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Thread: PHIG, BBW, Charnley Forest.

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    Default PHIG, BBW, Charnley Forest.

    Gents, I know with naturals there is a wide variation in performance, but in general terms how may these be expected to compare in terms of speed and finish?

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    Senior Member Iceni's Avatar
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    Phig no idea never felt the need, I know there are harder ones that are regarded as finishers, and softer ones that have less reputation.

    BBW - fast but not a finishing stone in most cases, you want to be looking at coticule for a finishing stone. And then to add to that every coticule is different in both speed and final edge. Coticule and BBW is a minefield, and there is a lot of reading that should be done on how to use them. I can think of at least 4 methods to hone with them, and depending on your rock you have to work out the correct balance of those methods to get the best edge. While the results can be outstanding, getting there is very much a love of labour.

    CF - Slow, but they give a nice crisp edge. Alternatives are Translucent/Black Arkansas, and Llyn Idwal.


    If you want consistent finishing then Thuri's are hard to beat, and have a nice low learning curve. It doesn't need to say escher on it to be a good stone, a lot of the small 5x1 celebrated water hones on ebay are an absolute steal if you can get on with a smaller rock.
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    I have never tried a Charnley but I do have 2 Arkies which are Novaculite and a PHIG and combo Coti/BBW. My favorite of the 3 is Novaculite, however if I can count the Coti side of my BBW option that changes as the Coti makes a more comfortable edge albeit a bit less keen feeling.

    All this said, I agree with the above. I have a small Yellow-Green Thuringian that is absolutely wonderful. It’s part of the trimmings from cutting nicer stones but it works great. I use it as a barbers hone with lather and get amazingly crisp edges from it. The shave is as close to my SG20’s edge as I’ve gotten with a natural stone. Thuri/Escher stones are stupid easy to use and produce amazingly crisp yet comfortable edges quickly. They’re tied with JNATs for my favorite natural finishers but they’re easier to use.

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    aka shooter74743 ScottGoodman's Avatar
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    First of all, they are naturals and no two stones are the same.

    PHIG's are truly all over the place on "grit" and some have inclusions. I recommend avoiding them.

    BBW's are all over the place as well. I searched all over for years, owned at least a dozen natural coti/bbw's and none were what I would call a true finisher. The "grits" I experienced were from 6-10K estimated.

    Charnley Forest. I've only had one and it's a true beauty and a magnificent finisher, however it's very slow. I've experimented with different lubricants and found that Smith's Honing Solution and Kroil/Mineral oil (1-1 ratio) works best. Normal stroke amount after coming off a 12 or 16K is about 100 to start. You cannot even start to compare an Arkansas to a CF.

    If you are looking for a finisher, start with a naniwa 12k. It's the most versatile finisher available and will double as a barber hone when your edge needs a little help. If you are hung up on naturals, start with a thuringian.
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    The First Cut is the Deepest! Magpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottGoodman View Post
    You cannot even start to compare an Arkansas to a CF.

    If you are looking for a finisher, start with a naniwa 12k. It's the most versatile finisher available and will double as a barber hone when your edge needs a little help. If you are hung up on naturals, start with a thuringian.
    Yes, I certainly CAN compare an Arky to a CF. The rest of your quote is golden.
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    aka shooter74743 ScottGoodman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magpie View Post
    Yes, I certainly CAN compare an Arky to a CF. The rest of your quote is golden.
    Scientifically, yes. Maybe I have never had a good Arky in my hands...but I do have a fabulous old long CF. It's slow, takes about 100 strokes each side, but it leaves a sinister edge. The scratch marks are slightly finer than Shapton GS 16K when using Smith's honing oil, even finer yet when using mineral oil.
    Northeastern Texas & Southeastern Oklahoma Mentor/Helper...PM me if I can assist you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottGoodman View Post
    Scientifically, yes. Maybe I have never had a good Arky in my hands...but I do have a fabulous old long CF. It's slow, takes about 100 strokes each side, but it leaves a sinister edge. The scratch marks are slightly finer than Shapton GS 16K when using Smith's honing oil, even finer yet when using mineral oil.
    The nicest Arks are just like CF stones. You need to find older ones. The oldest surgical blacks are exactly that BLACK... deep, shimmering dark pools of inky smoothness. Most of the SB stones I see these days are more grayish. and I'm betting they are not as dense or smooth.
    And you never find one as long as a CF (which always makes me wonder why that is)
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