Ray Rogers Handcrafted Knives

Build Your Own Hardness Tester!

As a general rule, knife makers like to build their own equipment. It is a rewarding experience and it saves money. Some equipment though, like a Rockwell hardness tester, simply couldn't be built by an individual - until now!

Many knife makers would like to have a hardness tester but most can't spend $1000 or more for a piece of equipment that may only get used a few minutes each month. Now, you can build your own for much less.

My design for a hardness tester does not look like a commercial unit but it works on the same principle - a simple system of levers and weights. All the parts used are commonly available and most are very inexpensive. The most expensive parts would be the steel itself and the diamond penetrator.

Following are some pictures of the unit I built. The pictures are taken from as many angles as I thought would be useful to help you visualize the finished machine. This one is slightly different from the design in the plans but the differences are mainly cosmetic.

Click here to see the PLANS

As far as I know, I am the first knifemaker ever to build a working hardness tester. In any event, the design is completely my own. I hope you will try building one of these interesting and useful machines for yourself.

If you have questions or comments, please send them to :

NOTE: Someone recently (Jan 16, 2010) contacted me about making a PDF file for these plans. Sorry, I lost your email before I could respond. Please try again using my main email account...

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Ray Rogers Handcrafted Knives