Posted in guides

What You Need To Know About Steel Before Buying Hand Tools

It’s no secret that to perform at your greatest potential, you need to work with the best. If you’re in the market for reliable new hand tools,  then this guide is for you!

Typical consumers are largely unaware of the differences between steel grades, and what to consider when deciding which tool is right for a specific skill set. There are numerous types of steel that encompass varied properties. These properties can be physical, chemical and environmental. All steel is produced from iron and carbon. It’s the amount of carbon, and the additional alloys which determine the classification of each grade.

We’ve categorized the three most common groups of steel based on chemical composition:

  1. Carbon
  2. Alloy
  3. Stainless

Carbon Steel

Carbon Steel can be dispersed into three main categories: low carbon steel, medium carbon steel and high carbon steel.

Low Carbon Steel (0.04-0.30%) is the largest group of carbon steel and possesses an alloying element made up of a relatively low amount of carbon. The most popular type of steel, low carbon steel is used in manufacturing a variety of goods because it is less expensive than other types of steel.

Applications: girders, car body panels, nuts and bolts, food cans, car body panels.

Medium Carbon Steel (0.31-0.60%) is stronger than low carbon steel, more difficult to form, weld and cut.

Applications: Nails and screws, metal chains, wire ropes, screw driver blades, engine parts, bicycle wheel rims.

High Carbon Steel (0.61-1.50%) is commonly known as “carbon tool steel” and  is very difficult to cut, bend and weld. Once heat treated it becomes extremely hard and brittle.

Applications:  Chisels, hammers, drills, files, lathe tools, taps, dies.

Alloy Steel

Alloy steel is a steel that has had small amounts of alloying elements (aside from carbon) such as manganese, silicon, nickel, titanium, copper, chromium and aluminum added to its compound. This produces specific properties that are not found in normal carbon steel. Alloy steels are workhorses of industry because of their economical cost, wide availability, ease of processing, and good mechanical properties.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a steel alloy with increased corrosion resistance compared to carbon and alloy steel. Common alloying ingredients include chromium, nickel, or molybdenum. Common applications include food handling and processing, medical instruments, hardware, appliances, and structural/architectural uses.

Choosing Steel Tools

Nisaku manufactures professional quality hand tools for lawn, garden and outdoor applications with unmatched design and function.

Each piece is forged by master blade craftsmen with the highest grade Japanese stainless steel for durability, precision and control that withstands intense use and harsh conditions.

Prepare for indoor and outdoor jobs, big and small, with specialty tools that outlast and outclass ordinary lawn, garden and survival equipment.

Field Knives

Designed for rugged outdoor adventures, Nisaku genuine Japanese field knives are forged from high-grade stainless steel with precise multipurpose cutting edges and ergonomic handles for firm gripping and comfort.

Don’t face Mother Nature alone – prepare for your next fishing, hunting, boating or wilderness excursion with a faithful survival blade engineered to take serious punishment in any environment.



DIY Hand Tools

Tools with stainless-steel working ends deliver the best durability and performance while resisting rust.


Nisaku Japanese stainless steel precision hand tools are an ideal choice for demanding homeowners and satisfy a multitude of DIY project needs that require intensive scraping and stripping.  From caulk to paint removal, Nisaku putty knives, spatulas and curl scrapers feature easy-to-grip ergonomic handles for comfortable use during the toughest tasks. Specialty blades provide strength and flexibility to coast through hardened, thick and stubborn material with controlled use and precision to ensure perfection upon project completion.


Paint Tools

Finely crafted from heavy-duty Japanese stainless steel, Nisaku paint tools resist rusting, pitting and corrosion for exceptional performance during vigorous home improvement jobs.


Designed with a variety of specialty blades, Nisaku joint knives, putty knives, scrapers and multipurpose tools seamlessly spread compound, smooth surfaces evenly, patch holes, scrape away stubborn material and assist with various drywall and plaster applications for a perfectly finished look on a variety of surfaces.


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