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Thread: How can you tell

  1. #1
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    Default How can you tell

    when you over sharpen a razor?

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    Senior Member Butzy's Avatar
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    shave with it. some folks will say there's no such thing. I've never personally gotten a blade "too sharp" for myself but I've heard the concept before. only sure way to tell, as with all other things honing related in the realm of straight razor shaving is to shave with it.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    How do you mean "over sharpen"? What exactly is the razor doing to make you think this?

    Bob
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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    Hmmmm. There are a few things you need to establish. When I say a blade is over honed, I mean to say that the edge has been worked for too long on aggressive, high grit hones, and the fin has started to break down. When looking at it with a loupe it has a very polished bevel and a serrated and toothy looking edge, or it has a very harsh and toothy feel when you shave with it, or the fin has broken down very quickly with very few shaves and it looks uneven and tattered. How I can tell is mostly by looking at it with a 30X loupe. I use one quite a bit throughout my honing progression, and it tell me when to move up and when to stop. I think 10pups has a sig line that reads "good decisions come from experience, and experience come from bad decisions". So it takes time and experience to learn what you are looking at through the loupe, the best way to get it figured out is some hands on time with someone with a lot of experience. There are a few threads with good pictures to help a little.
    Second try at honing...seeking opinions/suggestions...
    This one is pretty good.
    Last edited by RezDog; 09-28-2017 at 01:05 AM.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    I think Rezdog already covered my thoughts on the matter, complete with link to the same thread I had in mind. Chances are slim that you over honed the blade, most beginners are more likely to be under honing.

    The exception is when you begin to get your blade properly honed, but you've been shaving with sub-par edges for so long that your ability to hone has outstripped your ability to shave. That is, your edge is simply sharper than you're used to and your shaving technique is what needs adjustment.

    It would be helpful to know what razor you're honing and with what stones in addition to what it's doing as BobH asked above.

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    In order to get the edge of a razor very sharp/keen, the edge has to be quite thin, perhaps only a few molecules thick. As you make the edge thinner, it becomes more fragile and minute chips of metal can break off leaving a ragged edge at least at the microscopic level. This makes shaving with the blade uncomfortable.

    The holy grail of razor manufacture is finding the right steel composition and the right heat treating method that will allow the edge to become quite thin without chipping.

    The job of honing is to make the edge as keen possible, while keeping the edge smooth. The reason there are so many types of synthetic and natural hones on the market is that people keep trying to find the perfect combination of hones and technique that will produce a keen, yet smooth edge.
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    IMO a lot depends on the steel. Different steel takes a different edge. I have a razor from one of the top custom razor makers and the steel is like spring steel. It is an extra hollow grind and the blade is very thin. I find it extremely uncomfortable to shave with. I would say the grind could be a factor. I've moved away from full or extra hollow grinds and now prefer a half or quarter hollow. If you want to back off the edge a little, I use chromium oxide or my Escher. 5-10 laps and it makes the shave more pleasant.

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