Tool Steel W1

Principal Design Features

This alloy is one of the common Water Hardening tool steel grades available. W1 is basically a simple high carbon steel and is easily hardened by heating and quenching in water, just as with plain carbon steel alloys.


W1 is commonly used for hand operated metal cutting tools, cold heading, embossing taps and reamers as well as cutlery.


W1 is a plain carbon steel and machines with ease. It is the base line of 100% machinability on which machinability of the other tool steels is compared.


The alloy is readily formed by conventional methods.


W1 may be welded by all of the standard techniques.

Heat Treatment

Heat treatment is somewhat dependent upon section size, or intricacy of the part. For large sections, or intricate shapes, slowly preheat to 1100 F and then slowly increase temperature to 1500 F. Hold for 10 to 30 minutes and then quench in water or brine.


Forge at 1900 F down to 1550 F. Do not forge below 1500 F.

Hot Working

The alloy may be hot worked. Consult the supplier for details. Also see “Forging”.

Cold Working

In the annealed condition this alloy has very good ductility and may easily be cold worked by conventional methods.


Anneal at 1400 F and slow cool in the furnace at 40 F per hour or less.


Not applicable to this alloy.


Temper at 350 to 650 F for Rockwell C of 64 to 50.


This alloy will harden by cold work or by heat treatment. See “Heat Treatment” and “Tempering”.

Other Comments

The W series of tool steels are a very simple alloy group, low cost, and responsive to simple heating and water quenching for hardening. The alloy does undergo considerable distortion during quenching.

Density: 0.286

Specific Gravity: 7.84

Melting Point: 2615

MoETensile: 29


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