDF Download