Working Hours: 08:00AM – 06:00PM

The CATRA Test Lab is trusted by clients globally

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

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

Our testing isn’t limited to what you see here. If you can’t find exactly what you need, but think that we can help, please contact us.


Table Cutlery / Table Flatware Testing

Table Cutlery and Flatware (knives, forks and spoons) of any construction are tested by CATRA to EN ISO  8442-2 (ISO 8442.2), BS 5577 and EN 14372.

Available tests cover the following attributes and more

  • Corrosion and dishwasher resistance
  • Knife blade hardness and geometry
  • Non-metalic handles – distortion, security of handle attachment and drop resistance
  • Inspection for defects, safety, and fitness for purpose
  • Thickness and adhesion strength of coatings including electroplated gold and silver, and PVD coatings
  • Metal compositional analysis


Blade and Knife Testing

All types of food preparation and processing blades and knives are tested by CATRA to EN ISO 8442-1 and EN ISO 8442-5.

The tests cover the following attributes and more:

  • Blade sharpness, durability, geometry, strength and hardness
  • Corrosion and dishwasher resistance
  • Non-metalic handles – distortion, security of handle attachment and drop resistance
  • Inspection for defects, safety, and fitness for purpose
  • Metal compositional analysis


Cookware and ovenware

We test all types of cookware and ovenware. Our test capabilities cover EN 12983-1, EN 12983-2, and EN 13834 as well as a range of CATRA in-house tests.

Available tests cover the following attributes and more:

  • Dishwasher resistance
  • Material analysis
  • Non-stick coating effectiveness, scratch and abrasive resistance
  • Enamel and ceramic coatings, thickness measurement, impact resistance and adhesion testing
  • Base heat distribution, stability and resistance to thermal shock
  • Handle design, fatigue resistance and safety
  • Hob top suitability


Blade and Knife sharpness testing

We test blades for edge sharpness and durability to EN ISO 8442-5.

We can test most blades over 30mm in length including but not limited to:

  • Food preparation – butcher’s, cook’s, chef’s knife and kitchen knives
  • Folding knives
  • Trapezoidal and snap-off style utility blades
  • Machine blades and industrial knife blades
  • Wood chisels and smoothing plane blades
  • Blades made from stainless steel, martensitic, tools steels, carbon steels, ceramic

For test machine and system details see  CATRA Automatic Edge Tester

Knife sharpener testing

Using our cutting performance test machine, we test various knife and blade sharpeners to in-house standards or custom protocols depending on the intended use of the sharpener.

We can test both manual and electric sharpeners and sharpening systems.


Scissors and Shears testing

CATRA have developed in-house test protocols to assess sharpness and durability of all types of scissors and shears.

Available tests cover the following attributes and more:

  • Sharpness and fitness for purpose with a wide range of materials
  • Durability, blade hardness, edge geometry and blade profiles
  • 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, Scalpel and Dental Testing

Using CATRA’s ‘REDS’ system we are able to test the sharpness and durability of razor blades, scalpels and dental tools.

Sample are assessed by the CATRA Razor Edge Durability and Sharpness tester check out our dedicated page for more information –  REDS tester

We can also assess all the same criteria as we do for larger blades, including edge geometry, composition, and corrosion resistance.

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