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Returning to straights and honing--help me get my groove back?

Hello, friends.

[tl;dr - I have a bunch of honing stuff, and I'm wondering if any of it is useful for a beginner and, if not, what equipment I should get to start out.]

For a variety of reasons I stepped away from being a "wet shaving enthusiast" for a few years, including this site (which represents one of the most open and kind-hearted communities I've ever been a part of). I was going through some boxes this weekend and came across my shaving gear, and have decided to start using a straight razor again.

Before I stepped away, I had started down the path of honing. My box had a bunch of honing paraphernalia, but after going thru the box and (re)reading some of the intro material on this site about honing, I'm trying to figure out what the heck I was thinking. As far as I can tell, I spent a bunch of money but don't actually have the basics I need to hone. I was hoping you guys could help me assess what I have and what I actually need.

Here's what I have:


1 belgian coticule and two of what I think are slurry stones for the coticule.
1 Naniwa SS1000 stone with what I assume is the corresponding lapping stone.
2 "Dia-Sharp" plates, one "Fine" and one "Extra Fine", that look like they've seen better days.
1 maroon stone stamped "FRANZ SWATY Marburg, Austria", which IIRC is meant for daily touch-ups.
1 bottle of Dupont Diamond Slurry.

Does this set of tools make any sense? It's possible there was more stuff that got lost when we moved, because I can't find my strop anywhere.

I assume the dia-sharp plates are meant to flatten the hone. Is that right? Not sure why I have two different grits, or if these are even in good enough shape to use.

What I don't see is a hone suitable for creating the initial bevel. If the Naniwa grit is 1000, that's way too course, right? From what I gather, I should have a Norton 4K/8K or something similar for bevel and polishing.

The coticule I can use for finishing but--especially as small as this one is--doesn't seem the best choice for a beginner like me. Pasted paddle strop seems to be the most recommended for beginners.

And, of course, no strop (although I did have one at one time).

It seems I was planning to recondition some fairly damaged razors by creating an initial bevel with a very course stone and then jumping straight to the finishing/polishing stage. What was I thinking?

To get back into the game, I think I need to get:

1. a good beveling (is that a word?) stone. Norton 4000/8000 seems to be the Toyota Camry of that category. Any reason to get something different?
2. a 4-sided pasted paddle strop (again, any reason to get something different for starting out?)
3. a strop (I had an Heirloom, and will probably get another, but first I want to get a cheaper strop that I can slice up) and
4. possibly something to flatten the hone.

Does that sound right? And I'd like to support B&B-affiliated vendors, so pls let me know if there's a B&B-friendly place to go for any of this equipment.

Thanks guys, and its good to be back.


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You can bevel a dull razor on the diasharps or Naniwa, and the Fine would work to remove chips as well.

I'd skip the swaty for now. May be a good one but may not.

From the EF Diasharp, or Naniwa I'd finish on the Coticule on a moderate amount of slurry, diluting in several stages to clean water. It'll work but would take some trial and error, and given that looks like a very small coticule, you may want to just invest in another stone to remove the need to refine on the coticule and just let you use it as a finisher. A naniwa 5k would be suitable, but there are loads of options.

You DON'T need a beveling stone. You have 3 suitable beveling stones already.

You need a strop... I personally dislike paddle strops, and would recommend a hanging strop and no paddle strops.

You may want a coarser DMT or other diamond plate for keeping the Naniwa flat if you plan to use it (I don't use low grit waterstones anymore, I use DMT's and oilstones, but lots of guys do so they can advise you better on this)

You probably will want a more midrange hone because as mentioned, dilucot (using the coticule with varying levels of slurry to provide a range of honing) can be difficult on a coticule as small as yours (the Norton 8k you mentioned can do this, but most people prefer higher end brands over the Nortons these days)

We have a whole forum of vendors in the list
, as well as the BST forum for buying directly from members
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Think it's a SS, Code says 120410 if you look close. Chosera is 310, SS 410 to my knowledge. I guess the SS 1k changed color at some point (Isn't it off-white now?)
I cant see the code on my 1000 anymore (maybe i have an older picture) but here is the box purchased about 10 years ago.

Hopefully its a chosera, because the upc is the same as mine. All if mine were sold to me as chosera if i recall from the vendor CKTG in feb2012. the new chosera box which is different say P310, the super stone says S410. I also think that the super stones didn't come with the nagura that's in his picture.
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