rolled steel

Hot Rolled Steel vs. Cold Rolled Steel: Which Is Better?

Steel is an indispensable resource because it can be used for various applications across industries, such as automotive, construction, and manufacturing. However, raw steel is not viable, so different processes, such as rolling, mold it for use. Rolling is a metalworking process in which metal is passed through a pair of rolls to reduce or make the thickness uniform. It is also worth noting that steel rolling can be done in two ways: hot or cold.

Rolled steel is essential because some metal products require precise dimensions, such as in the automotive and construction industries. Furthermore, the hardness and strength of steel can be improved by rolling, and hot rolled and cold rolled steel products are used for various purposes. Despite this, many companies do not consider choosing the right one because they think there is no difference, which is never the case. Few people know how they work, so we will discuss the details in this article.

What Is Hot-Rolled Steel?

Hot rolled steel is metal that has gone through the rolling process at a temperature above its transformation point (generally 1700° F or higher). This type of steel is easier to shape and manipulate due to its increased malleability and workability.

The hot rolling process begins by heating a large, block-shaped chunk of metal, referred to as a billet. This is then forced through a series of powerful rotating rollers, which shape and compress it into a large roll while still hot. If the process is for sheet metal production, the steel is wound into coiled rolls and allowed to cool. However, in some instances, the material is cut into the designated sizes and packaged for easier shipping and distribution.

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The Benefits of Hot-Rolled Steel

When you use hot-rolled steel, you can yield the following benefits:

Product Versatility

Hot-rolled steel can be formed into various products, including steel beams, I-beams, angles, bars, and other shapes. This makes it a very versatile material and can be used for different applications.

Reduces Internal Stress

Steel may be durable but can become stressed due to internal strains during processing. Hot-rolled steel helps reduce this internal stress, making it a more reliable product in the long run.

Cost Savings

Hot-rolled steel is more cost-effective than cold-rolled steel because it requires less energy and time. This means that it can be made at a lower cost, providing savings for the manufacturer and the consumer.

What Is Cold-Rolled Steel?

Cold-rolled steel is shaped and formed at room temperature rather than after the steel has been heated up. The steel is passed through a set of rollers at room temperature, applying more pressure than would be needed for hot-rolled steel. This results in steel products with better dimensional tolerances and a better surface finish, but it is more expensive and time-consuming to produce.

The Benefits of Cold-Rolled Steel

Like hot-rolled steel, cold-rolled steel offers unique benefits. These include:

Increased Strength

Cold-rolled steel is stronger than hot rolled steel due to the extra pressure applied during the rolling process. This results in a stronger, more durable product.

Better Precision

Cold-rolled steel is more precise in terms of thickness and shape, making it ideal for parts that require exact measurements.

Improved Surface Finish

Cold-rolled steel has a smoother, more consistent surface finish than hot-rolled steel. This makes it an excellent choice for parts that require a better finish, such as in the automotive and construction industries.

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Which Is Better?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question because it ultimately depends on the application you use the steel for. Hot-rolled steel is typically cheaper and more malleable than cold-rolled steel, making it the preferred choice for many applications. However, cold-rolled steel provides a better surface finish and is more consistent in shape and size, making it the preferred choice for demanding projects that require higher-quality steel. To help you make the right decision, you must evaluate and assess your project according to your goals.


Hot-rolled and cold rolled steel may differ, but their unique characteristics make them suitable for specific applications. All it takes is evaluating your project and understanding the advantages and disadvantages of both types of steel to make the right choice, which is vital to guarantee its success. This way, you can get the most out of your steel without compromising quality.

If you are looking for a steel distributor in Nashville, TN, KGS Steel Nashville is for you! We use heavy-duty equipment to produce top-quality steel products for any application for affordable prices. Call us today at 615 460 4620 to request a quote!

Bessemer, AL

3725 Pine Ln,
Bessemer, AL 35022


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Nashville, TN

310 Herron Dr,
Nashville, TN 37210


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Sat - Sun: Closed 

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