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Messages - Ken S

Thanks, Sir A.

"Under 100 BESS" what does that mean? I think we must determine whether the significance is the number itself or what it signifies. One of my three BESS testers is an older model of the PB-50C. With its accuracy of 25g, it is the bottom of the BESS totem pole. Most of us would probably turn up our noses at it. However, if we are not concerned with an actual number, it can serve as a "go-no go" indicator of the existance of remaining burr. (Full disclosure; my older PB-50B is my go to tester and the tester Edge on Up recommends for most users.)

I believe Wootz of Knifegrinders had his priorities straight in his video where he discussed how many would be content with a BESS in the 130 range, whereas he knew that that test indicated residual burr which would shorten the duration of sharpness.

I do not doubt that many of you are aware of this. My point is, for the benefit of our users newer to BESS, I believe it is important to state the goal is complete burr removal.  The actual BESS number is a byproduct of this, not the objective itself.

Check out the youtube videos on the Knifegrinders channel. Vadim, the owner, worked with the meat packing factories in Sydney.

I agree. (

Knife Sharpening / Re: sea changes
July 07, 2024, 02:31:07 PM

For most of my adult life, I have had a hobby interest in precision measurement. Some of that knowledge applies to your reply.

Different measuring tools have different ranges of precision. Tools are tailored to the job requirements and price point requirements. Both the KS-123 and the Anglemaster use photoetched graduation lines. These are easy to read and inexpensive to produce. Compared to engine cut sharp V lines and Vernier scales, they are not very precise. This is not a problem. A knife edge does not need to mate with another surface. Switching to finer graduations, engine cut graduation lines, or adding a Vernier scale would increase costs substantially. The price of the jig would easily be doubled or more with no practical benefit.

With any measuring tool, a technician trained in measurement would instinctively avoid parallax error. Parallax is just looking at the scale straight on to avoid viewing error. It is not a major problem. Once you understand it, it becomes second nature. Unfortunately, this was not well explained in an otherwise excellent online class.

As you have found, the KS-123 is a remarkable new tool, a fine example of ongoing Tormek innovation.

Keep us posted.

Rob, old friend,

I feel comfortable being very candid with you. You and I are both old enough to be comfortable using a 19mm (3/4") wrench to remove the grinding wheel on a T7. While the shaft on your T7 is not EZYlock, since 2006, all Tormek shafts have been stainless steel, and do not have the rusting solid to the grindstone problem.

Also, purchasing a plastic turkey baster at your local grocery store for a couple quid and reusing a screw top plastic jar will make a credible stand in for an elevator water trough.

I would suggest emailing support ( about your slippage problem. This occasional problem is not new; I'm sure they have suggestions. Ask them whether the new drive wheel made of zinc instead of plastic and with Tormek's patented rubberlike material would help. I trust Mats to give you an honest answer.

Keep us posted.

Knife Sharpening / Re: sea changes
July 05, 2024, 09:15:43 AM
I do not believe that any of the more user friendly methods of setting knife bevel angles will become extinct. Even the Anglemaster remains an efficient way of setting single bevel tools such as chisels and planes, its original purpose.

The apps have "home court advantage". They have been in use for several years, and do not require purchasing any new gear. For present users, the learning curve is in the rear view mirror.

The KS-123 is an elegant solution. It has two possible minor handicaps. It is a new technology to learn. It is not difficult, but it does require a small learning curve. It also requires a $50US purchase.

I believe both the apps and the KS-123 will be in use in the future.


Rob, old friend, you haven't yet completely sold me on the Axminster deal, unless someone wanted a second Tormek. Even then, my inner thrifty old Yankee is skeptical. £400 could buy a lot of water and shininess. Or, I would think the proceeds from selling your old reliable Tormek plus that £400 could pay for a shiny new T8 Original with shiny new grinding and honing wheels, all with Tormek's new warranty.

I would stay in the serious considering mode a while longer.


I emailed Tormek this afternoon. Here is their reply:

" This is not a worldwide program, just a US based program sponsored by us. It's available through all Tormek US dealers.
Professionals are not included in this. It's to drum up interest in the non-professional community."

I am in favor of any program which can save money for our members.

Quote from: sharpening_weasel on July 03, 2024, 01:09:43 PMSaw that and was really hoping for the SJ to be included too... oh well.

No such luck. I have no company statistics. How many grinding wheels would you estimate the average (or very active) Tormek user has today? Tormek alone sells six for the T8 and five for the T4. Plus, several vendors sell a variety of CBN wheels in both sizes. Would a total average of five be a good guess?

Splitting up the sharpening five ways, how many new Tormek buyers would even wear out one SG? Especially when the definition of "worn down" is defined as "worn down to 178mm? I believe many of us, myself included, would not feel comfortably going below 200mm.

I can see where an ambitious sharpener, using the SG exclusively, could benefit substantially from this program.

If I needed a T4 or T8, I would be much more tempted if the deal included a rotating base, KJ-45, or KS123 instead. I would add a TT-50 or SE-77 to that list with a T4.

I don't think this is a bad deal. In fact, for anyone planning to purchase a Tormek this summer, I would recommend purchasing it in July to take advantage of this offer. I say this fully realizing that most users will probably not end up with more than one free wheel. One free wheel is still a saving of a couple hundred dollars.

It would have been an even better deal before the other wheels were introduced and the SG was pulling 100% of the load. Worst case scenario, you would still end up with a brand new top of the line Tormek with an eight year warranty at the regular price. One could do worse. I bought my first T7 new almost fifteen years ago.It still works flawlessly; I don't remember the price.

To Tormek's credit, the return diameter and three wheel limit are plainly stated in reasonably sized print. In today's marketing environment, that's pretty straight forward. I think a more useful promotion might have instead included a rotating base, something everyone can use during every sharpening session.

I am pleased to finally see the T4 finally included in the promos.

General Tormek Questions / Re: Vadim Kraichuk
June 30, 2024, 10:33:53 AM
I have long recommended Wootz' Knife Deburring book as an essential part of every knife sharpener's reference library. At this point, we have no assurance of how much longer it will be available. I just checked and found it on Amazom (Search "knife deburring book" on Amazon. It pops right up.) I strongly recommend not postponing purchasing it.

Wootz (Knife Grinders channel on youtube) also produced many videos. I spend a lot of time studying the Tormek online classes. In addition to them, I have spent a fair amount of time studying the Knife Grinders videos. I do notunderstand the workings of youtube. Should the Knife Grinders channel ever be taken down, I want to retain a good knowledge of Wootz' technique.

We will eventually evolve beyond Wootz' work. However, his work will remain an essential building block.

General Tormek Questions / Re: Vadim Kraichuk
June 29, 2024, 03:45:13 AM
Part of the tragedy of Vadim's premature passing is that we will never know what further advances he might have made had he lived longer. Hopefully he inspired us to carry on pushing back the frontiers of sharpening knowledge.

I have been an occasional BESS user for many years. In fact, my oldest BESS tester, the model KN-100, predates the current models where the knife is lowered by using the hands. With the KN-100, the knife is held by the tester and pressure is applied by adding BBs to a container attached to the shaft above the knife. Anyone who finds using a current BESS tester to be "a hassle" would certainly find this older model to be a major hassle. However, it is also extremely accurate and eliminates human error.

I had not studied the videos in quite a while. Studying them again made me realize that those who criticize BESS testing are probably basing that criticism on outdated information.

A BESS tester is not inexpensive. Anyone willing to invest in one would, in my opinion, be well advised to study the instructional videos on in order to get full benefit from their machine. The edgeonup team, like Tormek, are continually innovating.

Tormek has provided an excellent class on the diamond wheels with Hákan Persson. Håkan is a real deal career expert on abrasives and superabrasives (diamonds and CBN). He discusses why Tormek chose to use machined wheels instead of aluminum and why they chose diamond instead of CBN. He talks about life expectancy with the diamond wheels. One thing which really impresses my about Håkan is his fair and balanced ceverage of both diamond and CBN wheels.

The discussion relating to your questions starts at around 7:30 and goes on for several minutes. The class is not long; I highly recommend you watch the whole thing. Here is a link: