Free cutting steel, also refers as the free-machining steel, is the alloy steel by the addition of one or more free cutting elements such as sulfur, phosphorus, lead, calcium, selenium and tellurium to improve its cutting property. Free cutting steel is characterized by its excellent cutting performance. These elements in steel reduce the cutting resistance and the abrasion of machined parts, improve the machinability for its lubricating effect.

There are several classifications of free-cutting steel: S- free cutting steel, Pb-free cutting steel, Ca- free cutting steel and composite free cutting steel according to the different free cutting elements; automatic free cutting steel, structural free cutting steel and special free cutting steel (heat resistant steel, stainless steel, tool steel, etc.) according to its uses.

Features of Free-cutting Steel

  • Good machining performance: Stable chemical composition, low inclusion content, easy to lathe cutting, tool service life can be increased by 40%; can be deep drilling holes and milling grooves, etc.
  • Good electroplating performance: The steel has good electroplating performance, which may replace copper products sometimes and reduce product cost;
  • Good finish: Free cutting bright bars is an important type of free cutting steel which has good surface finish after turning;

Grades of Free-cutting Steel

  • Lead Cutting Steel Grades:

EN ISO 683-4 11SMnPb30

EN ISO 683-4 11SMnPb37

EN ISO 683-4 36SMnPb14

EN ISO 683-3 C15Pb

EN ISO 683-1 C45Pb


  • Lead-free Free-cutting Steel Grades:

EN ISO 683-4 11SMn30

EN ISO 683-4 11SMn37

EN ISO 683-4 38SMn28

EN ISO 683-4 44SMn28



  • Stainless Steel Free Cutting Steel Grades:

AISI/SAE Grade 303




Applications of Free-cutting Steel

  • Automobile industry: Crankshaft, connecting rod, hub, strut steering bar, washer, rack, and transmission parts.
  • Mechanical equipment: Woodworking machinery, ceramic machinery, papermaking machinery, glass machinery, food machinery, construction machinery, plastic machinery, textile machinery, jacks, hydraulic machines, etc.
  • Electrical components: Motor shaft, fan shaft, washer, connecting rod, lead screw, etc.
  • Furniture and tools: Outdoor furniture, garden tools, screwdrivers, anti-theft locks, etc.

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