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How to achieve less than 100 bess?

Started by jimon, May 09, 2024, 09:40:59 AM

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Quote from: DT on June 21, 2024, 03:20:35 PM...
I'm 78 and not and not nearly as quick as I once was.
Yes, I know that, I'm 84 and experience it every day  ;)


Quote from: DT on June 21, 2024, 03:20:35 PM... and not and not nearly as...

... and repeating yourself...  ;)
Quality is like buying oats.  If you want nice, clean, fresh oats, you must pay a fair price. However, if you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse, that comes at a lower price.



Quote from: Dutchman on June 22, 2024, 11:29:47 AM
Quote from: DT on June 21, 2024, 03:20:35 PM...
I'm 78 and not and not nearly as quick as I once was.
Yes, I know that, I'm 84 and experience it every day  ;)

As one of my favorite Star Wars characters once put it : "I may not be as young as I once was, but I'm older."


I often read about the unreliability of the BESS method. I want to write something about that.
In my previous work, I had to make or interpret many meteorological temperature measurements for the construction industry.

Comparing these temperatures is only possible if everyone uses the same measurement protocol. The most important ones for outdoor temperatures were:
- Measuring on a 10 x 10 meter lawn.
- The (calibrated) thermometer should be in a white ventilated hut, 1.5 m above the lawn and the door of the hut should face north.
Only then can you compare measurements with directly each other.

What meteorologists have done is to apply this measurement method worldwide as much as possible.

What I see with grinders in YT videos is to show that the BESS method is flawed because the results are always different. That is meaningless. So can meteorologists with their temperature measurements.

If you use the BESS method only for yourself, then how only to apply and interpret your own measurement protocol properly.

If you want to compare with others, you do need to know if "the others" are measuring in the same way. In fact, you have to indicate that in the presentation of your measurement results.


I agree, the BESS tester results can be as good or as bad as a person wants to make it. The best technique, for me, is honestly.

The leather wheel that I ordered from Germany came yesterday. I'll let you know how I like it. 

I use the BESS tester and I also cut paper.  I cut thin paper.

I lay the knife in my open palm and cut horizontally not vertical.

I've cut paper like this enough that I can pretty much tell when a knife is sub 100 BESS.

Cutting paper is less hassle than using the BESS tester and if the blade has a nick, cutting thin paper will catch on the nick where the BESS tester could miss the nick.

Ken S

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.


John Hancock Sr

Quote from: WimSpi on June 27, 2024, 10:18:07 AMIf you use the BESS method only for yourself, then how only to apply and interpret your own measurement protocol properly.

If you look at standard tests then they are repeatable objective and remove any possibility of human error. The BESS tester is advertised as an "industrial" tester, which is false advertising. It is not repeatable, objective and certainly does not comply with the ISO standard ISO 8442-5:2004.

Having said that, the BESS testers are a useful indicator of approximate sharpness for your own satisfaction.


IMO the BESS tester is incredibly useful for judging your own results and not necessarily anyone else's.


I would like to see 5 BESS owners test the same knife without knowing the others results until the test was over.

Concerning the leather wheel that I ordered from Germany: I loaded it down with olive oil. That is all I have put on it.  I have only used the jig with it and have had good results.  After I am confident honing with a jig, I want to compare honing with a jig to freehand honing. I prefer freehand honing and I get good results.  The problem I have with freehand honing is I don't know what angle I hold the knife.  I read where people post that they hone at the same angle they sharpen or one or two degrees different.  I get good results hand honing but would I get better results with control over the angle?  Maybe, now that I can control the angle by using a jig, I will find out.


I think honing with a jig gives you a consistent angle over the entire blade. It also allows you to do 1.5° over the sharpening angle with regular steels. I think well practiced users can achieve good results handheld but I do not think it is consistently possible to get the angles needed for exceptional results.
Sharpen the knife blade
Hone edge until perfection
Cut with joy and ease

3D Anvil

In my opinion the BESS tester is repeatable and objective ... if you follow the instructions.  That makes it a very useful tool for improving one's sharpening.  As far as comparing results with others goes, it's only useful if person doing the testing knows how to use the machine properly, and if you trust the other person to do so.


3D, I agree with you 100%.

I'm also a big fan of cutting thin paper.  When the blade will slice thin paper with  the knife lying in the palm of my hand, I know that I can expect a good BESS score.

Cutting thin paper slowly can also detect any nicks in the blade.


I'm a fan of cutting meat and vegetables with my knifes, cutting cardboard or whittling wood and many other things.
The sharpness after some time of usage is more important to me than the initial sharpness.
I understood that many sharpeners are convinced that a good initial bess reading is a prerequisite for a good edge retention.
I'm not convinced, however, I cannot proof the opposite. Nothing is impossible.


I agree, edge retention is very important.

It's not often you see BESS results from 24 hours after initial sharpening. Rarely will your sub-100 BESS knife remain that way the next day, even without use.