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This paper investigates existing methods for 3D point feature description with a special emphasis on their expressiveness of the local surface geometry. We choose three promising descriptors, namely Radius-Based Surface Descriptor (RSD), Principal Curvatures (PC) and Fast Point Feature Histograms (FPFH), and present an approach for each of them to show how they can be used to classify primitive local surfaces such as cylinders, edges or corners in point clouds. Furthermore these descriptor-classifier combinations have to hold an in-depth evaluation to show their discriminative power and robustness in real world scenarios. Our analysis incorporates detailed accuracy measurements on sparse and noisy point clouds representing typical indoor setups for mobile robot tasks and considers the resource consumption to assure real-time processing.