Heavy-metal fluoride (HMF) glasses are promising materials for many infrared (IR) components such as laser windows, missile domes, lenses, filters, and optical fibers. In this paper we report the results of studies of optical and mechanical properties of representative HMF glass samples (including fluorozirconates, rare-earth fluoride glasses, and transition metal fluoride glasses) obtained from a variety of government, academic, and commercial sources. Quantities measured include IR absorption and emission, total integrated scatter (TIS), fracture toughness, and thermal stress resistance. The glasses studied displayed smooth multiphonon edges with absorption coefficients in cm−1 reaching unity in the vicinity of 7 μm and becoming as low as 4 × 10−3 cm−1 at DF wavelengths. Thermal emittance measurements indicate that the absorption edge moves relatively little with increasing temperature. TIS values in the infrared were as low as a few parts in 104 and the fracture toughness was about one-third to one-half that of fused silica. Rapid heating studies performed on a representative HMF composition indicated that there was no degradation in strength even up to the melting point.