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Stainless steels are often regarded as 'difficult to machine' and classed a single group of steels, based on experience with the most common austenitic types.
The traditional 'free machining' stainless steel grades have been based on sulphur (S) additions in the UK or alternatively, selenium (Se) additions, which have been favoured in the United States.
Traditionally high speed steel (HSS) tools have been used for drilling and reaming, but carbide tipped tools are also used for specialised jobs or long production runs.