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

You can absolutely shave off that stone, with nothing further. I had that stone for awhile, it was a good finisher. You just need to really make sure your bevel is set well, and be very light on your water-only finishing strokes. I'd highly suggest stropping on natural linen afterward before leather, and if you must cheat, pasted strops will allow you to shave off a 1K stone, if necessary, so they of course will help your edge off your kitayama.

Most guys buy into the hype of needing a 12k stone or beyond - most of these same guys wouldn't know the difference between a well-honed razor off an 8k or a well-honed razor off a 15k - myself included.
 
The oh-so-tired 'all anyone needs is an 8k stone' mantra is b/s.

Factually - most of the actual shapening happens between 1-5k.
The higher grits are polishing (final refinement) stages - while there are definitely many many rewards to using them - if you don't know how to get the bevel set right and the edge maxed out before using them, using higher and higher 'grits' is just an exercise in futility.
I don't know about 'most guys' or who can or cannot tell the difference between edge a and edge b or 8k and 10k edges.
What I do know - is that an 8k edge is useless for me.
Even so - I'll never say that anyone has to use a higher grit option to finish, or any other stone for that matter.
Esp if they haven't tried to max out 8k on their own first.
 
There is certainly a lot of info for a new honer to absorb!!!

Since the OP is new to honing, here is a good suggestion:
As you work on your edge, you will want to check on your progress and a 60x loupe will be very useful. Loupes under 60x are not strong enough to evaluate an edge.
Here is an inexpensive one that many of the guys use: http://www.amazon.com/30X-AND-60X-L...qid=1371395455&sr=8-20&keywords=60x+magnifier

If you decide to get a loupe, this thread will tell you what you are looking at: http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/244168-Seraphim-s-Synthetic-Progression
 
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How about this....believe nothing you read on a forum....try it for yourself. What I have learned, is if you CAN get a decent shave off the 8k level, adding a higher grit is going to make it that much nicer. Kinda like finding out your hot girlfriend has a twin sister....
 
How about this....believe nothing you read on a forum....try it for yourself. What I have learned, is if you CAN get a decent shave off the 8k level, adding a higher grit is going to make it that much nicer. Kinda like finding out your hot girlfriend has a twin sister....
Best. Analogy. Ever.
 
8k plus crox will be ok. Or get some 1 um film after. (14k equivalent). Ive shaved off the 8 k many times although the more refined 12k or equivalent resulted in a sharper and smoother edge IMO.
 
Why not try it and tell us what you think? I use diamond and CrOx pasted strops after my Norton 8K then strop on linen and leather. This progression shaves well for me.

The knife forum reports say that the katayama performs closer to 12K.

Higher grit synthetic or natural stones may be even better, but there are also reports of edge degradation if too many strokes are used on certain stones, and of difficulties getting performace improvements from certain natural stones. Why not first try what you have and tell us what you think of your results?

Discussion of additional finishing hone options is best coming from those with a lot of experience who may be able to help avoid the pitfalls and who know how to find the methods that will give a best result from these stones.
 
I'm not big on super magnification with a handheld device. Just gets too distorted. I don't use magnification too much though. I would like a USB scope. Then I'd need a computer.
Depends on what you're looking for. Chips and such or how things are going 3-5x magnifier is good. Easy to use. Get with a light for cheap. I had a razor once that I couldn't figure out. 30x scope showed double bevel. (Hate tape).
I may have seen it at lower but I used what I had on me.
 
Or???? Hey. Hone up a razor or few up to the 8k. Send it to me or someone else and have it finished on 12. You try it out.
 
The Kitayama can be a finisher but it's time-consuming. Adding a 12K (or better) to your progression is highly recommended.

For what it's worth, I took a dull blade (not cutting arm hairs) to an insanely sharp (but slightly harsh) edge this week using nothing but the 'K' and a plain leather strop, so it's possible to get there. The next day I tamed that edge with CrOx on a linen strop and the shave was even better. I could have achieved the same results in half the time if I'd used higher-grit polishing hones, but that wasn't the point of the experiment.
 
As has been said. Try the shave off your 8k stone and see what you think. If you like it then enjoy, if not I would recommend sending it out to try different finishing methods and then decide what you like.

Ive settled on JNATs. Coticules edges are very smooth but they lack keenness for my tastes (I've tried about a dozen different people's edges)

Synthetics, including film, give me a very harsh shave. I've tried nortons, naniwa, shaptons
 
The oh-so-tired 'all anyone needs is an 8k stone' mantra is b/s.
Factually - most of the actual shapening happens between 1-5k.
The higher grits are polishing (final refinement) stages
What I do know - is that an 8k edge is useless for me.
Even so - I'll never say that anyone has to use a higher grit option to finish, or any other stone for that matter.
That's interesting. Why do you say an 8k edge is useless for you? What grit do you need to go to in order to get a comfortable shave? Because, the OP asked if he NEEDED anything more. :translation: "Will I be able to get a comfortable shaving edge off my 8k stone, because I just spent alot of money and don't wanna spend anymore?" And my answer: absolutely - ANYbody can get a comfortable shaving edge off a quality 8k stone, if they know how to use it right.

So, you saying that an 8k edge is "useless" to you challenges what I thought I knew about straight razor honing - after several years of daily forum perusing and reading on the subject - and reading of the experiences of thousands of straight razor users, and honing hundreds of razors on many different stones, I thought I could safely come to the conclusion that ANYBODY could get a comfortable shave off an 8k stone. Because, if anybody CAN'T, that then begs many questions - one that comes to mind is - "Why are all those old barber hones roughly in the 6-8k range, at a time when the whole world of men shaved with straight razors?"

In fact, I think SRP answered this question already in their Norton 1k, challenge (I think they did extensive research in the 4k and 8k category as well) that proved that, after hundreds of their members participating, that yes, you CAN shave with a 1k razor, you will get a much better shave off a 4k razor, and nobody really NEEDS anything over an 8k razor to get a comfortable shave...

So, I'm curious to know why you feel that you cannot get a comfortable shave off an 8k stone. I'd also like to know if your experience is based off of one 8k stone you have, or multiple that you've owned, and what is it exactly. Because, from my experience, 4 different "8k" stones will produce 4 different edges. AND, 4 different men with hones and razors in their hands will also produce 4 different edges.
 
That's interesting. Why do you say an 8k edge is useless for you? What grit do you need to go to in order to get a comfortable shave? Because, the OP asked if he NEEDED anything more. :translation: "Will I be able to get a comfortable shaving edge off my 8k stone, because I just spent alot of money and don't wanna spend anymore?" And my answer: absolutely - ANYbody can get a comfortable shaving edge off a quality 8k stone, if they know how to use it right.
An 8k edge is useless for me because that's been my experience with 8k edges from a number of sources off a number of different 8k stones.
Maybe you don't understand my use of the word useless - I mean the edge isn't satisfactory - it pulls on WTG, and it's miserable on ATG.
I finish on natural stones, never synths and I'm not one to assign grits to naturals so readily.
What's useless for me is not neccesarily useless for someone else. So while some members feel they need to tell people that all they need is an 8k, I feel equally comfortable telling people that they may in fact need more than an 8k.


So, you saying that an 8k edge is "useless" to you challenges what I thought I knew about straight razor honing - after several years of daily forum perusing and reading on the subject - and reading of the experiences of thousands of straight razor users, and honing hundreds of razors on many different stones, I thought I could safely come to the conclusion that ANYBODY could get a comfortable shave off an 8k stone. Because, if anybody CAN'T, that then begs many questions - one that comes to mind is - "Why are all those old barber hones roughly in the 6-8k range, at a time when the whole world of men shaved with straight razors?"
The difference between knowing and thinking is rather critical.
I don't think an 8k edge is useless to me - I know it is.
As its been said so well by so many - the difference between knowledge and wisdom is experience.
I base my position on my experience - I don't parrot what others have said or claimed.
As for why most barber hones were in the 6-8 k zone -- before using that as as a basis for a contrary position, doing a bit more research might be a good idea.
It's a completely different topic and it's fairly common knowledge that finer B-hones were the most highly sought after examples.
Past that - this is 2013; while certain old-timey standards are grand, others have seen significant positive improvements.

In fact, I think SRP answered this question already in their Norton 1k, challenge (I think they did extensive research in the 4k and 8k category as well) that proved that, after hundreds of their members participating, that yes, you CAN shave with a 1k razor, you will get a much better shave off a 4k razor, and nobody really NEEDS anything over an 8k razor to get a comfortable shave...
Oh, well - if they said it on SRP then it must be true!
Hahahahahaha.
Seriously though;
I didn't need a forum to proof this - I spend a lot of time testing stones on my own.
I have tried using a 1k to shave. Sure - the 1k & 8k edges are shavable but the shave sucks.
The whole point of all of this honing/shaving is not to just get a shave - I can do that with a Mach 3.
My goals are significantly higher than that - so please forgive me for not applauding those that strive for mediocre results.

So, I'm curious to know why you feel that you cannot get a comfortable shave off an 8k stone. I'd also like to know if your experience is based off of one 8k stone you have, or multiple that you've owned, and what is it exactly. Because, from my experience, 4 different "8k" stones will produce 4 different edges. AND, 4 different men with hones and razors in their hands will also produce 4 different edges.
Sure - I'll play along - my 8k testing has been spread out across several people and several different stones.

It's common sense - not anyone elses experience - that got me to send razors for honing or to try different hone systems.
I haven't sent a razor out to be honed in quite a while though. No need to at this point.
I'm extremely satisfied with my edges - have been for quite some time.

I myself have owned/used two or 3 8k SS, two 8k Jyunpaku, 1 Ice Bear 8000, 1 unbranded 8k from China, and 2 8k Nortons and a DMT EE.
FWIW - I like the 8k Snow White best - it's produced the most shaveable 8k edge yet. But it's still not there.
Recently I repurchased that stone and I gave it a whirl - no go.
The majority of the razors I own get honed completely on Jnats from start to finish.
The recent run of wedges that I restored all started on synths though.

Edit - I'd like to point out that my distaste for 8k edges in general is my opinion, and it applies to me.
As I stated earlier in this thread - a lot of people like 8k edges. I'm just not one of them.
I don't believe that what I think is the 'rule' for anyone other than myself.
I think everyone should see how far they can go on an 8k.
 
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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.
Nicely done.

My SB Ark is my finest finisher. Particle size is about .01mm, or 10 um - roughly 1.4k on at least one chart.
But - you'll never cut a bevel on it and beating the edges it can do will take a lot of effort.
I'm not certain I've ever actually surpassed that edge - I've been pretty much exclusively immersed in Jnats for a while.
I really should do a shoot out someday.
Jnats are reported to have particles about 4-6k or something like that.
What amazing stuff these rocks are made out of eh?
 
Daflorc, you seem knowledgable in honing. May I assume you shave off 8k edges only? Which ones do you prefer and what is your progression?
 

Legion

Moderator Emeritus
I don't know much, but I know this. I can shave off an 8k, and have. I'd rather shave off a 12k (Or a natural with roughly that sort of keenness) because it cuts through my beard hairs more effortlessly. It just does. I have to do less touchup passes, so my skin is happier with a higher grit edge.

Do I need more than an 8k? No, but I prefer it, no question.


I should add, I am one of the people who where chosen by the C-nat (It's like being chosen by the veg, but less stinky). The C-nat I own definitely takes an 8k edge up a step, so you may want to investigate one of those if you don't want to spend too much money on a finisher.
 
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