Is there an argument for using steel nozzles for daily use?

Is there an argument for using steel nozzles for daily use? The heat conductivity is lower, right? So this results in lower print speeds possible?

I’m not printing abrasives, mostly just PLA and some PETG/ Flex.

Just wondering if there’s an additional benefit other than the wear resistance for my case (seems wear is no concern with basic materials), otherwise it sounds like I should stick to brass nozzles.

Devils advocate welcome :slight_smile:

In theory steel has lower top print speed, but I doubt it makes any measurable difference. The filament itself is such a good insulator that the conduction through the filament has got to be driving the process limits. Hardened steel is still 100-200x higher thermal conductivity than plastic. Do you think there’s going to be a performance difference compared to a nozzle with 500x higher conductivity than plastic? Hell no, the conductivity of the nozzle is going to be a rounding error in the total resistance to heat flux.

Bigger issue in my mind is bed damage. If you slam the nozzle into the print bed, what happens? Nice soft brass nozzle is dented, or hardened steel plows right through the bed? This is a big deal if you’re using a glass print surface. (Heaven help you if it’s tempered glass.)

I have used these for a long time. I have no problem with top speed. It is a hard coated tool steel (on the Hercules nozzles anyway)

No change in printing other than wear resistance. I can run at just as high of speed. No downside that I can find in actual use. If anything, the hard coating tends to get less stuck to it than brass.

I’ve had a few brass nozzles wear down from just PLA. 10 or so spools is about the lifetime I get. You’ll see the tip slightly rounded off and it looks scratched on the bottom. It’s tempting to get e3d’s hardened nozzles, or even Rene’s airbrush nozzles.

Bed damage is unavoidable in some cases. The pei on mine is over 1mm thick, so it’ll protect the aluminum underneath. Good place for motor stall detection.

I’ve not seen a huge difference except with one of E3D’s genuine hardened steel nozzles, plain PLA printed with a matte texture no matter the temp. Layer bonding was fine at reasonable temps. I suspect the hardening roughed up the orifice. P-3D nozzles probably get around that with the plating.

I dont need them and the brass ones are not worn down by 10 spools lol.