Setting the bevel

Discussion in 'Hones/Honing' started by bbarton713, May 1, 2012.

  1. bbarton713

    bbarton713 Contributor

    I'm more than happy to admit that I have no idea what that means. Does it mean at the most macro level that lapping films are not enough and that you have to invest in a rock of some sort to do bevel setting?
  2. It's the initial stage of rough "shaping" of the edge of the razor... it lays the foundation for your edge.

    There are some guys that are using films to do this, but it doesn't seem practical to me, personally. Whatever works though.
  3. bbarton713

    bbarton713 Contributor

    But how often do you have to do something like this?
  4. Well, I guess, in theory and ideally, maybe once... but we often want to "start fresh" and reset it, or some razors get used for practice and it gets reset a lot.

    Basically, if it's done right the first time, not very often at all.

    *edit* I'm sure some other members will be able to answer this more eloquently than I... but I think you were just trying to get a sense of what tools you would need and how often.
  5. bbarton713

    bbarton713 Contributor

    Ok, so basically it is just one of those things that you 'might' have to do? I guess if I get a razor in really bad shape I'll send it to an expert then.
  6. +1 what Drybonz said.

    Basically you are strating with a razor that is dull. the cutting edge is rounded, sawtooth or what have you. What you are doing is shaping the cutting edge where both sides of the cutting edge (bevel) meet In a \/. When done properly bevel will catch and start to dig in with the Thumbpad Test (TPT). Also at skin level it will shave arm hair with no resistance at all.

    That is a bevel set. I guess called a set because you have honed off the old edge, and the new cutting edge is "set" in fresh steel. From there further refinement and polishing is required to shave.

    Let me know If I sound as crazy as I think I do?

  7. Yeah... you only have to do it on a razor that needs a complete honing, start to finish. Bevel setting is the "start" phase. After that, if you maintain the razor properly, you just have to touch it up, or step down a bit in your honing progression, but not all the way. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that most guys using the lapping films are probably just "maintaining" the razor.
  8. I set the bevel on any razor that I don't know the bevel condition on - so new to me then... I also do it obviously after working out any chips or after bread-knifing a razor to fix a frown or even up the edge for aesthetics.

    Otherwise, I just hone it starting on the coticule.

    IMHO, if you're going to hone, you need to have something that can set a bevel quickly. For me that's a King 1200 grit. Most people here like a King 1000 or a Chosera 1000.
  9. If I get a razor that is "Shave Ready" from a source I am not familiar with, Ebay, Knife Grinder, etc., I very very lighty run the edge on the rim of a glass to be sure the cutting edge is dull. After that I set the bevel. Once set properly and finished out, general maintenace is only needed to keep the razor shaving sharp. Laps on Crox, a fine stone with water, coticule with water and so on.

    If you drop the razor and it hits the floor or something traumatic like that, 99% of the time the bevel will have to be reset.

  10. bbarton713

    bbarton713 Contributor

    So, basically, bevel setting is done by honing the way you've always honed but with a lower grit setting until both sides meet in a V? Do you need to hold the razor at a different angle than what you do when doing normal honing? Is this why you have to use tape?

    I have a kitchen knife set that I've had for years and a Rachael Ray sharpening system. When the knife gets really dull I'll go all the way back to using this attachment that has degree settings on it and basically shaves off some of the knife to make the edge ready to sharpen. I'm guessing this is similar except it is done on a sharpening stone of some sort.
  11. lol... don't say that or you will start a riot.

    I'm just kidding, but you don't have to use tape unless you want to... and you are right it is similar to regular honing on a lower grit, maybe with a little different pressure and sometimes some different strokes. Little variations.
  12. as others have said above, the bevel is the foundation for a shaving edge, without a satisfactory bevel, you are wasting time... it's that important...

    you can polish a face until you are blue in the face, but if you don't have that V... then that sucks...

    people add tape to protect the spine or increase the angle of the bevel for things such as strengthening an edge (if needed, for example if the spine is too worn or the steel crumbles), for adding a second bevel as in the case of unicot on coticules, or getting around the angle of a wedge...
  13. Krodor

    Krodor Contributor

    Dull is a "U". Bevel setting is shaving the sides off to make a "V". The rest of the honing sequence polishes the edges of the "V" to make it smooth along the length of the edge. Doing so will also shine up the sides of the "V" making a shiny bevel. If you don't make a good "V" to start with (able to cut arm hair at the skin with zero effort when tried all along the length of the blade for me), the you can make some really shiny mirror bevels, but can still be dull because it never made that "V". Shiny bevels are pretty, but they don't shave, the edge does (as global_dev said).

    One other thing...just cuz you got a "v" doesn't mean you're done. Often times you can have microchipping along the edge that you can't see without a low power microscope. I try to get both all the chipping out and have a "V" before progressing to get the best shaves.
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  14. bbarton713

    bbarton713 Contributor

    Ah, so much to learn!
  15. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

    I think unless you chip or ding an otherwise healthy edge, you likely wouldn't have to "reset" the bevel per se...maybe refresh would be a better description. As the razor dulls it would behoove you to maintain that edge before it dulls to the point it needs a reset, vs refresh.
  16. Krodor

    Krodor Contributor

    Nah. Plus, you asked, ya gots lotsa info, and you're another step closer! It's really not to high-falutin' in the end: get a "V", make it smooth, and shave. All the rest of it is how smooth and how to get there. Lapping films take all the thought out of it and you can get some real zinger edges. Coti edges may not be as shiny or hypersharp, but they are known for wonderful comfort and smoothness and being one-hone solutions. LOTS of other options (you ever set a bevel and finish polished an edge on a chalkboard from a 130 year old schoolhouse? How about petrified wood? Yup, works! Check out the Link here, but they all can work, and just are diff't paths to get you there. It's fun!
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  17. Once as long as nothing bad happens

    That will work, but if you get into straight razors, you will most likely want to set a bevel. It is really not that difficult with the proper tools.

    This is what I do-of course for touch ups its a coticule with OIL or a JNAT

    Bevel setting and honing are done in the same way, only the grit of the stone changes. To tape or not to tape is a completely different question-that is really just a preference thing. People tape to protect the spine from hone wear. Ifyou tape for bevel setting then you need to tape for the rest of the honing.

    The bevel is the shape, the higher progressions just polish the previously created bevel. if you have a spot on the razor that does not meet in a perfect V, then you can polish forever and not get that area sharper.

  18. ~~~and or the schales can suffer damage too<LOL>


    Reddick Fla.

  19. ~~~hey Bob!...if you ever become involved using coticules for your razor edge sharpening and maint. needs, and you happen to pick up a Belgian Blue Whetstone too (I love and use mine), they are great for maintaining the edge on your kitchen knife too FWIW

    When I originally bought a DMT Duo Sharp so I would have soemthing quality to lap my coticules with, and also to use for de-ebaying straight razors, I also bought this particular Duo-Sharp (blue/red grit rating..350/600) so I could hone the nicks out of a sorely abused 8" kitchen knife given to me some years back

    Long story short, even the higher grit DMT is too abrasive once the bevels are corrected (on the kitchen knife), so I began using my 40X150mm BBW for edge maint and it really works a charm. I paid $40 for this BBW through ...I'll use my dmt to raise slurry on the BBW and I always hone the kitchen knife on wet slurried BBW...takes about 3-4 minutes when the knife tells me it's time. I like to do circles with the blade on the BBW. I'll go up one side, flip the kinife and do the same amount of strokes on the other bevel...never really counting strokes/circles... I fall into a rhythm

    In case you're wondering...the BBW gets used occassionally in progrerssion to perform straight razor honing duties. this is the tutiorial I follow when using the BBW along /coticule to hone a straight razor


    Reddick Fla.
  20. I deserved that, and do resemble that remark. (facepalm)


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