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Back of a couticle - Is it meant to be used as a hone?


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Newbie question again - Is the back of a couticle meant to be used or is it just a backing material?
If it is a newer stone, and the yellow is glued to a bit of slate, then the slate is just backing. If it is a natural combo with BBW, then you can use the BBW. If it is an old stone glued to BBW, then... maybe. The blue stone was intended to just be a backing like slate is now, but depending on where they sourced the stone from in the mine, it might have enough garnet to work or it might not. You just have to try it.


Staff member
Thank You. These are new ones, so probably just glued on (has a clean, non wavy line).
Yep, so ignore the back side if it's new. It will just be Brazilian slate. Good for making coticules fatter, and tiling floors.
I've heard of guys using and not hating the back of modern coticules... but it's probably about as effective as a random slate tile ($2 from a hardware store).

Vintage stones, and modern natural combos were usually backed with Belgian blue... which varies a bit as a hone but is generally at the very least a somewhat effective hone. Some folks swear they have examples that are as good as their yellow coticules also... in my experience those are pretty rare. I don't bother even testing my blue belgian hones anymore... I've tested 30-40 and the only ones I'd consider using with a razor are the "La Lorraine" type... which I still don't know if they're technically Belgian Blue or not.

On the whole, my experience with Belgian Blue is that they are decent and cheap/available hones; but nothing I'd seek out; and certainly not a substitute for yellow coti in my experience. I've got a stack of a dozen or so I got in lots that were likely Vintage coti backs where the coti broke/wore out/fell off. They basically sit in a stack somewhere in case I ever get an orphan Yellow Coti that needs a backing.
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