Graver Hardness Comparison by Martin Strolz

Martin Strolz

Elite Cafe Member
Dec 12, 2006
Steyr, Austria
As there was some interest in tools lately, I today have tested a few gravers for hardness. The tools came right off my bench, all these I use for my own engravings. Testing was done in the HTL-Steyr using the Rockwell C process. First I tested the machine itself for presicion by measuring a steel probe of known hardness. The final result was an error of +1,2 HRC. In order to be correct the indicated values of the list below must therefore reduced by that ammount.

What may surprise you is the fact that unalloyed tool steel is at minimum as hard as HSS. Hardness alone is not enough to make a tool performing well.
I also have tested a Perazzi shotgun action, giving a indicated value of 39 HRC.

HSS Gravers
Glendo/GRS , USA, GlenSteel Graver, Square graver 2,35 mm, 64 HRC
Glendo/GRS , USA, QC Onglette, a few tested, 63 -64,5 HRC
Glendo/GRS , USA, GRS X 7 HSS, Square 2,35 mm, 67,5 HRC
Ngraver, USA, HSS Cobalt, Square graver 2,1 mm, 64 HRC
Glardon Vallorbe, Switzerland, Square graver 2,5 mm, 61 –61,5 HRC
Glardon Vallorbe, Switzerland, Flat graver, 64 HRC
Maker unknown, Chisel made of hacksaw blade, 2mm thick, 64 HRC

Tool steel
Glardon Vallorbe, Switzerland, Square graver 2,5 mm, 66 HRC
F.D. Dick, Germany, Square graver 2,5 mm, 65 HRC
F.D. Dick, Germany, Fllat graver, 65 HRC
E.C. Muller, NY, USA, 2 Flat gravers tested, 64,5 HRC

Glendo/GRS , USA, Square graver 2,2 mm, 71 HRC

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