Interpreting Test Results
The image below shows a typical output from a sharpness test. The user has a clear visual indication of the sharpness measured at 2mm intervals along the length of the blade. The graph and the numerical data it is plotted from are saved, tagged with the test details (user name, knife identifier, test date and time, etc).
Results are interpreted by the user to determine the sharpness of the blade and any dull/sharp areas as well as nicks in the blade. The information can assist the user in determining the corrective action required to improve the sharpness level. For example, the results may show the 1st inch of the blade from the tip end is comparatively dull compared with the rest of the blade. This would indicate the subject is having trouble sharpening/steeling this part of the blade and some instruction could be given to remedy the problem. The knife can then be re-tested to confirm the improvement and provide feedback on whether the changes made to sharpening technique have been effective.
It is this process of experimenting with what does and what doesn’t work that allows our users to achieve significant improvements in their average knife sharpness levels.
The Anago operating and analysis software allows you to save, view, compare, and export your tests.
Anago’s KST knife sharpness testers are used to provide accurate sharpness data/results wherever knives and blades are designed, manufactured, tested, used and re-sharpened.
The range of applications includes knife manufacturers, food processing companies, educational and training institutions, research organisations, industry associations and manufacturers of associated equipment (such as knife sharpening equipment).
Examples of recent applications include:
- Knife sharpening room in a meat/seafood/vegetable processing plant
- Research and Development department at a knife designer
- Quality Control department at a knife manufacturing plant
- Knife sharpening training at a butchery/chef training institute
- Quality Control department at a commercial knife re-sharpener
- A University lab performing research into topics such as the effect of meat temperature on cutting forces, and sharpness level on muscle activation.
- Laboratory at meat research institute
- Quality Assurance laboratory of knife sharpening equipment manufacturer
- A workplace H&S organization increasing sharpening skills across the industry and increasing awareness of the importance of knife sharpness.
The Anago knife sharpness tester was initially developed to benefit the food processing industry by improving the sharpness of cutting tools. It is typically inserted in the knife sharpening room to allow for quick testing and immediate feedback, close to where the knives are used on the production line.
Typical Implementation at a Meat/Food Processing Plant
Carry out a baseline audit of sharpness with the Anago Knife Sharpness Tester
This will establish a current sharpness level and a starting point from which you can set goals for improving sharpness levels.
Improve skills of the sharpening room staff
The goal is to ensure all knives exiting the sharpening room are at optimum sharpness. Use the objective results from the KST to guide changes and improvements in sharpening technique. Benchmark a minimum acceptable score for all knives to achieve before leaving the sharpening room, e.g. 8.5 out of 10.
Establish a sampling regime for the sharpening room
This will enable performance to be tracked and constant feedback to be provided to sharpening staff. For example, begin by testing 20 - 30 knives per day and as sharpness levels improve and become more consistent, gradually reduce the sampling rate to 10-15 knives per day.
Improve online blade maintenance skills
Test the processing staff member’s knives. Identify staff struggling to maintain sharpness with their steel and provide training, taking advantage of the KSTs test results to prompt changes in technique and also to confirm improvements.
Establish a sampling regime for the processing floor
Set a suitable testing rate to track the blade maintenance performance of staff on the processing floor.
Set a benchmark score for minimum sharpness
Ensure that all knives in use are at a high level of sharpness. Set in place a benchmark score of minimum sharpness for knives to achieve before they go out onto the floor.