Working Hours: 08:00AM – 06:00PM

Product Testing and Evaluation Services by CATRA laboratories for clients all over the world

We offer very quick, efficient and cost-effective services in the following areas:

We provide a very fast, efficient, confidential, independent and low cost test and product evaluation service. Please ask for a quotation at no obligation to you.

If you don’t see exactly what you want, but think that we can help, please contact us.

Table Cutlery / Table Flatware Testing to ISO EN 8442-2 (ISO 8442.2), BS 5577 and pr EN 14372

The following types of Table Cutlery and Flatware (knives, forks and spoons) are tested by CATRA

  • Stainless steel with solid or hollow handles
  • Stainless with plastic, wood, ceramic, bone, stag horn or glass handles
  • Electroplated with silver, gold and other precious metals
  • Nickel silver, brass, EPNS, EPSS, silver-plated, gold-plated, bronze-plated
  • Solid bronze, plastic, mother of pearl, picnic, and folding cutlery
  • Children’s cutlery and feeding utensils

The tests cover the following attributes

  • Corrosion resistance and dishwasher safeness
  • Discolouration and distortion (particularly of plastic, wooden and other non-metallic handles)
  • Bend, twist and pull strength, security of handle attachment, impact, or drop resistance
  • Knife blade hardness and sharpness
  • Freedom from defects, safety, undesirable sharp edges, and fitness for purpose
  • Thickness of electroplated gold and silver surfaces and plating adhesion strength
  • Surface finish and level of polish
  • Decals and transfers on handles
  • Metal analysis and metal migration into foodstuffs

Kitchen, Professional, Trade and Food Process Knife Testing to ISO EN8442-1 (ISO 8442.1)

The following types of Food Preparation Knives are tested by CATRA

  • Stainless steel and carbon steel blades with plastic, wooden, metal, and bone handles
  • Knives for use in domestic, professional, commercial and industrial kitchens
  • Knives for use in abattoirs, food manufacturing, meat packing, vegetable processing, and fish industry

The tests cover the following attributes:

  • Corrosion / rust resistance and dishwasher safeness, discolouration and distortion
  • Bend, twist and pull strength, security of handle attachment, impact or drop resistance
  • Knife blade hardness, cutting edge thickness, edge angular geometry, sharpness, and durability
  • Freedom from defects, safety, undesirable sharp edges and fitness for purpose
  • Metal analysis and metal migration into foodstuffs

Saucepans and Metallic Cookware to BS6748, BS 7430 and ISO 12983. 1 and 2

The following types of Cookware, Saucepans and Cooking Pots are tested by CATRA

  • Metallic including stainless steel, copper, aluminium, cast iron and brass
  • Pans with enamel, anodised, and non-stick coatings
  • Cooking vessel types include frying and milk pans, strainers, steamers, Bain Marie, bakeware, ovenware, roasting dishes, casserole, sauté pans and kettles

The tests cover the following attributes:

  • Material analysis, safety and hygiene, freedom from defects, undesirable sharp edges and fitness for purpose
  • Metal migration into foodstuffs
  • Base heat distribution, handle overheating risks, resistance to burning of non-metal handles
  • Handle mechanical strength, fatigue and distortion resistance
  • Corrosion and dishwasher use suitability
  • Non-stick coating effectiveness, scratch and abrasive resistance
  • Enamel coating non-toxicity, impact and adhesion resistance

Blade and Knife sharpness testing to ISO 8442-5 (ISO 8442.5)

The following types of Knives, Blades, Cutters are tested by CATRA

  • Folding knives, penknives, Swiss army, multi-tool knives
  • Utility razor and Stanley blades, box cutters, safety knives, snap-off blades
  • Machine blades, industrial knife blades, slitting, dicer, slicer and shear blades
  • Food preparation – butcher’s, cook’s, chef’s knife and kitchen knives
  • Surgical knives, scalpel and cutters
  • Wood chisels and smoothing plane blades
  • Blades made from stainless steel, martensitic, tools steels, carbon steels, ceramic
  • Blades coated with diamond-like carbon, titanium nitride, tungsten carbide and complex multi compound coatings

The tests cover the following attributes:

  • Edge sharpness and durability indicating potential blade life, especially of hard wearing surface treatments
  • Evaluation of cutting edge softening as a result of overheating in sharpening
  • Cut forces measurements, indicating ease of cutting and power requirements.
  • Cutting ability of blades in different materials
  • Comparisons of ease of cutting and wear on blades between cut media
  • For test machine and system details see  CATRA Automatic Edge Tester

Knife and Blade sharpening machine testing using ISO 8442.5

By utilising the cutting performance test of the International standard, we have developed a test system to evaluate various knife and blade sharpeners such as

  • Sharpening steels
  • Crossed carbide sharpers
  • Electric knife sharpeners
  • Domestic hand sharpeners
  • Ceramic knife sharpeners
  • Diamond steels, rods and stones
  • Oil and water stones
  • Commercial knife and blade sharpeners

Scissors, Clippers and Shears testing CATRA Tests

(NB: no known standard exist for scissors and shears, but CATRA have developed in-house test protocols)

The following types of Scissor, clippers and Shears are tested by CATRA

  • The whole range of household scissors such as kitchen, dress making, nail, embroidery, and general purpose
  • Industrial scissors including tailors, cobblers, heavy duty Kevlar, cutting out, and side bents
  • Hairdressing scissors
  • Surgical shears, tweezers and scissors

The tests cover the following attributes:

  • Sharpness and cutting performance on a wide range of materials
  • Life, durability and relative blade hardness, edge geometry and blade profiles
  • Strength and bow fixation
  • Closing and operating force determination, pivot wear measurement
  • Corrosion / rust resistance, fitness for purpose, safety

Garden Tool Testing to British Standards and CATRA Tests

The following types of Garden, Agricultural and Groundwork tools are tested by CATRA

  • Domestic and industrial use spades, forks, rakes, hoes, shears, secateurs, shovels, loppers, axes, hatchets…
  • …pick axes, trimmers, sickles, flower scissors, and topiary shears

The tests cover the following attributes:

  • Cutting performance, sharpness and life
  • Fitness for purpose, bend and pull strength, safety, blade hardness
  • Corrosion resistance including humidity testing, materials suitability

Hand Tool Testing to British Standards and CATRA Tests

The following types of Hand Tools are tested by CATRA some to relevant standards others to CATRA specifications

  • Industrial, commercial and domestic use hammers, screwdrivers, wood chisels, planes, spanners, wrenches, sockets
  • engineers files, hacksaws, wood saws, pliers. pincers, wire cutters, knives, box cutters, utility knives, plumbers tools, carpet blades, wallpaper knives
  • workshop tools, punches, pruners, cold chisels, trowels, builders tools, squares, gouges
  • drill bits, augers, masonry drills

The tests cover the following attributes:

  • Cut performance of cutting tools, life and suitability for materials, ease of use and operating forces
  • Strength and handle fixation, impact testing of striking implements
  • Blade / work head hardness, edge profile and tooth shape, metal analysis
  • Safety and freedom from defects, humidity and environmental resistance
  • Fitness for purpose testing and safety

Metallic Decorative Hollowware Testing to ISO EN 8442-3 (ISO 8443.3)

The following types of Metallic Decorative and Functional Hollow Ware are tested by CATRA

  • Domestic and commercial use teapots, jugs, pitchers, externally heated kettles, coffee pots, percolators
  • Trays, fruit bowls, candlesticks, trophies, ashtrays, serving racks and trolleys, trivets, wine coolers, wire baskets…
  • …coasters, cruet sets, pepper mills, coffee grinders, cafetieres, vacuum flasks, picture frames
  • These articles made from stainless steel, brass, copper, which may be electroplated with silver, gold, chromium and nickel with plastic, polymer, glass or wooden fittings

The tests cover the following attributes:

  • Strength of attachments, handles, lids and knobs
  • Materials specification and analysis, silver or gold plating thickness, metal migration
  • Functionality and fitness for purpose, safety including pressure testing, stability
  • Thermal insulation and heat transfer on handles, environmental and tarnish resistance
  • Pouring ability, Dishwashing capability, volumetric capacity, surface finish measurement of polished surfaces

Electroplate Thickness Testing by XRF & Microsection to British Standards

The following types of products are tested for Thickness of Electroplated or Coated surfaces by CATRA

  • Cutlery, automotive parts, giftware, jewellery, aerospace parts, decorative hollowware, electrical and electronic components, bathroom fittings, door furniture, household furniture, building equipment, watches
  • (Virtually any component up to a maximum size of 400 x 400 x 400mm can be measured. Larger items must be dismantled or have sections cut out)

The tests cover the following attributes:

  • Plated surface thickness measurement are made by X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) techniques and micro-sectional microscopic examination
  • Determination of coatings such as gold, silver, bronze, brass, chromium, nickel, copper, tin, zinc, and many more
  • Abrasion, scratch, corrosion, and wear tests on plated surfaces, suitable for high use areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, outdoor furnishings, and door fittings

Corrosion and Environmental Testing

The following types of products are corrosion, humidity, salt spray and environmentally tested by CATRA

  • Cutlery, knives, hand tools, garden tools, bathroom furniture, taps, faucets, marine fittings, towel rails
  • Building products, sports equipment, garden ornaments, cycles, push chairs, surgical instruments

The tests cover the following attributes:

  • Standard and special corrosion tests including salt immersion, salt spray, dishwashing machine testing
  • Humid atmosphere, acidic solution, contact with bodily fluids, sterilisation solutions

Metallurgical Investigations and Failure Evaluations

CATRA’s wide metallurgical knowledge enables detailed Examination and Analysis of the following metals

  • Stainless steels, tool and high-speed steel
  • General engineering steels, silver, gold, copper, brass, bronze, Nickel silver
  • Products include cutlery, kitchen gadgets, tools, cycles, cookware, metallic furniture, cutting blades, jewellery

Our areas of investigation cover

  • All metallurgical aspects including grain size, carbide distribution, hardening, annealing, corrosion failure
  • Chemical analysis of steels and other metals
  • Fatigue failure, cracking, premature wear, poor adhesion of plated surfaces, failures of joints such as welded or soldered or brazed, chemical analysis
  • Suitability of materials and metals for specific applications, particularly cutting equipment
  • Application and performance of hard coating materials to sharpened edges

Dishwasher-Proof Testing for goods made from Metal, Plastic, Ceramic & Glass to BS EN 12875-1 (2005)

  • Dishwasher safe testing by machine of all items normally washed in both domestic and commercial machines
  • Items include all cutlery/knives, all glassware, all ceramic, pottery, earthenware, plates, cups, cookware (cooking pots and pans), cooking utensils, food containers, re-useable packaging, storage jars, plastic items

Our Testing System

  • By carrying out full multi-cycle testing in real dishwashing conditions, products are exposed to typical failure risks that can be assessed in as short a time as one week, in which test protocols from 20 to 500 cycles are selected
  • Click for full details of the special purpose test machine
  • By operation 24 / 7 CATRA can offer very fast dishwasher evaluation at cost-effective prices

Razor and Shaving System Testing

CATRA’s unique position in cutting technology, is nowhere stronger than in the field of razor blade and shaving system testing. Such products as disposable razors, cartridge systems, multi-blade razors, 3 blade systems, 4 blade shavers for both men and women are always under test, for quality control, product evaluation and claim support purposes. Both wet and dry (electric) shaving systems are tested using some unique and novel test systems.

Our areas of investigation cover

  • Razor blade sharpness, durability, smoothness of cut are assessed by the CATRA Razor Edge Durability and Sharpness tester – see REDS tester
  • Closeness of shave is determined by shaver panels and by objective measurement techniques
  • Shaving comfort and safety are evaluated both by instrument and by user trial assessment
  • We also have the ability to develop special protocol shave tests including the development of sophisticated test apparatus and equipment

Engineers Hand File and Rasp Testing

CATRA’s history with the British file and rasp industry enables us to offer a range of file cutting performance tests. This enables cutting performance (sharpness and metal removal rates) to be measured on all types of abrasive file, including toothed and abrasive particle types such as diamond files and sharpening steels. We also test special files such as horse hoof rasps, taper saw files, chain saw files, needle files, and surgical bone files. CATRA uses a range of special purpose file test machines developed by the File Research Council of Great Britain.

Hacksaw Testing to BS1919 and Hole Saw and Wood Saw Testing

CATRA developed the British Standard hacksaw cutting test BS1919 in the 1970s for both hand blades and power blades. Today, CATRA offers a full sawing test to this specification. click here for details of the test machine
We have also developed tests for other types of saw where no standard exists. This includes wood saws, hard point saws, tenon saws, hole saws, and jigsaw blades.

CATRA also manufactures saw testing machines

Contact us by phone or e-mail for the latest prices on all our testing services