Hydraulic reaction-type apparatus for determining the setting time of concrete with slump greater than zero by testing mortar sieved from the concrete mixture. It also determines the effects of variables, such as temperature, cement, mixture proportions, additions and admixtures upon the time of setting and hardening of concrete. The penetrometer’s design makes it easy to operate, being more efficient, with a longer gear rack. All needles are one length so settings may remain the same. Loads are applied hydraulically with pressures read on a 200 lbf (890N) capacity gauge graduated in 2 lbf divisions. Set of six needles allows multiplication to a maximum reading of 8000 lbf. The acme penetrometer features cast aluminum base and set of stainless steel penetration needles in a wooden block (bearing area: 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/10, 1/20 and 1/40 sq. in., (645, 323, 161, 65, 32 and 16mm2). Includes 100 laboratory test data reporting forms.