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New to Honing. Need suggestions for good Stones.

Hello!
I just recently received my first straight razor and I've been blown away by the shave it provides.
Now I also want to be able to hone my own Razor when needed. I've been sharpening my kitchen knives by hand for the past few years so I'm familiar with the use of stones but I don't have the necessary Stones for honing a straight razor. I was looking at the Norton 4000/8000 combo and then an ILR Standard for finishing. I'm trying to keep it as budget-friendly as possible so any suggestion is very welcome!
Thank you in advance!

Best,
GBB
 
Coticules are a little tricky to learn for some folks but they're pretty reasonable. Dans True hard stones make good finishers that are more budget friendly if you want to go the ark direction. If you wanted to go really cheap you could do lapping films.
 
Coticules are a little tricky to learn for some folks but they're pretty reasonable. Dans True hard stones make good finishers that are more budget friendly if you want to go the ark direction. If you wanted to go really cheap you could do lapping films.
Thank you! I'll look into it.
 
Thank you! I'll look into it.
Another thing I've had great luck with is finding used, really old, no name translucent or black Arkansas on auction sites. They are usually fairly cheap if you search and you got a decent chance of finding one with at least 1 flat side. I love arkansas stones, nothing like them in my opinion but there's lots out there. You could probably find a thuringian for between $50-$100 or use welsh or Vermont slates they are usually fairly priced if you look around.
 
Hello!
I just recently received my first straight razor and I've been blown away by the shave it provides.
Now I also want to be able to hone my own Razor when needed. I've been sharpening my kitchen knives by hand for the past few years so I'm familiar with the use of stones but I don't have the necessary Stones for honing a straight razor. I was looking at the Norton 4000/8000 combo and then an ILR Standard for finishing. I'm trying to keep it as budget-friendly as possible so any suggestion is very welcome!
Thank you in advance!

Best,
GBB
When I started SR shaving, the Norton 4k/8k was the stone to have. It's the only stone I had for the first few years. They will do a good job if you learn your part. I use an ILR as a finisher and enjoy it very much. It will work with that Norton. There's lots of ways to get where you want to go.
 
The Norton 4/8k works well. Pass on the ILR, doubt it is anywhere near 8k.

Most any 4 & 8K and Chrome Oxide or ,50 CBN will finish an 8k edge nicely and have you shaving for a long time.
 
Ready to do some heavy reading?

Don't buy anything yet. There's no need to rush into this. Do your homework and make sure you know for a solid fact that one or another style of honing is the way you want to go. If you hop back and forth or cherry pick little details from this style or that guru then you will waste a lot of time, take a LONG time to start getting truly great or even serviceable edges, and spend a LOT of money on stuff that will end up gathering dust.

I will tell you what I use. I hone a lot of Chinese razors as well as a lot of abused misused and overused vintage American razors and a few new middle tier Solingen razors. Sometimes I have to remove a lot of steel, so I have basically two ways to go, for the heavy lifting. I have a Suehiro 220 grit, a Shapton Kuromaku 320, a 600 grit Naniwa Chosera, and a 1K Norton and a 1k Naniwa Superstone. That gets me up through the bevel set. However, I also sometimes use wet/dry sandpaper of various grits stuck to a calibrated granite surface plate, flat to within .0001" and yeah that's the right number of zeros. From there I also have two routes: the Naniwa SuperStone progression 1k through 12k, and lapping film, 15μ through 1μ. From there, no matter which way I took to get to that point, I finish with a 3 stage progression of diamond on balsa.

I can guarantee you this: if you try it, without reading up on The Method, and following it precisely in every detail, you will fail. If you do follow The Method exactly, then you will succeed. By your second attempt, you should have a great shaver in your hands, the best you have ever experienced. If you suck at following directions or you just don't like being told what to do or you know better or you like to freestyle it and experiment, you may as well try a different method than mine because mine won't work.

Newbie Honing Compendium | Badger & Blade

It's long, and the necessary sub-threads are longer. But all your questions are answered and there are enough good testimonials from other newbies to let you know I am not just blowing smoke and I am not selling anything.

There are other ways to get an edge. Not as sharp an edge, but a good shave ready edge. They cost anywhere from a little more to a lot more. They vary, from a little harder to learn, to a lot harder to learn. Some methods are challenging. Some are fascinating. The important thing is do your homework, take your time, don't spend your money until you are really set with one style of honing. STICK WITH THAT, no matter what, until you are getting consistently good edges. Don't switch paths. Don't freestyle. Go where others have gone before, and had success. Experiment later. Discipline yourself. Find your path and stay on it. Later, you can try other stuff, but get those good edges coming in, first.

I will let you in on a secret before you start spending money. If you buy a shave ready razor, and shave with it and strop it correctly, without damaging it, it will eventually get dull. When that happens, assuming there is no damage, only normal wear, you only need one stone or one lapping film, and that is your finisher. Typically 1μ lapping film on 3/4" cast acrylic plate, or else a 12k Naniwa Superstone. There are other stones, both synthetic and natural, that can be your finisher, but this one is very easy and very consistent. Anyway, your touchup will only require your finisher. You don't need all those other stones, and in fact your best gateway into honing is doing a touchup on a razor that was previously sharp but now is not so sharp. Touchups first. Get that down pat, before you tackle a razor that needs a bevel set.

Another secret. If you just use the pasted balsa part of The Method, directly after achieving a good 12k or 1μ edge, then you will have a crazy sharp edge and if you then strop on just the finest of the three balsas after every shave, you will never have to touch that razor to a stone or film ever again. You will forget what a dull razor feels like.

No stone method is complete without a system for lapping your stones. New stones must be lapped. Periodically they must be lapped again. Ignore this to your peril.
 
If you don't mind smaller stones, shapton gs seven can be a good option. Naniwa also have an 3/8 combo stone.
 
Honing is taking a razor setting a bevel on it and refining the edge. You can learn to touch up a razor but you won't be honing. And since the basis of everything is that you can recognize a bevel is set you will have difficulty at some point in the future with why a razor doesn't shave. All the people I've worked with I've always started them on a 1k stone. Just my opinion and do whatever spins your wheel. There are tons of options. And they all work. Good luck.
 
Hello!
I just recently received my first straight razor and I've been blown away by the shave it provides.
Now I also want to be able to hone my own Razor when needed. I've been sharpening my kitchen knives by hand for the past few years so I'm familiar with the use of stones but I don't have the necessary Stones for honing a straight razor. I was looking at the Norton 4000/8000 combo and then an ILR Standard for finishing. I'm trying to keep it as budget-friendly as possible so any suggestion is very welcome!
Thank you in advance!

Best,
GBB

That's what I mostly use.

I have a lot of other stones,
but mostly I use the N 4/8 and the ILR.
 
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If you don't mind smaller stones, shapton gs seven can be a good option. Naniwa also have an 3/8 combo stone.
Regardless of the stone smaller stones shouldn't be counted out. An old Norton slip stone is a very economical way to finish a razor. Smaller stones are usually more perfect/ higher quality pieces of stone as well because it's much easier to find an amazing, absolutly perfect 1x4" than to find a 4x10" equivalent. It will also help brilliantly for any warped blades. I think my razors are quite as sharp as they were when I was only using smaller stones but maybe I'm nuts(been told so before many times). I have an illogical aversion to synthetic stones but the g7 I have lots of interest in and will probably tell my norther in law I want a 20k(or 16?) For Xmas. She like when I sends her a link, she won't take "I don't need any presents, just family" for an answer. Weird. Learning to hone in hand is one of the most valuable skills a new "honer" will learn and the easiest way to me was using skinny, thick stones. Coticules and small arks in wooden mounts helped when it came to razors because it's much different from knives and most everything else.
 
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