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Setting the Benchmark for Sharpness

Determining the sharpness of the blade can be done many ways, here are tests like cutting printer and news paper or shaving arm hair that are often used to demonstrate sharpness, and they are helpful to a certain point, but they lack the precision and consistency required to properly answer the question of sharpness.

Push cuts (chopping) and slicing cuts are two different technological animals when it comes to measuring edge efficacy but who says "you can't have your cake and eat it too"?

EDGE LAB instruments operate in two distinct modes; MAX (Sharpness) and SLC (Slicing). The EDGE LAB instruments not only perform sharpness tests (push cut), just like the PT50 SERIES units do using the ATF10G test fixture and TM02 test media (ATF10G & TM02 included), but slicing tests as well!

The specially designed slice test fixture (SLCF20 included) works in conjunction with slice test media. Slice test media is only 0.25mm (.010") thick polymer plastic and  available in two different configurations;  SLCTM20 & 30.  Both styles will enable you to compare your results with the results of other sharpeners as well as against  edges with established sharpness and slicing characteristics.

Either style SLCTM test media may be push cut (an additional way to look at edge sharpness) or sliced with each test, push or slice, yielding dozens of computer logged data points as opposed to our standard sharpness tests which yield just one data point.

What is the BESS Sharpness Standard?

The standard used to determine the sharpness of knives is called the BESS: Brubacher Edge Sharpness Scale. This scale was developed by Mike Brubacher, owner of Edge-On-Up. He has a background in sense and test development in various industries.

In 2012 Mike started developing a standard that could measure the sharpness of knives and needles. The result is the BESS standard that was quickly adopted by professionals and enthusiasts as one of the most user-friendly test methods to determine the sharpness of a blade.

Bess Certified Sharpening Tester for best knife sharpener
The EDGE LAB line is fully supported by a complete line of accessories. Our CNC10 allows very controlled slice tests where the X and Y axis is always in constant ratio throughout the slice test. Our SLT10 Slice Tray accessory allows you to use anything from a tomato to a chunk of rubber for real world testing. All EDGE LAB instruments are fully compatible with all PT50 Series sharpness testing accessories and test media forms with the exception of the KF10R knife fulcrum. All EDGE LAB instruments use the included KFL10R knife fulcrum.



E  LAB A  is a fully portable instrument built to handle the testing and use requirements of industry. It incorporates a heavy duty load cell sensor that will accommodate and log forces up to 5,000 grams (11 pounds) yet still yield 1 gram of resolution. It's faster sensor polling speed means that more data is packed into each transmitted calculation. The E  LAB A  carries a 5 year limited warranty.

The basic E  LAB A  package includes:

  • PRO User Software Interface w/ auto graphing

  • RS232/USB Cable Interface

  • SLF20 & ATF10G (Test Media For 125 tests)  Media Fixtures

  • DCB10 Disposable Clip Base w/ 25 Test Clips

  • 50 SLTM30 & 50 SLTM40 Slice Test Media (200 slice tests)

  • KFL10R Knife Fulcrum 

  • Rechargeable Battery w/ AC/DC Wall Charger/power supply