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Thread: Touching up and maintaining a fresh edge

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    Default Touching up and maintaining a fresh edge

    I have been reading a lot of threads looking for the answer on touching up an edge, to maintain shave ready condition for a very long time with out having to send it out to be honed. I've see a variety of answers including finishing stones like a naniwa 12k, chinese 12k, basal wood strop with pastes or diamond spray, coticules, and barber hones. I've also read that a norton 4/8k stone is good enough to keep a shave ready edge. I don't want to spend too much money on this so i guess that throws out the naniwa 12k stone since its around $100, I've read the basal bench strop wit the paste is a very cheap option, but will it maintain an edge as well as a stone? a barber hone seems like too many things to keep up with and id rather buy something relatively new. Whipped dog has an appealing deal on the chinese 12k although its a quarter stone, and same with a quarter norton honing kit. Whats the best route to maintain a shave ready edge for a long time?

    Thank you.

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    Simplest thing you can do is get Chrome Oxide spray from SRD and put that on the back of your linen if you use a hanging strop. You can keep an edge going quite a while with just a quick touch up on CrOx here or there. And it's very intuitive if you're already proficient at stropping.

    A barber hone shouldn't be too much to keep up with. Mine sit in my medicine cabinet, and since last honing my Dovo on it months ago the blade hasn't had to touch it. I also have a good number of razors to choose from so that is a factor, but it's not like it gets used every day. Just once in a while when the blade isn't shaving right. As far as hones go they're probably the easiest to upkeep. If you're picky about the one you buy and get one that's gently used, it won't need flattening, lapping, or burnishing. Ever. Just pick it up and give the blade a few quick swipes to get it back in tune. You can keep your edge up indefinitely with one of these, they're actually quite under rated in my opinion.

    If you combine the two - quick touch up on the barber hone when it's too far gone to be fixed with CrOx, then strop a few laps on the CrOx - you should end up with very, very good edges and you'll never have to send a razor out to be honed again unless you've bought a new one and need a fresh shaving edge put on it.

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    ge a Naniwa 12k , then every 2 weeks do about 4-8 light laps on it and shave, if it needs more then the next day do 4-5 more. this will get you started on learning how much pressure and technique to use on a stone and you shouldn't hurt your razor. this all depends on your razor being honed properly to start with. plus it wont hurt once you really know how to strop. I go for a long time with nothing but this routine, all the stones I have bought sit useless in the box,, and without damaging your razor will keep you shaving indefinantly. so if you do need to have it honed, just send it out and shave for another couple of years Tc
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    Senior Member ejmolitor37's Avatar
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    I will tell you from 1st hand experience, the 1/4 nortons that you mention are not a very good option. Im no pro honer and I learned/started out with the 1/4 nortons and at that time it is what I could afford so that is what I used. Do they work? Yes, are they a viable option for someone starting out and wanting to maintain an edge? NO, I still use them in certain cases but honestly they will be used for pocket knives now. If you are wanting a stone to maintain your razor/s get a full size hone. Save the money if you have to and get the Naniwa 12k. The above info is solid but you will not regret getting the 12k.
    You will be ahead in the game getting a full size stone even if it is one of the Guanxi stones from ebay it is better than the 1/4 stones.
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    I'm going to do the math again.

    The site selling these makes the claim...

    "Quarter 1.5" x 4" Norton- $60
    Even though the hones are smaller than a full size hone, they are 50% larger than the average barbers hone."

    OK, the average barber hone is the size of a Swaty, which is 2" by 5". Given the number of barber hones I own, have used, and have seen, I can assure you of this fact.

    The average barber hone is 2" x 5", and that totals 10 square inches of surface area.

    The quarter Norton is 1.5" x 4", and that totals 6 square inches of surface area. Now, is 6 50% larger than 10?

    No, no it is not.

    Do not believe this lie.
    Last edited by Utopian; 03-18-2017 at 10:16 PM.
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    Thank you everyone for the advise, so eventually I will upgrade the current strop I have and get one with a linen side that i can apply the CrOx to, and then I will get either a naniwa 12k or barber's hone. Are there any alternatives to the naniwa for maybe a little less? and for a barbers hone how can you tell if one is good or not and what is the best place to get one?
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    https://www.amazon.com/Whetstone-Sha.../dp/B002LVZG1E
    I hope this link works, here is a Shapton Kuromaku 12k ceramic stone for $63 free shipping on Amazon, I have this brand of stone and so far I enjoy them. I have the 1k, 2k, 5k and 8k and a 12k naniwa. I have no problem recommending this brand so that is less than what you say you found the Naniwa for. If the link does not work I apologize my computer skills are terrible.
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    Unfortunately no one makes barber hones anymore. So the only place to get them is the vintage market. Ebay, antique stores, garage/yard/estate sales, etc. They're old, so it's hard to tell what condition they're in. But they can be found cheap, and if you find one that looks gently used with no cracks and few/no chips it's probably still gonna be in working condition. Off the top of my head Swatys, Craftsmans, and carborundum razor hones should make a serviceable edge.

    Alternatives to the Naniwa 12K? Maybe the Shapton Kuromaku 12K. It make an almost uncomfortably keen edge, but that can be tamed with a few strokes on Chrome Ox. It's what I'm currently using after my Norton 8K. Pretty decent finisher by my standards.
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    Yes Utopian you are correct there is no way the stones I have from this distributor are close to the size of a barber hone. I can only say that while not a good choice looking back they did serve the purpose and I can not complain about that. I can complain about frustration but at the same time I did learn a lot. The hard way.
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    The forum absolutely refuses to let me point out that buying the quarter Nortons is paying half price for 1/4 of the product. Or that his claim is true, IF you include the thickness dimension of the hones. I wonder what the deal is with that. Must be glitchy today or something.

    Maybe they'd be good if he were cutting them in half lengthwise. But a 4 inch hone is too short. I often wish a barber hone were an inch longer. When using a hone 6 inches long or more, I've never once wished my hone were shorter.
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