When selecting a blade material for an application, it is important to consider its mechanical properties. These are properties that describe how a material performs under some type of force or when exposed to different temperatures, such as hardness, red hardness and toughness.
Hardness is a material’s ability to resist scratches and abrasions. This is important when determining what materials will be wear resistant. Diamonds and ceramics would be considered hard substances because they are very difficult to scratch.
Red Hardness describes the hardness of a material when exposed to high temperatures. This is important when cutting certain materials because more heat is generated.
Toughness is a material’s ability to resist a sudden force or impact without snapping, breaking, or shattering. Softer steels or stainless steels are considered tough, because of its ability to stretch and bend, rather than break.
Ideally, you want to use a harder material when designing a cutter blade because it increases tool life and wear resistance. However, using too hard of a blade material will cause the blade to be brittle and more likely to chip or break when heavy load, vibration, or shock is applied.