The TiN tips are hardened (spring) steel. The tips are then hardcoated with the TiN. If you look at a black oxide coated tip on a kit allen wrench you can see where an allen wrench wears. It willl be shiny near the sharp points. In the smaller size this wear eventually causes the tool to strip out or round off. I find the TiN Integy tips are the best available as far as not tending to round off and they last a long time. Hardened steel does tend to be a little brittle. If you bend the tool to the side hard enough you will snap that .050 tip off. With care you do it less often. Once in a while a stubbornly stuck screw is just too much for the small size. I keep a spare .050 inch (part #C22671)and 1/16 inch tip in the box. These are available for less than $3.00 at Tower. I would rather snap off the tip of a good hard tool than round off the screw hole using a softer tip. It is a much faster repair replacing the tip.