Tungsten Carbide Hardness vs Durability | Metal Comparison

Tungsten Carbide Hardness vs Durability  

A wedding band is not a purchase, but an investment for a lifetime. This means that you should consider what you get today, but how it will hold up over the years. This is a question that men often ask when choosing a wedding band. While appearance is certainly important, an equally prominent question is whether factors like tungsten carbide hardness or durability should be emphasized.

What follows are a few tips that will help you select the right men’s wedding band for your needs. This includes which materials offer the hardness or durability you want that will help it last for a lifetime.

Differences between Tungsten Carbide Hardness & Durability

It may seem at first glance that both hardness and durability are directly related, but that is not always the case. For example, gold is softer than many metals used for wedding bands. But it is highly durable as with a little care it will last a lifetime.

tungsten carbide hardness

Conversely, pure tungsten is one of the hardest metals. But it is also quite brittle. This means that a good impact will crack or perhaps break a pure tungsten ring while softer metals such as gold are only dented. Of course, gold is quite expensive as it is a precious metal. But there are other choices on the market that are less expensive and offer good durability.

In layman’s terms, the harder a material it is, the less likely it can be scratched. The more durable a ring is, the more likely it will resist breaking or chipping. It is possible to have a hard, durable material that resists scratching, chipping, and cracking for your ring. What follows are several examples of metals that offer different advantages when it comes to resisting scratches and impacts.


Ceramic rings are nearly as hard as tungsten carbide hardness and are scratch-resistant. The ceramic itself usually consists of titanium carbide which makes them light and strong. However, they can be chipped or cracked with a strong impact. Plus, they cannot be resized like softer metals, so they may not be the best choice for some men.


At first, cobalt seems like the perfect metal for rings. It has grown in popularity in recent years thanks in large part to having a similar appearance to white gold, although not nearly as expensive. Cobalt is also quite strong, durable, resists scratching, and is quite durable which means it resists impacts, dents, and cracking. It is difficult, but not impossible to resize a cobalt ring which makes them even more desirable. However, the one downside is that some people with sensitive skin will not be able to wear a cobalt ring. So, you will need to know if your skin is going to react while being in contact with cobalt.


tungsten carbide hardness

Palladium is often mistaken for platinum because they look so similar. However, palladium is far less expensive which makes them a good choice. Palladium will not tarnish over time, but it does show scratches more than some other metals. You can polish the light scratches away but may need a little more professional help with the deeper ones. While not impossible to resize, palladium is not easy to change sizes as well, so you will need to consider that before making your final decision.


Comparing to tungsten carbide hardness, platinum seems to fit most categories when it comes to the perfect balance of hardness vs. durability. Platinum is quite durable and somewhat scratch-resistant, although the metal is just soft enough to restore fairly easily. Plus, platinum does not tarnish, and the patina can be wiped away easily so that it remains in like-new condition. They can also be resized and even reshaped when needed. About the only drawback is the price since platinum is one of the rarest metals available for rings.

Stainless Steel

Once of the most common of metals, stainless steel is used for many different items because it is strong, resists oxidation, and is quite tough. It also helps that it is the most affordable of the common metals used for making rings. It can tarnish a little over time, but nothing that a little polish and elbow grease cannot take care of quickly. However, stainless steel rings cannot be resized, so you will need to take that under consideration.


Most people will recognize titanium as a strong, light metal that is mainly used for aircraft construction and other industrial uses. Titanium makes for strong, lightweight rings that are quite comfortable. Like platinum, titanium can be scratched. But the restoration is often inexpensive. In fact, a little polish will take the blemishes away quickly. Titanium is also fairly inexpensive, but it is also too hard to resize. That is about the only drawback if you choose a titanium ring.

Tungsten Carbide Hardness

Easily the hardest metal used for wedding rings, tungsten carbide has grown considerably in popularity over the years. There are good reasons as to why, but arguably the most obvious is the low price compared to rings made from precious metals. However, pure tungsten is quite brittle which means that a good impact will probably crack, if not shatter the material.

tungsten carbide hardness

This is why most rings made of tungsten include carbon, cobalt, or nickel which provides greater durability while keeping the scratch-resistant qualities. However, a downside to using cobalt or nickel is that it can irritate sensitive skin. Carbon is virtually hypoallergenic, although it is not as commonly used compared to nickel. Otherwise, the only downside to using tungsten is that you cannot resize the ring as compared to a softer metal such as gold. 

Selecting the right combination of tungsten carbide hardness vs. durability is easier once you view all the choices. For those who want to save money by not choosing a precious metal such as gold, silver, or platinum, there are good metals out there that are both scratch-resistant and quite durable. Some of the leading candidates are palladium, titanium, and tungsten if you can get it mixed with another metal. Cobalt is also a consideration if you are not looking for a hypoallergenic metal.

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