08-07-2015, 01:23 PM
#1
  • Scoti
  • Member
  • Ontario, Canada
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Just curious what's your favourite method of getting a shave ready razor?

On top of that what's your favourite finishing stone?


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 08-07-2015, 01:28 PM
#2
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I have never used a straight razor but there are two great videos from Nick Shaves where he goes to Howard Schechter's shop, owner of The Perfect Edge and interviews him on how to sharpen, hone, and strop a straight razor. The videos are excellent and Howard sounds like he knows his stuff for sure.

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 08-07-2015, 03:06 PM
#3
  • geezer
  • Senior Member
  • Menomonie, Western WI
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There are many honing threads and all have a variety of methods, ideas,directions, and confusion, leading to confrontation.
Find someone near you to teach you with the simplest set of hones possible. Then you know what will usually work best for you without spending a king's ransom on esoteric fanboy hones.

Do not start with any natural hone series or individual hone unless you have a nearby trainer.

I was taught on the Norton 4k 8k and using those you can get a question answered on any forum. Same with the King/  Ice Bear set of 1k6k 3k. Two hones. A while back most folks shaved off an 8k hone and maintained with a barber hone and a pasted strop. Now we have a plethora of synthetics up to over 20K

I have a lot of natural hones but have found them in the wild. I like to play so they are doing their work for me. Are they all of razor sharpening quality? Heck no!  And some would be if I had the skill to get the best of what they can give from them.

Honing is about getting an edge that will shave you with the least problems and irritations.
My few cents worth.
~Richard

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 08-07-2015, 03:20 PM
#4
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I like shapton glass stones,fast cutters splash and go etc. The drawback is the price . other thing about shapton is if you decide to go with them they don't mix and match well with other stones,meaning a 6k finish off a shapton is less refined than say a 6k KING just because they cut so fast and don't load so if shaptons interest you I suggest getting them all.

Naniwa superstones are another favorite of mine. They aren't super expenisive, have the same abrasive as chosera or professional as they are called now,but the binder is a little different. An edge off a 12k superstone is hard to beat IMO.

Favorites are shapton 16k and naniwa 12k, the Chinese 12k is a decent finisher but the thing is slow,I mean SLOW,and you really haft to see the stones in person and pick a good one as some are coarser than others.

I have no expierences with Suehiro Rika or Nubatama but I've heard good things about them both. Suehiro Rika is fairly affordable,Nubatama not so much.

Honing isn't rocket science, find yourself an old used razor that is in decent enough shape that it can be honed to shave ready and practice. Keep your stones lapped,and just focus on what you are doing. IMO I wouldn't touch a good razor to a stone until I was confident in what I was doing. I know that's not what this thread is about.

Im also one of the few(that I know of at least) that like KING or icebear stones. They are cheap, they are a softer stone which for me I get better feedback and can tell exactly what im doing. Some will say kings are slow cutters and dish so bad that it's visible after a hone session. I say that's bull. I've sharpened some of the hardest steels with kings and never had a problem what so ever. They do dish faster than some but its not as bad as people make it out to be. Matter of fact I'm still on my first 800 and 1000 grit KING stones after gah 8 years maybe
KING 1000, 4k,6k and there's one higher its either 10 or 12k,not sure if there is an 8k either been a long time since I looked at all my stones brb. Also the naniwa 2k green brick pairs very well with a king stone. It's rated 2k but if you let the stone load up and dry out a little it gives about a 4-6k finish.

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 08-07-2015, 04:49 PM
#5
  • Scoti
  • Member
  • Ontario, Canada
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Lovin the input guys. I am not just starting out honing been at it for 8 months or so and the stone collection has reached its peak size for me. I was just curious about your progressions and what works for you but all the information is appreciated.

I've been bevel setting a GD 300 for an hour and a half and it's finally set. I've got that to play around with.

I also have 3 razors coming back from Phil at the classic edge and 4 that I've honed. I've been enjoying the finish off a black Arkansas lately.

I find that my coticules haven't been hitting the mark which is unfortunate because they are lovely looking stones.

All in all I've got
2 coticules
1 bbw
1 hard Arkansas - lansky
1 vintage washita or hard ark. Whatever it is it's hard and fine.
1 black Arkansas
1 Keen Kutter kombination razor hone
1 400/1000 combination water stone
1 3/8 k taidea water stone
1 10k Naniwa specialty stone - in the mail.

I've been messing around with progressions and what not. I'm thinking I should just stick to using one instead of bouncing around all over the place.

Maybe that's one of my problems... What do you guys think?





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 08-07-2015, 05:04 PM
#6
  • Steve56
  • Senior Member
  • Knoxville, TN
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My current progression for "normal" razors looks something like this (I'm a JNat person):

Bevel setter, Shapton Pro 2k. Love it. My bevel set test is Alfredo's cherry tomato test, off this stone the edge must effortlessly cut into the tomato skin at all points.

Next up, a hard suita stone, fast cutters to remove the 2k scratches and refine the edge. At this point I do a "half stropping" and use the hanging hair test. Off this stone the edge should cut the hair at all points with minimal effort after stropping. The suita is in the 5k range compared to synthetics.

My pre-finisher is a soft fast tomae or aisa stone I bought off eBay, but there are a lot of options at this point including a tenyou or mejiro mikawa nagura used on your final finisher. At this point, you should be able to strop and shave with the razor, though maybe the edge could be a little more refined.

My finisher varies. Gold Dollars like hard fine finishers, others are not as particular, but the idea in my scheme of things is to use the final finisher to make the "feel" of the cutting edge. I like my vintage Nakayamas the best, just a great balance of hardness and fineness that produce a great result. Great JNat razor hones are where you find them.

Cheers, Steve

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 08-07-2015, 05:04 PM
#7
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I haven't done any actual honing yet but when I start my progression is going to be this setup and I hope it works as I have these in hand but just haven't done any honing yet.

Norton 220/1k - so 1k for bevel.
Norton 4k/8k.
Chinese 12k.

I also have a Coticule but not sure what that should fall into the lineup if at all.

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 08-07-2015, 05:07 PM
#8
  • Scoti
  • Member
  • Ontario, Canada
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(08-07-2015, 05:04 PM)sir_mike Wrote: I haven't done any actual honing yet but when I start my progression is going to be this setup and I hope it works as I have these in hand but just haven't done any honing yet.

Norton 220/1k - so 1k for bevel.
Norton 4k/8k.
Chinese 12k.

I also have a Coticule but not sure what that should fall into the lineup if at all.

You could try a one stone after bevel set with a coticule.


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 08-07-2015, 05:44 PM
#9
  • jtmke
  • Ex shaving hater
  • milwaukee
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Honing to took a bit to get the hang of. I messed around with a couple $10 German eBay razors until they were giving me great shaves. 

Currently, I use a chosera for bevel setting, a naniwa 5k, 8k, 10k then finish on a 12k or a coticule or an Escher or a Zulu gray depending on mood more than anything else. I like the Norton but  believe the naniwa line up is more consistent  

The only progression that matters is the one that delivers your smooooooth shave

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 08-07-2015, 08:07 PM
#10
  • Scoti
  • Member
  • Ontario, Canada
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Yes buddy! That's what I'm saying about the smooth shaves. I just like knowing what other people use.

On that note how's the Zulu Grey? Worth getting if you've got other finishers?


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 08-07-2015, 09:19 PM
#11
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As I hone dozens of razors on a weekly basis I like to hit them hard and fast just don't have the time to play at honing it's work for me, and they can vary from old wedges and real messed up razors with lots of issues that all need a complete bevel set to brand new damascus and custom jobs worth more than a $1000 dollars which basically need very little intervention, so my own set up is, Chosera 1K, Chosera 5K, Naniwa Snow White 8K, Naniwa 12K, Suehiro Gokumyo 20K. Take this week for instance a very typical week for me 10 razors came in one for scales replacement plus honing, 3 in for restoration and six for honing two of them old Sheffield wedges one newish TI one full hollow vintage Bismark one Hart quater hollow a full hollow Gotta such variation no two razors the same.

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 08-07-2015, 09:59 PM
#12
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(08-07-2015, 05:07 PM)Scoti Wrote:
(08-07-2015, 05:04 PM)sir_mike Wrote: I haven't done any actual honing yet but when I start my progression is going to be this setup and I hope it works as I have these in hand but just haven't done any honing yet.

Norton 220/1k - so 1k for bevel.
Norton 4k/8k.
Chinese 12k.

I also have a Coticule but not sure what that should fall into the lineup if at all.

You could try a one stone after bevel set with a coticule.


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That is a big part of why I picked up a coticule and I have intentions on doing just that but I would need some guidance on how to use the coticule to get that much out of it as I do not know. 

Thx.

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 08-07-2015, 11:47 PM
#13
  • Thug
  • Active Member
  • South Africa
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I haven't had the need to hone my straights yet but plan on getting a 1k Chosera and either a 12k Naniwa (preferable) or Shapton when I'm in Japan later this year. I'll then acquire the Norton 4k/8k combo from a local supplier.

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 08-08-2015, 02:44 AM
#14
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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Leaned to home on a progression of Naniwa SS hones. 1K bevel setter, 3K, 8K, and a 12K finisher followed by a good stropping on English linen and shell Cordovan leather. It works well enough for me to not be tempted to try other hones. If it ain't broke no need to fix it.

Bob

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 08-08-2015, 04:45 AM
#15
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I've kind of just stuck in my comfort zone and used the Naniwa stones, my first stone was the Norton 4k/8k but the Naniwa SS have always given me more consistent results, which made me think that i should have just started with the full set of Naniwa stones.

My current method is that I set the bevel on a Chosera 1k, skip the 3k and head straight to Naniwa 5k/8k/12k and then strop on a 0.5 diamond pasted balsa strop, only use the balsa because in my mind there is less chance of rounding the edge.  Seems to work well for me, I always like to experiment so it's interesting to see what other folks are doing.

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 08-08-2015, 06:44 AM
#16
  • gijames
  • Mile High Soldier
  • TN, USA
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I primarily have found that a smooth, consistent edge comes from all synthetic stones that get it done quite more quickly than having naturals in the mix.

1k bevel, Naniwa 3k/8k combo stone, Naniwa 12k, SG 15k, SG 20k,
Strop fabric, strop leather

I throw in some naturals or Coticule in the middle if I'm experimenting.
Sometimes a Chinese 12k to finish.

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 08-08-2015, 07:18 AM
#17
  • Obie
  • Senior Member
  • Glendale, Wisconsin
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Gentlemen,

My routine includes the Chosera 1K followed by Naniwa 4K, 8K and 12K, and then Suehiro Kokumyo 20K. I also have a pair of Japanese natural stones that sometimes replace the Suehiro Kokumyo. Finally comes the stropping: a couple strokes on a dedicated strop with CrO to remove the microscopic steel particles still on the blade, wipe the blade clean, and then on to the strop with few strokes on linen and about 100 on leather. Palm stropping closes the show. The final test is the shave test.

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 08-08-2015, 08:48 AM
#18
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Forgot to add my favorite finisher. First a little back story on my finisher. I'm a huge SpydErco guy, was on the SpydErco knife forums when guys over there started talking about the razor community lapping the UF ceramic and getting results similar to a 30k shapton. I lapped my UF hone because I wanted a 30k shapton too. While mine isn't quiet as fine as a 30k YET it is getting there and it's the best finishing stone I have now..

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 08-08-2015, 11:57 AM
#19
  • Scoti
  • Member
  • Ontario, Canada
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That's real cool I thought about getting a spyderco UF and using it as is but went another route. How was it right out of the box before you lapped it?


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 08-08-2015, 11:15 PM
#20
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(08-08-2015, 08:48 AM)Otis375 Wrote: Forgot to add my favorite finisher. First a little back story on my finisher. I'm a huge SpydErco guy, was on the SpydErco knife forums when guys over there started talking about the razor community lapping the UF ceramic and getting results similar to a 30k shapton. I lapped my UF hone because I wanted a 30k shapton too. While mine isn't quiet as fine as a 30k YET it is getting there and it's the best finishing stone I have now..

The grit rating and fineness of a ceramic hone is what it is when it was made I would be very interested to know how lapping a stone can transform it to a 30K stone it all seems rather bizarre and totally madcap idea, I've used Spyderco ceramic stones and they are nowhere near 8K so when you say 30K wow! that must definitely come from the Spyderco knife forum because that's in no way true.

Spyderco 320UF Ceramic Benchstone ultrafine. Particle size on it is 3 micron, which equals to 4000 grit for the whetstones, or 8000 US/ISO. Gives very nice polish to the edge. As far as using it as a sharpener for any serious sharpening it's not gonna work. However, it wasn't designed for that either. One of the design goals for this stone is honing razors  So,  you get the idea. I personally would choose even finer grit for final honing, but this one is fine as an intermediate step, before going to sub-micron abrasives. As mentioned above, major problem with this and other ceramic stones is clogging. Other than that, it's a fine benchstone.

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