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Thread: Coti bout standard and select differences?

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    Default Coti bout standard and select differences?

    Before I pester Ardennes with my questions (given I'm not sure if I'll be buying soon or not). Thought I'd see if anyone here knows the answers first.

    I've noticed on the site that they don't recommend the standard bout for razors. The best of my four cotis for razor finishing (with my limited experience) is a standard bout bought from a third party seller because it was cheap and I thought I'd gamble. My select grade direct from Ardennes is all round amazing, fast and fine enough to finish, little soft so need to watch for slurrying. A standard grade from another third party is soft and too coarse. The latter two mentioned are both rectangular stones. My question is regarding the bouts, are they grading them just the same as rectangular stones? Purely down to surface homogeneity? Or also the shape of the bouts(easier shapes/more rectangular) for honing?
    "Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong."-Thomas Jefferson (Notes on Virginia, 1782)

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    My bout isn't the easiest shape for a relative noon like me to hone on.
    "Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong."-Thomas Jefferson (Notes on Virginia, 1782)

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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Years ago IIRC Maurice, or Rob of Ardennes, said that there was no difference in honing quality between standard in select. The difference was the select was free of any blemishes. OTOH, he also said some coticules, whether standard of select, were more appropriate for honing razors, while others were coarser, and might be more effective with knives or tools.
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    In the shop just choose razor and everything he deems razor quality standard and select will be there. You can also just ask for a standard razor quality. No difference in the standard or select for honing other than looks.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Might be they don't recommend bouts for razors because razors require a long stroke that a bout may or may not work well with. A long and narrow bout may do well, a short fat bout may not leave you enough room for a proper razor stroke. With knives and tools you can do circle strokes and short back & forth movements - you don't need a long swooping X stroke to get a sharp and comfortable edge. If they send some odd triangle or parallelogram shape you might have a devil of a time with it, even if it is a good quality finisher.

    As far as performance my understanding is select/standard grades are the same whether you opt for a bout stone or a rectangular one - based on looks, not how the rock behaves.

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    Senior Member S0LITARYS0LDIER's Avatar
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    Since I was not allowed to respond to this thread with my long response I turned it into a thread. Standard vs. Selected | The Coticule Club

    Feel free to read it. This is my response to the OP's question.

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    Years ago IIRC Maurice, or Rob of Ardennes, said that there was no difference in honing quality between standard in select. The difference was the select was free of any blemishes.
    Ha ha ha ha , so there is no such thing , as select coticule .Only an advertizing trick . If you whant a non defect coticule - you have to get the "select " .
    Its getting weirder . Usualy ,when you pay more expensive , you have to get a finer and better stone , or product .
    In this situation , the defect are standart , and the normal grade , is select .
    It looks like this to me . Intresting . Nice to know .

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    The visual imperfections might be a hint that the binder isn't quite the same as what's found in select grade coticules - comingled with another mineral that might make the stone harder or slower, or possibly that they contain a lower concentration of garnets, closer to %30 than %40 resulting in a slower cutting stone?

    Either way, with the difference I read about between any 2 given coticules, or even 2 coticules coming from the same vein at times, I wonder if anyone can tell what the performance will be like before the stone is actually put to work. You say yourself you've got 2 year's worth of sifting through articles and pictures, and you have a guess upon seeing a photo of the stone - but no guarantee on sight that it'll do what we ask of it as straight razor users.

    After ordering one from Ardennes for the specific purpose of honing razors, coupled with the experience you wrote about with the stone you sent back, it's safe to say that they don't - or can't separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak. So then one has to wonder, is there any place that DOES test them before sending them to their forever home?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshal View Post
    ...snip...
    After ordering one from Ardennes for the specific purpose of honing razors, coupled with the experience you wrote about with the stone you sent back, it's safe to say that they don't - or can't separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak. So then one has to wonder, is there any place that DOES test them before sending them to their forever home?
    Yes, Bart Torfs has been razor testing the stones for Ardennes for many years. He is the owner of coticule.be
    The site is archived but many articles are readily available and some videos. No membership availability now.
    Good information there for sure!
    ~Richard
    PS to answer a later post, Bart still selects stones for razor honing at Ardennes.
    Last edited by Geezer; 01-11-2017 at 04:25 PM.

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    I believe that The Superior Shave in Jacksonville still tests their coticules.
    "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." -H. L. Mencken

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