What do You Know About Knife Blades & the Rockwell Scale?

Naturally, knife makers want to gauge the hardness of their knife blades. Therefore, the Rockwell C Scale was developed.  The range is between 50 and 60, with 60 being the hardest.

Don’t get your knickers bunched if the info offered with a knife says nothing about this scale. Of course, you are more likely to hear the scale value (of a knife blade) if the number is 60!

How the Knife is Rated

The hardest surface, a diamond point, is pressed into the blade with a lighter weight, then with a heavier weight and finally with a lower weight again. What is being measured is the depth of the indentations, and their difference. After calculations, this is compared to the Rockwell C Scale, to determine the blade’s hardness.

Who Cares?

There are reasons for wanting to know the scale of some weapons. First, if you are making your own blade, and your own knife, you would want to know – possibly as a point of pride. Therefore, you would find someone who could do the test for you and give you the score.

For certain tasks, you might need the hardest blade you could find, thus you would want to know the Rockwell C Scale.

How do I Find the Score?

Generally, the sales person does not know the score. It’s just not critical to the general knife-buying public. However, if the score is critical to know for something you plan to do, email or phone the knife producer for this info.

BTW, it may take them some time to find this info! Probably the only person who needed to know the Rockwell number was the craftsman who created the tool!


** As usual, I forgot something. The reason you might want to know the hardness of your blade is that a harder blade keeps its edge better.

Also, some steels are too soft to measure. For instance, you wouldn’t care to measure the hardness of angle iron; it’s soft. Also, you wouldn’t use it as a tool (such as a knife blade).



Notice: I don’t sell Gerber any more but left this up as an information source.


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