bringing science to the edge
yep! that's the way it used to be done...
...and when that was one of the few options you had it might have been the best way as well. You have a new option now when you put BESS Certified Instrumentation and BESS Certified Test Media to work in your sharpening area.

BESS is not a commentary on  anecdotal means of testing for edge sharpness like our arm-hair shaving friend at left. The BESS is a means of quantifying  those old ways as a number that can be notated and communicated.  If you think your sharpness test suits your needs just fine then convert that sharpness level to a number with the BESS and let your friends know exactly how good your edges really are.


BESS scores don't change with the brand or type of paper you use or the species of the tomato. BESS scores can become your personal standard for sharpened edges. BESS scores are something you can write on the wall because they will never change.  How much does it cost to utilize the BESS scale? Not a darn dime! Whether you own sharpness testing instrumentation or not, the BESS is free.

so let's talk a bit about BESS test media...
a letter from Bernard Propst at BESSU
BESS Test Media was the result of two years of development. While almost any material, string, thread, fishing line or rope will demonstrate the fundamental principles expressed by our S = F/A, the fundamental equation that governs all BESS certified instrument calculations,  these materials all fall well short of demonstrating the qualities necessary to become a Standard.   BESS is the edge sharpness Standard now for thousands of users world-wide. In fact, BESS is the only universal and quantifiable sharpness scale in general use today.

Media used for testing and test standards all share one over-riding requirement,  repeatability. Repeatability from beginning to end of the spool and repeatability from one manufacturing run to the next.  Resistance to environmental influences and shelf life issues are an important consideration as well. In all, nine separate major issues related to the design and manufacture of what we know as BESS Test Media today had to be first discovered, then addressed in the development process.

While some substitutes might emulate some characteristics of BESS Test media some of the time, only BESS Test Media will demonstrate all characteristics all of the time. This is an achievement that we at BESSU can take pride in and that all test media users can rely on. Certified  instrumentation users, be they located in Miami or Helsinki, in a kitchen or a factory, can be assured that they are all on the same page and speaking the same language, BESS scores, all of the time.

We have now entered the arena of needle sharpness testing for the industrial market as well. Those instrumentation users can be assured that the same care taken with the development of BESS Test Media has been taken with BESSU-NST Certified Test Pads. As our association with manufacturers who imprint BESS scores on their products under the BESS PARTNER PROGRAM continues to grow we look forward to serving all BESS users in the present and, for the future as well.

Bernard Propst
Executive Director
BESS Universal

      BESS Universal is a registered non profit organization with offices in Waddell, Arizona with an all-volunteer board and staff.