Carbon Steel 1045 vs 1060 – What’s the Difference

Carbon Steel 1045 vs 1060

Carbon steel is one of the most popular materials used in manufacturing, construction, and engineering due to its durability, strength, and versatility. Among the different types of carbon steel, the 1045 and 1060 grades are commonly used for various applications. Although both are known for their high carbon content, there are some differences between them that you should know before choosing which one to use. This blog post will compare carbon steel 1045 and 1060, highlighting their properties, features, and applications in different industries.

What is Carbon Steel 1045?

Carbon Steel 1045 is medium-carbon steel that contains between 0.40% and 0.50% carbon and .30 to .60% manganese. It has excellent weldability, machinability properties and good strength. 1045 can be hardened by water or oil quenching for maximum corrosion resistance and toughness when heat treated in varying conditions. Due to its high strength and wear resistance capabilities, it’s ideal for use in various industrial applications such as axles, shafts, gears, pins and other machinery parts.

What is Carbon Steel 1060?

Carbon Steel 1060 is high-carbon steel, also known as “carbon tool steel”, with a carbon content of around 0.60%. It has relatively low tensile strength and hardness compared to other steels with higher amounts of carbon. However, when hard-pressed, it can have properties comparable to those of medium-high-grade structural alloy steels. Its main uses are in producing tools such as saw blades, files, drill bits and various machine parts that are subject to considerable wear and tear due to their exposure to extreme temperatures or environmental degradation.

Difference Between Carbon Steel 1045 and 1060

Carbon Steel 1045 and 1060 are both medium-carbon steel alloys, with the main difference between them being that 1045 is slightly higher in carbon, containing 0.45% compared to 0.60%. As a result, 1045 is stronger and harder than 1060 while still offering good weldability; its high strength also makes it ideal for applications requiring shock or vibration resistance.

Carbon Content

The carbon content is the primary difference between the 1045 and 1060 carbon steel grades. The 1045 has a carbon content of 0.45%, while the 1060 has a carbon content of 0.60%. This higher carbon content in 1060 provides greater hardness and strength, making it ideal for applications that require high wear resistance, such as knives, swords, and tools.

Strength and Toughness

Another key difference between 1045 and 1060 carbon steel is their strength and toughness. The 1060 has a higher strength and toughness than the 1045, making it suitable for heavy-duty applications requiring high-impact resistance, such as industrial machinery and equipment.


Machinability is also an important factor to consider when choosing between 1045 and 1060 carbon steel. The 1045 is easier to machine and can be processed easily using conventional cutting, drilling, and milling methods. On the other hand, the 1060 has a higher carbon content, which makes it challenging to machine, and it requires specialized tools and techniques.


Both 1045 and 1060 carbon steels are widely used in various industries due to their unique properties and features. The 1045 carbon steel is commonly used in industrial machinery, automotive parts, and agricultural equipment due to its strength, toughness, and machinability. Meanwhile, the 1060 carbon steel is mainly used for making high-end knives, swords, and other cutting tools due to its higher carbon content and superior wear resistance.


The price is another factor to consider when choosing between 1045 and 1060 carbon steel. Generally, the 1060 is more expensive than the 1045 due to its higher carbon content and superior properties. However, the cost may vary depending on the supplier, market demand, and other factors.


Carbon steel 1045 and 1060 are two of the most popular grades of carbon steel used in various industries. The 1045 is suitable for applications that require excellent strength, toughness, and machinability, while the 1060 is ideal for applications that require high wear resistance and superior hardness. Choosing between the two depends on various factors, including the application, budget, and availability. Therefore, it is important to consider all aspects before choosing the right type of carbon steel for your project.



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