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Thread: Honing stones selection

  1. #1
    Senior Member Iasonas's Avatar
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    Default Honing stones selection

    Hello guys,

    I am quiet a newbie in the whole honing process. I own a belgian coticule (125x45 mm) and I can say that I have got some encouraging results so far (acceptable not perfect). So I have been thinking about buying some more stones, my budget is quite limited (around 120 dollars). I have narrowed my option to two:

    1) King 1000, King 4000, King 6000
    2) King 1000, King 4000, Chinese 12000

    So which one do you think is better and why? Also do you have any other recommendations to make?

    Thank you a lot for your time,
    Jason

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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    I'd go for the King 1 & 4 only for the time being. Your coticule may be good enough to give satisfactory finish. If it turns out you want/need more get the Chinese 12k. The 6k will not add that much to the mix IMHO.
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    Senior Member Iasonas's Avatar
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    So you suggest using 1 to set the bevel, start polishing at 4 and then hone on the coticule varying the slurry?

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    I regularly use a combination stone king 1/6k, then the coticule or some other finisher. I find the 6k effective to clean the scrape pattern from 1k and better (finer) to prepare for the coticule than the 4k. I assume that 4k and 6k are almost equivalent, that is it's useless buying both. The advantage of 6k over 4k is that you can buy the combination stone 1/6k and save some money.
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    An alternative to the Chinese is the Kitayama. I know there have been discussions as to whether it's a 12K or not but before I got my escher and Coticule it was my finisher and it didn't do too shabby a job and it's way faster than the Chinese.
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    Contains ingredients Tack's Avatar
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    It really depends upon your reason for honing.

    If you are rescuing ebay/flea market type razors, you need to start with the bevel, of course. In that case, Sterm's suggestion of the 1K/6K King would be just the thing for a limited budget. If your coticule is a hard one (does not autoslurry noticably), you should be able to get a good finish from it on soap or glycerin.

    If, on the other hand, you are merely maintaining a few already shave ready razors, all you need is the finisher. A bevel need only be set once barring accidental damage. Once a razor is brought to shave ready condition it only needs touch ups to maintain it. I often suggest a "5-5-12" plan, ie- five no pressure laps every five shaves on a 12K Naniwa SS. Since the coticule is less agressive than the Naniwa, you might use something like 8-10 laps. A shave ready razor maintained in this fashion should never need a full honing.

    If you manage to resist the urge to collect razors big time (good luck with that!), I would suggest that if you buy a new razor that is not shave ready or if you buy the occasional vintage razor, send it out to a pro for honing and maintain it as suggested above. You'll be money ahead. Spend some of that budget on soaps or perhaps another strop to scratch the acquisition itch.

    +1 on what spendur said about the C12K. Not only are they very slow but there is tremendous variation in quality from stone to stone - you might buy three or four of them before you find one that works for you. (I tried three of them, sold/traded them all.)



    rs,
    Tack
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    Mental Support Squad Pithor's Avatar
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    As you already invested in a coticule, I don't see why you would add more stones apart from the 1000 grit, as that will likely help you for establishing bevels if necessary. I would say stick with the coticule, as adding to your honing set-up is likely to add confusion. Changing methods while trying to learn one singular method (i.e. coticule honing in your case) in my opinion and experience really only make it more difficult.

    Now if you would like to change to an all synthetic set-up or a set-up where you only finish on a coticule I would understand, but I guess you are trying to learn how to use a coticule. Adding synthetics will not help your honing on a coticule in that case.

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    Senior Member Iasonas's Avatar
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    Ok I started saving money and I hope that in about a week I will be able to order a Chosera 1k and a Nani ss 5k. At the beginning as you see I had decided to buy the Kings but after some thought and a friend's valuable advice I came to realize that buying hones is an investment for the future and so I should buy the best available ( or at least the best I can afford as a university student).

    Also I have a question for you. When the 5k's job is done I will go to the coticule, what slurry should I use, heavy, medium or light?

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    After the naniwa 5k try the coticule with water only, if it works that's perfect.
    Depending on the coticule you have it could happen that it works better with some very light slurry.

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    what Dad calls me nun2sharp's Avatar
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    As you are finishing on the 5k start to lighten your strokes thus somewhat polishing the edge for the next higher grit(not necessary but a widely used technique) start on the coticule with a heavy slurry slowly thinning it out until there is water only, at this point start lightening your strokes for the finishing touches or for moving to the next higher stone.
    Last edited by nun2sharp; 02-01-2014 at 11:49 PM.
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