Selection of the most suitable tool steel for incorporation into tools, jigs, and fixtures is fundamental to their satisfactory performance. As a first step in assisting the user to make a suitable selection, tool steels have been divided into well defined groups. The names used for the groups are self-explanatory, they are:
Hot work steels are used for hot forging, pressing, punching and extrusion for die casting. Tools made from hot work steels likewise resist wear and softening at high temperature but also possess the greater toughness necessary to resist shock loadings experienced in hot work applications.
The cold work steel group includes steels suitable for service at ambient temperatures. It includes a range of steels which vary from extreme wear resistance and modest degree of toughness to those with a very high degree of toughness and a correspondingly lower resistance to wear.