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Portable Hardness Testers

Martrow offers Free Shipping within the US!
See our current special below  - Our KH 100 reduced to $1375.00!  and
Our KH 300 reduced to $1199.00!



Customers in other destinations will receive a shipping credit for each unit purchased and applied to Martrow's actual cost of shipping.

K&M offers an outstanding, time tested line of Field Ready, Portable Hardness Testers.  These instruments offer the highest
performance, and are manufactured to the highest standards.  Performance specifications equal or surpass instruments of two or three times the cost.  K&M's reputation and quality standards, and performance requirements make these units the best value on the internet.  Shop and compare our prices and industry best 18 month warranty and you will find that there is no better value available.


 Each Unit below is covered by our industry leading Full 18 Month Warranty.  Also, Martrow's Satisfaction Guarantee Policy is second to none when it comes to your confidence in getting what you paid for!


All hardness testers come complete with a calibration standard, and transportation case!

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Now $1375.00

  Advanced features including data download.

  Rugged and reliable.  Ideal for data collection and download

Click here for more information and complete specifications



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Now $1,199.00

  Most Portable and ease of use design for field testing.

Designed for industrial applications this easy to use instrument is accurate, and reliable.

Click here for more information and complete specifications



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  Portable and Digital.  Brinell direct measurement system.

Designed for industrial applications, this software included system takes direct measurements using optical pick-ups and your laptop computer.


Click here for more information and complete specifications

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  Portable and Compact with the most versatile impactor

Designed for all field applications, this complete system is very portable and allows measurements on nearly all surfaces from multiple angles, even upside down.


Click here for more information and complete specifications


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  Uniquely styled field Brinell Tester, yields actual Brinell values

Designed for maximum portability and adjustability, this cost effective unit makes hardness testing with actual Brinell results an affordable choice for any application!.


Click here for more information and complete specifications

Standard Delivery for products is 7 - 10 working days.  Deliveries of Custom Requirements will be quoted.



How do portable hardness testers work?

All Leeb or rebound type hardness testers function on a simple principle.  As the term rebound suggests, by using a spring loaded impactor to rebound off of the test surface a velocity before and after impact is taken.  These velocities are measured when a coil on the impactor creates a small voltage as it passes through the guide tube first before impact, and just after.  By comparing these two velocities, a measurement proportional to hardness can be created as softer material absorbs more energy, thus reducing the second velocity following rebound.


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How do I use my portable hardness tester?

While there are many different makes and models of portable hardness testers, and many features available, the basic function is very similar in very nearly every variation. The first step in taking a measurement, is determining the desired target.  All portable hardness testers regardless of design will have a means of supporting the the instrument against the surface to be tested.  The shape of the surface to be measured determines several things.  For example a different attachment is used for round material versus flat.  A load is placed onto the spring by "charging" the instrument.  Most designs incorporate a cocking motion that prepares the impactor to be released when the "trigger" is activated.  The energy stored in the spring launches the impactor towards the surface to be measured and a reading is taken.  It is important to remember that to obtain accurate readings, the impactor must strike the surface at as near perpendicular as possible.  Also, surface finish can impact the accuracy of the reading, or perhaps even the ability to take a reading whatsoever.  Some units offer an interchangeable set of optional impactors that can be used for a variety of surfaces and hardness ranges.

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What is the Leeb Hardness Scale?

The Leeb Hardness scale indicates material hardness expressed in terms of a specific ratio of velocities taken from the rebounding impactor.  Leeb value can range from 0 to 1000.  This value represents the difference between the first and second velocities as described previously.  With a difference of zero, the hardness can be expressed as top of scale, or 1000, and the reverse is true of the greatest difference representing the softest possible reading.  Most instruments make a ready calculation based on some operator input that converts the Leeb value to the hardness scale desired for the test results.  Conversions to popular hardness scales such as Brinell, Rockwell A,B and C and other industry standard hardness scales are standard features on most units.

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What are some common field applications for Leeb type Hardness Testers

One of the most attractive elements of the portable hardness family of testers is their utility in field applications where standard hardness measurements are either not possible, or impractical.  Some common field applications would include the mining industry where stress components can be tested without disassembly.  Aerospace inspections on aircraft components avoiding very costly breakdown of airframe and power plant assemblies by performing testing in close quarters.  Receiving inspection of raw material is made possible without even unloading or breaking down bulk deliveries with the portability of Leeb type testers.

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What are some common industrial applications for rebound hardness testers?

There are literally hundreds of applications in industry for portable hardness testers.  Process monitoring is made possible anywhere in the facility.  Ease of use and rapid results make this a practical and accurate method to check in house heat treating effectiveness in real time.  Machining processes that are subject to work hardening, or particular hardness is required prior to or during processing can readily be confirmed.  The Q.C. lab, and receiving inspection are two other primary areas where this type of instrumentation is commonly found.

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What should I consider when shopping for a portable hardness tester?

There are many factors to consider when shopping for a portable hardness tester.  There are optional features and configurations available, and of course, a wide range of prices.  You will notice that some of these factors are related in the way that they affect the value of the instrument.  So ask yourself the following questions before shopping, and use the list below to help guide you in selecting the best portable hardness tester for your needs.  You can than start comparison shopping with an arsenal of information that will enable you to get the best value!  The one factor not listed below is Warranty from the provider.  While shopping, use this to determine what distributor has the greatest confidence in the product they are selling!

Question: What is the material type and overall mass I might expect to be measuring?

Question: What is the minimum thickness of material I may be measuring?

Question: How accurate do my results need to be?

Question: Do I need features like, data output, data logging, multiple readings with math functions etc.

Material type and Mass-  

Material shape, thickness, overall mass and type are very important considerations when shopping for portable hardness testers.  When shopping for your hardness tester it is very important to give a full description of your current, and even future applications so the potential provider can ensure that everything you need can be obtained to ensure a successful acquisition.

Be sure to address the following topics-

Hardness scale results are desired in.

Maximum surface roughness to be encountered.  Specialty impactors may be required for certain conditions.  In some cases very rough surfaces may not be suitable for this technology.

Shapes / Forms to be inspected material will determine the optional shape adapters that may be necessary to fulfill your requirements.

Material thickness is important due to the fact that minimum inspectable thicknesses depend on the alloy to be evaluated.  Make sure that your application falls within this range when making inquiries.  Optional impactors can also assist in this category, so be specific in regard to this topic.

Instrument accuracy is a measurable means of comparing quality and best value for the cost.  Some specifications are expressed in terms of percentage, and others in scale value.

Features offered vary greatly.  Typically as features are added, and options selected the amount of the investment should be expected to increase accordingly.  Selecting features and options needed, and ignoring those that fall outside of the application needs will help in controlling the size of the investment required.

Conclusion: The better value will be the instrument with the greatest accuracy and included features, all other factors being equal.

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Gregory S. Rowe
Copyright 1999  Martrow Technical Products. All rights reserved.
Revised: February 22, 2011 .