I'm sure a 30k stone is fantastic and possibly for someone who hones professionally it is certainly a justifiable hone to have for the ultimate in final finish. My most expensive purchase has been the Coticule and it has taken nearly 12 months to even begin to understand how to really use it, the Jnat was a trade and from day one the edges were great and the Cnat was $50 delivered and after days of lapping it also gave top edges.
Would I like a 30k hone of course, I probably have HAD but thankfully don't have MONEY anymore.
If I had a 30k hone it would probably be wasted as although I do a reasonable job of my own blades I doubt I could utilize the full potential.
Right from the start of my honing journey I finished on a natural hone [Cnat] so I have very limited experience with high grit synthetics.
Yeah, I have the same 13k Chinese natural stone that you have. It is a great finisher. I would like to see what a finer stone brings, that's all. And that is why I cannot justify the price. For that money, I would sooner get a new camera for my telescope.
@RazorPlay I thought pasted strops were just a stop gap measure to extend the edge for longer before honing?
I agree seasonal honing is preferred to keep everything in line, but the that gap between stones can be a lifetime if you want, this is why most old str8s have a frown or extreme hone wear ( Hence the Wedge option ) but still have a shaving edge, or better still use a pasted paddle strop instead of a hanging strop
Straights are and will always be the cheaper option so don't skimp on your initial outlay & you will be set for at least a life time, but you need some guidelines,
so stick to these 10 easy steps:
1 Don't get sucked in by the hype and get RAD, SAD, BAD, HAD or SSAD etc - one of each essential item is enough to survive
2 DON'T GET SUCKED IN BY THE HYPE - Seriously 1 Brush, 1 Razor & 1 Strop is all you need to survive ( unless you damage one of them )
3 buy 1 good quality Brush ( $50 - $200 budget )
4 buy only 1 good quality razor "shave ready" - preferably a wedge it will last longer ( $100 - $300 budget)
5 buy 1 good quality strop with a natural second ( linen, cotton etc) ( $100-$200 budget)
6 paste the inside of the linen strop ( $20 budget )
7 never look at any stones, as they only make your bevels flat
8 learn to strop properly and strop 20 plus laps on clean linen & clean leather prior to every use, then strop 10 plus laps on clean linen & leather after every use,
9 strop on pasted linen, only as required to keep the edge keen,
10 if you find yourself questioning your options for items 3 to 7 refer to steps 1 & 2 again.
now I intentionally left the soaps & after shaves out of this as they are a consumable and a decent puck of soap ( $20 budget ) and a nice after shave ( $50 budget ) can each last up to a year, so don't look any further one soap & aftershave really is enough to survive, if in doubt refer to steps 1 & 2
use the razor every day for the rest of your life if you want, then pass the whole kit to your youngest grandson to use for their entire life
now divide that $700 high end kit outlay by the number of shaves
you start shaving with a straight when you see the light say age 40 until 80 ( 40 years )
pass on insight to all Grandchildren, so they start shaving with a Str8 at say age 18 to 80 ( 62 years )
so say 100 years of shaving an average of even once per week, gives you 5200 shaves
$700 / 5200 shave = less than 14 cents per shave once a week or less 5 cents if 3 shaves a week average
now if you can follow these simple steps & not get seduces by the lure of shiny blades & fancy scales or softer tipped brushes with fancy handles or an inclination to join national geological society to help you look for smoother and smoother rocks or the requirement to use a different scented soap or aftershave every day - let the rest of a know how you did it