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  1. #1
    Member bhorsoft's Avatar
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    Question Noob wants to keep an edge on his blade. Pastes? Hones?

    Hi folks! I'm new at this straight razor shaving but after a few shaves, I'm in this for the long term. I have Lynn's video and want to do a good job of maintaining my blade(s) over the long haul. I'm confused by what I may need to start with.

    I know eventually I will need some hones or coticules to maintain my blades in the long run. But I also see alot written about pastes. Am I ok to get some pastes for the first 6 months or so to keep an edge on my blade or am I best to get a set of 4000/8000/12000 stones to start with? I'm confused about when to use which, so I could use some education as to where it is best for a noob like me to start out.

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    Member Fierce30rus's Avatar
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    Hi!
    Welcome to the world of straight razor!
    I did not take very long straight razor, but I say: you need and stones and paste.
    If there is an opportunity for professional sharpening, then paste until you had enough (IMHO).
    But if you think you continue to use a straight razor you will need stones.
    Look SRP Wiki.
    Sincerely,
    Alexander

  3. #3
    Member bhorsoft's Avatar
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    Spasiba, Fierce30rus. I just found the wiki on hones and pastes. I think I need some paste and either a balsa board or a paddle strop for the next 6 months or so. Then maybe a finishing stone followed by either a coticule or 4000/8000 stones to do an "annual" maintenance on my blades - the one I own now and any I plan on acquiring in the future. I just think I've been reading too much recently and don't have a progression of what I need to purchase in the future down yet - the progression hasn't been quite so evident in my readings.

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    Member Fierce30rus's Avatar
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    I think you need coticule and 4000/8000 stones.
    Natural and synthetic stones give different surface finish and quality of shaving.

  5. #5
    zib
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    Coticules are not very Noobie friendly. They are all different. You get a slow one, and you could be pulling your hair out. They are great stones, don't get me wrong, but I'd recommend you learn how to hone on a Norton, or a Naniwa...Just my two cents. Check this linK: What hone(s), paste(s), or spray(s) do I need? - Straight Razor Place Wiki

    Pastes are great for a touch up, or to take your blade to the next level after a honing session. You can use your hones time and time again, but not pastes. Continued use of paste can eventually ruin your edge, then it will have to be honed. I'd recommend the 220/1k and 4k/8 with flattening stone combo set. They're great stones, used by the pro's, and fairly easy to use and learn. Pick up a 12k, and your good to go. You can even get a balsa paddle, or an old piece of linen and paste it up with some Chromium oxide. Once your done honing, you can give the blade 10 lapps on that for a finish.

    Hope this helps....

    Rich
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    Senior Member blabbermouth Theseus's Avatar
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    IMO, the only thing you should use if you are beginning in straight razor shaving is a barbers hone or a 12K, and maybe a pasted strop. A newbie and a set of Nortons can sometimes lead to an edge that needs professionaly honed before its time. But like I said, just my opinion.

  7. #7
    . Bill S's Avatar
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    I think you have pretty well defined the range of what you will want for a basic set up. I agree with Zib regarding starting with a set of synthetics and paste.

    If you have some flexibility in your budget you could pick up everything now and get a couple of razors to practice honing on so that when your main razor is ready for honing, you will be too. If you go that way, avoid getting razors with a lot of hone wear, warped blades etc. A lot of guys try to save a couple of bucks on a practice or starter razor and end up with a blade with so many problems that it would require a pro's skills to get it shave ready. Not a good way to learn, IMO.

    Balsa with paste will work fine, although personally I prefer leather or felt. I use either a modular paddle or a flat bed hone, both with interchangeable pads which lets me choose chromium oxide, diamond spray or whatever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bhorsoft View Post
    Hi folks! I'm new at this straight razor shaving but after a few shaves, I'm in this for the long term. I have Lynn's video and want to do a good job of maintaining my blade(s) over the long haul. I'm confused by what I may need to start with.

    I know eventually I will need some hones or coticules to maintain my blades in the long run. But I also see alot written about pastes. Am I ok to get some pastes for the first 6 months or so to keep an edge on my blade or am I best to get a set of 4000/8000/12000 stones to start with? I'm confused about when to use which, so I could use some education as to where it is best for a noob like me to start out.
    Hey, I'm new to shaving with a straight too. Obviously I'm by no means a pro just thought I'd offer my experience with you. In my opinion, you don't really need to over think it and try to purchase everything at once. Giving your razor frequent stropping, (sometimes even when youre not using it) will keep the edge very keen. Then you can experiment with a fine grit stone like a barbers hone or naniwa 12k or chinese 12k when stropping doesnt seem to cut it. You will probably find lots of people with different opinions, and thats the beauty of it, there are many means to the same end. Personally, I was on a budget and bought the c12k, and good 30 strokes was enough to touch up the razor, using the HHT and arm hair test. ( I don't like to touch the blade with my fingers as I feel it could ruin the edge). I think it worked out for me as I was able to experiment and practice my technique (imo more important than buying expensive setups), and then
    really form my opinion on what I need in the future. As of now, my strop and webbed fabric, and the polishing stone is completely adequate to give me a BBS everytime.

    Theseus offered good advice. The reason I recommended a high grit solution is that there is less chance you will ruin the edge as they are generally just "polishers", and dont set the bevel. But dont underestimate what they can do, the difference in the shave is night and day when you actually shave. Most of what you do when honing can only be observed at a microscopic level anyway. It will be much easier to get it back to shave read condition if you screw up. Hope it helps.
    Last edited by drgreen; 04-02-2011 at 09:32 PM.

  9. #9
    Forum mogwai thebigspendur's Avatar
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    When I started out I had the Norton 4K/8K which is like the Chevy of Hones. Then I bought a Kitayama and for the longest time that was all I had and I managed to restore and keep sharp my razors. There are many ways to do it. You could get some vintage Barber Hones, you can use pasted strops, or you can go the hone route either synthetic or natural. The one thing you don't have to do is go crazy and spend a mint on all kinds of honing media.

    I'm not sure about buying a high grit stone because it's harder to mess up an edge with that. If you start honing and really don't know what you are doing it doesn't take long to do some major damage no matter the hone you use. As a matter of fact with a low grit hone you would probably do fewer strokes because you can see the result as you hone. With a high grit hone it's not so apparent and some guys will just hone and hone and hone.
    Every day without fail one should consider himself as dead-Tsunetomo

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  11. #10
    Member bhorsoft's Avatar
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    Hmm, a variety of opinions. There is the 4k/8k camp and there is the barber hone/12K+ camp. Good reasons for each. However, the "senior" members seem to all be leaning toward the 4k/8k camp to learn on. I do like the idea of getting couple of cheap razors to practice on. Birthday is coming up and the wife wants to know what to get me so I'm thinking of a set of Norton or Naniwa 4k/8k and maybe a barber hone to finish. I hope that sounds reasonable. I'll also be watching the bay for some cheap, but serviceable razors. I hope good stropping can hold me a bit until I get honing down.

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