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What is the Rockwell Scale?

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2020-08-14
18

What is the Rockwell Scale?

A blade’s hardness is based on the Rockwell scale. The Rockwell scale was cocreated by Hugh and Stanley Rockwell in the early 20th century to test the hardness of different materials. There are several different scales by which a material’s hardness is measured on, but blade steels are measured on the C scale. (HRC means Hardness on Rockwell scale C.)

 

What Does HRC Mean?

A low HRC number means the steel is softer and a higher number means it’s harder.

It’s easy to assume that a higher number is better because it’s stronger, but that’s not always the case. For example, materials like concrete and glass are extremely hard, but since they are not malleable at all, they can break far easier. Steels with extremely high hardness become brittle and prone to chipping. On the flip side, steels with low hardness can result in rolled edges.

 

56-58HRC: Hardness applied for professional German Knives. Knives of this hardness remain sharp long enough for kitchen use, can be sharpened on a sharpening steel and are reasonably easy to sharpen.

 

58-60HRC: Hardness you usually find in better quality pocket knives. Those knives remain sharp considerably longer than cheeper knives, but are a lot more difficult to sharpen.


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