Diamond Nano-Technology

Rock Hard picks are scientifically engineered with a combination of precision metal-finishing and diamond nanotechnology.  Picks are manufactured from high-grade stainless steel, electro-polished and then vacuum coated with a layer of chemical vapor deposited(CVD)  diamond-like carbon (DLC).

The DLC coating on the surface of Rock-Hard picks was originally developed for night-vision optics used in military aircraft, vehicles and portable thermal imaging systems.  The material is a dense, extremely hard form of amorphous carbon which possesses many mechanical and thermal properties of its crystalline sibling,CVD diamond.

Because of the hardness and amorphous nature of DLC, the nano-coating is highly wear resistant and conforms to all of the imperfect structural inconsistencies in a polished metal surface.  So the coating actually makes a polished metal surface even smoother.  The pictures to the right show the effect of the DLC on the roughness of the pick.  The top picture is before coating where the surface roughness is 22 nanometers.  The bottom picture is the same pick after being coated with DLC, where the surface roughness is 11 nanometers.  That's twice as smooth as the bare polished pick shown in the first picture.

In addition,the coating has virtually NO FRICTION (more slippery than Teflon), so there is no metal-on-metal wear when it’s pressed and dragged continuously against guitar strings.  It's like having a permanent "dry-lubricant" on the surface of your pick.

The result is an extremely hard surface that doesn’t wear, and will not abrade the metal it’s rubbing against, e.g. guitar strings.

AFM* of electro-polished Rock-Hard pick before DLC coating:  surface roughness =  22 nanometers
AFM* of electro-polished Rock-Hard pick before DLC coating: surface roughness = 22 nanometers


It’s never advisable to put anything in your mouth you are not 100% sure is CLEAN and/or EDIBLE. Also, holding any type of guitar pick in the mouth presents a potential choking risk. That being said, FIRST make sure you know where your hands have been!

Yes. The DLC coating is applied mostly to the area which contacts the strings during guitar playing. Other uses of the pick, such as string drags down the neck using the side of the pick, or pounding against the pick-ups with the tip can do damage like any piece of stainless steel would.

Of course. The coating is extremely hard, MUCH HARDER than the steel below it,but it is also EXTREMELY THIN (nanotechnology, several hundred ATOMS thick). If you try to damage the surface you probably will, but if you use it as a guitar pick you never will… no matter how hard you play.

The portion of the ROCK HARD pick that contacts the strings is coated with Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC). DLC is very hard, like diamond, and has a very LOW coefficient of friction, which means it’s “slippery” and will not drag and wear on the strings like metal will. It’s like a dry lubricant on the surface of the pick which won’t wear off.

Because metal damages metal. Even though guitar strings are very hard, they are under high tension and will fail at the weakest point. Rubbing against the strings, at the bridge, the nut or where the metal pick pounds against it is where the string will weaken and eventually fail.

AFM* image of DLC coated stainless guitar pick:  average surface roughness = 11 nm
AFM* image of DLC coated stainless guitar pick: average surface roughness = 11 nm

* Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) .  AFM scans courtesy of Orthopedic Biomaterials Laboratory at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

Guitar Picks Made in the USA