July 14, 2022

Soft Tool vs Hard Tool

blog aco mold

What is soft tool and hard tool?
Soft tool is the tool made of pre-harden steel, it is an economic solution for a small volume production. It has advantages of low cost and fast turn around, but pre-harden steel is a lower grades steel that process lower hardness and wear resistance, so the soft tool can only stand molding cycles no more than 500k shots, it’s also difficult to maintain tight tolerances.

Hard tool is a high quality tooling for mass production, it’s made of the best quality steel, like H13,420 etc. Hard tool requires more procedure and longer time to manufacture.

Difference between soft tool and hard tool

Soft tool

  • The tool’s inserts are made of P20 or 718, (pre-harden steel).
  • Inserts can be drill, mill and grind using normal process of machining.
  • The tool life is guarantee up to 500 K shot.
  • The lead-time of manufacture is shorter than hard tool.
  • For prototyping, medium or low volume production.

Hard Tool

  • The tool’s inserts are made using H13 or Stavax (harden to 46 -54 HRC).
  • Inserts can be drill & mill, but after hardening special process will be required.
  • The tool life is up to 1 million shots.
  • The lead-time of manufacture is longer than soft tool due to the heat treatment process and extra machining job.
  • For high precision parts and high volume injection molding.

Why you need a soft tool before a hard tool?
Usually price of hard tool could be many times of soft tool, it is could be a huge risk if you invest a big amount on tooling without a marketing test, plus, hard tool require much more time to get the parts, sometimes, there are just not possible for you to wait 2-3 month to get the samples. Soft tool is different, it can be flexible on both manufacturing time and price as long as you specify your requirement in details to tool makers.

Related Blogs

blog aco mold
Plastic materials being used in automotive industry

In the automotive industry the requirement of using recycled plastics material is encouraged by European directives. In fact, particularly in the polyolefin sector large amounts of regrind materials are being …

blog aco mold
Difference Between Plastic Injection Molding and 3D Printing

The fees for a set of plastic molds may cost thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. What if the products have many styles but with a small quantity? …

blog aco mold
Injection Mold Guiding System

Guiding system of injection mold works as guides to ensure precise mechanic movements. Generally the standard mold base all have guiding design, like guide pins between cavity side and core …

blog aco mold
Injection mold parting surface

What is the injection mold parting surface? Generally, injection mold has two major components: the movable halve and the fixed halve, during injection molding process, these two halves are pressed …

Tell us your request right now and contact us today about getting started on your next project together!


Or Fill Out The Contact Form Below:

Support Your Business with Better Molding Solution

Contact Info
Copyright © 2023, ACO Mold. Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. All rights reserved.  Powered by ACO MOLD.
1 1.png

Join Our Network

Please email to sales@acomold.com
or fill out the contact form below: