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Thread: Suehiro Gokumyo 20k review

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    Honer wannabe! olbez's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Suehiro Gokumyo 20k review

    So my rock finally arrived yesterday and I went ahead and honed all my razors on it, thought i better do a write up about my experience in case there are people like me out there who don't like to mess with pastes... here is a quick review of how different razors take the edge off of the Gokumyo 20k stone.

    Razors I own, and will be writing about:
    filarmonica 13
    a.peter
    revisor
    wade&bucher for barbers use.

    I used a touch up progression starting from 10 X strokes on Naniwa 8k, then 12-14 X strokes on Naniwa 12k and finally finishing with another 12-14 X strokes on the G20.

    First razor I thought I'd shave with was one of the Filarmonicas last night. Did my usual routine with shower, Cremo cream as pre-shave, super-lather on top of the Cremo cream and blade is in my hands...

    Now I should mention that, I have had my fillies professionally honed before and have loved how they have been shaving. I also touched them up on naniwas a couple of times, still retaining a good shaving edge. Last night however, it was something else! The blade was sliding on the skin of my face like a feather, yet picking up all the hairs on the way.

    Cheeks were BBS straight from the first pass WTG. Around chin and lips my hairs are very coarse so I always just do two WTG passes, but this was the first time I felt that I could do an ATG! No pulling at all!

    After the two passes (WTG, ATG) I rinsed off the rest of the lather left over, dried with the towel and applied alum bloc. The amount of stinging you get from it is a decent indicator of how irritated your skin is. This time, it was an incredibly little amount of stinging, no bumps, red areas or anything. I waited a little and applied prorazo white aftershave, and again no stinging.

    It was the best shave I've had - thank you Suehiro!

    To sum it up, Filarmonica loved the new stone and gets 10 out of 10.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    and unlike the gucci naturals, it doesn't take a gajillion blades to learn its quirks.
    'Touched up 5 last night. 2 heavy grinds, 3 full or extra hollows. I found very few strokes on the natural after the G20 returns the familiar feel of the natural (mostly asagi). An odd quirk - the superb HHT results from the G20 were nowhere to be found after the natural. 'Was discouraged, and went back to my normal flailing away on the natural until the HHT came back. All except for one blade. That one blade just got 10 strokes on clear water. After stropping - was lopping hair w/ the best of the hard worked natural (thick gray hair .0033 thick lopping 1.25" from the point of hold. My take away is to ignor the HHT at that point, do my 4-10 strokes on the natural, strop, and enjoy a great shave. The G20 enables the gucci finishers to remain finishers, rather than having to get the last bit of sharpness from them.
    Deckard and Steel like this.

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    Shaveurai Deckard's Avatar
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    My best hone in terms of keenness is Asagi Ozuku. Hard to believe anything could better the edge this gives on fine steel. Does the Gokumyo offer anything worth having for the cost?

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    Its a fast easy way to get a great fast very keen and smooth edge. If you are used to Jnats and have your stone figured out, its not necessary. I have the 20k and its fast and easy, no pasted strop needed. although for my personal razors I prefer a nakayama asagi mizu or ozuku asagi.

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    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deckard View Post
    My best hone in terms of keenness is Asagi Ozuku. Hard to believe anything could better the edge this gives on fine steel. Does the Gokumyo offer anything worth having for the cost?
    IME. Nope nothing at all. I bought one thinking I could speed up my honing by not using naturals.
    Lately I use a synthetic bevel setter & 2 naturals & I'm done. Gotta love irony.
    Those in the room who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.

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    Shaveurai Deckard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onimaru55 View Post
    IME. Nope nothing at all. I bought one thinking I could speed up my honing by not using naturals.
    Lately I use a synthetic bevel setter & 2 naturals & I'm done. Gotta love irony.
    Same here, bevel set on chosera 1K and like to have a choice of coti or jnat edge after that. I lke em both for different reasons lvl5 jnat for closeness. I have come off chosera and bought the edge in just fine with water only on lv coti, superb edge for a 1K.
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    I think if we look at the suehiro in that it is a synthetic so the user can get a very refined edge that is very predictable the first time and if the edge off a naniwa 12k or chosera 10k is worthy, this will take it the next step. The particle rating is .5 micron which if you consider the shapton 30k is .49 microns so they are essentially the same. Jnats produce a finer smoother edge IMO but theres the learning curve and the trial and error of the nagura progression and tomo match as well as the base stone itself. Then its water only yes or no, how many tomos, which tomo, hone to almost dry etc. These are all worth finding out I agree but some aren't interested in going through all that. So for a synthetic, and all the ease it brings, I find it useful although for my personal razors, I prefer an ozuku asagi or nakayama asagi mizu. Just got 2 more, nakayama koppa asagi and an oohira kiita. So more experimenting.

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    Now what Bill said above is interesting. I also went back to my natural y/g escher for razors lately. Not that is it better than the 20k but it is a slightly different feel on my face that I like. I've grown used to it and it is fine for me. OTOH, I took a Dovo Diamond Steel 7/8 to the 20k just yesterday. It improved the edge significantly (it was already shave ready) and I had a marvelous shave.

    Why I find what Bill said interesting is because he points out that you can either buy a 20k and get the same results, if you have the skill, that he and I get, or you can buy naturals, hope you get a "good" one, and then go through the learning curve of getting the most out of it.

    Arguably there is also a learning curve to get the most out of our synthetics as well. This is true but my impression, lacking firsthand experience, is that there is a much greater learning curve with J-nats if you figure in all of the tomos and what have you. As Bill says, he finds this pursuit interesting in itself.

    Some guys are wired that way and others just want a sure thing that offers consistent and repeatable results with a minimum learning curve. For those guys I would highly recommend the synthetics all the way up to and including the 20k. IMHO.

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    Shaveurai Deckard's Avatar
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    The consistent result sounds about right for synthetics I even own some synthetic finishers I seldom use. I suppose it comes down to preference,
    I find my jnat dead easy to use but I only have the one tomo nagura, I do however get a good ht from a coticule before jumping to the jnat. I have honed from dull on slurry alone with the jnat, but in my estimation the result is not the same. My reasoning is the rate at which the slurry breaks down can be to quick if your edge is not close enough first. I do occasionally break out the naniwa 12k on stuborn razors and if I'm particularly lazy have no problem touching up on pasted strops, they're all fine edges to me.

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    If you haven't you can try some lather on the suehiro 20k and take like 40 laps with weight of the razor only, this gets the edge almost as smooth and fine as a jnat.

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