The tool steel drill rod pieces (O-1, A-2, D-2, H-13, S-7, M-2, and W-1) are usually machined in the annealed state and then heat treated to make hardened, long lasting tools. The Applications Table below shows the classes, steel grades, hardening methods, and typical applications for Drill Rod. To use the table, find the class in the left column. To find out what is drill rod used for, find the steel grade in the table below and read the applications in the right column of the same row.
|Class||Steel Grade||Hardening Method||Typical Applications|
|Most Popular||O-1||Oil Quenched||Gages
|W-1||Water Quenched||Cold heading tools
Metal cutting tools
|High Speed||M-2||Vacuum Heat Treatment||Cutting tools
|High Temperature||H-13||Air Quenched||Hot-work tools
Polished plastic mold tools
|Shock Resistance||S-7||Air Quenched||Knock-out pins
Circular pipe cutters
O-1 Drill Rod may be the most popular grade and can be used for gages, punches, or dies. W-1 is the least expensive and can be used for making cold heading tools, hand-operated metal cutting tools, reamers, taps, punches, or dies.
A-2 or D-2 can be used for knurls, rolls, hobs, cold-forming tools, punches, or dies for piercing, blanking, or coining. Compared to A-2, D-2 has greater wear resistance but is more susceptible to shock. D-2 is also more difficult to machine and grind than A-2.
M-2 is an excellent choice for making high-speed cutting tools or parts that must retain hardness at elevated temperature. It can be used for hot-work tools or cold-work tools.
H-13 is another good choice for hot-work tools and it has better shock resistance than M-2. H-13 can tolerate water cooling in operation. A nitride coating can be applied to increase surface hardness and wear resistance. H-13 can be polished.
S7 has resistance to high impact and shock and it can be used at moderately high temperature. These properties makes it suitable for hot-work or cold-work applications.