Drill Rod is a type of tool steel round stock that is ground to a tight tolerance. The tight dimensional tolerance eliminates subsequent machining which saves the end-user time and additional machining cost. There are three types of Drill Rod: air-hardening, water-hardening, and oil-hardening. Air-hardening is the toughest type drill rod because of its higher alloy content. The benefits of air-hardening drill rod are good machinability, increased wear-resistance, better dimensional stability, safer hardening, and less distortion than oil-hardening and water-hardening drill rods. A water-hardening drill rod is not heavily alloyed as oil-hardening drill rod. This allows the water-hardening drill rod to be more easily machined but it is not well suited for welding purposes. In comparison, oil-hardening drill rod can be easily welded and machined due to its high alloy content. Drill rod is commonly used to make drill bits, dowel pins, reamers, punches, taps, shafts, and more. Drill rod is available in 12″ or 36″ lengths and diameters ranging from 1/16″ to 2″.
Drill Rod Grades:
A2 – O1 – W1 – D2 – S7 – M2 – V44
A2 Air-Hardening Drill Rod
A2 air-hardening drill rod is a superior quality chromium alloy steel which has good machinability, high compressive strength, very good non-deforming properties, deep hardening, and high dimensional stability after hardening and tempering. A2 Drill Rod is a great replacement for O1 when increased wear resistance, safe hardening, and less distortion is required.
O1 Oil-Hardening Drill Rod (A.K.A. 01 Drill Rod)
O1 oil-hardening is the most widely used grade of drill rod because of its unique balance of excellent toughness and moderate price. O1 drill rod has a higher alloy content and much better toughness than its water-hardening counterpart. O1 drill rod is an all-around general purpose tool steel that exhibits reliable hardening, excellent toughness, and good wear-resistance properties. It is a great replacement for W1 drill rod when those properties are required.
W1 Water-Hardening Drill Rod
W1 water-hardening drill rod is widely popular and the least expensive grade drill rod. W1 water-hardening drill rod has a lower alloy content than the other types of drill rod such as air-hardening and oil-hardening grades. The lower alloy content of this W1 grade allows the steel to be easily machined but lacks the toughness for welding. The W1 water-hardening drill rod grade is intended for users who want a lower price and do not require the added toughness, strength, and hardness of the air-hardening and oil-hardening grades.
D2 Air-Hardening High Carbon / High Chromium Drill Rod
D2 high carbon-chromium drill rod is a wear resistant steel that is often the most expensive of the tool steel drill rod. With more carbon and chromium than A2, it is considered more wear resistant and is often used for forging and drawing dies.
S7 Air-Hardening Super Shock Drill Rod
S7 is a low-carbon shock resistant drill rod. With its low carbon content and high hardness (when heat treated), S7 is designed to resist high and low temperature shock.
M2 Moly-Tungsten High Speed Drill Rod
M2 drill rod is the most common and is often considered the “standard” for high-speed steel. M2 has high wear resistance and toughness and is considered to be the replacement of T1.
VIC44 Drill Rod (A.K.A. H13 / V44)
V44, or H13 Drill Rod, is a pre-hardened H13 tight tolerance round. Since it is already pre-hardened, the material is less likely to distort during heat treating. V44 rill rod is typically used for hot work tools or forging dies.