High Speed Steel (Commonly abbreviated to HSS) is a material usually used in the manufacture of machine tool bits and other cutters. It is often used in power saw blades and drill bits. It is superior to the older high carbon steel tools used extensively through the 1940s in that it can withstand higher temperatures without losing its temper (hardness). This property allows HSS to cut faster than high carbon steel, hence the name high speed steel. At room temperature HSS and high carbon steel have an equivalent hardness; only at elevated temperatures does HSS become advantageous.
Applications: The main use of high speed steels continues to be in the manufacture of various cutting tools, drills, taps, milling cutters, tool bits, gear cutters, saw blades, etc., although usage for punches and dies is increasing.