All grades of tool steel should be heat-treated, including high speed steels, hot work and cold work steels, and plastic mould steels. Drills, mandrels, hobbing cutters, and reamers, in addition to a wide variety of hand tools and DIY items are regularly heat treated. Vacuum heat treatment, nitriding, nitrocarburising and secondary processes, such as cryogenic treatment are the typical processes to improve the stability and performance further. Metallurgical coating, such as PVD, PACVD and CVD will not only enhance the visual appearance of tools, especially but also extend tool life, decrease wear and improve the anti-corrosion.
Strictly controlling the raw material consistency and passing through the stable heat treatment process are the outstanding weak points to challenge the tooling industry for either tool steel plant or metalworking manufacturers.