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What is Silver Steel?

Drill Rod

Silver Steel is a round metal bar stock made from tool steel that has been ground and polished to tight tolerances. It is generally supplied unhardened and is therefore readily machine workable making it an ideal product to use to manufacture tools.

Silver Steel is finished within very tight tolerances to ensure there are no defects, allowing for a final product that can withstand shock, is hard wearing, resists deformation, and can keep an edge while at elevated temperatures. Tools made from Silver Steel are particularly well suited for working other materials.

What is Silver Steel used for?

Silver Steel is used to manufacture a multitude of tools used for working other materials. The specifications of the initial Silver Steel required will be determined by the final use of the product and can be broadly defined into the following three categories:

  • Water Hardened Silver Steel is the most common type and is easily machinable due to the low alloy content. Silver Steel that has been water hardened is hard and durable but not suitable for welding, with typical applications including the manufacturing of hammers and files, machine parts, chisels, drills and razor blades.
  • Oil Hardened Silver Steel can be both machined and welded and is typically tough and durable. Typical applications include general woodworking and machining tools, knives, punches, and dies.
  • Air Hardened Silver Steel contains the highest alloy content making it hard and resistant/ It is commonly used to create specialized tools including gauges, punches, and shears.

Further specialised applications include shock resistant Silver Steel for the manufacturing of high impact tools such as jackhammer bits, hot working Silver Steel for high temperature applications and high speed Silver Steel for applications such as power saw blades.

How is Silver Steel made?

Silver Steel is made by machining tool grade steel into rods. The rod is precision ground to a specific tolerance and then polished to have a clean and smooth surface. The polishing process helps ensure the specific tolerance is maintained.

Silver Steel is often tempered prior to machining to relieve the hardness and increase the machinability of the steel. The tempering process involves heating the rod up until it glows red, and then cooled, or quenched in water, oil, or air depending on the Silver Steel grade. The rods are then coated with a rust preventing oil for storage to ensure the polished finish remains untarnished.

Metal Supermarkets


Metal Supermarkets is the world’s largest small-quantity metal supplier with 125 brick-and-mortar stores across the US, Canada, and United Kingdom. We are metal experts and have been providing quality customer service and products since 1985.

At Metal Supermarkets, we supply a wide range of metals for a variety of applications. Our stock includes: mild steel, stainless steel, aluminium, tool steel, engineering steel, brass, bronze and copper.

We carry a wide range of shapes including: bars, tubes, sheets and plates. We can cut metal to your exact specifications.

Visit one of our 8 locations in the United Kingdom today.

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