What is the difference between a Schmidt Hammer and other rebound hammers?

Not all rebound hammers are created equal! What are the key differences and which one will be best for your project? Find out in this quick guide to the differences between Schmidt hammers and other rebound hammers for concrete strength testing. 


Infrastructure & Asset Inspection of Concrete Structures



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Compressive strength estimation is one of the most widely-used non-destructive tests for concrete. While rebound hammers are the number one method of determining the compressive strength, not all rebound hammers are equal.

This article takes a look at the differences between original Schmidt hammers and other rebound hammers, so you can make a more informed decision and get better results from your compressive strength estimations.

Although the term “Schmidt hammer” is often used interchangably with “rebound hammer” there are key distinctions that set the Original Schmidt hammers apart from the rest.

Let’s take a look at some of the main differentiators.


Original Schmidt Hammer

Other brand rebound hammer


Designed with a calibrated spring mechanism that ensures consistent and accurate readings. The plunger tip is also made of hardened steel, which makes it very resistant to wear and tear.

Simple spring mechanism and a plunger tip made of a softer material, which can lead to less accurate readings shorter lifespan and suspicious/unreliable results.


Higher accuracy and less affected by surface conditions. This is because the spring mechanism is calibrated to provide the correct rebound value regardless of the surface hardness.

Lower accuracy and more easily affected by surface conditions, such as the presence of moisture or cracks.


More durable because Schmidt hammers are made of higher-quality materials and its internal parts are encased to protect it from extremities which delivers a longer life-span.

Cheaper rebound hammers are made of less durable materials, which can lead to a shorter lifespan.


More expensive

Less expensive


Although the initial price for Schmidt hammers is more expensive, the Original Schmidt OS8000 is arguably the most cost-effective rebound hammer available. Given that this is a high-end Swiss product, you may find that statement surprising, but let’s take a look in detail. Most manufacturers and some of the major standards call for calibration or servicing after around 2000 impacts and here you can see the reason why:


The Proceq Original Schmidt hammers consistently perform well in durability testing. This saves you money on servicing costs, down-time due to instrument availability, and potentially having to repeat site testing done with a hammer that was out of tolerance.

Original Schmidt hammers also deliver massive time savings in data acquisition and reporting compared with mechanical hammers. Moreover, Schmidt hammers benefit from our digital ecosystem that enables instant data back-up, collaboration, reporting and traceability.


Verification of the hammer is required by every major standard and is also important in achieving reliable strength estimates. The Schmidt app provides the necessary tools to keep on top of this with an on-board impact counter that gives a warning if the verification is overdue. Standardized verification procedures are fully automated on the app, and it generates a report which can be added to the test report.

Original Schmidt is the only rebound hammer that tracks calibration status according to standards. This enables you to confidently test according to standards with:

• Automatic calculation of the rebound value plus series validity check

• Custom material curves for the most accurate estimates

• Test region analysis

• Four operating modes

• Automatic impact angle compensation


Schmidt rebound hammer and the mobile app (available on iOS & Android)


Another key difference between Schmidt hammers and other rebound hammers is the power of the Schmidt (OS) app. Available for iOS and Android, the Schmidt app delivers rich functionality to make concrete and rock testing a breeze with custom curves for higher precision and report generation in a few taps. The Schmidt Android app has recently been updated for an even better experience, so you can enjoy seamless data transfer and easier collaboration as well as:

• Logbook functionality for capturing additional information for reporting purposes

• Synchronization with the Screening Eagle Workspace platform

• Fast PDF report generation


In general, a Schmidt Hammer is a better investment for professionals who need to perform regular concrete strength tests with high accuracy and reliability on-site. Cheaper rebound hammers are a better option private homeowners and DIYers who need to perform occasional estimations that do not require the highest accuracy.

Ultimately, the best type of hammer for you will depend on your individual needs and budget. If you are a professional who needs to perform regular concrete compressive strength estimations with reliable results fast, then a Schmidt Hammer is a wise investment.

Read more articles and real case studies about concrete compressive strength testing and concrete quality assessment on our Tech Hub.

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