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I just blew $80 on an 8k whetstone. Do I really need a 12k whetstone for SR honing?

I bought a Kitayama 8K water stone. Should I still buy a 12k stone?
 

Legion

Moderator Emeritus
Maybe...

You might get away without it if you strop on a pasted surface after the 8k. Some shave off an 8k. I like a little more.
 
You can shave of the 8K stone or further refine the edge on a 12K or 16K synthetic stone but personally I would follow with a natural stone from here.
For instance a Coticule (smoothest edges) Chinese natural (sharp/smooth and very cheap) or a JNAT (very sharp and very smooth but some can be expensive).
Don't rush into it, a 8K edge can give you a close and comfortable shave if done right.
 
u can shave off a 8k if honed "right". i like a little more myself. i started with a Norton 4000/8000 and used it for awhile before getting a cnat 12k. later i moved on up to a translucent arki. It has delivered the keenest edges i ever used. i would suggest u max out your 8k before moving up to a 12k stone but hey thats just me.
 
Several reviews put your stone in the 12k performance area. If true, how much more do you hope to gain and what is your preference after the stones?
 
Several reviews put your stone in the 12k performance area. If true, how much more do you hope to gain and what is your preference after the stones?
I am coming from a slant with feathers. I have some heavy facial scruff. I just want a comfy shave. And preference? Eh, don't know yet.
 
I don't think you can pre-guess this, you won't know until you try it out.
A lot of people love shaving off 8k edges.
 
Tried the 8k, didn't like it, naturals (for me) are the way to go but I won't know for SURE until I buy that Guacamole 20k....
 
Paco, one of the honemeisters here, shaves off his coticule which is about 8K. He recommends doing a final finishing using oil. Oil makes an 8K stone work like a higher grit.
I don't think the Kitayama is porous - if it is, it cannot be used with oil.
 
When did Cotis become 8k stones?
I wish I knew that when I was using them after 10k and 12k synths.
I don't need oil to finish on them either, but that's a whole ''nother thread.

The Kit 8k is porous, and synthetic - do not use oil on it or you will probably kill it.
 
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When did Cotis become 8k stones?
I wish I knew that when I using them after 10k and 12k synths.
I don't need oil to finish on them either, but that's a whole ''nother thread.

The Kit 8k is porous, and synthetic - do not use oil on it or you will probably kill it.
When have they not been 8kish? Thats what ardennes says and I think that its been looked into.
 
By how much does oil increase the grit? Does this work for synthetics too? That's pretty cool. I may keep adding oil to my 1k and get it to a finisher level.
 
Here's something interesting: http://www.coticule.be/faq-reader/items/the_grit_question.html
Looks like coticules are pretty versatile and depending on the slurry, they can perform from 1K through 16K! Amazing!

To answer the OP's question... IMHO:
Anyone new to honing is going to have a lot of trouble shaving off 8K. Therefore, the answer to the question is, yes... you will want a 12K or 16K like Puerco and Tomjr suggested.
Or, you can use your new 8K Kanayama -and- get some 3um and 1um film.
Film is inexpensive, has a shorter learning curve than rock and while you're learning to hone on rock, you won't have to send your razors out to be honed.
Read this: http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/283576-Lapping-film-try-it

People new to straight shaving also wind up dulling their edges faster.
Depending on how much time you have to devote to your new hobby, learning to hone on rock could take a few months. Film is a great way to go until your rock skills improve.
 
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SliceOfLife

Contributor
When have they not been 8kish? Thats what ardennes says and I think that its been looked into.
Yes and no. It is what Ardennes says. It hasn't been looked into. While people tend to throw "grit" ratings around for naturals a lot, the truth is there's no such thing. I might say that a particular thuri improves on a 12k SS edge, so it's probably around 13-15k region, but if you were to measure the particles, they may be the size you'd expect from a 6k stone. Since these stones don't work exactly like a synth (a binder that crumbles away to expose fresh particles and prevent clogging of the stone), a real scientific measure of "grit" isn't possible. If you want a "Grit" rating for coticules, I'd have to dig up the documents or someone who is way more into coti's than I am and has the number memorized can maybe quote it, but the garnets are insanely large (I believe some old 19th century text I read said they were up to 12 microns). So strictly speaking, they'd be well UNDER 8k grit, but there edges are in no way going to reflect the grit rating then.
 
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