There are two basic types of hardness testing: Standard and Superficial. Each requires a slightly different instrument construction.

Ames standard testers read directly in these fifteen Rockwell scales: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, K, L, M, P, R, S, and V.

Superficial models are for testing case-hardened stocks, thin stock and soft materials in the Rockwell N and T scales.

Ames Hardness Tester model numbers tell you up to three things.

  • The first number is the thickness in inches the instrument can test.
  • The second number is the throat depth in inches, or how far in from the edge of the material tests can be made.
  • The letter "S" at the end tells you this is for Superficial testing on the N and T scales only. ("ST" indicates a unique model for thin and tube stock.)

Model 1 & Model 1S

Model 2 & Model 2S

Model 1-4 & Model 1-4S

Model 4-4

Model 4-2 & Model 4-2S

Model 8

Model 36



Ames Hardness Testers

Ames tester model numbers tell you the maximum opening (dimension A), and throat depth (dimension B). The letters tell you the type of tester or specific application. "S" indicates a Superficial tester. "ST" indicates a Superficial tester for Tubing.
Model Opening(A) Depth(B)
1 1" 1"
1-S 1" 1"
1-4 1" 4"
1-4S 1" 4"
2 2" 2"
2-S 2" 2"
4-2 4" 2"
4-2S 4" 2"
4-4 4" 4"
8 8" 4"
ST Tube tester (15T scale only)

Standard equipment with each tester:

  • 1 diamond penetrator
  • 1 1/16" ball penetrator
  • 1 flat anvil, 1 V anvil (additional anvils for some models)
  • Extensions in appropriate sizes
  • High-impact carrying case
  • 3 test blocks, 2 hard steel, 1 brass.


V Anvil


1/2" #T1128
1" #T2228
1-1/4" #T4228
Cylindrical Anvil


1/2" #T1126
3/4" #T2226
1" #T4226
Convex Anvil


1/2" #T1127
3/4" #T2227
1" #T4227
Raised Flat Anvil


1/8" #T1130
1/4" #T1129
Diamond #T1163
Flat Anvil


1/2" #T1125
1" #T4225


  1/16" Ball #AT1257  
  1/8" Ball #AT1259  
  1/4" Ball #AT1160  
  1/2" Ball #AT1162  

Diamond Penetrators

  Standard #T1131  
  Superficial #T1178  


  Extensions allow testing thinner items with larger tester models without sacrificing stability.
  1/2" #T2232  
  3/4" #T4232  
  1" #T4234  
  2" #T4235  

Test Blocks Certified

  Hard Steel (C64) #T1190  
  Soft Steel (C33) #T1191  
  Brass (B33) #T1192  

Bench Stand

Cast iron for solid support. Holds tester at convenient angle, freeing hands for ease of use. Internal fibre sleeve protects tester handle.
Weight: 11 lbs.

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