New Suehiro 20K

Discussion in 'Hones/Honing' started by StubbleTrouble, May 17, 2015.

    I've been straight shaving for about 1.5 years now and have mostly shaved with JNat finishes (honed by others) after my initial shaves on synthetic hones (as was recommended to get acclimated to straights).
    After recently starting to hone myself, among my newly purchased arsenal is a Suehiro Gokumyo (aka Guacamole :tongue_sm) 20K stone. It was recommended I start off with synthetics before moving on to natural stones.

    I was really on the fence about buying it due to its demanding price, but that's behind me now after playing around with this thing! Yesterday I finished off with quite a few additional super-light polishing strokes, which basically put my edge on another level.

    When I do move to natural stone finishes, would I finish after the 20K, or simply replace it altogether in the progression? I hope such an expensive stone won't ultimately become redundant if a slurry might do a better job in its place, if not used to further refine the finish after it. My shaving technique has definitely improved since I last shaved with synthetic finishes, but I have to say this thing has changed my impressions a lot! I don't think I can even begin to recommend stones, but I certainly agree with some of the previous posts on the smooth, keen edges it provides me.

    Nice to post in this forum, BTW!
  1. To be honest, I'm not terribly impressed with the Gok 20. It does leave a finer edge than, say - a 12k SS but the difference is, to me, marginal and considering the price, the offset isn't large enough to warrant the additional cost. It's a good stone, it works. The feedback is mute/dead and the feel of the stone is rather plasticky to me.
    The price is commensurate with the added effort to control paricle size/desity/etc - that's the price we pay to have manufacturers pay closer attention to what they're doing I suppose.
    I've found that using to 20G in a synth progression is fine, using natural stones before it is problematic, and using a high quality natural finisher (Trans Ark, Escher,Jnat,La Lune,etc) after it improves the edge in all tangible ways.
    That's from a users standpoint, I don't believe in using bevel photos to compare stones as I've viewed that as a big fail for a long time. The Gok does put a very high polish on a bevel, that's for sure. But shiny bevels are easy to make - I'm more concerned with finished results in the shaving sense.
    I reviewed the stone about 30 days after getting it and I've used it often afterwards but I've not changed my mind. It's destined to be listed on that big auction site as soon as I can get around to it. Meanwhile I'll keep A/Bing it with other stones on occasion.
  2. Congratulations on your successful honing. Nothing like honing your own edges. I have never used the 20k but I do have multiple finishers. and yes some of them are rarely used. But if you stop using it you can always resell it.

    So I wouldn't worry about it. Keep it until you find something you like better. or just keep it. it's nice to have options :)
  3. Which 20k and which 12k? You cant be talking about the same stone! NO WAY NO HOW. Ive had both and the difference is BIG. I know YMMV and all that. 2 completely different stones for sure. Different feel and different edge, MUCH keener and smoother than the 12k.
  4. ---The Guacamole 20K---
    I was so happy when I got this stone, but I have to agree with Gamma, it does feels plasticky when honing on it, and the water tends to bead up. I also agree with Buca, the 20k does leave a smoother & keener edge, but feels totally different than the 12k, when honing and shaving.

    For a synthetic finisher price-wise, well lets just say that I'd take the Naniwa 12k all day long, not sure how long the Guacamole will stay with me.
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  5. Ah.... The synths (punks) vs nats(snobs) debate ! I can solve it all !! The perfect edge for everyone or every razor does not exist. Just hone it on something and shave with it.
  6. One way or another, I know that I can improve upon the finish I'm getting now, and figure one way or another, natural stones will be the method to do so. I would characterise the 20k edge as very good, but it needs some fine-tuning.

    I'm ecstatic to feel 'off the grid' so to speak; Even more so at the thought of being able to custom hone an edge to my tastes! They always say there's a 'rental fee' for stones you don't necessarily fancy.

    I'm definitely part Punk, but I know there's also Snob in my admixture! :lol:
  7. These 2 are both synthetics! And even though I prefer a natural i think people should use whatever they like! No snob thing from me brother!
  8. And this is how it goes for those that want to explore their options. There is no other way to get 'there' - wherever 'there' is.

    I bought the stone on a lark for two reasons; 1 - sort of a mythbusters type of thing and 2.) I haven't had a synth over 8k in years.
    I don't believe the stone is magical, more capable of smoother edges than xyz stone, etc.
    To me - its a high quality synth that might afford a marginal performance bump.
    If people like it - cool, if not, cool.
  9. I did find this stone to be among the best synthetic finisher I have tried, edges were JNAT like.

    It is expensive, but so is anything else of quality.
  10. I certainly didn't waste any money on this stone considering what I'm getting out of it finish-wise. My honing skill can only get better from here.
  11. I use my G20 at the end of a totally synthetic progression of Shapton Pros 1K, 2K, 5K, 8K, 15K. I love my G20. It takes away the harsh edge from the Shapton 15K and leaves a buttery smooth edge that I love to shave with. One of the single best shaving purchases I have made. I will admit that it took some practice to get it just right, but more than worth it. JMHE
  12. Mine has been awesome as well. No complaints here, and hands down better edges than my Shapton Pro 12k; better than any synth I've used. Pretty close to a good JNat edge when I've used it.
  13. I couldn't help myself from seeking another 'there' once I found the first 'there'.

    I basically like any challenge with variables.
  14. I guess it all depends on what someone is used to shaving with - or what one is doing with the stones they have on hand or what they feel they need to do.

    To me - the Gok is, possibly, a hair or notch finer than the 12k SS and not at all near the Escher/Jnat/Lune/etc class of natural finishers.

    If I was going to rely on all synths - I'd say the Gok could be a replacement for the 12k SS - jumping from 8k JIS to 20k is no issue and works well that way.
    For me to consider using synths followed by a natural finisher - I see the Gok and 12k SS being ridiculously superfluous, which is why I sold my 12k a long while ago. Having the Gok now is equally pointless for me, but it has been fun to use and experiment with.
    It sorta feels like a bar of epoxy or someting under the blade - that part is bothersome, dunno if i'd ever get used to that.

    Cost - whatever. It's pricey but so are other stones. If it made me extremely happy then the price wouldn't be an issue.
    If the price was an issue - then I'd make due with the 12k SS and be just as happy.
  15. Yeah, not a fan of the honing feel on the stone, but I definitely think it's as fine as my best Thuris in terms of scratch depth if not finer. Under 150x scope magnification on an SG20k edge I can't see any bevel scratches at all with raking light. I'd give the shave comfort win to a good Thuri edge though.
  16. It seems it's all where in the progression you make the jump to naturals to finish/polish -and- what type of stones are chosen based on that.

    I may have been ambiguous in the OP since I brought up the idea of finishing off on a natural subsequent to the 20K -as well as- the option to use the SG solely as the finisher. Pretty clear you're not calling it a day at the 12K (or 20K, if you use it at all) without transitioning to the naturals to finish.

    It does have kind of a tacky marble feeling, but I'm simply happy I'm getting these results so early in my honing! As mentioned, I don't think I've hit my full potential on this hone, and when I do, I'd bet I could find a natural slurry to improve upon it!
  17. I haven't seen many threads about how to use the Suehiro Gokumyo 20k. I have to admit, it hasn't been very long since I started honing my own edges, but I got the hang of it pretty early. I use the Chosera 1k, and then the Naniwa's up to 12k. I was wondering if more guys that have lots experience with this stone would chime in and share there synthetic progression leading up to, and including the 20k. Maybe I could be doing something different.
    Last edited: May 18, 2015
  18. I'm in the same boat as you with just starting out, but FWIW, I use the following, which was prescribed as a sensible synthetic progression:

    Chosera 600 as required, Chosera Professional 1K for the bevel set, Naniwa 3, 5, 10K, Shapton 15K, Suehiro 20K

    I was told I could skip a few stones later on, but to learn without any short cuts in the progression for now.
  19. I really love my SG 20 and the finishing edges I get off of it. I have a good JNAT as well and need more practice and patience and probably koma nagura and new tomo nagura to maximize that progression but I am happy with both synthetic and natural choices I use (coti too).

    I use Naniwa SS 1,3,8 and 12. That shavess well too. I finish with the SG 20 on water lightly until good undercutting across the blade. The big trick I learned from airportcopper to both get the keenest edge and control any harsh edges is to take the stone almost dry and do a few VERY LIGHT laps followed by a couple of spine leading laps and another couple or few (by feel) normal X strokes. Try it!

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