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Thread: Sharpness after Honing

  1. #21
    Senior Member Porl's Avatar
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    I don't really do tests that much. My arm hair is like that of a Disney Princess and just won't work on any test. My head hair has pretty much gone the way of the Dodo, so I am limited as to what I can use. My wife's hair would require a swing from an axe to cut so that's not great either.

    I usually look for the blade undercutting the water on the hone, check for scratches/striations with a loup, strop then shave test. I figure that I am honing it to shave with and if it does that well and comfortably for me, then that's good enough.

    I guess these tests are important for people who hone for others, but for me on my own razors I don't worry too much.
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  2. #22
    Senior Member bluesman7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Porl View Post

    I guess these tests are important for people who hone for others, but for me on my own razors I don't worry too much.
    Mainly, for me, it lets me know that I'm done and I am confident that I won't need to get the hones back out the next day after the test shave.
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  3. #23
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaneprice5 View Post
    Well, you've awakened me because a fresh feather DE blade doesn't even grab my hair.
    This is why it should be used as a baseline

    You learn what to expect and how to do and interpret the tests using your hair, your finger nails, and your finger pads

    One of the things I have learned from teaching people to hone at the meets is nearly every single time as you are passing around a razor for people to see and touch. At least one person in the group will get a Fail out of the tests..

    They must be calibrated to you and the easiest way to do that is to start by seeing what a fresh DE balde does
    Last edited by gssixgun; 10-11-2017 at 06:06 PM.
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  4. #24
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    Very interesting. I calibrated the HHT to my hair using razors honed by Glen. That way I had a baseline to go by while learning to hone. Interestingly I never tried a DE blade until last evening after I read this thread. A new Feather DE cut hair once in five attempts. Much worse than I expected.
    I do have the same experience as one of the posters above, HHT tells me how sharp a blade is but tells me nothing about how comfortable the shave will be. The one thing I know is a razor that doesn't pass HHT wont shave my neck ATG without tugging.
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  5. #25
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    I think that the posts about HHT illustrate a shortcoming of using HHT. I've found that it is difficult or impossible to compare different 'stuff', like comparing a synthetic edge to a natural edge, probably two different naturals, or a DE blade (most are coated right?) and a straight razor.

    After the 8k Shapton Pro, I typically use koma then a tomo nagura on a jnat finisher. I'm testing the edge for consistency with the HHT at each grit above 2k to be sure the entire edge is coming up the same. But when I test on the koma edge after the 8k, it's always considerably worse though it shaves as well or better. I concluded that you cannot compare the sharpness of the edge between the two stones using HHT.

    I can use it to judge sharpness/readiness off the jnat finisher in the sequence that I use, and I can tell which jnat finisher of two is usually better by comparing HHT. I can also tell that my Shapton 5k edge is sharper than my 2k edge, and that my 8k edge is sharper than the 5k (all Shapton Pros). I would be hesitant to try and compare say a 5k Chosera with the Shapton 5k using HHT.

    Cheers, Steve
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  6. #26
    Senior Member bluesman7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve56 View Post
    I think that the posts about HHT illustrate a shortcoming of using HHT. I've found that it is difficult or impossible to compare different 'stuff', like comparing a synthetic edge to a natural edge, probably two different naturals, or a DE blade (most are coated right?) and a straight razor.

    After the 8k Shapton Pro, I typically use koma then a tomo nagura on a jnat finisher. I'm testing the edge for consistency with the HHT at each grit above 2k to be sure the entire edge is coming up the same. But when I test on the koma edge after the 8k, it's always considerably worse though it shaves as well or better. I concluded that you cannot compare the sharpness of the edge between the two stones using HHT.

    I can use it to judge sharpness/readiness off the jnat finisher in the sequence that I use, and I can tell which jnat finisher of two is usually better by comparing HHT. I can also tell that my Shapton 5k edge is sharper than my 2k edge, and that my 8k edge is sharper than the 5k (all Shapton Pros). I would be hesitant to try and compare say a 5k Chosera with the Shapton 5k using HHT.

    Cheers, Steve
    Totally agree. You have to know what HHT results you have come to expect out of each different process and how that relates to the resulting shave. This is why the HHT is of questionable value to the inexperienced, however a beginner can start building that experience by comparing their HHT results to their shaves.

    I usually only do the HHT once or maybe twice for each razor/hone session. Once to verify that I am done honing, and then sometimes again when I feel that the shave quality is starting to fall off before re honing. The second test is mostly a reality check, like 'is this razor really starting to dull or was something wrong with my prep etc.'
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesman7 View Post
    Totally agree. You have to know what HHT results you have come to expect out of each different process and how that relates to the resulting shave. This is why the HHT is of questionable value to the inexperienced, however a beginner can start building that experience by comparing their HHT results to their shaves.

    I usually only do the HHT once or maybe twice for each razor/hone session. Once to verify that I am done honing, and then sometimes again when I feel that the shave quality is starting to fall off before re honing. The second test is mostly a reality check, like 'is this razor really starting to dull or was something wrong with my prep etc.'
    I only do it through the grits the first time I hone a razor, after that 8k is about as low as I go and usually it's just tomo slurry on the finisher to touch up an edge.

    Cheers, Steve

  8. #28
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    I test twice, arm hair after bevel set then after finishing stone I strop and tree tops test the arm hair too. It's consistent and no mucking round with calibrations or finding bits of hair to test with.
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  9. #29
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    I test mainly when setting the bevel, I use a combination of the thumb pad, thumbnail, HHT and arm/leg hair shaving test; and also go by the general feel / feedback of that razor on the hone. The main one is the arm hair shave test and how well it does or does not shave, that's the tell all for me.

    I find sticking to multiple test that I generally get a better understand of where the edge is at. I mostly have to do this with blades that take longer to set the bevel on, like when restoring a chip, gotta be sure that the bevel is meeting and no damage / harshness is left at the edge.

    The HHT is subjective and open for interpretation, but after the years I know what I can look for in this test, I use it extensively and exclusively while finishing my razors.
    (Subjective as in, when I was less experienced with honing I also got good HHT results but bad shaves)

    I noticed myself doing a HHT before every shave to tell how my edge is advancing after every shave, gives me an understanding when I need to touch up.


    Ah yeah, there's one other test I sometimes do, when I'm cleaning my razor on a paper tissue or a piece of toilet paper, I fold the paper and cut it with the razor and I can feel where the edge is smooth and where it's still rough that way -> more honing.
    Last edited by TristanLudlow; 10-15-2017 at 11:25 AM.
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaneprice5 View Post
    Well, you've awakened me because a fresh feather DE blade doesn't even grab my hair.
    There is a reason for that. Feather blades have a Teflon or some such coating. When new they will not cut a hanging hair, period. After you've used the blade once or twice and some of that coating is removed exposing the sharp apex, it will kill the HHT.

    I noticed the same thing the first time I ever tried to HHT a Feather Pro blade for my Feather A.C. straight. Out of the dispenser it would not cut a hanging hair. After a shave it would, and after two shaves it would slay a hanging hair i.e. HHT5.

    As I recall, Todd S. has an article about this on his blog with electron microscope photos that clearly shows the coating.
    Last edited by eKretz; 10-16-2017 at 05:19 AM.
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