8k+paste vs 12k+paste

Discussion in 'Hones/Honing' started by jeness, Feb 27, 2011.

Can you feel the difference between them? (read the post)

  1. Yes, and there is major improvement over the 8k pasted edge

  2. Yes, but the improvement is not so significant

  3. If done right, I couldn't really tell the difference

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  1. We have been arguing about a cheap solution for the beginners on a small forum. The main thought there is that you HAVE TO use a high grit finisher to get a good shaving edge, but I don't think thats true. (nearly everyone is using pastes there) I said that you can get a good shaving edge off a 8k stone, with or without some 0,5 paste, and if they desire, they could add a bit of sharpness with 1 micron paste after the 8k, and then finish on the 0,5 micron.

    So the question is, can you feel the difference in sharpness (if there is any) between a 8k edge, that has been finished on say 3,1 and 0,5 micron paste, and an edge that has been honed on a 12k stone, and then finished on 0,5 micron paste?

    This would be important from a price standpoint, because getting 1-2 pasted strops is much cheaper than a high grit finisher, and is much easier to use too. I am no pro, thats why I ask the more experienced honers, if they can feel a lot of difference between them.

    Update: to take out a few variables, lets assume that we use synthetic hones, the 8k is a Norton, the 12k is a naniwa/shapton 16k glass, diamond paste on balsa for sharpening, and crox on felt for finishing.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
  2. Are we talking natural or synthetic?
    Which 8k stone?
    Which 12k stone?
    Which 3micron 1micron .5micron paste (diamond, CrOx, cerium oxide, other)?
    Which medium for the paste (felt, leather, linen, other)
    Which razor(s)?

    There are so many variables not defined it's pretty hard to answer.
    Also if we are talking about beginners that's another variable.
    On top of all that I say personal preference is the biggest key.
    It's more of a YMMV issue.
  3. I had a short and torrid affair with pastes, but it didn't work out in the end.

    I found that the edge deteriorated quickly and made for a brassy, biting edge that didn't suit my skin at all. It was sharp and all, just not the most comfortable shave.

    I had better luck with TI razor paste, it seemed to be smoother than a crox/ceox pasted edge, and better luck yet with a concoction of graphite and wax, which didn't add much sharpness, but a bit of smoothness.
    The "paste", if you will, that worked the absolute best for me was slurry powder from one of my coticules applied to hanging leather. That left an edge that was as smooth and sharp as the best I've gotten from a stone.

    Like just about every aspect of this hobby, it comes down to personal preference and what suits each individual.
  4. I only use CrOx/Diamond spray on wool felt for touchups. They improve the blade edge and are very easy to use. Never found that they made any improvement to a 10KNaniwa-Linen-Leather. I have a 12KNaniwa and never use it because it doesn't improve anything - for me anyway- after the 10K. I have heard it makes a difference for SS and the new hard steels, but I don't have either. When I stopped using the 12KNaniwa out of frustration, I used 8KNaniwa, then the sprays on wool felt, but it seemed like I was always fussing with the razors because I just didn't like the shave. For me, and I'm about 5 months in on straight razors, the 10k was needed after the 8K.
  5. I would like to start off by saying the cheapest short term solution isn't always the cheapest long-term solution, and visa-versa! Personal preference always makes these answers very gray at best.

    I think it is safe to say that 8K is generally the univerally accepted minimum grit for a decent shave. I've shaved comfortably directly off of several brands of 8K hones (using only leather and canvas stropping). The shaves were adequate and comfortable enough for shaving.

    Any paste or higher refinement past 8K is certainly welcome in my book - but there are definite differences between finishing on a paste, chromium, diamond or a given stone - often regarless of what preceeded them. Some get sharper, some smoother. That will only be made clear upon trying and comparing each finish. It doesn't sound like the people in question want to go down that path.
  6. You can't get good data here.

    Honing technique, stropping technique, level of paste application, material it's applied to, particular pastes and hones used, users face and preferences. The amount and significance of variables make the data you're going to collect pretty much useless.

    I've avoided pastes. All the pasted edges I've tried were inferior to what I can produce off stones. Eventually I'm sure I'll try something .025 micron on a unyielding surface just to see if that level of refinement offers any advantage, but I'll likely go with a lapping film rather than a paste application.

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