What's new

SHAVE-OFF Cnat -v- Pasted Balsa

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
Nothing in this thread is news, or controversial.

People have used pasted strops to keep razors sharp for centuries. People have used stones to keep razors sharp for centuries.

I think the issue for less experienced folks is when one or the other option is promoted as significantly different or better. That said, I too feel that a good natural stone imparts a noticeably smoother feeling shaving edge. But I’m no master of synth edges either, and some people feel CBN is smoother than diamonds.

- Pastes and stropping substrates are cheap, repeatable, and straightforward to use.
- Coticules and JNats can be expensive because you may have to try several to find one that you really like. Arkansas and Thuringians produce more uniform results stone to stone, but are less versatile than cotis and JNats. And good Thuris aren’t cheap. You’ll likely have to learn how to get the best results from a natural stone, something many people don’t want to do, and that’s understandable,
- A Pierre La Lune or a the right JNat will produce an edge that’s every bit as sharp and keen feeling as pastes.
- If you want a sure thing that kind of splits the difference between synth and natural, get Suehiro Gokumyo 20k. MTC Kitchen has good prices and frequent sales. Not cheap for a synth, but it’s a lifetime stone.

Pastes are for folks who want good results but don’t really want to make hones and honing part of the hobby/experience. That’s most people in history, lol. Natural stones are for people who enjoy honing and make it a part of their experience.

Enjoy the ride, whatever you’re riding, it’s all good.
 

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
Nothing in this thread is news, or controversial.

People have used pasted strops to keep razors sharp for centuries. People have used stones to keep razors sharp for centuries.

I think the issue for less experienced folks is when one or the other option is promoted as significantly different or better. That said, I too feel that a good natural stone imparts a noticeably smoother feeling shaving edge. But I’m no master of synth edges either, and some people feel CBN is smoother than diamonds.

- Pastes and stropping substrates are cheap, repeatable, and straightforward to use.
- Coticules and JNats can be expensive because you may have to try several to find one that you really like. Arkansas and Thuringians produce more uniform results stone to stone, but are less versatile than cotis and JNats. And good Thuris aren’t cheap. You’ll likely have to learn how to get the best results from a natural stone, something many people don’t want to do, and that’s understandable,
- A Pierre La Lune or a the right JNat will produce an edge that’s every bit as sharp and keen feeling as pastes.
- If you want a sure thing that kind of splits the difference between synth and natural, get Suehiro Gokumyo 20k. MTC Kitchen has good prices and frequent sales. Not cheap for a synth, but it’s a lifetime stone.

Pastes are for folks who want good results but don’t really want to make hones and honing part of the hobby/experience. That’s most people in history, lol. Natural stones are for people who enjoy honing and make it a part of their experience.

Enjoy the ride, whatever you’re riding, it’s all good.
I heartily agree with your comments. From my experience, I am glad that I first learnt to hone on films; cheap and easy to learn as they removed some of the variables from the equation. Adding diamond pasted balsa showed me what can be achieved in sharpness. Then Chinese synthetic whetstones for bevel-setting and early edge refining taught me the basics of whetstone honing. Now, along comes naturally whetstones.

This SR adventure (and B&B) has been great for my shaving and mental health over the past 2½ years.
 
Nothing in this thread is news, or controversial.

People have used pasted strops to keep razors sharp for centuries. People have used stones to keep razors sharp for centuries.

I think the issue for less experienced folks is when one or the other option is promoted as significantly different or better. That said, I too feel that a good natural stone imparts a noticeably smoother feeling shaving edge. But I’m no master of synth edges either, and some people feel CBN is smoother than diamonds.

- Pastes and stropping substrates are cheap, repeatable, and straightforward to use.
- Coticules and JNats can be expensive because you may have to try several to find one that you really like. Arkansas and Thuringians produce more uniform results stone to stone, but are less versatile than cotis and JNats. And good Thuris aren’t cheap. You’ll likely have to learn how to get the best results from a natural stone, something many people don’t want to do, and that’s understandable,
- A Pierre La Lune or a the right JNat will produce an edge that’s every bit as sharp and keen feeling as pastes.
- If you want a sure thing that kind of splits the difference between synth and natural, get Suehiro Gokumyo 20k. MTC Kitchen has good prices and frequent sales. Not cheap for a synth, but it’s a lifetime stone.

Pastes are for folks who want good results but don’t really want to make hones and honing part of the hobby/experience. That’s most people in history, lol. Natural stones are for people who enjoy honing and make it a part of their experience.

Enjoy the ride, whatever you’re riding, it’s all good.
What I meant is that rbscebu stated that his CNAT edge is at least as good as a pasted balsa edge. rbscebu trims his fingernails with a balsa strop. He brushes his teeth with a balsa strop. It’s like I just woke up in an alternate universe. It’s not the honing medium that is the shock, but rather who said it.

What’s next? Slash McCoy burning all his balsa and buying a novaculite mine in Arkansas?
 
If the shipping cost weren't 3x times more that the price for that cnat, I would have already ordered it based on the feedback of @rbscebu. Looks a nice budget alternative.
 

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
If the shipping cost weren't 3x times more that the price for that cnat, I would have already ordered it based on the feedback of @rbscebu. Looks a nice budget alternative.
If you hunt around AliExpress you can find the same Cnat from other vendors with free shipping (if that makes you feel better) but the overall price is a bit higher.
 

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
During my Cnat fortnight, I used the Cnat whetstone pre-soaked and without soaking. I found no difference in either slurry making (none) or honing. I would say that this Cnat doesn't require pre-soaking.
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
You might try glycerin or oil with it, I don’t think that it’s absorbent.

Here’s part 1 and 2 of Glen Mercurio’s video on one stone honing with the CNat.


 
A Cnat finish can match a 0.1μm diamond pasted balsa strop finish in both keenness and comfort.
Since the Adaee is 12k, that opens up a lot of possibilities. I'm curious what kind of an edge is possible using something with a significantly higher grit, lets say like a Shapton 30k. I'm sure at some point there is diminishing returns. I just have no idea where the sweet spot is in terms of grit vs price.
 

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
Since the Adaee is 12k, that opens up a lot of possibilities. I'm curious what kind of an edge is possible using something with a significantly higher grit, lets say like a Shapton 30k. I'm sure at some point there is diminishing returns. I just have no idea where the sweet spot is in terms of grit vs price.
I don't think that it is just a grit rating that comes into it. With slurry, the Cnat probably performs like a 12k synthetic. By the time I get to honing on the Cnat with a burnished surface and a bit of soap mixed in with the water, the Cnat may be performing like a sub-micron honing medium.

Having never used a Shapton, I cannot comment on how they behave. All I have found is that the Adaee 12000 natural whetstone that I have can be worked to give an edge similar to what I can get off a diamond pasted balsa strop progression to 0.1μm. Not easy, but it can be done.

I wouldn't recommend an Adaee 12000 natural to a honing n00bie as an alternative to pasted balsa strops. First get consistent results off films + pasted balsa before venturing into "exotic" natural whetstones. Then you have a target to aim for.
 
What I meant is that rbscebu stated that his CNAT edge is at least as good as a pasted balsa edge. rbscebu trims his fingernails with a balsa strop. He brushes his teeth with a balsa strop. It’s like I just woke up in an alternate universe. It’s not the honing medium that is the shock, but rather who said it.

What’s next? Slash McCoy burning all his balsa and buying a novaculite mine in Arkansas?

Imagine if @rbscebu gets an Ac shavette plus some Ac blades and says, you get the same shave quality without stones and hones. Could it happen @Mr. Shavington?
 

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
@rbscebu what do you use to flatten the stone?
I used my smooth flat ceramic floor tile and W&D sandpaper. The stone came very flat so there wasn't much lapping flat to be done.

After two weeks of use on three SRs, I lapped it flat again and very little lapping was then required.
 
I used my smooth flat ceramic floor tile and W&D sandpaper. The stone came very flat so there wasn't much lapping flat to be done.

After two weeks of use on three SRs, I lapped it flat again and very little lapping was then required.
Thanks for the info. I got one on the way.
 
@rbscebu, I have no problem reading through tons of posts in the existing honing threads for general information. I am curious if there are any *special* instructions for honing with *this* stone that you can share. Thanks.
 

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
Not
@rbscebu, I have no problem reading through tons of posts in the existing honing threads for general information. I am curious if there are any *special* instructions for honing with *this* stone that you can share. Thanks.
Nothing "special" was required for my Adaee 12000 stone that was not required for any other hard, slow cutting, non-self-slurrying natural whetstones. Things like; ensure the honing surface is flat, use a seasoned diamond plate to raise a slurry when needed, use many more laps than you would use on a fast cutter, etc..

Remember, the Adaee 12000 that I got is not recommended for a beginner in honing. I first had a lot of experience honing off lapping films and synthetic whetstones before I touched this Cnat. Also, not all Adaee 12000 stones may be similar. I have only used the one that I got. Others may be different.
 
Last edited:
Not

Nothing "special" was required for my Adaee 12000 stone that was not required for any other hard, slow cutting, non-self-slurrying natural whetstones. Things like; ensure the honing surface is flat, use a seasoned diamond plate to raise a slurry when needed, use many more laps than you would use on a fast cutter, etc..

Remember, the Adaee 12000 that I got is not recommended for a beginner in honing. I first had a lot of experience honing off lapping films and synthetic whetstones before I touched this Cnat. Also, not all Adaee 12000 stones may be similar. I have only used the one that I got. Others may be different.

Can you please elaborate? I mean, where does one begin if not at the beginning as a beginner? Wasn't this a first step as a natural stone beginner yourself? I've honed on natural stones for 10 years and I started out on them. There really was no other way to learn other than to jump right in.
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
Jump in, the water’s fine, any way that you want.

Traditional ‘wisdom’ is to not learn to hone and shave at the same time. I came to razors through knife honing as many folks did, with Japanese knives and Japanese hones.

It didn’t make sense to me to send a razor out when I had the stones.
 
Top Bottom