lets have a new razor thread.

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inferno

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i'm thinking about trying shaving with razors again. so i dusted off the old iwasaki swedish steel kamisori and sharpened it up. and now its sharp as fuk. just like it was before i sharpened it :)

difference being that i sharpened it on the shapton pro12k and also the SS 12k, instead of the spyderco UF.

i noticed both the pro12k and the SS 12k was extremely "grabby" feeling. didn't like it one bit i can tell you that. didn't slide good at all on those stones.

i think the pro12k was maybe a bit faster but not as sharp result as the SS 12k. the 12k pro is still a bit hazy if you look at it but the SS 12k was true mirror. and it got insanely/truly scary sharp. need to watch out now i guess.

Both stones seems to clog up visually very fast but they still continue to cut well i noticed.

my iwasaki is polished and not black anymore. because i like polished steel.

----------------------------

so what do you use when shaving and what stones do you have?
iwasaki2.JPG

iwasaki1.JPG
 

Matus

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I must be one of the least experienced razor honers around here, so do not take what I say too seriously.

I have started shaving with a straight razor a few months ago. My honing procedure is as follows:

  • Shapton Pro 1k - only if the razor needs some repair (chips or edge rust)
  • Naniwa SS 5k (on a plastic base) - I normally start on this stone. I use the smallest finest (green) DMT diamond plate to raise a little slurry. I make sure the stone is under running water for 2-3 minutes (because its form changes slightly between dry and wet) and only then I check the flatness with Atoma 1200 (400 would make more sense, but I am yet to buy one). I hone on this stone until I get a ‘perfect’ 5k edge.
  • Natural stone with tomo nagura. I had the best results so far with a little Nakayama HS62 from Watanabe, but I am experimenting with different stones. The best tomo naguras so far have been from uchigumori. I have not tried Asano naguras yet. I do start with a bit slurry and thin it on several steps.
  • I strop with 100 strokes on a linen and 40 on a lether strop made by Torolf of Scrupleworks.
With the above I get fairly good edge on the Japanese Starlet razor (the only I use at the moment) which I got from @Slipstenar. He also taught me most that I know about honing and shaving. I hope he will share his knowledge here (he also has some very helpful videos on YT).

@Mr.Magnus is another very experienced straight razor honer and user.

I also got a simple optical 100x microscope (about 130€ - metal and glass construction, with actual 100x enlargement factor) which is great to check the edge for damage and honing result.
 

PalmRoyale

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I have a very nice Boker straight razor. I normally sharpen with a super nice La Veinette coticule. When it needs serious work I whip up a thick slurry with my La Veinette nagura and I slowly dilute the slurry and end on plain water. I don't strop after the La Veinette because it produces an extremely nice comfortable mellow edge. You can't beat a high quality La Veinette for shaving.

The edge is actually a bit too comfortable because my girlfriend often asks me to shave her legs :p
 

inferno

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I can't shave off
my coticules. mine are newly mined from TSS. it feels like i'm tearing out my beard, even with the iwasaki.
the UF not so much. it just slides through.

I made this today at work. its my own thoughts on how i want a shaving knife. i dont want a long tang, but i want a short but grippy tang. its unhardened now. O1. its just rough cut basically. i made it with a die grinder and one of those small cylindrical stones. maybe 150 grit. its all handmade, freehand. and it shows. but this is what i can accomplish at max if i want a deep hollow grind so this is what i get.

razor2.JPG
razor1.JPG
 

inferno

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I have a very nice Boker straight razor. I normally sharpen with a super nice La Veinette coticule. When it needs serious work I whip up a thick slurry with my La Veinette nagura and I slowly dilute the slurry and end on plain water. I don't strop after the La Veinette because it produces an extremely nice comfortable mellow edge. You can't beat a high quality La Veinette for shaving.

The edge is actually a bit too comfortable because my girlfriend often asks me to shave her legs :p
for some odd reason i feel like i need one of these. they just look so bad ass. maybe with some gold inlays too.

 

inferno

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I must be one of the least experienced razor honers around here, so do not take what I say too seriously.

I have started shaving with a straight razor a few months ago. My honing procedure is as follows:

  • Shapton Pro 1k - only if the razor needs some repair (chips or edge rust)
  • Naniwa SS 5k (on a plastic base) - I normally start on this stone. I use the smallest finest (green) DMT diamond plate to raise a little slurry. I make sure the stone is under running water for 2-3 minutes (because its form changes slightly between dry and wet) and only then I check the flatness with Atoma 1200 (400 would make more sense, but I am yet to buy one). I hone on this stone until I get a ‘perfect’ 5k edge.
  • Natural stone with tomo nagura. I had the best results so far with a little Nakayama HS62 from Watanabe, but I am experimenting with different stones. The best tomo naguras so far have been from uchigumori. I have not tried Asano naguras yet. I do start with a bit slurry and thin it on several steps.
  • I strop with 100 strokes on a linen and 40 on a lether strop made by Torolf of Scrupleworks.
With the above I get fairly good edge on the Japanese Starlet razor (the only I use at the moment) which I got from @Slipstenar. He also taught me most that I know about honing and shaving. I hope he will share his knowledge here (he also has some very helpful videos on YT).

@Mr.Magnus is another very experienced straight razor honer and user.

I also got a simple optical 100x microscope (about 130€ - metal and glass construction, with actual 100x enlargement factor) which is great to check the edge for damage and honing result.
have you tried "finishing" on synths? i will probably never get a big nat, at least not for razors. i just feel the synths are working. maybe i'm not a nat kinda guy?? will i get banned now for saying this?
 

Matus

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have you tried "finishing" on synths? i will probably never get a big nat, at least not for razors. i just feel the synths are working. maybe i'm not a nat kinda guy?? will i get banned now for saying this?
I actually would like to try it one day, but the SS5k is currently my finest synthetic stone, so I would have to borrow 1-2 finer ones to try it out.
 

inferno

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matus i have to confess a thing here.

i dont strop at all. stropping did not in any way kind or form enhance the sharpness nor comfort off my UF stone so i really dont see any need for it. (even though one can easily look up the positive results of stropping on the https://scienceofsharp.wordpress.com blog but now it seems like its login only.) this guy did SEM micrographs of stones and strops and steel and whatever. really good stuff. he also cut up edges to analyse with a focused ion beam lol.

but yeah i dont strop anything anymore i let the stones speak for themselves.
 

Nemo

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IIRC, the Science of Sharp experiments showed that the results of stropping depended on the firmness or 'give' of the strop. Flexible media like leather tended to produce a burr which then took a hundred or more strokes to remove while firm media such as balsa were better at removing the burr in only a few strokes.

I think that there was something special about loaded linnen but I can't remember the details.
 

stringer

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I have been playing a little the last few months. I have an antique straight razor and a cheap kamisori. I've tried several different sharpening options.
Coticules, saurat stone, Chinese 12k, Shapton Pro 12k, Hideriyama. I've had my best finishes by doing a synthetic progression to Shapton 12k and then going to a Okudo Suita koppa. Strop on a cheap leather Amazon strop. I usually have a beard so I'm mostly learning by shaving my neck which has been interesting.
 

Xenif

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Ok ... i dont have manly viking beards like you folks here ... Im one of those hairless asian breeds .... I only shave like once every few days so I dont look scruffy, I hate having to go buy new blades every time they get dull .... Will I benefit from owning a Kamisori or straight razor, if I already own a wide variety of synths and jnats ?
 

The Edge

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I go from an 8k grit stone to a cheapo Chinese 12k stone. Afterwards, I strop on a horse hair strop. Same setup I've used for the last 7 years. Works well, and supposedly I don't have super course hair, so the edges last the year. Granted I've got 2 that I cycle through (Mitsuon and a carbon wing).
 

inferno

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I have been playing a little the last few months. I have an antique straight razor and a cheap kamisori. I've tried several different sharpening options.
Coticules, saurat stone, Chinese 12k, Shapton Pro 12k, Hideriyama. I've had my best finishes by doing a synthetic progression to Shapton 12k and then going to a Okudo Suita koppa. Strop on a cheap leather Amazon strop. I usually have a beard so I'm mostly learning by shaving my neck which has been interesting.
judging from the razor forums you will get the best results from the 12k pro and then strop, leather only i think. if you cant shave with this you probably cant shave at all.
 

inferno

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I go from an 8k grit stone to a cheapo Chinese 12k stone. Afterwards, I strop on a horse hair strop. Same setup I've used for the last 7 years. Works well, and supposedly I don't have super course hair, so the edges last the year. Granted I've got 2 that I cycle through (Mitsuon and a carbon wing).
I happen to have that super coarse hair. i need the very sharpest you can get. my almost unused strop is kangaroo. because skippy the bush kangaroo was on tv when i was young. so i go for kangaroo if i can. kangaroo is also the thinnest leather. and i kinda like kangaroos.
 

zizirex

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Does anyone ever try Sigma 13K? either for Razor or knife. I'm looking for a stone that is good for finishing razor, hand plane and knives.
Sigma 13K, Shapton Pro 12K, Shapton glass 16k and Morihei Hi 12k is on my radar for those tasks. I'm using Morihei Karasu right now, I can shave with it but it takes a long time to get where it's fine enough for a shave. I have 3 razors, my first Gold Dollar 66, for muscle memory training then Thiers Issard 7/8 and Dovo 5/8 for rescaling project.
 

stringer

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judging from the razor forums you will get the best results from the 12k pro and then strop, leather only i think. if you cant shave with this you probably cant shave at all.
It took me a while to get the razor into shape. It's a 100 year old $10 eBay special. My shapton Glass 8k produced a workable razor but it wasn't comfortable so I bought all the rest of that stuff but have pretty much settled on the shapton pro 12k. But I find the Suita finish a tad more smooth feeling even if not quite as sharp. Same thing with the strop, just makes it feel a little more comfortable. I am planning to do some more work to the strop to condition it's surface.
My sharpening technique is pretty good I think. My shaving technique leaves a lot to be desired. FWIW, I have medium hair in terms of both fine/coarse and thick/thin. I'm skinny, bony, and tall and haven't quite figured out how to navigate all the contours of my long angular neck. Especially in a timely fashion. I've saved practicing for my days off work when I have more time to administer first aid if need be.
 

Matus

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About the strop - one of the first things I was warned about: if you buy a ‘ready to shave’ razor, do NOT strop it before first use. There is a very good chance that upon first time stropping one will damage the edge.

While I do use strop I apply quite some tension by hand, so there is very little sag.

My understanding is that stropping on a linen or other tough cloth is supposed to remove last burr and stropping on a fine leather just ‘aligns’ the edge. That’s one often strops after every shave.

I have even seen a video how to strop on the palm of your hand. I tried, but it does feel dangerous :)
 

kayman67

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There are so many paths leading to a proper shaving edge, that most people might overthink this.
And with today's CBNs or PCDs, even stones are left fairly unimportant. I still use them as I enjoy the feeling. To be honest, most stones will do the job. Sure there are differences, but eventually any will be gone with a strop progression. CBN is for a more comfortable edge, PCD for a more crisp one.

Finishing on Glass 8k (both) requires very very little pressure and plenty of water. Pretty much like using a coti. Should offer really nice sharp edges.
 

The Edge

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I like my leather glued to a stiff backing like wood. Different leathers will give you different finishes. If you go with latigo tanned leather, the process removes any of the silicate, meaning you'll have to use another abrasive with the leather. Veg tanned leather will retain its natural silicates with horse hair being the equivalent of 50k, and veg tanned cow being about 40k grit levels. Stropping is all about no pressure. At this point, we're just trying to refine the edge as much as possible to take the bite out of the edge.
 

Slipstenar

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Ohh, nice to have a nice thread about this crafty sharpy thing in the face :D (Or different areas)

Well, about the stropping thingy, I have used both firm balsa but mostly a hanging strop with a linnen side and a leather side, I nowadays only use the hanging strop.. about 100 strops on the linnen and 20-50 strops on th eleather side.. BUT thats only when you just honed your razor. When its honed you just need to strop it on the leather side for 20-30 strops and then shave..

I havent had any issues with a leather strop, just put some tension on it so it doesnt hang freely, otherwise you will destroy your edge in 1 strop up and down the leather.
 

Jville

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I've only been straight razor shaving for a little under 2 years. I believe I used some stones once when I first started, because I thought I messed up the edge with my poor technique. In the beginning I could not pass the hht test off of my regular strop. But after I started using cbn, I never had a problem. Ever since I have been maintaining with hanging leather strops, one loaded with .75 cbn and another with .25 cbn. The edges are really nice. My hair seems quite coarse.
 

Slipstenar

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I've only been straight razor shaving for a little under 2 years. I believe I used some stones once when I first started, because I thought I messed up the edge with my poor technique. In the beginning I could not pass the hht test off of my regular strop. But after I started using cbn, I never had a problem. Ever since I have been maintaining with hanging leather strops, one loaded with .75 cbn and another with .25 cbn. The edges are really nice. My hair seems quite coarse.

My opinion on the CBN is that it is crazy good.. BUT you look the smoothness of a natural edge. With CBN you get the sharpness 2 notches higher than with a natural stone.
 

Juan

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these are my primary 3, i have a few dozen razors i've picked up while antique shopping. soon i will start restoring them and maybe making some of the wedges hollow ground. i got into straights because multi blade new razors irritate my face no matter what preshave/shave products i used, also my kids love searching for them in old shops and searching for "history" on the razors. we've found some good ones so far, a few bokers, wade & butcher Sheffield's, double ducks, henkles. but i think the smaller brand razors are more interesting.

 

Desert Rat

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I have been straight razor shaving and honing for a little over a year now. I started with an old kamisori off the bay and have a hand full of westerns but the kamisori is still by far my favorite. I had a pile of arks and those are what I use but have been playing around with a couple of coticules lately.
 

musicman980

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I've been using straights for around 7 years now. After going through a bunch of straights and many different stones and a few strops, the culled herd is now a few big straights, a few coticules, and a shell/linen strop. I highly recommend restoring antique razors and strops if you can, as that has saved me a ton of money. I am currently only using the top right coticule and the strop to keep them all razor sharp - minimalism is best.

IMG_0635.jpg
 

kayman67

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Agree. I don't have any old strops unfortunately, but I did save old razors, regrinds included.
 

Tim Rowland

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This was the last one that I ground. No longer have it but wish that I kept it.
The only straight razor that I currently have is a simple Boker King Cutter,
I have an old horse hide strop I got from a pawn shop years ago and usually use my Shapton glass 10k and finish with .5micron diamond paste on the strop. I am still a complete novice at using a straight razor though and maybe only use it once a week.
58570820_2261809353901179_1246863477436317696_n.jpg
58606384_2261809570567824_8820901590828318720_n.jpg
 

Matus

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Really enjoying this thread :)

I have considered a coticule, but got confused by many online posts on razor fora and decided to stay away. I would love to try it though, but they are not cheap and I am not sure how would I pick the right one.

How does one restore an old strop? That sounds interesting. I would have an idea how to restore a razor, but no idea when it come to strops - and how to recognize what can be restored and what not.
 
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