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What are engineer’s squares made of?

What are engineer’s squares made of?

Shop for Engineer’s Squares

There are four types of steel that can be used to make an engineers square; spring steel, carbon steel, tool steel and hardened steel Engineer’s squares can be made from one of four different types of steel: spring steel, carbon steel, tool steel and hardened steel.

Spring steel

Spring steel Spring steel is most commonly used in engineer’s squares to make the blade.

Spring steel has a carbon content of >0.5% and a higher nickel and silicon content than other steels, which helps to improve the stiffness and hardness. Spring steel is also better at absorbing shock than other steels, which means tools made of spring steel are less likely to be damaged should they be dropped or knocked.

Carbon steel

Carbon steel Technically, all steel is carbon steel, as steel is an alloy of carbon and iron. Carbon steel can be separated into low carbon steel, which has less than 0.3% carbon content, medium carbon steel, which has 0.3-0.6% carbon content, high and ultra high carbon steel (0.6-2% carbon content). If there is more than a 2.1% carbon content, then it is referred to as cast iron and not steel.

When tools are referred to as being made of carbon steel, this is normally in reference to medium carbon steel, which balances ductility and strength.

Tool steel

Tool steel Tool steel refers to a wide group of steels that can have many different properties, depending on the quantities and choice of alloying elements used.

Tool steels contain a higher quantity of alloying elements, which give tool steel high strength, increased hardness and wear-resistance.

Hardened steel

Hardened steel Hardened steel is heat treated and tempered to increase its hardness. but only steel with a carbon content greater than 0.6% can be hardened.

Purchasing an engineer’s square made of hardened steel means there is less chance of it becoming scratched or worn.

Which steel should you choose?

Decision making as to what type of steel is best Each type of steel can have a varying range of properties depending on the exact make-up of the alloying elements that it contains, and the manufacturing processes it may or may not have been through. Because of this, there is an overlap of properties between the different types of steel that a tool can be made from.
Comparing engineers' squares made from different types of steel can be confusing or impossible as manufactures often don't give exact details of what type of steel have been used Manufacturers will often purposefully keep the details of the steel they have used in a tool’s production vague. This is to prevent other manufacturers from copying the exact make-up of the steel. A manufacturer may want to do this if they have developed a steel that has superior properties for a particular tool, or if they have developed a cheaper way of manufacturing a steel with the required properties for a particular tool.
Wonkee Donkee To sum up then
Accuracy and standards are the the most important factors of quality It is far better to judge the quality of an engineer’s square based on the manufacturing processes it has undergone, along with the accuracy grade and standard it has been produced to, rather than the type of steel from which it was made.

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