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Frankonian Hone

Item Description

Some of you may remember that I had a post awhile ago wondering about the Frankonian hone available from Olivia Seife's website:

http://www.olivia-seife.de/shop/hwherren/steine.html

I was intrigued that you could buy a finisher there (Frankonian) that was described to be used after an escher. I debated on this hone for some time and after selling off some of my other HAD stones I had some money burning a hole in my pocket that just HAD to be used on an Oozuku from Maxim and the Frankonian from Olivia's site.

I got the stone in about a week after ordering, which given shipment from Germany especially at the end of last year was impressive.

I held off on reviewing this for awhile as it is basically not discussed on these forums and I wanted to get a lot of experience with this before throwing in my 2 cents.

Since I'm constantly restoring or cleaning up straights from my pile, I have what seems like an endless supply of razors to practice on.

I've now finished 10 razors on this hone and thought it would be a good time to post my initial impressions.

The stone itself came to me as a 5x2.75" barber sized hone. It is a somewhat dark brown to black colored stone. Lapping this stone was a PITA! Whereas Eschers are really soft and quite easy to lap, this stone was hard (lapping terms) and really took me awhile to get it flat. The slurry produced from the stone is also a brown color. So while this stone hails from and is mined in Germany, it definitely is not a new Thuringian or a stone of those likes.

For honing I progressed all my razors through the dilucot method and then went to the Frankonian. The stone itself comes with a small slurry stone, but I found this useless to raise a slurry and I switched to my tiny DMT 325 plate for slurry raising.

I used this very similar to how I use an escher, which is to raise a slurry and do about 10-15 x-strokes and then go through 4-5 dilutions to just water. On water I would do 30-50 x-strokes for the final finish. This stone definitely is just a finisher/polisher as I observed no metal removal or darkening of the slurry ever.

Now rating an edge is always very subjective. I can get a BBS shave from every finisher I'm experienced with (coti, escher, charnley). What matters to me is the relatively sharpness of the edge for shaving, which I rate as to how long the shave lasts to where I can feel appreciable stubble. The second parameter is the smoothness of the shave. Coticule edges are very smooth for me, but I usually can feel appreciable stubble 10-12 hours post shave. An escher edge is not quite as smooth (though pretty smooth still) and stubble usually comes in the 12-15 hour range. Charnleys are less smooth than an escher when finished on oil and last similarly to an escher edge. On water these things are crisp and not anything I personally like to shave off of (In short CF's are overrated IMO, so don't be spending big bucks on them).

Now, all that said - how does the Frankonian stack up? The first razor I finished on it was a W&B near wedge that was totally trashed before I got around to restoring it. The shave itself was VERY smooth (coticule smooth) and I seemed to noticed a beyond BBS shave if there is such a thing. I would say 16 hours post shave is when I felt noticeable stubble. I was very impressed.

I proceeded to use it on finishing other Razors from full hollows to near wedges. Of the 10 I finished with, I would say that 8 of them all gave me results like above. The other 2 that didn't I think were just not progressed well on the dilucot before going to the Frankonian.

Now, you might be asking yourself how do I know it wasn't just a coticule edge I was shaving with and the Frankonian was doing nothing? This is a fair point and all I can say to this is that I hone everything using the dilucot method. I'm very familiar with the edges off coticules. I'm also very familiar with an escher edge coming off these and also a CF edge. In each case I can tell subtle differences in edge sharpness and smoothness. So based on these I feel that I can honestly say that the Frankonian gives great results and is now neck and neck with my escher as to my preferred edge.

OK, so what do I make of the claim on Olivia's site to use the stone after an escher? I haven't done this and feel that it would be a waste of time. To me they are very similar finishers and I would say the Frankonian could be used in place of an escher not after it. Basically it is just another finisher in my book.

In summary, The frankonian is on the pricier side of hones (Around $165-170 shipped) and that would be a good amount of money to shell out for something that is really not discussed on these forums. As everything, this is a natural stone and I'm sure there are variations amongst them. I believe I received a very good one that rivals my escher for finishing.

I can say this though, for the price that barber sized eschers are bringing these days on eBay ($450+), I would say that if you are interested in seeing what those are all about (eschers), but don't want to shell out that kind of money - then I would recommend the Frankonian as an alternative. Or also look for vintage celebrated water hones (thuringians), as they are much cheaper and just as good a finisher.

***Disclaimer***

Do not blame me for any HAD purchases resulting from this post. If you already own a vintage Thuringian or escher, then this stone will be nothing new to you (again very subtle differences between the edges with the frankonian being a tad more smooth on my face). If you are aching to try an escher and don't want to pay those prices, then I would look this stone up.

Latest reviews

Some of you may remember that I had a post awhile ago wondering about the Frankonian hone available from Olivia Seife's website:

http://www.olivia-seife.de/shop/hwherren/steine.html

I was intrigued that you could buy a finisher there (Frankonian) that was described to be used after an escher. I debated on this hone for some time and after selling off some of my other HAD stones I had some money burning a hole in my pocket that just HAD to be used on an Oozuku from Maxim and the Frankonian from Olivia's site.

I got the stone in about a week after ordering, which given shipment from Germany especially at the end of last year was impressive.

I held off on reviewing this for awhile as it is basically not discussed on these forums and I wanted to get a lot of experience with this before throwing in my 2 cents.

Since I'm constantly restoring or cleaning up straights from my pile, I have what seems like an endless supply of razors to practice on.

I've now finished 10 razors on this hone and thought it would be a good time to post my initial impressions.

The stone itself came to me as a 5x2.75" barber sized hone. It is a somewhat dark brown to black colored stone. Lapping this stone was a PITA! Whereas Eschers are really soft and quite easy to lap, this stone was hard (lapping terms) and really took me awhile to get it flat. The slurry produced from the stone is also a brown color. So while this stone hails from and is mined in Germany, it definitely is not a new Thuringian or a stone of those likes.

For honing I progressed all my razors through the dilucot method and then went to the Frankonian. The stone itself comes with a small slurry stone, but I found this useless to raise a slurry and I switched to my tiny DMT 325 plate for slurry raising.

I used this very similar to how I use an escher, which is to raise a slurry and do about 10-15 x-strokes and then go through 4-5 dilutions to just water. On water I would do 30-50 x-strokes for the final finish. This stone definitely is just a finisher/polisher as I observed no metal removal or darkening of the slurry ever.

Now rating an edge is always very subjective. I can get a BBS shave from every finisher I'm experienced with (coti, escher, charnley). What matters to me is the relatively sharpness of the edge for shaving, which I rate as to how long the shave lasts to where I can feel appreciable stubble. The second parameter is the smoothness of the shave. Coticule edges are very smooth for me, but I usually can feel appreciable stubble 10-12 hours post shave. An escher edge is not quite as smooth (though pretty smooth still) and stubble usually comes in the 12-15 hour range. Charnleys are less smooth than an escher when finished on oil and last similarly to an escher edge. On water these things are crisp and not anything I personally like to shave off of (In short CF's are overrated IMO, so don't be spending big bucks on them).

Now, all that said - how does the Frankonian stack up? The first razor I finished on it was a W&B near wedge that was totally trashed before I got around to restoring it. The shave itself was VERY smooth (coticule smooth) and I seemed to noticed a beyond BBS shave if there is such a thing. I would say 16 hours post shave is when I felt noticeable stubble. I was very impressed.

I proceeded to use it on finishing other Razors from full hollows to near wedges. Of the 10 I finished with, I would say that 8 of them all gave me results like above. The other 2 that didn't I think were just not progressed well on the dilucot before going to the Frankonian.

Now, you might be asking yourself how do I know it wasn't just a coticule edge I was shaving with and the Frankonian was doing nothing? This is a fair point and all I can say to this is that I hone everything using the dilucot method. I'm very familiar with the edges off coticules. I'm also very familiar with an escher edge coming off these and also a CF edge. In each case I can tell subtle differences in edge sharpness and smoothness. So based on these I feel that I can honestly say that the Frankonian gives great results and is now neck and neck with my escher as to my preferred edge.

OK, so what do I make of the claim on Olivia's site to use the stone after an escher? I haven't done this and feel that it would be a waste of time. To me they are very similar finishers and I would say the Frankonian could be used in place of an escher not after it. Basically it is just another finisher in my book.

In summary, The frankonian is on the pricier side of hones (Around $165-170 shipped) and that would be a good amount of money to shell out for something that is really not discussed on these forums. As everything, this is a natural stone and I'm sure there are variations amongst them. I believe I received a very good one that rivals my escher for finishing.

I can say this though, for the price that barber sized eschers are bringing these days on eBay ($450+), I would say that if you are interested in seeing what those are all about (eschers), but don't want to shell out that kind of money - then I would recommend the Frankonian as an alternative. Or also look for vintage celebrated water hones (thuringians), as they are much cheaper and just as good a finisher.

***Disclaimer***

Do not blame me for any HAD purchases resulting from this post. If you already own a vintage Thuringian or escher, then this stone will be nothing new to you (again very subtle differences between the edges with the frankonian being a tad more smooth on my face). If you are aching to try an escher and don't want to pay those prices, then I would look this stone up.
Quality
4.00 star(s)
Efficacy
5.00 star(s)
Ease of Use
4.00 star(s)
Overall Value
4.00 star(s)
Resistance to Wear
5.00 star(s)

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Joe Edson
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