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I Forge Iron

Best metal for Cold Chisels

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Hello George,

I don't know the "best steel" for that, but I can tell you what I have used and what I would use. I have made the ones I use from Atlantic33 or flutegon. It works very well, I have had no issues shearing bolts and cutting thin sections of steel with them. I only harden the working end and leave the hammer end as forged. I believe that 1045-65 would work well and be inexpensive compared to the higher alloy steels, though not last as long nor be as durable. My belief is that L-6 would make an extraordinary cold chisel, due to the vanadium content it would be very tough. The "S" series would be very good as well. Most any steel that could be made tough through heat treatment would work. These are just my thoughts.


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Do you mind if it cost several hundred dollars per chisel?  Best tends to be quite expensive!  

Now a quite good steel for that use is 5160 and can often be sourced as vehicle springs---try to get ones removed by a lift/lower shop with few miles on them or buy the stock from a spring shop as drops! (old springs tend to have fatigue damage)  I do a differential quench and temper on them to make the edge hard and the striking end softer.

S-5 or 7 would also make a good cold chisel but is harder and more expensive to source.

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I find that Cold Chisels make very good Cold Chisels.

Seriously, ... you can pick up old Cold Chisels at every Flea Market, ... cheaper than you can buy the material, ... or even run your vehicle around scrounging through other sources.

Rework them into whatever configuration you like.

Worn out Jackhammer points work good too, and are often available at Tool Rental outfits.




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Many stores who rent equipment don't repoint work jackhammer bits. They throw them away.

For a big store, like Walmart it isn't worth their time and effort so they so the price is right (free).

Digger bars are great.
I have bought two or three at flea markets for about five dollars each. That works out to about a dollar per foot.

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Jackhammer bits are often 1050; my scrapyard charges me 20 cents a pound.  When I first started going there they wanted to jack the price up on certain items that I was buying as scrap metal; so I'd cheerfully sling them back on the pile giving them *nothing*.  Now it's generally everything for 20 cents a pound.  Helps that they have to load and haul their scrap a long way to get it to the larger scrap processor. (From what they told me I think they haul it 200 miles and sell it to the remelt plant down near my southern abode!)

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