High Speed Steel

The History of High Speed Steel

HSS Hand Taps

High Speed Steel was developed in the second half of the nineteenth century. Once heat treating was perfected, it became the tool material of choice because it would run at “high speed” compared to carbon cutting tools. 

Crucible Steel was awarded a patent for the first recognized high speed steel in 1910.  It was designated T1, a tungsten based alloy.  During the same period, M1 molybdenum based high speed steel cutting tools were developed, but they were not as popular until tungsten became scarce during World War II.

A series of improvements of the molybdenum based steels were made over the years. M7 (used primarily for HSS drill bits), and M35 and M42 (containing higher levels of cobalt) provides superior red hardness to withstand heat and abrasion in production environments. M42 became the featured material in machining space age materials.

Uses for High Speed Cutting Tools 

The main use of high speed steel is in the manufacture of HSS cutting tools including drills, taps, end mills.  HSS bits and other high speed steel cutting tools are the workhorse of  American Industry, providing outstanding sharp cutting edges that withstand vibration and the limitations of many of today’s machine tools.

The next generation of HSS cutting tools uses particle metallurgy and improved designs to enhance productivity, and with many multi-layer coatings available, superior performance is expected.

Regal's HSS Offerings

Regal’s range of high speed cutting tools encompasses HSS bits, taps, end mills and special tools made to our customers specifications. Our extensive inventory of  raw materials assure you we can produce the needed tools to meet requirements.  Check out: