What Factors Impact the Cost of Tooling?

Tooling Costs

What are tooling costs?

It’s important to understand the cost of tooling in manufacturing. For the customer, it’s about getting the proper tools to produce a part to specification in a timely manner with no quality or excess costs. For the manufacturer, it’s about providing an accurate quote that meets the customers expectations at a fair value.

The engineering and tooling charges here at PMP are comprised of engineering the tools, the cost to build the tools in house, the cost for outsourced tooling and the in-press time to develop a production ready part.

Our engineering and tooling charge is a one-time charge for the life of the part. A second engineering and tooling charge would only occur if a print revision requires tooling modifications.

As a contract manufacturer, the customer has ownership of the tools while PMP retains the intellectual property required to design and create the tools.

What elements impact the cost of tooling?

Tooling cost consideration is important because the quality and condition of tooling will dictate the quality of the finished product. The tool design must be considered along with other variables including the type and volume of parts produced and hardness of the material being drawn.

Tooling can range in cost due to variables such as:

Part Specification

The complexity of the component to be produced directly impacts the number of operations needed, the time to build the tools, the possible addition of in-machine secondary operations as well as the amount of time to develop a production ready part.

Special part features such as, rolled threads, side piercings, fold overs, angled edges, chamfers, tabs, grooves, beads and embossing also impact tooling complexity and costs. Typically, the more complex the part, the more operations that are needed to produce it.


Selecting the proper material necessary to develop tooling is essential. Choosing a tool that is too hard or incorrect type for the type of material being drawn can result in quality defects, excessive tool wear and higher tool maintenance costs. Choosing a tool that is too soft will mean that tooling will wear or break more quickly.  

For the deep draw process, steel and carbide material are typically used as this type of hard tooling allows for multiple high-volume production runs over a long period of time. When selecting the tool steel and carbide materials we take into consideration wear and impact resistance as well as additives that can be applied to the surface or incorporated into the carbide.

Quality of Tools

Although most of the Prospect Machine Products tooling is made in house, any tools that are required to be outsourced are purchased from suppliers with an expert level of knowledge to achieve consistent and precise tooling.

Contact our experts!

Prospect Machine Products works with our customers from the beginning of the design stage to ensure an optimal design suited to the deep draw metal stamping process. We then determine the best materials, tooling, and process solutions for your product. We have over 70 years of experience in the industry to help you with all your metal stamping needs.

To find out if deep drawing is right for you, call us! PMP is the perfect place for your next project! Start a conversation or book a meeting with our deep draw specialists at PMP today!