Higher horsepower per liter engines have put more demand on the crankshaft, often requiring the use of forged steel. This paper examines cost reduction opportunities to offset the penalties associated with forged steel, with raw material and machinability being the primary factors evaluated. A cost model for crankshaft processing is utilized in this paper as a design tool to select the lowest cost material grade. This model is supported by fatigue and machinability data for various steel grades. Materials considered are medium carbon, low alloy, and microalloy steels; the effects of sulfur as a machining enhancer is also studied.