M2 High Speed Steel

Our M2 steel is a general purpose molybdenum-type high-speed steel exhibiting well-balanced toughness, wear-resistance and red hardness properties. This grade is commonly used in cold work punches and dies and cutting applications involving high-speed and light cuts. M2 high-speed steel is by far the most popular high-speed steel replacing T1 in most applications because of its superior properties such as its bending strength, toughness and thermo-plasticity—all of which are higher than T1 by 50%.

Other Known Names: HS 6-5-2, 1.3343, S600 Steel, E M2, REX M2®, SKH 51, P6M5, 6-6, M2 (HSS)

Griggs Steel Color Code:Black

Common Usage

Broaches, Knives, Drills, Pins, Reamers, Taps, Thread roll Dies, Rolls, Mandrels, End, Mills, Rolling Racks, Milling Cutters

Physical Properties


0.294 lb/in3 (8138 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity


Modulus Of Elasticity

30 x 106 psi (207 GPa)


50-60% of a 1% carbon steel

High Speed Steel Properties Comparison

Griggs Steel chart

M2 High Speed Steel Chemical Composition


M2 High Speed Steel Heat Treating


M2 High Speed Steel Thermal Treatments

To minimize distortion and stresses in large or complex tools use a double preheat. Heat at a rate not exceeding 400°F per hour (222°C per hour) to 1100°F (593°C) equalize, then heat to 1450-1550°F (788-843°C). For normal tools, use only the second temperature range as a single preheating treatment
Heat rapidly from the preheat.

For Cutting Tools:

  • Furnace: 2200-2250°F (1204-1232°C)
  • Salt: 2175-2225°F (1191-1218°C)
  • To maximize toughness, use the lowest temperature. To maximize hot hardness, use the highest temperature.

For punches, dies, and tools that require maximum toughness without hot hardness:

  • Furnace: 2075-2175°F (1175-1191°C)
  • Salt: 2050-2150°F (1121-1177°C)
Pressurized gas, warm oil, or salt. For pressurized gas, a rapid quench rate to below 1000°F (538°C) is critical to achieve the desired properties. For oil, quench until black, about 900°F (482°C), then cool in still air to 150-125°F (66-51°C). For salt maintained at 1000-1100°F (538-593°C), equalize, then cool in still air to 150-125°F (66-51°C).
Temper immediately after quenching. Typical tempering range is 1025-1050°F (552-566°C). Hold at temperature for 2 hours, then air cool to ambient temperature. Double tempering is required. For large cross sections, and especially for blanks from which tools will be cut by wire EDM, triple tempering is strongly recommended.
Annealing must be performed after hot working and before re-hardening

Heat at a rate not exceeding 400°F per hour (222°C per hour) to 1525-1550°F (829-843°C), and hold at temperature for 1 hour per inch (25.4 mm) of thickness, 2 hours minimum. Then cool slowly with the furnace at a rate not exceeding 50°F per hour (28°C per hour) to 1000°F (538°C). Continue cooling to ambient temperature in the furnace or in air.