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Thread: Any difference between Chinese 3k/8k hones?

  1. #1
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    Default Any difference between Chinese 3k/8k hones?

    The title says it all. I'm ordering a 3k/8k hone from China and I'm seeing a lot of variation in price for what looks the same product. When a brand is visible, its either Taidea or Eleed (or something similar).

    Are there real difference between them?
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    'with that said' cudarunner's Avatar
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    I have questions.

    Your join date was a month ago.

    How long have you been using a straight razor?

    Have you mastered making lather?

    Have you mastered stropping?

    Have you mastered using a straight to shave with?

    If you haven't mastered these Vital Tasks/Why are you ordering this unknown hone OR any other hone?

    I'm just wondering
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    No difference really. They're all cheap Chinese Junk. Might be good enough to get some sort of edge on the razor, but I haven't seen anyone buy them and use them for any length of time without biting the bullet and upgrading to one of the big four (Norton, Naniwa, Shapton, or King). And once they do, they never look back. My suggestion - skip throwing away $ on hones that will end up on a shelf collecting dust and save for a quality hone.

    If you want something cheap to get you through, look into Barber hones and/or the King 1/6.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cudarunner View Post
    I have questions.

    Your join date was a month ago.

    How long have you been using a straight razor?

    Have you mastered making lather?

    Have you mastered stropping?

    Have you mastered using a straight to shave with?

    If you haven't mastered these Vital Tasks/Why are you ordering this unknown hone OR any other hone?

    I'm just wondering
    Obviously no. Nobody can master all that in a month.
    The long story short is that somebody I know is coming from China and I can ask him to make his luggage a bit heavier for me. Plus use that on my knives.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshal View Post
    No difference really. They're all cheap Chinese Junk. Might be good enough to get some sort of edge on the razor, but I haven't seen anyone buy them and use them for any length of time without biting the bullet and upgrading to one of the big four (Norton, Naniwa, Shapton, or King). And once they do, they never look back. My suggestion - skip throwing away $ on hones that will end up on a shelf collecting dust and save for a quality hone.

    If you want something cheap to get you through, look into Barber hones and/or the King 1/6.
    I don't like the oversimplification that all Chinese manufacturing sucks. It is an helpful rule of thumb, perhaps, but too coarse for my liking.

    This pattern you describe, you have seen that consistently? Across brands?

    Also, are you telling me that a King 6k will give me a better edge than any Chinese 8k??? Because that'd be very good news for me!
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    Senior Member Maladroit's Avatar
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    King and the other well-known Japanese brands are companies with reputations. When they say their product has a particular grit rating they mean it and they can quote chapter and verse on the applicable national standards and quality control systems they follow to achieve compliance with them. When the Chinese manufacturers start doing that they will be worth considering. It is probably only a matter of time before this happens; their manufacturing industry is vast and export focused so I'm sure there will eventually be very good hones coming from China.
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    The real answer is that no one knows the answer here as no one has that hone. It might be OK. It might not be.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by malaverdiere View Post
    I don't like the oversimplification that all Chinese manufacturing sucks. It is an helpful rule of thumb, perhaps, but too coarse for my liking.

    This pattern you describe, you have seen that consistently? Across brands?

    Also, are you telling me that a King 6k will give me a better edge than any Chinese 8k??? Because that'd be very good news for me!
    I don't much care for that rule of thumb either, and I love a cheap hone that's also good. Unfortunately, when it comes to synthetics the cheap ones are often not good. I can vouch for Shapton Kuromakus as being good and not too spendy. Same can be said for King hones, though the 8K is a bit spendy and their 10k is hard to find.

    China is a big place, and there may be some hone out there that is actually good. However, taidea/weiwei hones specifically have been noted as softer than hones from the big 4, and often perform like a hone 1 to 2K lower than what it's rated.

    So in the case of those hones, yes the weiwei 8k is about the same as a King 6K. I have a Chinese natural that is one of my favorite hones, but I can't recommend those as they are hit or miss and you may have to purchase a few to find a good one. By the time you've filed through 3 or 4 Cnats you'd have been money ahead to purchase a Naniwa 12K.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    They are inexpensive knife, tool hones. All hones that we use are designed for knives and tools, razor honing is a very small part of the market and we use those that have proven to work well for razors.

    There are other factors, than grit size that make a hone suitable for razor honing, one is the binder. This is where inexpensive stone makers skimp.

    Those stones have been tried by other on this and other forums for razors without good results. As I recall the stones are very soft and aggressive. Read the reviews on Amazon as well. There are many threads on those stones, as new honers are attracted to them because of price.

    Those stones are designed for the throw away knife market. Someone that will sharpen a knife once a year, and anything is an improvement.

    For an inexpensive starter set a King, 1k and a 4/8 Norton or 3/8 Naniwa is hard to beat, right around $100.

    And No, you will still need at least an 8k, a razor edge does not get really straight until an 8K edge. The straighter the edge the smoother the shave.
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    The Japanese Industrial Standard for abrasives specifies not only the average size of particles for a specific grit rating, but also the allowable distribution of particle sizes. That is the advantage of the Japanese synthetics.

    A Chinese company might make a hone with the same average particle size as a Japanese hone, yet if the distribution of particle sizes is greater than allowed for a Japanese hone, the response of a razor edge to that hone will be different. For a knife edge or woodworking tool edge, the difference might not be significant. With a razor edge, you might notice the difference or you might not, depending on your razor, your honing techniques, and your face.

    Few SRP users have significant experience with the inexpensive Chinese synthetics. So many of the comments you get about them will be anecdotal. For those of us who hone our own razors, 3K and 8K synthetics usually are considered to be mid-range hones. There are some people who shave off an 8K hone, but most people want to finish on a finer grit hone, either synthetic or natural. If you get a suitable finishing stone, the type of hone you use for the mid-range grits will be of lesser importance.

    Some have commented on the Taidea hone being softer than Japanese hones. While the longevity of a hone is important to those who hone razors every day, for those of us who only hone the razors we use ourselves, nearly any hone will last a lifetime.

    If you do decide to pick up the Chinese mid-range hone, I would also suggest getting a Chinese Guangxi 12K natural hone to accompany it. While the C12K is far from the best finishing hone available, it would be an improvement on the 8K synthetic. The C12K is heavy, however, so bringing it back in luggage might be an issue.

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