About BESS knife sharpening
BESS is an acronym for the Brubacher Edge Sharpness Scale, an international standard of quantifying sharpness. BESS calibrated edge sharpness testers show the edge apex in nm. A new double edge safety razor blade scores 50 on the BESS tester and new quality knives, straight out of the box score between 250-300 BESS.
The lower the number, the sharper the knife. Our Japanese knives when re-sharpened consistently score between 50-75 BESS and sometimes even lower. This is insanely sharp, and these knives are an absolute joy to use, whether you are a home cook or culinary professional.
How we set the angle of your blade
A laser protractor is used for setting the angle of the blade with an accuracy of 0.1 degrees, and computer software is used to set and maintain the angle during the sharpening process. This creates a whole new standard of sharpness, leagues beyond the old arm hair shaving or paper cutting tests.
Safely achieving a professional edge
To protect the knives from overheating, which causes damage to the blade and reduces edge retention, we use only low-speed wet grinders, paper and felt wheels.
As part of the sharpening process, we use CBN (Cubic Boron Nitride) wheels on our wet grinders. This is the second hardest known material on the planet after diamonds, allowing us to achieve that razor-sharp edge on our Japanese knives without compromising the hardness and edge retention of the knife steel. Only the minimum amount of metal is removed from your knife, ensuring a longer life.
Our computer software and CBN wheels are state of the art, designed and perfected by our good friend Dr Vadim Kraichuk from Knife Grinders Australia, the leading authority on knife sharpening in the Southern Hemisphere, and arguably one of the top researchers on the ‘science behind the lasting razor edge’ on the planet.
"We are total converts to both Japanese knives and Al’s ability to keep them sharp – for both our professional kitchen and our home one. For years, (decades, actually) Rick has used European knives in the restaurant kitchen and kept them sharp himself with both a stone and a steel. And we thought they were sharp. Which they were, but nothing like the degree that Al is able to take a blade.
When you are as keen about cooking as we are, you spend a lot of time at a kitchen bench chopping things up, and that process is made infinitely easier and therefore more enjoyable when you have a really sharp knife at your disposal.
We talk about what a seismic change using these knives has been for us in our Cookschools, and every attendee who has gone on to contact Al, and get either their existing knives properly sharpened, or bought one of his Japanese knives, tell us that it’s been revolutionary for them too.
Some people react viscerally when you talk about how sharp the knives are, and how good that sharpness is. They seem to think that would make them especially dangerous, when in fact the opposite applies. Because they are sharp, little pressure needs to be applied to cutting through things, minimising the risk of slippage and cuts. We cannot recommend Al highly enough."
Knife sharpening service
We are happy to sharpen all quality culinary knives, and always strive for the ultimate razor edge. Our turnaround time is approximately 24 hours, depending on the backlog of orders. If you are not in Tauranga, we offer a courier service at a minimal cost to send your knives back to you.
Please note that we do not sharpen single edge Japanese knives, or Japanese knives with a different angle (IE 70/30) on each side or do micro bevels. We also do not sharpen bread knives, hunting, diving or folding knives
Knives up to 240mm $12.00
Knives over 240mm $15.00
Chipped blade repair, from $15.00
Broken tip repair, from $15.00
Bolster reduction $10.00
Removal of blade concavity, from $15.00