Health and Safety Benefits

Reduce Overuse (MSD) injuries
Companies using the knife sharpness tester at their processing plants have reduced their incidence of musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) overuse injuries by up to 80% due to the reduced cutting forces required when operating with suitably sharp knives.
Fewer Slips and Cuts
Reduced cutting forces also increases precision and decreases the likelihood of the knife slipping and causing a laceration.
Identify those at risk before it’s too late
The sharpness tester enables you to identify people operating with dull knives and assign knife sharpening and maintenance training to reduce the chance of an overuse injury developing or a slip/cut happening.
Reduce discomfort and fatigue
As well as reducing injuries, the impact of reduced loading on workers bodies also has a positive impact on their comfort and energy levels.

Operational Benefits

Production Output
A sharp knife does the work faster. A 50% increase in cutting speed is common.
Production Yield

A sharp knife does the work better. Lower cutting forces allow greater knife control, which means more meat off the bone and a cleaner job with more meat remaining on higher value cuts and less ending up in the scrap and rework pile. Improvements in yield over 1% are common.

A US poultry plant increased knife sharpness levels using the KST and were able to create a higher value product requiring 30% more cuts per minute with the same number of line staff and product through put as before using the KST.

Product Evaluation
Objectively evaluate and choose the products that work. Simply test prospective knives and sharpening equipment with the KST to separate marketing hype from reality.
Return on Investment
When improvements in production rate, yield, and improved health and safety performance are costed, a typical ROI is just 3 months, demonstrating the extraordinary value of adding the Anago Knife Sharpness Tester to an operation.

The most immediate benefit of the Anago Knife Sharpness Tester is that a true (i.e. accurate and objective) measurement of knife sharpness is obtained. No longer does a subjective technique such as paper cutting, thumb pressing or hair cutting/shaving need to be taken as an indication of a knife’s sharpness.

The Anago KST provides a reading of sharpness converted into a score out of 10 and a profile of sharpness along the entire length of the blade.

As a direct result of using the feedback from the machine to optimise sharpening technique and maintain the improvement with monitoring, most users will double the knife sharpness levels across their plant, halving the required cutting force and hence the loading on workers’ bodies.

The adjacent chart is an example from a North American poultry processor who implemented the Anago KST Sharpness Tester.

This chart covers the 3 month period from installation and shows average sharpness scores improving from fluctuating around 7.25 to a consistent 8.5. This score change equates to a 56% reduction in required cutting force (effort). An average of 10 - 15 tests were performed on each of these days. These improvements were achieved without changing either the sharpening room staff or equipment at the facility.

Daily Sharpness Score Averages - Three Months Improvement

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.