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What is the right use of M2 Molybdenum High Speed Tool Steel?

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What is the right use of M2 Molybdenum High Speed Tool Steel?

When you are in the business of metalworking, your success can quite heavily depend on the performance and quality of the tools you use. But finding your way through the vast maze of tool steels can be overwhelming.


There is, however, a ray of light which can lead you to a decision a bit faster. You simply need to find the tool steel that is considered as the most reliable one to do most of the work by most high speed steel supplier. And within the category of high speed tool steels, M2 or molybdenum tool steel leads the pack.


M2 Tool Steel: What Is It?


M2 steel is a type of tool steel that falls under the category of high-speed steels or HSS. High speed steels are well-known for their ability to maintain their hardness even at high temperatures which makes them perfect for tasks like metal cutting. M2 is actually a molybdenum-based type of HSS that offers a well-balanced combination of wear resistance and toughness, as well as the ability to stay hard even when things get very hot. Such a balance is what makes it the most preferred HSS grade.


What Can M2 Steel Do?


M2 high-speed tool steel is a very versatile material known for having an excellent combination of the properties of wear resistance, toughness, and ability to maintain its hardness even when temperatures rise to up to about 500°C (known as red hardness). Because of this almost magical combination, M2 is a popular choice for applications like cutting, among other things.


  • Cutting - Any high speed steel supplier knows that cutting tools is the foremost application for M2 tool steel. Some of the most common tools include metal saws, twist drills, taps, and milling cutters. The ability of the HSS, known as M2, to resist wear and handle moderate cutting speeds makes it well-suited for various machining work.
  • Cold Work Punches and Dies – The toughness of M2 steel makes it a very good choice for tools that need to withstand stress without breaking, chipping, or cracking. It is most often used in cold-forming applications such as dies and rams.
  • Wear Pads – Wear pads are mainly sacrificial components or parts that are specifically designed to take the brunt of wear and friction in most equipment and machinery to protect critical parts from quickly wearing down. M2 is considered a good choice for wear pads which need to handle extreme levels of wear, elevated temperatures, and considerable pressure.
  • Knives – M2 steel has very good wear resistance which makes it a great choice for blades and knives that prioritize a very thin edge for delicate cutting work like specialty craft knives. The ability of the high-speed tool steel to retain hardness at high temperatures can be valuable in some industrial settings like those used in shaping and trimming hot rubber or plastics.
  • Plastic Molds – Due to M2’s ability to handle wear and high temperatures, it can be used in plastic molds which experience elevated pressures during the injection process.


It is important to remember though that while M2 steel is a very good all-rounder materials, consulting experienced and widely respected experts may be a good idea if you are trying to find a good grade of HSS for your metalworking business.




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