top of page


Note: On the BESS Sharpness tester the lower the final number the sharper the knife is. A knife reading 150 is much sharper than a knife that reads 250.


I have equipment that allows me to go beyond the normal testing for sharpness. Most sharpeners use their fingers or slice paper to judge if a knife is sharp. That method is highly inaccurate and open for interpretation. I am now using a new accurate digital method to determine sharpness. It is not subjective or open to interpretation. This testing machine returns an absolute number indicating the sharpness of any knife. I use this device before and after sharpening on every knife to verify I have achieved a sharpness greater than the sharpness of a brand-new knife, and in most cases far greater. Below I will detail the test equipment and how it works.


I guarantee your knives will be sharper than when they were purchased.

Here are two pictures using the tester of a normal kitchen knife I sharpened before and after sharpening.

Before Sharpening this knife required 1131 grams of pressure to cut the calibrated test media.

This is very dull knife but otherwise in good condition.

After sharpening it now requires only 115 grams of pressure to cut the same test media.

This knife is now actually sharper than a utility razor blade, and much sharper than when new.


New knives right out of the wrapper will score between 250 and 350 grams to cut the media.


Below is the full information on the device and how it operates.


Techinal Data On The Test Machine


BESS is an acronym for the Brubacher Edge Sharpness Scale – an international standard of quantifying sharpness.

BESS-calibrated edge sharpness testers show edge apex radius in nm.

E.g. DE safety razors score 50 on the tester and have 50 nm apex radius, i.e. 100 nm or 0.1 micron edge apex width.


BESS edge sharpness testers are manufactured in Arizona, USA by Edge On Up, and certified by BESS Universal.


A quantifiable means to measure edge sharpness is an indispensable tool for any serious sharpener and industries producing and using knives and cutting blades.

BESS edge sharpness testers reveal the unseen that has been eluding our comprehension.


A means of quantifying the sharpness of any edge designed for cutting.

BESS is truly universal in that users of the BESS don't have to own special instrumentation in order to derive benefit from the scale. They don't have to understand or have had experience with sharpening edges either because the BESS is based on the sharpness of a common double edge razor blade.


Just as you know that 0C or 32F is cold you know that a double edge razor blade is sharp and BESS relates all sharpness levels to those of a DE razor blade.


When BESS quantifies a sharpness level it means that the sharpness level has been equated to a number. For BESS that means a scale of 0 - 2000 with "0" being the sharpest level and "2000" the dullest. This scale number range was not just picked out of "thin air”.


Each number in BESS relates directly to an   amount of pressure, expressed in grams, required to sever a test media. The pressure measurement expressed by any BESS certified instrument then directly links to the BESS without further interpolation. An instrument output of "345" is a BESS score of 345 as well.

bottom of page