Hand Tools

Thermal Processing for Hand Tools

Paulo has been helping hand tool manufacturers deliver quality products for decades with precision thermal processing and metal finishing services.  

We Know Hand Tools

Our expertise in achieving great results for our hand tools customers means we understand what’s important to you and the success of your business. Here are a few ways that Paulo supports the growth of hand tools manufacturers across North America:

Appearance and Finish The cleaner the part, the better the finish. We process your parts using an atmosphere in our furnaces, which prevents scale and soot from adhering to the surface. This reduces the need for secondary cleaning, which aids turnaround time, and better prepares your hand tools for coating or plating operations, which enhances your finished parts’ quality. 
Straightness and Integrity of Your Parts If not handled properly during heat treatment, processing can result in damaged or bent parts—meaning more material in the scrap bin or more time spent on manual straightening. Paulo handles your parts carefully during processing using specialized equipment to preserve the integrity of your parts’ original shape. 
Turnaround Times When your product is in high demand, a heat-treating partner with quick turnaround times can help you capitalize on every opportunity. While processing times at Paulo vary, we schedule strategically to shorten turnaround as much as possible. We also intentionally leave extra room in our schedule to accommodate rush orders.

Thermal Processing Capabilities for Hand Tools

Paulo is a full-service commercial thermal processor with a comprehensive range of capabilities and a vast equipment array. These are a few of the most popular processes we perform for our hand tools customers.

  • Austempering. Austempering enhances the toughness of hand tools such as pry bars because it results in greater hardness and higher impact and fatigue strength. Our salt bath process also preserves the shape of your parts and minimizes the need for additional straightening after processing.
  • Through hardening. Through hardening (also known as neutral hardening) is ideal for increasing the strength throughout the entire part for medium carbon steels, including common alloy steels such as 4140, 4130, and 4150. Our customers turn to us for through hardening because our precision controls lead to better consistency in their results, and the atmosphere used in our furnaces yields cleaner parts that are better prepared for secondary finishing.
  • Vacuum hardening. Many tool steels require vacuum hardening in order to yield desirable properties in the finished product. Our computer-controlled vacuum heat treating ensures consistent temperatures and other key variables throughout your parts’ entire process. 
  • Straightening. For parts requiring additional straightening or flattening after heat treatment, we offer computer-controlled mechanical straightening, hot flattening and roll straightening to produce repeatable, accurate results every time.
  • Black oxide coating. Black oxide coating is a long-lasting, economical solution that gives your finished tools an attractive physical appearance without adding extra dimension. 


Hand Tools and Components We Process

  • Pry bars
  • Automotive specialty tools
  • Sockets
  • Ratchets
  • Oil filter removers
  • Wrenches
  • Hammers
  • Axes
  • Drill bits
  • And much more


Approvals and Certifications

Paulo holds a variety of approvals and certifications, including ISO 9001:2015 certifications at all divisions across our system.

Bring Us Your Challenges

Paulo has the largest in-house metallurgy team of any commercial thermal processor. If you’re having difficulty achieving in-spec results, we can help you find out why…and in most cases, bring those results up to standard. 


Connect with a Paulo expert today to get started.