Bronze razors - RC hardness?

Dec 20, 2007
I was talking with my father the other day about blades and he mentioned seeing a bronze razor used in Roman times. He was curious what the attainable edge hardness is for bronze of that era (copper-tin alloy).

I suggested that the edge would get harder with cold working, much like H1 does. I know from experience that copper alloys work-harden.

Does anyone here know the Rc attainable in a bronze blade? Thanks in advance.

Ask this in the "Makers" section. bronze hardness&f=false

I assume Hv is Vickers hardness .The hardest mentioned is 290 Vickers or about 28 HRc. Many swords and knives were work hardened to increase hardness and strength. This was done along the edges not the entire blade. There was a limit to how much it could be done - too much and it would crack.

For alloy C52400 a bronze with 10 % Sn and some Phosphorous -- Annealed ,62 HRb , Hard , 95 HRb
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No idea what the Rockwell hardness was. I do know that bronze razors were used, but men were men back in those days. I'm also sure that work hardening had a role.

On the practical side, I've had Thai bronze steak knives. They'd take a very decent edge for a table knife, but I'd grow a beard down to my navel before I'd try to shave with them.