Vinyl records don’t break easily, but shellac does. If you drop vinyl on the ground it can get damaged but it won’t shatter. If you drop shellac it will shatter. In both cases, you won’t hear a glass-shattering noise. When vinyl breaks you’ll hear more of a plastic shatter sound and when shellac records break it will sound more like pottery breaking.
In this article, I talk about why vinyl records DON’T break easily. Next to that, I’ll also share some information on what you actually SHOULD look out for.
Table of Contents
The Myth: Vinyl Records Break Easily
I’ve seen some movies where records are just obliterated as soon as they touch the floor. This is a trope that movies and TV show like to go with. They also love to add some shattering glass sound to it as well. But is that realistic at all, or just a myth?
The complete answer is summarized in the first paragraph, but I also quickly go over the differences between vinyl and shellac in the article. Then I’ll give you some tips on what you should really look out for, when it comes to preventing damage to your vinyl collection.
As these dumbasses have kindly shown you in this video, you can still break and even shatter vinyl records. But it takes a lot of effort. It takes a very unfortunate accident to completely destroy a vinyl record. Simply dropping a record on the floor is not game-over. But you should be aware that some significant damage, but not as dramatic as shattering, can be done by just dropping vinyl.
Before we had vinyl though, we had shellac. Shellac is made from a resin secreted by insects. The process of creating shellac records leave you with a much more fragile disc. Now it’s more similar to something as brittle as ceramic, but probably a bit less.
Now if you drop a shellac record on the floor, it will absolutely shatter. But you don’t get a glass shatter sound. What you hear is something between a vinyl record breaking and pottery breaking.
Dangers To Vinyl
There are many dangers to vinyl, but the biggest threats are:
- Worn Stylus
I’ve written an article that goes into why I say those are the biggest threats to your vinyl collection. I came to that conclusion after having done some research of my own. Check it out if you’re interested.
Conclusion – Do Vinyl Records Break Easily?
So to summarize: Vinyl records don’t break or shatter as easily as TV and movies tend to make you believe. Records do still shatter, but because of the material it’s more similar to plastic. The material, consisting of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and some other ingredients, leave the disc to be much less brittle and fragile than glass and much more flexible. It will still break when you shoot it, hammer it, or rotate it very fast.
I hope you liked this little article. If you’re interested in my other educational articles, that take a look at harder to answer questions, then check them out here. If you’re interested in good and affordable record players, I’ve written some product reviews and a top list for that.
- The Slow Mo Guys, YouTube from https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUK0HBIBWgM2c4vsPhkYY4w