NextGen advertises the 5 year warranty along with a NIST traceable block included with the standard package. They include a large screen on the tester for ease of use and have the highest dwell time available. NextGen provides a recommended solution for a micro hardness tester.
Phase II advertises the 5 year warranty. The style of the hardness tester is more outdated with having a small screen for the operator to set testing parameters. Phase II also has a machine that follows a very outdated (1992) version of the ASTM E384 standard. Overall, Phase II's system needs to be upgraded to be in accordance with the latest industry standards. An upgrade to the screen is also necessary to stay competitive with the other brands available.
The physical appeal of the Leco system is far outdated and does not provide the operator with a clear LCD display for setting test parameters. Optional items may benefit some users by allowing for the switching of objectives from as low as 2.5x and as high as 100x. It is equipped with an older fashion light bulb which may cause heat from continuous use. It is uncertain if NIST traceable accessories are paired with the Leco hardness tester.
Qualitest offers a solution with a large screen and the highest levels of magnification for both indentation placement and measurement. The lighting source is an outdated standard bulb which can cause higher levels of heat for continuous use. It is uncertain if NIST traceable accessories are paired with the Qualitest hardness tester.
The Buehler system rates highest in visual appeal. It is equipped with a clear 4.7' touch screen interface allowing the operators to make their necessary selection before the test. Paired with a 50x eyepiece, the Buehler system allows for one of the highest magnifications in this comparison. Buehler's Tukon 1102 also has the highest available specimen height and throat depth. Buehler provides another recommended option for a micro hardness tester.