If you own or manage any type of production facility, you may need to use steel in your production processes. There are actually several types of steel available, and they won't all work the same for those processes; if you've never purchased steel before, note a few differences in those types and discuss these differences with your steel supplier, so you're sure to get the right type of steel for your materials.
Stainless steel is best for any type of product that is visible, such as benchtops, sinks, or appliance doors. It's also used for knives and silverware. Stainless steel is coated to ensure it holds a shiny finish and won't show fingerprints, dirt, and other such marks. It's also very easy to clean so it's durable and strong while also being very attractive.
Tool steel is not very attractive but it has a thick density, helping it to retain its shape even after repeated wear. Tool steel is used for tools, as the name would imply, but is also used for stamping, dies, cutting, mould extrusion, and for any application where you need the toughest and most dense steel available. Tool steel will not have the same shiny finish as stainless steel and won't polish up very well, but it will be more likely to hold its shape over time, and provide the toughness needed for pounding and stamping.
All steel is made of iron ore and carbon, but alloy steel will have other elements added to it, for various applications. These other elements may include nickel, titanium, copper, chromium, or magnesium. These alloys can add to the density of steel or make it more fire and heat resistant, or bear larger weight loads. Alloy steels may also be chosen as a cost savings measure; by adding more cheaper alloys like nickel or titanium, you can save money on steel that has a higher concentration of iron ore and carbon. Consider the use of the steel for your application and choose an alloy that provides more heat resistance or more density, as needed for your products and processes.
As said, all steel will have a mixture of carbon, but carbon steel will have a higher ratio of carbon to iron ore, in order to make the steel more heat resistant and harder to bend. Carbon steel can be good for structural applications and especially for those with more weight, such as for large commercial buildings and even skyscrapers.