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Thread: Touch Up Hone

  1. #1
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    Default Touch Up Hone

    Hello all! I am new to this forum and to the straight razor way. That said, I am enjoying it very much!

    My question is what would be the recommendation for a touch up hone? Naniwa SS 12K/Vermio/Coticule/... Both razors I have came new from SRD. As I have been told, they hone to the Naniwa 12K on all new razors. I love how both shave but have nothing to compare to. I know I do not need this today, just trying to learn and prepare (and I love sharpening!)

    Input is appreciated!

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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    There are a variety of guys that hone. Some of them have many options for finish hones. Perhaps you could send blade out and have different finishes put on them. The feel of shaving with a natural can be quite different than a synthetic. Which finisher can be an expensive rabbit hole to go down.
    It's not what you know, it's who you take fishing!

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    'with that said' cudarunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robini View Post
    Hello all! I am new to this forum and to the straight razor way. That said, I am enjoying it very much!

    My question is what would be the recommendation for a touch up hone? Naniwa SS 12K/Vermio/Coticule/... Both razors I have came new from SRD. As I have been told, they hone to the Naniwa 12K on all new razors. I love how both shave but have nothing to compare to. I know I do not need this today, just trying to learn and prepare (and I love sharpening!)

    Input is appreciated!
    Welcome from SE Washington State USA.

    My question to you is how long have you've been using this age old art of Straight Razor Shaving? My reasons for asking are that IF you are brand new you have so much to learn before even thinking about learning to hone.

    I constantly ask those that are new to learn how to Properly Strop, Make Lather and of course Shave before considering honing. My standard time frame is at least One Year of shaving and sending your razor out to a Pro so that you know what a Really Shave Ready Razor performs like.

    Even improper stropping can wreck havoc with a razor's edge! A hone can multiply that damage by the hundreds and perhaps thousands.

    I am in no way trying to discourage you! I am trying to help you as I've seen so many that are new to this art try to learn it all at once, get disgusted and quit! I don't want to see you quit!

    This age old art has a huge learning curve but with Patience you will find it to be far superior to any other method of shaving.

    It's a long strange trip but well worth the journey

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    Senior Member Gasman's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum. If your looking to do it yourself, a 12k is a nice option but, only do it to one of them. Being new to honing the odds are you are not going to make it better. Honing a razor is not like sharpening a knife. It takes many hours to learn. As Rez said, send them or one to someone that finishes on a natiral stone would be a nice option. One synthetic and one natural. You could then compare them.

    Now if you just must do it yourself thats fine. Use one razor until it starts pulling then use the other razor and touch up the first. But dont be surprised if it dont get much better.

    We must have been typing at the same time Roy. Ha.
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    Jerry...

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    The type of touch-up hone you need depends a lot on your beard and face and your shaving preferences. Some people love to finish on a Coticule as they can deliver a smooth edge, but if your beard requires a very keen edge, the Coticule might produce an edge that is sharp enough for you.

    Thuringens and the special branded Escher hones can be excellent finishers. Larger stones are expensive, especially Escher stones.

    I have an Imperia La Roccia stone that finishes well, but they get a bad rap with many members here.

    My current finishing hone of choice is a Greek Vermio hone.

    Some people finish using purple Welsh slates. Others use the Zulu Grey from South Africa.

    Another popular finishing hone is the Arkansas surgical black or translucent stones. The black is supposed to be slightly better than the translucent for finishing razors, but some would debate the issue. Arkansas stones are not rated by grit, but by density. The denser stones used for finishing tend to be rather slow. They tend to burnish/polish the edge rather than remove metal.

    There are a lot of different natural stones from Japan. Some are great finishers, others are better used in earlier stages of honing. They can be expensive.

    It is quite possible to finish on a Naniwa 12K Superstone. Some people want to go even higher than 12K and use Shapton 16K and 30K hones. Another good high grit hone is the Suehiro 20K stone.The Shapton 30K and Suehiro 20K are quite pricey.

    Another option for a touch-up hone is a vintage barber's hone. If you are on a budget, one of these might be an option, but since they are vintage, manmade hones, you never quite know what you will get. If you want a manmade hone, a Naniwa or Shapton 12K are good choices.

    I am not trying to recommend any specific finishing hone. I am just trying to name some of the options. There are certainly others I have missed. The point is that different people like different finishers because their razors, beard, face, and honing techniques vary. Thus, it is generally a process or trying several until you find one that works for you. I currently have five hones that I consider finishers and another couple that are probably good enough for many folks, but not quite good enough to deliver an ideal shave for me. I acquired them through the trial process. Before I am completely satisfied, I might try another couple.

    Some people try hones and if they do not like them, they put them up for sale. So far, I have not done that. One day I might.
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    Senior Member Jnatcat's Avatar
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    If stropped properly and used properly an edge can go a really long time but we like to hone here so I don't go more than 8-10 shaves and hone because I can't stop
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    Seudo Intellectual Lazarus's Avatar
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    Some good information has been shared. I have many of the usual suspects (jnats, welsh purple slate, Imperia La Roccia, Chinese 12k, shapton 16k, etc) and have shaved with edges from most of the other contenders. I have played with many of them as touch up hones. I have many barber hones that are about as good as final finishers as anything else I have experienced. I am thinking here of Apart, Lakeside, John Primble, Gem, Panama, Deluxe No 500, Fernsler Ruby, Fritionite 00, Zenith, the list goes on. I also think it is easier to learn how to gently give a razor a few light strokes on a barber hone than it is to learn how to fully hone. Given that you are looking specifically for a "touch up hone" I would suggest that a barber hone might be a logical starting point.

    "As long as a razor's edge remains undamaged, its shaving edge can be maintained with a barber hone indefinitely."
    Barber Hones - Shave Library
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    Thank you to everyone for the wealth of information. As I expected, this question is subject to interpretation and preference. I know that my new razors do not require a hone for quite a while, proper stropping, w/compound when needed, will carry me for awhile. I really enjoy the sharpening process and learning new techniques. This is the main reason for my question early in my exposure.

    Most likely what I will do is buy a relatively inexpensive razor(s), new or vintage, and try to learn the honing skills prior to putting one of my good razors in harms way! My plan, when the time comes, is to get a Chosera 1000, Naniwa SS 5,000/8.000/12,000 and experiment with other finishing hones as skills/experience build.

    I do like the idea of sending my users out to be honed by an experienced person to try different finishes provided by different honing stones when the time comes. I have 2 free honings from SRD. I assume they will use different finishing hones upon request?
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    Senior Member bluesman7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robini View Post
    Thank you to everyone for the wealth of information. As I expected, this question is subject to interpretation and preference. I know that my new razors do not require a hone for quite a while, proper stropping, w/compound when needed, will carry me for awhile. I really enjoy the sharpening process and learning new techniques. This is the main reason for my question early in my exposure.

    Most likely what I will do is buy a relatively inexpensive razor(s), new or vintage, and try to learn the honing skills prior to putting one of my good razors in harms way! My plan, when the time comes, is to get a Chosera 1000, Naniwa SS 5,000/8.000/12,000 and experiment with other finishing hones as skills/experience build.

    I do like the idea of sending my users out to be honed by an experienced person to try different finishes provided by different honing stones when the time comes. I have 2 free honings from SRD. I assume they will use different finishing hones upon request?
    This all sounds good Robini. I like your choices of hones. Going to a meet is a great way to get acquainted to a variety of hones.

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    bluesman7,

    "a meet"?? Please explain.

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