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Thread: Replacement for BESS-certified test media

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    Dealer Wootz's Avatar
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    Replacement for BESS-certified test media

    It is 2 weeks since we notified the Edge On Up that we discontinue distribution of their sharpness testers in Australia and New Zealand, but willing to continue supply of the refill BESS-certified test media to the tester owners in our country.
    Our only concern is welfare of our customers - while industries can buy the refill test media in batches, high cost of postage from the USA makes it pricey for an individual ordering 1-2 refills.
    As we haven't received any solution from the Edge On Up, we've tested the potential replacement.

    The BESS Universal and Edge On Up describe the BESS-certified test media as "fluorocarbon monofilament" 0.009 inch in diameter; 0.009 inch is about 225 micron (~ 0.23 mm).
    Edge On Up recommends use of a fluorocarbon fishing line when you run out of their test media.
    The main characteristic of the BESS-certified test line that qualifies it over a fishing line is its high consistency in gauge and shear strength.

    I've compared 6 LB, 8 LB and 10 LB fluorocarbon fishing line to the BESS-certified test media, tested on a PT50B Sharpness Tester with a finely polished ceramic knife.
    The PT50B model was selected over PT50A because the majority of our individual customers own PT50B, and ceramic blade was used rather than a steel, because ceramic edge is burr-free and this way we rule out burr-related inconsistencies in the tester readings.




    The ceramic knife sharpness was measured in the same point on the edge 5 times with each test line, and the sharpness scores averaged. The results follow:


    We can see that the BESS-certified test line has the best consistency in the instrument readings, the 10 LB and 8 LB fishing lines have acceptable consistency, while the 6 LB line has the worst consistency.
    Because of the poor consistency, I had to take twice as many measurements on the 6 LB fishing line - and it is a thousand pities, because the 6 LB fishing line in 50% of measurements was the closest in sharpness score to the BESS-certified - the green numbers in the column.

    In summary, if you run out of the BESS-certified test media refills, and find it too costly to bring from the USA, the 8LB 0.235mm flurocarbon fishing line is an adequate replacement for in-house use. A 50m spool price is $24 and will last for 700 measurements, i.e. 3.5 cents per measurement, as compared to 10 cents per measurement for the BESS-certified line at the factory price not including the postage.
    Last edited by Wootz; 27-11-2018 at 12:35.
    knifeGrinders.com.au
    Precision Sharpening and Knife Rental

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    Registered Member Rs-Travis's Avatar
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    I have been wanting to initiate a similar test but you beat me to the mark . I will still go ahead and test some other brands though until i find something very close to the BESS media. Because if I can buy a huge spool of media that reads the same for a fraction of the cost, thats what I will do .

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