Cold Heading

What is Cold Heading?

The specialty cold heading process uses high speed automated “cold-headers” or “part formers.” This equipment has the ability of transforming a wire into an intricately shaped part with tight and repetitive tolerances using a tooling progression at speeds up to 400 pieces per minute.

The cold heading process is volume specific and the process uses dies and punches to convert a specific “slug” or blank of a given volume into a finished intricately shaped part of the exact same volume.

Cold Heading Equipment Stalcop
Specialty Solenoid Terminals Stalcop

Equipment & Tooling


The two basic types of equipment used in specialty cold heading are “cold-headers” and “part formers.” Both use horizontal reciprocating rams and stationary bolsters. Stalcop uses equipment from single blow up to 5-die progression machines with cut-off sizes from 1/8 inch to 1 inch from global manufacturers.


The two major components of cold heading tooling are punches and dies. Punches transfer the required force from the machine to the material and provide close dimensional control on the internal part features. Dies confine and direct the material into the desired geometry and provide close dimensional control on the external part features.

What Are Typical Design Considerations for Cold Formed Parts?

Some typical cold headed designs are shown below, however with new computer aided softwares, cold headed design capabilities are “endless.”

  • Hexagonal Head
  • Double Reverse Extrusion
  • Diameter Reduction
  • Cylindrical Extrusion
  • Offset, Pierced and Embossed
  • Multi-Diameter Extrusion
  • Round Head
  • Square Head
  • Round Head with Slit
  • Radial Slot
  • Recessed Drive
  • Carriage Bolt
  • Lugs
  • Collar
  • Offset Head