03-22-2014, 02:26 PM
#1
  • vuk
  • Senior Member
  • Virginia
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I have a few questions about barber hones for the straight razor experts here. From what I understand barber hones are used to keep an already shave-ready straight sharp in addition to a strop.
I have an antique straight that I got a while back and while I haven't dipped my toe into straight razor shaving yet I plan to try it eventually. Today I came across 4-5 barber hones in an local antique store for around $5-$8 each -- I'm not looking for value information here -- but I may go back and pick up one or two on Monday. I'd like to know what to look for in a barber's hone. Basically can you pick out a good or bad stone based on characteristics like color, texture, brand name...
One was kind of cream colored but most were dark grey; One was made in Chicago (engraved in a little square on one side of the stone); Some were two sided & had a (start/finish) sticker on the side; They were all approximately 2"x 4.5"; One had a small chip in it (is that a deal breaker?).
How can you tell if a hone is natural or synthetic?

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 03-22-2014, 03:51 PM
#2
  • Grumpy
  • Senior Member
  • DisneyLand
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You need a stone that is evenly flat on one side with no chips.

It is hard to tell how coarse the stone is from your descriptions but, if they are barber hones then, they should be very fine or they could be two sided.

The price sounds good.

I do not know how to tell if it is natural or synthetic (ceramic).

If you find a Swaty (ceramic) then pick it up.

Most of the "barber hones" are ceramic and they are used for touch-ups.

Most people use lather or water for lubricant and some use them dry.

You can clean them with soap and water, scrubbing lightly with a cloth.

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 03-22-2014, 07:25 PM
#3
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Barber hones are synthetic and usually a medium brown or rust color and feel very very smooth to the touch. Avoid ones with chips or scratches.

The grey ones with coarse and fine are probably not barber hones or for straight razors, probably for knives and tools and they are another kind of synthetic.

You should write down the names and information from the boxes or labels and let us know. After re-reading your post, I don't think any of those hones are barber hones.

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 03-22-2014, 08:07 PM
#4
  • vuk
  • Senior Member
  • Virginia
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Thanks for advice guys. I've been looking at some pictures of different barber hones on various sites & they look similar to what I saw.
This place is right next to my work so I may swing in again now that I'm armed with a little more knowledge on the subject.

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