Clinical Relevance Acid-functional monomers in self-adhesive resin cements may decrease their self-curing polymerization ability. Light irradiation optimizes polymerization performance. SUMMARY Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate Knoop microhardness of self-adhesive resin cements under dual- and self-curing modes in simulated canals for describing the polymerization behavior. Methods and Materials: Slots in lightproof silicone cylinders with one open end were filled with the following eight materials: a traditional resin cement (Duolink), a core build-up resin material (MultiCore Flow), and six self-adhesive resin cements (RelyX Unicem 2, G-Cem Automix, Maxcem, Biscem, Multilink Speed, and PermaCem 2.0). The resins were exposed to light through the open end and then stored in a lightproof box. The Knoop hardness gradient for each resin was measured after 1 hour and 120 hours. Surface readings were obtained at 1-mm intervals from 1 mm to 10 mm away from the open ends. The data were analyzed by two-way analysis of variance and the Student-Newman-Keuls test (α=0.05). Results: All the resin materials had stable Knoop hardness numbers (KHNs) at a certain depth; their KHNs in the self-curing mode did not change ( p >0.05). The region above this certain depth was regarded as having undergone the dual-curing mode, and the KHN decreased gradually with depth ( p <0.05). Between 1 and 120 hours postexposure, the ratio of the KHN at a 5-mm depth (self-cured) to that at a 1-mm depth (dual-cured) increased in Duolink and MultiCore Flow. However, the ratios of the six adhesive resin cements varied. Conclusion: Without light, most self-adhesive resin cements differed from traditional dual-cured resin materials in terms of Knoop microhardness, and they had a lesser capacity for chemical-induced curing.