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Shall I buy naniwa 12k water stone for straight razor maintenance?

Are you planning on setting the bevel and progressing to finish on one stone?
I received a shave ready straight razor from steve clarkus. Dick peck sent another shave-ready straight razor which is in transit.
I shaved with the one I have with three times before I decided to get a strop for it.

I plan to maintain them.

Where can you find a Grey Ark for $35?
 
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Why doesn't someone do the same as Slash did with films using stones? I mean, if the only reason films are easy is because of one man deciding to put together a method, lets get one for stones.
Slash put together a method for using lapping film and balsa strops with pastes. If others were to develop a method for using those media, I suspect their methods would differ, at least slightly.

The are those who have put together honing methods using common synthetic stones such as Norton, Naniwa, and Shapton. However, because multiple people have experimented with those stones, there are multiple methods.

With natural stones, no two are identical, even if they were cut from the same large rock. Thus, there are numerous methods for using natural stones. You have to experiment and determine which method works best for your stone.

The other factor is that a given hone can sometimes be used for multiple purposes depending upon how it is used. A hone with slurry performs differently than a hone with plain water. Using oil, honing solution, liquid hand soap, shaving lather, etc. all produce varying results.

Another factor that is not observable in any written method or even honing videos is the amount of pressure being exerted on the edge during the honing process. This is something that has to be learned from experience on the hones.

The final factor, however, is your preference in edge quality. Some folks can shave with an edge off a 8K Norton or Naniwa; I cannot. Some folks can shave with an edge off a Coticule; I cannot. Some people have never used a pasted strop; I use them religiously. Since we differ in our edge preferences due to variation in our beard type and skin type, there is no one honing method that will be ideal for everyone.
 
Slash put together a method for using lapping film and balsa strops with pastes. If others were to develop a method for using those media, I suspect their methods would differ, at least slightly.

The are those who have put together honing methods using common synthetic stones such as Norton, Naniwa, and Shapton. However, because multiple people have experimented with those stones, there are multiple methods.

With natural stones, no two are identical, even if they were cut from the same large rock. Thus, there are numerous methods for using natural stones. You have to experiment and determine which method works best for your stone.

The other factor is that a given hone can sometimes be used for multiple purposes depending upon how it is used. A hone with slurry performs differently than a hone with plain water. Using oil, honing solution, liquid hand soap, shaving lather, etc. all produce varying results.

Another factor that is not observable in any written method or even honing videos is the amount of pressure being exerted on the edge during the honing process. This is something that has to be learned from experience on the hones.

The final factor, however, is your preference in edge quality. Some folks can shave with an edge off a 8K Norton or Naniwa; I cannot. Some folks can shave with an edge off a Coticule; I cannot. Some people have never used a pasted strop; I use them religiously. Since we differ in our edge preferences due to variation in our beard type and skin type, there is no one honing method that will be ideal for everyone.
All valid points.

For a new person like me the availablity of a film progression proved to make a razor shave ready. I’ve now moved to a Coticule and Thuringian taking with me the experience I gained using the films


I’ll agree that some beard types are not going to respond to 8000k . Mine won’t
 
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I think Arkansas Grey 12k finishing stone costs about 35 USD.
That price may be for saw cut. You may have to lap it for use with SIC powder. Contact Jonathan Coe directly for pricing.

If you are already spending on a custom straight just get a Naniwa or Shapton Kuromaku 12k or 10K for maintaining your razor. If it's not for you then you can flip it pretty easy on BST's and get 70% of what you paid. Shop around for pricing. Direct from Japan you can get them cheaper if you don't mind a 2 week wait.
 
@Slash McCoy For initial exploration, films are cheap and good. What about long-term costs? Are 1u films cheaper than something like Arkansas Grey finishing stone in the span of 10~20 years?
Maybe. Maybe not. Put it this way. One sheet of film makes three pieces, each good for a dozen or more razors, so call it 40 razors per sheet, times the number of separate grits you use. Figure $1.50/sheet in quantity. How many times will you touch up an edge? How many times will you run the full progression? In those 10 years. Anyway you do the math yourself. Be sure to bill yourself what your time is worth to lap that stone regularly, and include all the other stones you will need, also, and time spent lapping them, and figure out how long until you need to replace the stone cause I don't know. Anyway cost is not an issue, AFAICS. But for most guys with only two or three razors and no pasted balsa, one sheet of 1u film will last a couple of years. Like I said, you do the math.

If you MAKE the razor sharp, REALLY and TRULY sharp, with film and a progression of pasted balsa strops as per The Method, then you will no longer ever need to hone that razor again, ever. Daily post shave maintenance with the .1u balsa will keep it crazy sharp. I never have to rehone my razors. Refer to The Newbie Honing Compendium, AKA "The Method".

Dont worry about how much it costs to hone your razors until you start messing with phone book sized premium grade rectangular natural combo Coticules, or particularly rare and costly Jnats and Naguras. THEN you are talking big enough money to make a difference even spread out over a lifetime.
 
I have dozens of synthetic and natural stone and have never bought a synth 12k, 'cos of film. It lasts for ages, you use it so little.
 
Daily post shave maintenance with the .1u balsa will keep it crazy sharp.
  • If you hone or strop your straight razor everyday on a balsa strop pasted with .1u diamond paste, do you ever need a lapping film? I guess that strictly speaking, I need either a pasted balsa or a lapping film.
  • How much does diamond paste cost, compared to lapping film over years?
 
If you are only keeping your own razors maintained your original purchase would likely last you the rest of your life. Go ahead and splurge, buy both.
Good suggestion. But, would it last for the rest of your life because you don't use lapping flim or diamond paste?
 
Good suggestion. But, would it last for the rest of your life because you don't use lapping flim or diamond paste?
Good one.:a14:

No, I'm saying that just a small amount of paste would last a long long time. If that is the route you were taking.

If I were honing for myself without paste I would only need to hone four razors per year. Slash said that a sheet of film would do about 40 razors. So 2 sheets of 3um and two sheets of 1um, all you would really need, would last about 20 years.

Maggards sells CrOx paste for I think $6-$7. People have been using that to refresh razors for decades.
 
Good suggestion. But, would it last for the rest of your life because you don't use lapping flim or diamond paste?
Yes it would. It all boils down to personal preference and budget.

I was taught on stones and pasted strops. I was also left a lot of these things by my father and grandfather so my cost was zero. I gravitate to them because I am comfortable with them.

I experimented with films/balsa and they work just as well but I prefer the feeling of steel on stone and stropping on leather and linen.

All advice and methods discussed will maintain a razor in shaving condition for a lifetime with pretty minimal effort.
 
I've seen naniwa 12k mentioned on several youtube videos. It seems to be the standard for maintaining a straight razor.

@Dick peck mentioned it should be enough for me to hone a straight razor on a 12k water stone every month if I just wanted to maintain it and shaved with it everyday.

I have a few questions.
  1. Shall I start with naniwa 12k water stone for straight razor maintenance?
  2. If I didn't shave with a straight razor everyday, how do I know when I should hone a straight razor?
  3. What about DMT diamond bar used for honing various blades?
There is no definitive answer here, as there are too many variables: your beard, how you prep, shave and strop etc. I have been shaving with only straights since Autumn 2016, I have explored numerous razors and stones, and possess the following:
Razors.
Portland Hydra ( 2017) 6/8
1850-1880 vintage Sheffield 13/16
Hones.
CNAT (occasional finisher)
3000/8000 Toishi Ohishi combo WS
10000 Toishi Ohishi WS
Strops.
Westholme Latigo with linen 2nd
Pure linen with paste for refreshing

I will say I’ve tried a few stones and find the ‘Toshi’ to be superb, slightly less expensive than Naniwa, but I would suggest every bit as good. Do you need a stone to maintain an edge? Yes. Does a pasted strop maintain a keen edge indefinitely? No. And if you are not careful you will even damage an edge using a PS if you have excessive paste and poor technique. It requires patience and practice to develop a feel for honing, and only trial and error will tell you what works for you. I find I can shave comfortably with my Hydra off the 8k, but a few light strokes on the 10k seems to finish my old Sheffield perfectly. Not the answer you may have wished for, but just my tuppence worth for your benefit (I hope).
 
There is no definitive answer here, as there are too many variables: your beard, how you prep, shave and strop etc. I have been shaving with only straights since Autumn 2016, I have explored numerous razors and stones, and possess the following:
Razors.
Portland Hydra ( 2017) 6/8
1850-1880 vintage Sheffield 13/16
Hones.
CNAT (occasional finisher)
3000/8000 Toishi Ohishi combo WS
10000 Toishi Ohishi WS
Strops.
Westholme Latigo with linen 2nd
Pure linen with paste for refreshing

I will say I’ve tried a few stones and find the ‘Toshi’ to be superb, slightly less expensive than Naniwa, but I would suggest every bit as good. Do you need a stone to maintain an edge? Yes. Does a pasted strop maintain a keen edge indefinitely? No. And if you are not careful you will even damage an edge using a PS if you have excessive paste and poor technique. It requires patience and practice to develop a feel for honing, and only trial and error will tell you what works for you. I find I can shave comfortably with my Hydra off the 8k, but a few light strokes on the 10k seems to finish my old Sheffield perfectly. Not the answer you may have wished for, but just my tuppence worth for your benefit (I hope).
This is a rare and appreciated post. Rarely do others recognize that one's beard is a significant factor when choosing which honing medium to use. :a14:
 
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