what is tool steel?

i need to make log working knives out of tool steel. what equipment do i need?

randofo2 months ago

Tool steel is a hardened steel that is used to make tools out of. Parts that are not easily drilled, cut or broken use tool steel. For example, cutting pliers and sledgehammer heads are made of tool steel.

Since it is designed to be very strong and not cut, dent or drill easily, cutting, drilling and denting it can be challenging.

It depends precisely would you want to do with it. If you just want a sharp edge or to shape it a little bit, you should be able to use a grinding wheel. You will just need to make sure you get a grinding wheel suitable for hardened steel.

Drilling is possible with the right speeds and feeds, coolant / cutting oil, (maybe) an extra drill bit or two, and a lot of patience. I have done this before. It's just a matter of getting everything right for the hardness of the steel you are working with

A friend also once told me you could spot anneal the metal by putting a large head nail in the drill bit chuck and pressing it against the spot you want to drill until the metal turns red hot. This process (annealing) will soften the metal and perhaps make it easier to then drill the hole (albeit, I have never tried this for myself).

If you need to make a complex-shaped part, you can contract it out to a production house with a waterjet, and they can cut your part out in a few minutes.

Anything beyond that, frankly, I am not sure. I have not done much work with tool steel, and it would really depend on what precisely you are trying to accomplish.