A method for measuring the spark-shower radiance of metals when abraded on a grinding wheel was developed for evaluating the sparking tendency of metals. The radiance was measured in units of emissive power per solid angle per area of the detector. Over 100 metals were tested and rated relative to commercially pure iron. The metals tested included elemental metals, iron binary and ternary alloys, iron-carbon ternary alloys, commercial steels, nonferrous alloys, and a few hard-metal compounds, some alloys were synthesized; others were obtained commercially. Alloys that possessed good strength properties were emphasized for selection. The results indicate that the spark-shower radiance of plain carbon steels and carbon alloy steels was greater than that of pure iron. Certain elements, particularly vanadium and chromium, reduced the sparking tendency of iron. Stainless steels and particularly nickel alloys displayed low spark-shower radiance. Some metallic elements had much lower radiance than iron; others, much greater. Plain carbon steels, heat treated to a variety of hardnesses, gave radiance values that generally increased with increasing hardness. The effect on sparking tendency of an increase in hardness of an alloy steel was studied. The sparking tendency increased with an increase in hardness to a maximum, then decreased with a further increase in hardness.