What is a die?

   A die is a tool or mold used to shape metal, plastic, paper, or other materials. Dies stamp, forge, cast, draw or extrude these materials into many products including wrenches, wire, bowls, cutting tools, and coins. Dies are widely used to mass-produce products at low cost. Many dies are made of tool steel, a steel that contains a high percentage of carbon. Tool steel can be made very hard by treating it with heat, and it can be ground into very precise shapes. Some dies are made either entirely or partly of rubber or plastic. Stamping dies are sometimes made of tungsten carbide, an extremely hard material that can stamp out many parts without being sharpened or repaired.