First hone

Joined
Jan 25, 2014
Hi-o. My first straight razor is shave ready & good to go.
I plan on getting a variety of hones eventually. Probably 1k, 2k, 4k, 8k & 12k.
To start with, I'm thinking of getting the 8k & building from there.
Does everyone agree?
Also, the most common one I see for sale is Shapton Glass for about $130 Australian.
Sound good?
Thanks heaps
 
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Joined
Jun 18, 2016
Location
Gladstone, Queensland, Australia
I still say start with a 12k for touch ups of your shave ready str8s, then work your way back down the grits as you move through the touch up to restoration works ranges
Also don't see a need for the 2k between a 1k & 4K
1, 4, 8 & 12 in synthetics is a very efficient system to learn on
Naturals will have their own individual characteristics for each rock to learn, on top of the already steep honing learning curve
JMHO & YMMV
 

Arnold J Rimmer

Member
2017 Sabbatical Fail
Artisan Producer
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Location
NSW Central Coast
The ones I have are mostly synthetics, but the end result is the same. Hair comes off, face stays on.

I have 1k, 3k, 8k, and a 13k+ natural stone.

My first were the 3k and 8k (two stones in 1 - 3k one side, 8k the other), then the 13k quickly after, and I only bought the 1k when I bought the PUMA blade, which was as sharp as a sack of flour.
 

stillshunter

a man of resolve, a man of conviction
State Convenor - ACT
Group Buy Associate
2015 Sabbatical Fail
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Location
Walbunja country
don't forget your diamond plate for lapping - highly recommend the Atoma 400 (a league ahead of anything from DMT)

I'm with the herd here - 1, 4 (or 5), 8, 12k will see you clear. Little need for the 2k.
My recommendation is invest in the 1k as it's a very important stone. Again here I'd recommend the Chosera 1k. The yeti snot builder from heaven.

...this is all valid until you get a taste for naturals....
oh boy then the fun really begins.
(the 1k will still be essential though)

Congrats on your new life.
 

Arnold J Rimmer

Member
2017 Sabbatical Fail
Artisan Producer
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Location
NSW Central Coast
I have the 4-sided diamond plate. 200, 300, 400 and 600. I have been using the 600, but next time I will run the 400 on the coarser stones.
 
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Joined
Dec 26, 2015
Location
Melbourne
So I'm looking into the slippery slope of hones.
I found some Naniwa Speciality Stones (5k, 8k,12k) for A$230 delivered. This seems to me to be a great price. Since I have razors from @Mark and so probably won't need to set a bevel for a while will these stones allow me to refresh my razors?
Since this is just for my benefit should I just get some Diamond Film for $80 and be done with it?
 

Sxot

New Member
Artisan Producer
Joined
Feb 1, 2016
Location
Nth QLD
So I'm looking into the slippery slope of hones.
I found some Naniwa Speciality Stones (5k, 8k,12k) for A$230 delivered. This seems to me to be a great price. Since I have razors from @Mark and so probably won't need to set a bevel for a while will these stones allow me to refresh my razors?
Since this is just for my benefit should I just get some Diamond Film for $80 and be done with it?
Since you have razors from Mark (bevel set correctly) you will never need to re-set the bevel on those again.

I would skip the film and just get a 12k for refreshing. Easier to use, less hassle, last longer etc. Keep those edges fresh and you won't need anything lower.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2015
Location
Melbourne
Since you have razors from Mark (bevel set correctly) you will never need to re-set the bevel on those again.

I would skip the film and just get a 12k for refreshing. Easier to use, less hassle, last longer etc. Keep those edges fresh and you won't need anything lower.
Thanks @Sxot.
How often would i need to refresh? I have a very tough beard. I am also very new to this straight malarky and am uncertain of my stropping technique. I think I'm going ok, but have nothing to compare it to. I'm concerned I may roll an edge, or blunt the edge quickly due to a too steep angle - i was using two spine widths with the grain, but think with my coarse hair that's too harsh on the edge. I've already taken one razor to a pasted strop after 4 shaves (10 laps, did the trick beautifully) as it wasn't cutting as smoothly as it had.
Sorry, lots of questions. Just when I have lathering, beard mapping, pressure, prep and post down I'm learning something new again.
 

bald as

ARKO! dealer & walking ECG
Joined
May 4, 2015
Location
Adelaide
There is nothing like the satisfaction you can achieve honing for yourself. You will need to reset bevels no matter who originally did them as eventually the edge will get damaged to a certain extent with shaving, get chipped or any number of reasons really.
A good 1k stone will with the rocks you are looking at see you right for a long time. Also getting a razor with the bevel set correctly is not the norm. Many claim they can present a shave ready razor with a correct bevel but that is often not the case. @Mark's blades are correctly bevel set however you will eventually get a blade from ebay or off this forum and while the provider may be able to shave very well with it, for you it may not be right. Regardless, if the bevel is not right no amount of polishing with higher grit stones will get it shave ready. The difference between shave ready and not is very small and goes back to the bevel. If the bevel is not correct then really all you are doing is polishing metal that is not meeting right to the apex of the bevel. Get a 1k, it is a bit like having a Ferrari without the engine - looks pretty in the driveway but doesn't tick many important boxes. Everything is fixed to the foundation and that is the bevel.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Location
Redbank, QLD
I love Naniwa stones (although I haven't tried the 12k) - they are velvety to use and give great feedback.
IMHO if you are going to get into honing, you could do a lot worse.
I would suggest that you get someone close to mentor you on the art of rubbing steel on rock
 

Mark

Ze Honemeisterer
Artisan Producer
Joined
Nov 25, 2014
Location
Sydney, Australia
So I'm looking into the slippery slope of hones.
I found some Naniwa Speciality Stones (5k, 8k,12k) for A$230 delivered. This seems to me to be a great price. Since I have razors from @Mark and so probably won't need to set a bevel for a while will these stones allow me to refresh my razors?
Since this is just for my benefit should I just get some Diamond Film for $80 and be done with it?
Yes thats a great price for a great set of stones. As mentioned above. The 5,8,12 is what I would consider a great set for refreshing, when the edge starts pulling, the 5k will repair the slight damage in the edge such as small burrs and the rounded edge that you get from stropping a gazillion times.

All you'll need after that is approx 10 strokes on the 8k and 15 strokes on the 12k and you're ready to strop and shave. Be mindful that you can hone all day long on the 5k with no issues whatsoever, in fact, if you don't do enough on the 5 you wont have a good edge. At the 8 and the 12 its the other way around, keep it minimal or you'll over hone to the point where the edge will get very thin and fragile and will start falling apart. Zero pressure is also a must, if you're a synthetic honer, follow those basic principles and the shave will be rewarding.

Note: If you wish (not that you need to), you may folow up by doing 5-8 laps of stropping on 0.25 poly diamond to get a bit more oomph, but you won't need to.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2015
Location
Melbourne
Thanks @Mark. Just ordered. If anyone else is looking Shaving.ie is where I got them. By far the cheapest I've seen. A$230 delivered.
Out of interest if I was to want to set a bevel can I just get a 1k Chosera? or is the 1k to 5k jump too large?
Also, anywhere local to get poly diamond? Is FeOx a worthy substitute?
 

Sxot

New Member
Artisan Producer
Joined
Feb 1, 2016
Location
Nth QLD
There is nothing like the satisfaction you can achieve honing for yourself. You will need to reset bevels no matter who originally did them as eventually the edge will get damaged to a certain extent with shaving, get chipped or any number of reasons really.
A good 1k stone will with the rocks you are looking at see you right for a long time. Also getting a razor with the bevel set correctly is not the norm. Many claim they can present a shave ready razor with a correct bevel but that is often not the case. @Mark's blades are correctly bevel set however you will eventually get a blade from ebay or off this forum and while the provider may be able to shave very well with it, for you it may not be right. Regardless, if the bevel is not right no amount of polishing with higher grit stones will get it shave ready. The difference between shave ready and not is very small and goes back to the bevel. If the bevel is not correct then really all you are doing is polishing metal that is not meeting right to the apex of the bevel. Get a 1k, it is a bit like having a Ferrari without the engine - looks pretty in the driveway but doesn't tick many important boxes. Everything is fixed to the foundation and that is the bevel.
Maybe your definition of setting a bevel differs from mine. To me setting a bevel is setting up the geometry. Once that is done all you are doing is sharpening and putting an edge back into it. It's not a new bevel but what ever floats your boat.
 

bald as

ARKO! dealer & walking ECG
Joined
May 4, 2015
Location
Adelaide
"It's not a new bevel but what ever floats your boat"

Perhaps you need to moderate your tone @Sxot - It is a new bevel if there are chips to remove or any other repairs that will impact the existing bevel. A correct bevel is from the absolute apex of the bevel to the last point the hone is in contact before the grind "finishes" that contact then to the point the hone is in contact with the spine. If an existing bevel is rounded, easily done on a strop even slightly or the edge of the edge is chipped on tough whiskers or the edge of the basin the bevel needs to be correctly re-established. In reality you could do that, possibly, with a 12k stone if you had a fair amount of time but most people with any sense will use a 1k or similar. Most professional honers worth their salt will not rely on an existing bevel for the very reasons I mentioned and will reset a fresh bevel to maintain the quality of their workmanship. A butter knife is still a butter knife no matter how shiny you make it. Touching up and bevel setting are not the same. An experienced shaver/honer may be able to maintain an edge for an extended period of time without a bevel setter but an inexperienced straight razor shaver will, even unintentionally without really knowing how he did it - damage his edge, often while "touching" up his blade because he usually has no idea what a true bevel looks like under a loupe or how to confirm the integrity of what he has done. The options are a poor quality shave, send it out for a rehone or suck it up and learn just like thousands have before to be fully self sufficient.

@Psmith get yourself a full set of hones, you will eventually need them.
I think I'm done on this topic.
 

Mark

Ze Honemeisterer
Artisan Producer
Joined
Nov 25, 2014
Location
Sydney, Australia
The topic of setting a bevel can be a long debate. I guess some of us miss the main objective which is to cut a new primary edge which doesnt necessarily need to be on a 1k, could be done on a higher grit if the geometry is spot on and sometimes you need a much lower grit than a 1k if the things rooted.

Generally speaking, and keeping the topic about synthetic hones. My preferred method with a synthetic touch up (and I use that word loosely), is going down to my shapton 5k for many reasons.
The main reason is, you cannot over hone at the 5k (3um) range, note that the very edge will not be making contact with the stone due to the convexity of the bevel or edge from continuous stropping. In most cases, the feedback will change once the edge makes contact with the stone, that will happen when the bevel or cutting edge is no longer convex. The other reason that I prefer to start at the 5k, again, because the edge will not be making contact with the hone initally, so if you're starting your refresh from the 8k or 12k, you may not be able to determine when the edge is making contact with the stone therefore you'll end up doing too many strokes and potentially over honing which at that stage you'll make the edge very thin and fragile on those grits.

Once I have a true 5k edge, I do no more than 8-10 strokes on the 8k and a maximum of 15 strokes on the 12 and 20k, any more than that will result in a very fragile edge, which will still be sharp but will not hold up. Edge longevity is extremely important to me due to honing razors for others, therefore I'd like them to get the most out of their razor given the odds that user error exists.

Another thing to note is for those who refresh edges on a hanging strop loaded with compounds such as ChOx, the convexity of the edge is more extreme and most razors will need to go down to the lower grits like a 1 or 2k. This is just a stage that you begin sharpening, so you're not really setting a bevel providing that the geometry is good, you're only starting your sharpening process to remove the convexity which is technically cutting in a new primary edge which is the standard process of sharpening, you can call it whatever you like but the purpose is to observe your edge/razor and act accordingly but you must understand what you're trying to achieve and what your purpose is on each grit/hone/progression, if you do not have a clear understanding or precise reasoning to your method at each stage without super consistent results then its time to go back to the drawing board.

The factor is, there's a million ways to skin a cat, there are too many variables. I have a completely different method with naturals but remember to do what works for you and stick to it but don't be scared to experiment and try new things in your spare time.

Here's a video that I like by Dr Matt.

 

Sxot

New Member
Artisan Producer
Joined
Feb 1, 2016
Location
Nth QLD
"It's not a new bevel but what ever floats your boat"

Perhaps you need to moderate your tone @Sxot - It is a new bevel if there are chips to remove or any other repairs that will impact the existing bevel. A correct bevel is from the absolute apex of the bevel to the last point the hone is in contact before the grind "finishes" that contact then to the point the hone is in contact with the spine. If an existing bevel is rounded, easily done on a strop even slightly or the edge of the edge is chipped on tough whiskers or the edge of the basin the bevel needs to be correctly re-established. In reality you could do that, possibly, with a 12k stone if you had a fair amount of time but most people with any sense will use a 1k or similar. Most professional honers worth their salt will not rely on an existing bevel for the very reasons I mentioned and will reset a fresh bevel to maintain the quality of their workmanship. A butter knife is still a butter knife no matter how shiny you make it. Touching up and bevel setting are not the same. An experienced shaver/honer may be able to maintain an edge for an extended period of time without a bevel setter but an inexperienced straight razor shaver will, even unintentionally without really knowing how he did it - damage his edge, often while "touching" up his blade because he usually has no idea what a true bevel looks like under a loupe or how to confirm the integrity of what he has done. The options are a poor quality shave, send it out for a rehone or suck it up and learn just like thousands have before to be fully self sufficient.

@Psmith get yourself a full set of hones, you will eventually need them.
I think I'm done on this topic.
Sorry mate. Wasn't suppose to be disrespectful and I apologise if it came across that way. I was suggesting it was simply a matter of semantics.

Anyway, @raulski ignore my advice/comments, I was speaking out of turn. @bald as and @Mark have knowledge and experience that far surpasses mine.
 

bald as

ARKO! dealer & walking ECG
Joined
May 4, 2015
Location
Adelaide
@Sxot you have been honing your own blades for quite some time now and as @Mark said there are many ways to skin a cat. You have a good knowledge bank and others can benefit from that knowledge. I only know what I have taught myself but I have long since left the apprentice phase as would you. Not all blades are the same, not all stones are the same and not all honers do it the same way. I would never hone for a living but I'm personally content with my blades, but incrementally improving I hope.
 
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