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Escher Water Hone....

Escher water hones are known far and wide by straight razor shavers as being one of the, if not THE finest sharpening stone for straight razors. Just like a Belgian Coticule, these are natural stones, which come with a "slurry stone" or small hunk of hone (made of the same natural stone as the escher) to rub against the wet hone to create a milky, abrasive slurry. These stones can be used with - or without slurry. Basically this allows 2 modes - mode 1, with slurry, which will cut much faster and more aggressively, and mode 2, without slurry, which will cut slower and form a finer edge. While a Belgian Coticule is often around 8K grit, Eschers tend to be around 10-12K grit, so it provides a finer level of polish.

So where do you get an Escher? Well... that's sort of the problem, and to a large extent why there is such a cost associated with them. They are quite difficult to find, and depending on the grade of the stone (IE Blue-Green or Yellow-Green) they can be absurdly expensive... sometimes more than a custom, damascus straight razor. You can also often find new, or new old stock Thuringian water hones, which are essentially the same thing, yet at a much lower cost. Even these typically (for a decent size stone) are close to, or over $100, so by no means is this an inexpensive stone.

Overall these stones are quite nice, and like Belgian Coticules are a real hoot to use - but I just don't think they're worth the hefty price tag. Personally I feel a Chinese 12K or a Spyderco Ultra fine work every bit as good, and are significantly less expensive stones. If you are a "hone junkie" I certainly would suggest picking one up, but if you're merely looking for results, there better and less expensive options. :smile:


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