cutting paper with sharp knife Pro PA precision adjust comparison thumbnail

Pro PA vs. PA Elite - The Showdown

Welcome back to The Workshop! Today, we have the head-to-head comparison you've all been waiting for. It's a battle between the new Professional Precision Adjust and the original Precision Adjust Elite system. Our goal is to determine which one produces a finer edge. Join Josh and Kyle as they put these sharpening systems to the test using the exact same Wusthof Nikiri knives. With two dulled blades ready for action, the competition begins!


To ensure a fair comparison, both systems will be used to sharpen the knives to a 15-degree angle per side. The process involves removing a significant amount of material, resulting in a tall bevel. After sharpening, the knives will undergo multiple tests, including a paper test, microscopic examination, and measurement using the BESS tester.

Before delving into the experiment, a fair decision must be made. Josh and Kyle both want to use the new Pro PA, so they flip a coin to determine who gets the honor. With the outcome decided in Josh’s favor, it's time to discuss expectations for this exciting test.

cutting paper with sharp knife Pro PA precision adjust comparison coin flip  

While both sharpening systems are expected to perform admirably, there are certain considerations to keep in mind. The Pro PA offers enhanced versatility for a wide range of knife sizes, while the original Precision Adjust is reliable and efficient. The chosen knife is suitable for both systems, ensuring a level playing field. However, the smaller Precision Adjust may require more time and effort due to its smaller abrasive plates and shorter throw.

With timers set, Josh and Kyle embark on the sharpening journey. Kyle begins with the original Precision Adjust, investing 47 minutes to bring the knife back to life. Meanwhile, Josh on the Pro PA, completes the task in a swift 36 minutes. Although Josh feels he could have gone even faster, both knives emerge sharp and ready for testing.

time to sharpen knife cutting paper with sharp knife Pro PA precision adjust comparison  

The Close-Up Test:

The first test involves examining the edges under the digital microscope. The knife sharpened on the original Precision Adjust exhibits a consistent and tall bevel, with some minor scratches from previous grits. Kyle used a sawing technique to power through the material, ensuring a sharp result. Despite slightly less rigidity in the PA’s plastic construction, the bevel's consistency is commendable.


 Moving on to the Pro PA, a noticeable difference in edge finish becomes apparent. The edge is cleaner, with a smoother and more defined transition from the shoulder to the edge. Josh employed a back-and-forth sweeping motion during the initial stages and switched to a straight sweeping motion as he progressed to higher grits. The Pro PA's rigidity delivers an impressive final result.

The Cutting Test:

To evaluate the knives' cutting performance, Josh and Kyle exchange knives and perform a few cuts on paper. Both knives effortlessly slice through, showcasing their sharpness. However, subtle differences can be felt. The knife sharpened on the Pro PA exhibits a smoother cutting action, while the one from the original Precision Adjust has a slight "teethy" feel. This distinction in cutting sound is evident and contributes to the overall experience.

cutting paper with sharp knife Pro PA precision adjust comparison  

The BESS Test Results:

To obtain quantitative data, the knives undergo testing using the BESS tester – the lower the number, the better. The knife sharpened on the original Precision Adjust achieves a score of 158, signifying exceptional sharpness. However, the Pro PA takes it to the next level, scoring an impressive 104 and showcasing the system's ability to produce an even sharper edge.

Pro PA precision adjust comparison sharpness tester 2
Pro PA precision adjust comparison sharpness tester

In this thrilling showdown between the Professional Precision Adjust and the Precision Adjust Elite system, both prove their worth. The original Precision Adjust remains a fantastic sharpener, offering exceptional value for money. Its versatility and capability to achieve a similar level of sharpness make it a reliable choice and a great option for someone new to this type of shaepening. However, the Pro PA elevates the game with its enhanced edge finish, rigidity, and ability to deliver an exceptionally sharp edge.

Regardless of the system you choose, both are highly capable of transforming your dull knives into high-performing cutting tools. Whether you seek versatility or a polished finish, the Work Sharp Precision Adjust family has you covered.

Have any questions or suggestions for future tests? We welcome your feedback! Share your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you for joining us on this exciting sharpening adventure. Stay tuned for more head-to-head episodes on The Work Shop.


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