How to Select a Surface Roughness Tester

What does a Surface Roughness Tester Do?

Surface Roughness Testers are designed to determine how smooth or rough a surface is.  Roughness is an essential aspect in determining if a surface is suitable for a certain purpose.  In general, the rougher a surface is, the more the surface is susceptible to corrosion, cracks, and wear.

Surface Roughness Tester Applications

Surface Roughness Testers have many different uses, some of those include:

  • Determining the texture of a surface
  • Locating impurities in the tested surface
  • Detecting if a surface is suited for a specific task

Types of Surface Roughness Testers:

Contact-Type Surface Roughness Tester:

This type of Surface Roughness tester uses a stylus tip that makes direct contact with the surface.  The stylus tip traces the surface and electrically detects the vertical motion of the stylus.  This form of surface roughness testing creates a clear wave profile and is capable of long-distance measurements.  However, the stylus wears over time, making the tester obsolete.  Also, the measuring pressure can cause scratches on the sample surface, and for some surfaces, scratches, even if microscopic, can cause  major problems in the future.

Non-Contact Surface Roughness Tester:

This type of surface tester uses a laser, meaning no equipment touches the surface.  This method is the most reliable and accurate form of surface roughness testing.  The non-contact tester provides very detailed results, quickly and at a high quality.  This tester reduced the possibility of damaging the tested surface, because no stylus to scratch the surface of the product.  However, non-contact testers are the most expensive and require significant calibration.

Factors affecting selecting a Surface Roughness Tester:

Not all Surface Roughness Testers are built the same.  It is important to understand the main differences between the products.

Ask the right questions:

  • Battery life/battery type
    • Do you have time to let it charge in the middle of a project?
    • Is there a place to charge it nearby if it dies?
    • Will the charge be enough to last me through the day?
  • Storage capacity
    • How many measurements will I be taking in a day?
    • Do I have a computer nearby to offload if storage runs out?
  • Accuracy of the tester
    • How accurate do my measurements need to be?
    • Is a little error in accuracy going to cause problems late on?
  • Weight the weight of the product
    • How long will I be carrying the product?
  • Sample length
    • How long can the product be?
  • Operating conditions required
    • Where will I be testing the surfaces?
    • Will it be cold or hot?
  • Measurement range
    • How deep can the scanner scan?
  • What national standards is it compatible with?
    • Will the results of the tests need to comply with government laws?
  • Can it connect to a PC or printer?
    • Do I want to print the results of the scans?
    • Do I want to be able to offload the results to a computer?

GAOTek Surface Roughness Gauges:

  • Easy to use, lightweight and portable
  • Compact
  • Long battery
  • No harmful effects on personnel
  • Large capacity storage
  • Printer/PC compatible
  • Operates in most conditions
  • Highly accurate
  • Approved by national standards

Browse All Our Surface Roughness Gauges

If you can't find what you are looking for please feel free to contact our knowledgeable staff who will be happy to help you find the best Surface Roughness Gauge for your needs.

Learn About New Products, Deals & Specials

Subscribe To Our Monthly Newsletter

Stay up to date with new products and sale products on all our test equipment.