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Hex Silver Steel/Tool Steel ??

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Dave Jones 113/03/2013 10:58:04
84 forum posts
5 photos

Morning all,

I have been looking around the internet for most of the morning for supplier of hex silver steel or hex tool steel for some punches. Trouble is I cant seem to find anyone that sells it, i have looked through the smaller hobby suppliers and the large industry guys and I cant seem to find any. Is it available and can someone point me in the right direction. I am looking for 10 to 12mm across flats.



Andrew Johnston13/03/2013 11:11:28
5552 forum posts
650 photos

Silver steel is normally centreless ground, so it'd be difficult to form a hexagon section. I've never come across hex silver steel. I've never seen hex tool steel either. I suspect you'll have to machine or grind your own hexagons.



David Littlewood13/03/2013 11:48:06
533 forum posts

Silver steel is not the only grade which can be hardened. You may find it worthwhile to phone one of the metal retailers who may know where to source a suitable hardenable grade in hexagon form. From past experience the guys at Mallard Metals and Noggin End Metals are both very approachable and can get stuff not normally stocked.


Dave Jones 113/03/2013 12:12:52
84 forum posts
5 photos

Thanks for your advice, ill look into a suitable alternative.



chris stephens13/03/2013 12:23:28
1045 forum posts
1 photos

Hi Dave,

Don't think in terms of silver steel being the only hardenable steel, it is essentially just a high carbon steel that looks pretty. It looks pretty because it is ground to a precise (?) diameter and is therefore not available in hex. There are many other high carbon or alloy steels that can be hardened just as easily as silver steel in a home shop. You might not get the very best results at home, compared to professional heat treatment works, but for our purposes usually good enough. An easily available steel, in hex form, that you could ask for is EN8 but you might have to anneal it before you harden it depending on the version you buy.


Roderick Jenkins13/03/2013 12:45:15
1894 forum posts
486 photos


I know it doesn't help very much but most of my cold chisels are octagons rather than hex. Might help with the search though. Such stuff was available, I do have some rough lumps of octagon that came with my s/h lathe so I assume they are hardenable but I've never actually investigated.

good luck ,


Bazyle13/03/2013 12:55:26
5288 forum posts
201 photos

Won't having the whole section as hex just be a nuisance at the other end in mounting it? A round section with the end milled hex for half an inch seems more convenient, unless you don't have the facility to mill it.

JasonB13/03/2013 13:23:05
18296 forum posts
2024 photos
1 articles

You may get away with a big allen key of reasonable quality.


JohnF13/03/2013 13:28:20
999 forum posts
142 photos

Hi Dave, What are you going to make ? I use EN8 or EN9 which has more carbon and is easier to harden and will harden to a higher rockwell number than EN8 but it is more difficult to machine.

Not sure if you can get Hex but it is quite likely -- try M-Machine metals but you may well have to order it. You can of course use mild steel and case harden if appropiate.

Regards John

Dave Jones 113/03/2013 13:44:56
84 forum posts
5 photos

I was just going to make a few punches, using a hex as a handle and then turn the punch section down to a round (in my opinion more visually appealing than necessary). Now I remember I have a got a tub of case hardening powder in the garage and I may well some some en1a hex laying about.

JasonB13/03/2013 13:54:36
18296 forum posts
2024 photos
1 articles

Ah you want to make parallel punches, I think we all thought you wanted to punch out hex shapes, at least I did


Edited By JasonB on 13/03/2013 13:55:07

DMB13/03/2013 14:37:43
1003 forum posts

Hi Dave,

I remember from school metalwork lessons that high-carbon tool steel only came in 8 - sided form, various A/Fs. We used it to make cold chisels - I suppose that was to give us hands-on experience of hardening and tempering.


mick13/03/2013 17:06:25
396 forum posts
44 photos

You'll probably have to source high carbon steel and heat treat it. If its for a punch then only the tip needs to be hard, with the shank tempered to a deep blue so it with stands the shock of hammering. Back when god was a boy we used to make small chipping chisels from square carbon steel, then harden them, I'm still using some of them today.

Dave Jones 113/03/2013 19:03:08
84 forum posts
5 photos

I have a few 8 sides rivet snaps dated from the 1940's (or so they are stamped). Is octagon steel something that you cant get anymore, I dont think I have seen it advertised anywhere

JohnF13/03/2013 21:44:01
999 forum posts
142 photos

Hi Dave, I would not case harden if you want long term use, better to use a through hardening steel and temper accordingly.

This way you will have tough tip and head and a relatively soft shank.


DMB13/03/2013 22:24:52
1003 forum posts

Hi Dave,

I believe that I have see brickies bolster chisels fairly recently in B & Q and I think they were 8 sided, so someone is sourcing it from somewhere. If all else fails, I suppose one could buy one and use a grinder to cut off the fish-tail blade!!


julian atkins14/03/2013 00:12:33
1235 forum posts
353 photos

hi dave,

ive got a 3ft length of what you want (cant remember if its hex or octaganol). send me a PM and i'll send you what you need.



Chris TickTock20/08/2019 16:16:47
477 forum posts
31 photos

Well funny enough I too want just over 6 inches of high carbon steel in 1/4 inch hex format to make a centre punch. Recommended metal is 4130 which is approx EN19 anyone suggest a supplier or anyone got anything surplus to requirements?

(We are following a project in a book in case you are curious.)



Jeff Dayman20/08/2019 17:07:21
1827 forum posts
45 photos

You can buy hex steel stock in many different sizes in North America in 1045 or 4140 steels. I'd be surprised if you can not get similar items in UK.

Vic20/08/2019 17:54:34
2511 forum posts
14 photos

Cold chisels make really good punches and can be had quite cheaply sometimes. The last batch I got were Eclipse branded ones about a foot long. They only cost about a quid each from the discount store.

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