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Hasn't been my experience, not since I got the BBB 1000 and 3000 vitrified diamond stones. Steels that I used to think were horrible to sharpen, like ZDP-189 and S110V and Maxamet became pretty much like any other steels. I don't know why the experience was so different from the Venevs I was using before.Blimey! Interesting that even with diamond that kind of thing is still a bit of a nightmare. As you say - it seemed not to form or deburr in any comparable to more traditional knifemaking steels. I didn't tell the producer, but I hated it. Maybe I could see a use on a folding or fixed blade type knife, but on a kitchen knife it really wasn't for me.
Hasn't been my experience, not since I got the BBB 1000 and 3000 vitrified diamond stones. Steels that I used to think were horrible to sharpen, like ZDP-189 and S110V and Maxamet became pretty much like any other steels. I don't know why the experience was so different from the Venevs I was using before.
The conventional wisdom is that the need for diamonds/CBN comes not so much from steel hardness as from carbide composition. If you ignore the hard carbides, I find resin-bonded diamond stones to be slower than Alox/Sic stones.
I reserve all of my supersteel explorations for pocketknives. Sharpening white and blue steels in my kitchen knives is fun, so I am not concerned with edge retention, beyond a certain point. And this CPM-M4 razor hasn't made me want to seek out more supersteel razors, although at least I've finally got it tamed.
You'd think so, wouldn't you? But it chips. A lot. I have a tape-honed microbevel on it now, but haven't put it to the test enough to know whether the problem is truly fixed.Oh it was a razor you have from CPM-M4 (!) I thought you meant a knife. Crikey, that can’t be that fun.
Though presumably now you’ll never have to hone or strop it ever again, and can probably use to cut down trees between shaves as well if you want...
I'm facing this with my TI Le Dandy. I'm close to the point where it's ready to shave with, but it's taken a lot more work than my Gold Dollar.Now I'm very much in the buggering-around-with-rocks camp, in fact it was the reason I started using straights - I had a lot of very nice stones that were gathering dust because they were too fine for knife use. But it strikes me that there's another potential upside to film/pasted balsa/TM in comparison to natural stones that doesn't get talked about so much...
A lot of the harder and/or more wear-resistant knife and razor steels are dancing right up around the level of what natural stones can actually abrade.
Do you ever have razors where natural stones simply won't make much of an impression, no matter how good you are at using them? Where at some point the hone dulling effect outweighs the sharpening they're able to do, and so to push the steel to the final level something like film / diamond is actually a necessity...?
(Obviosuly that q. is in regard to natural silica based stones, not AlOx based synths.)
I'm at the stage where I'm striving for consistent results. I've ended up playing around and mixing and matching, on the way. Repeatability/Predicatbility is what I'm looking for.Mmmmm....
Depends on why you are doing it. Speaking personally, if my only goal was a consistently sharp blade, a repeatable result and a close shave I probably would never had explored further than DE razors. And I could do it with a SR over a decade ago.
Same with the various "methods" and whathaveyou. I don't want paint by numbers, because the experimenting with different stones, razors, leathers, and combinations of the above is what I find interesting.
That is a YMMV, because I have been doing this for quite a while, so hunting for, and trying weird old stuff, particularly esoteric bits of rock from around the world is what keeps me from getting bored with what is really a pretty basic chore.
Easy and foolproof was never really what I was chasing when I took up straight razor shaving.
Yup. It's a question I've been able to ignore for a while, because I kept getting better at honing, and more picky about what is acceptable. Almost any razor in my stable, when it seemed to need something more than a touch-up, I could look at and say: nope, starting over at the bevel set with this one. Usually because of insufficient attention to the toe and heel.One thing that I wonder about is how much honing more frequently than the razor really needs to be honed potentially complicates the learning curve for some of us. I seldom shave with a razor until it starts to tug because I really just want to hone a lot. I’ve really never given myself a chance to explore, A- How long a razor can really go before it needs to be refreshed and, B: How little/much work really needs to be done to get it back up and running.
The most frequently promoted progression generally start with 1K all the way up to your synthetic or natural finisher of choice. All this leaves me wondering how often we really need to drop all the way back to 1K from the standpoint of true necessity. I literally just got done removing a number of chips with my Shapton 12K and 2 rounds of light slurry in a very short time. It just makes me wonder…
Bear in mind that all of these thoughts are within the context of an already shaving razor that just needs periodic maintenance. This obviously would not cover razors that need some level of restoration or something like a brand new GD.
I had the same question, so I started tracking my Ralf Aust after it came back from being honed by Portland Razor. I'm on shave 52. I've used CrOx/FeOx paste on balsa to keep the edge fresh. Strop on linen then leather after each shave. I shave daily.One thing that I wonder about is how much honing more frequently than the razor really needs to be honed potentially complicates the learning curve for some of us. I seldom shave with a razor until it starts to tug because I really just want to hone a lot. I’ve really never given myself a chance to explore, A- How long a razor can really go before it needs to be refreshed and, B: How little/much work really needs to be done to get it back up and running.
I would definitely concede to the possibility that the priorities we have in modern straight razor shaving probably bears little resemblance to the traditional model of maintenance found in the 1800s.I think back in the days when SR shaving wasn't a hobby but necessity, very few were interested in maintaining a razor the way us hobbyists do these days... There was no fetish about getting more Ooomph out of a razor, all they wanted was something that shaved them well for as long as possible with minimal fuss. To get the best results, pastes were used on a hanging strop after the 6-12K natural hone to create kind of micro convexity, as an arc shaped edge is sturdier than a triangle. Done right and in the right hands, those edges felt great and could hold for months with minimal stropping on leather only...
Extensive and thoughtless use of pastes had led to the belief that pastes are inferior, lead to harsh or rounded edges and should be avoided. Truth is that they allways had and should still have their rightfull place in honing because they are able to do what can't be done with a hone.