What is 9H Hardness – Ceramic coating hardness, myths and more.

Some less popular ceramic coating brands say that their coating is 9H on an MOHS scale, some make unrealistic claims of their coating being 15H or 20H, while some less knowledgeable brands say that H stands for hydrophobicity not hardness.

The truth is that the ceramic coating isn’t related to anything that is mentioned above. 9H is the hardness test of the ceramic coatings once they fully cure on the surface they are applied on.

It is based on the pencil hardness test which uses real graphite pencils to test the scratch resisting power of the applied coating.


Mohs is a scale used to determine the mineral and structural hardness of various minerals such as topaz, quartz, diamond etc. It is not related to coatings. This scale is used primarily by geologists to measure that how one mineral can affect another.

So companies who claim that their coating is MOHS sadly don’t understand that how ceramic coatings work.

9h coating

Pencil Hardness

Pencils which are made of graphite are graded according to their hardness by pencil manufacturers. The grading normally ranges from 0 to 9.

Recently, pencil companies like Mitsubishi have launched 10H pencils as well. All ceramic coatings are tested through pencil hardness test. For grading, a specific hardness pencil is pushed against the coated surface at a 45-degree angle.

If you use a 9H pencil and aren’t able to create any permanent scratches, then you can be sure that the coating has 9H hardness.

If a 9H pencil creates a scratch but an 8H pencil does not, then the coating hardness is 8H.

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