• Pencil Hardness Tester

Pencil Hardness Tester

ASTM D 3363, BS 3900-E19, ECCA T4, EN 13523-4, ISO 15184, JIS K 5600-5-4

  • Resistance to scratch and wear
  • Resistance to penetration

The pencil hardness test, also referred to as the Wolff-Wilborn test, uses the varying hardness values of graphite pencils to evaluate a coating’s hardness.

The Elcometer 501 has been designed to ensure that the cylindrical pencil lead is maintained at a constant angle of 45° and exerts a force of 7.5N (1.68lbF).

The pencil lead, prepared beforehand using the special sharpener and abrasive paper, is inserted into the Elcometer 501 and pushed over the smooth, flat coated surface. The lowest hardness value of the pencil which marks the coating determines the coating’s hardness rating.
In the coatings industry, hardness measurement can be used to determine the resistance of the coating to scratching from general wear and tear and also if a coating is fully cured.

The term “Hardness” is used to refer to different properties of material, specifically: 

  • Resistance to scratch and wear
  • Resistance to penetration
Depending on the requirements, there are various methods for testing hardness. Some are dedicated to characterise coatings and others are more suitable for testing bulk materials such as metals, plastics, rubber or elastomers.

Hardness can be defined as a material’s resistance to permanent deformation.


Pencil Sharpener (6H to 2B) T99923040-1
Pencil Sharpener (3B to 6B) T99923040-2
Set of 14 Pencils (6B to 6H) T99923039
12 Hardness Pencils (6B) T99923042-1 12 Hardness Pencils (F) T99923042-8
12 Hardness Pencils (5B) T99923042-2 12 Hardness Pencils (H) T99923042-9
12 Hardness Pencils (4B) T99923042-3 12 Hardness Pencils (2H) T99923042-10
12 Hardness Pencils (3B) T99923042-4 12 Hardness Pencils (3H) T99923042-11
12 Hardness Pencils (2B) T99923042-5 12 Hardness Pencils (4H) T99923042-12
12 Hardness Pencils (B) T99923042-6 12 Hardness Pencils (5H) T99923042-13
12 Hardness Pencils (HB) T99923042-7 12 Hardness Pencils (6H) T99923042-14


Dimensions 130 x 130 x 50mm (5 x 5 x 2”)
(with Pencils)
Weight 2.1kg (4lb)
Part Number H501----1      Elcometer 501 Pencil Hardness Tester
Packing List Elcometer 501 Pencil Hardness Tester, pencil set (14 pencils, grades 6B - 6H), positioning block, x2 pencil sharpener, abrasive paper block, carry case and operating instructions