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Some straights prefer coticules?

Some of you might recognize this post for a sharpening forum, thought I should see what the Straight Razor community had to say as well.

So, I have these couple of straights that defied my attempts of putting a nice edge on them with my Shapton Pro´s (220, 1k, 2k, 5k, 8k, 15k).
Some days ago, I was rotating through the collection and decided to do something about them and picked up my Belgian coticule i got from The Superior Shave.

Note now, that I have never felt real comfortable with it, so it was more an attempt to get some practice (any reason for honing is a good one - right?). Surprisingly enough out tof the 6 razors I honed I have tried shave with 3 and all have got an improved edge compared to the Shapton sequence.

I didnt reset the bevel but just started on the coticule with the existing edge, something like 20 laps on slurry, then 20 on very thin slurry, then 15 on the grey side. Same progression as I use after Shapton 15k.

More or less the same on all of the razors and then followed by stropping on CrOx, 0,5 diamond and 0,125 CBN. All compounds on Balsa.

So far I have come up with three possible reasons why the shave suddenly became better:

1) It was not because of the couticle, but because the extra laps on any hone that improved the edge. (this is somewhat disproved considering that I put quite alot of laps on the higher grit stones here already)

2) The coticule is a better finisher then Shapton Pro 15k (sorry Tom :))

3) Some properties of the couticle made it "fit" these razors better than the others (or some property of the razor made the coticule a better tool.

4) I have practiced honing alot since I last used the coticules and have levelled up enough to make use of it. (if so, shouldn't also the Shapton progression have improved as well - I get a decent edge from it on other straights)

I´m sure there are other reasons, but I can't think of any now..

About the straights:
the 3 straights i ttried shaving with so far have been quite small typically less than 4/8. Some bigger ones are queing for attention..
Normally i max out on the 5k until its more or less shining edge, then on the 8k and 15k I do about 20 laps each. On these razors I have been doing both that as well as many more laps trying to get that good edge. So, I dont think the number of laps on the Shaptons is an issue here.
I have never used the shapton pro, but I don't think 20 laps is enough, specially on harder steels. I never count laps, I use a loupe and stay on that grit until scratches from previous one are gone. I have never found the "over honing" phenomena to exist.
i have honed more or less most familar razors with my coticules and if done correctly every razor likes the coticule in my collection..same could be said for shaptons or nortons if you can master them ..getting the max from your stones is practice and time .. Moving up in grits is knowing when to , somthing i never sussed fuly as i have mainly honed with a coticule...the thing to me with a coticule is its not rocket science . you start with a bevel set, you do a set of half strokes you add one drop of water and carry on untill slurry turns to water you finish on water ... you should be there after good stropping if not some stropping on paste and you should defanatley be there. the shave of a coticule alone can be very nice indeed. I have had similar results of the nortons i own never used shaptons but i have heard they give very sharp edges. I'll have to get tom to hone me a razor on his shaptons .

I agree. I've got an 8/8 Filarmonica Medallon Taurino that just loves a coticule. The edge when honed with my Le Dressante is super sharp and smooth. It's a lot better than the edge I got off it with a Thurngian. It's a bit of a generalisation but I find stiffer grinds do well with coticule edges.
I have to agree with Gary here. Every razor in my rotation has been honed on a coticule. Either La Dressante, La Verte, or La Grise. Each stone has differient characteristics, but all shave very good.

I have Germans, English, a Swede and an American in my rotation. They all like the coticule. I would not say one likes it more than the other......more like differient kinds of steel have differient charachteristics off the stone.

I personally do not like the edge from synthetics or sprays. Only thing i will use like that is maybe some laps on crox.


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I haven't found a razor that didn't like a coticule. I have found the finishes from some coticules better than others, but have never been unhappy with any of the results. The same can not be said for my experience with synthetics. Some razors seem to react better than other from what I've been able to tell.
I like honing anything Sheffield on a coticule, the resulting edges are always more user-friendly. I'm also bevel setting Kamisori on the coticule and finishing on Japanese natural, that seems to work excellent as well.
There is voodoo in honing... well kind of lol. I think its a combo of all the things you state. I "know" that some of my blades love my coti more than others - or maybe it's that I love one blade more than the other and give it more quality time on the stone lol. Who knows?

A freind of mine honed a blade i just couldn't get a good shave off my coti on his Naniwa's, and brother what a great shave! I am going to go hard in about a month buying stones - it's time and I'll have the cash so... I can't wait to try a Jnat!!

In closing; if your Coti is giving you what you want - run with it!!
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