Hardness testers are industrial machines used to measure the ability of a material to resist plastic deformation. The hardness of a material is determined by measuring the depth of the indentation on its surface. A smaller indentation indicates that the material is harder than the other with a deeper dent. A Härteprüfmaschine has an indenter that makes the indentations on the surface of the material under testing.


You need to understand more about the scales used when determining a material’s hardness if you want to get a deeper understanding of these hardness testers. There are various hardness test methods in the market today, including Brinell, Rockwell, Vickers and Knoop hardness testing.

Common Types of Hardness Testers

These are the commonly used industrial hardness testers today.

  • Brinell hardness testers – Compared to the other options, many people prefer using Brinell hardness testers as they can measure the hardness of rough surfaces and can be used on all types of metals. This hardness tester uses a steel ball indenter with varied diameters to make a dent on the surface of the material under testing.
  • Rockwell Härteprüfmaschine – A Rockwell hardness tester is a versatile option as it can use a steel ball and a penetrating diamond cone to test the hardness of a material. This hardness testing method is much faster as you do not need to use optical equipment.
  • Vickers Hardness Tester – A Vickers hardness tester works the same as a Brinell hardness tester. This type of microhardness tester has a wide measuring range. Meaning, you can use the machine to measure both soft and hard materials.
  • Knoop Hardness Tester – A Knoop hardness tester uses a narrow diamond-shaped indenter to measure the hardness of materials. It is an excellent alternative for a Vickers hardness tester, especially if you want to measure the hardness of surfaces such as coatings and assess the risk of breakage in brittle materials.

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