Macrohardness testing, also commonly referred to as Vickers testing, is performed by pressing an indenter of specified geometry into the test surface. Unlike Rockwell testing, the Vickers test applies only a single test force. The resultant impression or un-recovered area is then measured using a high powered microscope in combination with filar measuring eyepieces, or more recently, automatically with image analyzing software. The Vickers diamond produces a square based pyramidal shape with a depth of indentation of about 1/7th of the diagonal length. The Vickers test has two distinct force ranges, micro (10 - 1000 g) and macro (1 - 100 kg), to cover all testing requirements. The indenter is the same for both ranges, therefore Vickers hardness values are continuous over the total range of hardness for metals (typically HV100 - HV1000).
Vickers tests are typically referred to as macroindentation tests and are used on a wider variety of materials including case hardened, and steel components. Vickers indents are also less sensitive to surface conditions than the Knoop test. The measured area is used in a formula that includes applied force to determine a hardness value. Tables or automatic electronic or imaging measurements are a more common and convenient way to generate Vickers hardness numbers.