The various properties of polishing pitches have different advantages and are selected according to the type of work intended. It is important to check pitch properties before a pitch lap is poured; to ensure that the final polishing lap properties will be as desired. A simple penetrometer test is utilized as a quality control tool for measuring the hardness (viscosity) of various types of pitch as received from the manufacturer. Only a small sample, 20 grams, is needed for this test. Another simple method for determining pitch quality is the measurement of the softening point. A description of this method and typical results will be described. Lastly, the 'tackiness' of pitch and its importance will be discussed.© (1999) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.