What's new

Stupid newbie question

I will be making the move to straight razors in a few weeks and have a question about honing. I need to clean them up a bit before they are ready to be honed to make them shave ready (I posted them in another thread for ID). I am lucky enough to live close to Lynn from Straight Razor Designs and he agreed to show me how to hone my razors. I don't plan on getting a bunch or razors to restore (just yet, anyway), so my question is can I just get by with a barber's hone just to maintain the edge on my razors? If this will be sufficient, what is a good barber's hone to get and where might I get one? I have read that it isn't the best idea to get one in an antique store or flea market without knowing much about them because you don't really know the grit you are getting.
You can maintain your razors on a barber hone.

I got mine from whippeddog.com

There are also vendors on Straightrazorplace.com that sell barber hones.
So once it's honed, I can just hone it on a barber's hone every couple months (once I can no longer keep a good edge from just stropping) and that's all the honing it will need (unless I drop it or something) again? I apologize for my ignorance, I'm just now getting into straights.

I have found the 'little & often' approach works best for the long term maintenance of my straight razors.

Generally, after seven (7) shaves, the blade gets a touch-up on a chromium oxide (0.5 micron) pasted hard leather paddle strop.

After twenty-eight (28) shaves, it gets a brief tour down a finishing stone - in your case it would be your barber hone, in my case a Naniwa 12k.

The above is just a guide - let your whiskers be the best judge - once the shave becomes sub-par, refresh the edge.

Good luck !

Have fun !

Best regards

Different hones cut differently and produce different results. If you are getting lessons your best bet is to be shown how to hone with the hones you'll be using.
I would ask Lynn when you get together, and go with his recommendations. :thumbup1:

But yes, a strop and a barber's hone will generally do you good for a while. Most of the barber's hones on Ebay are authentic. There were so many brands.
Look for a recognized "name brand" razor hone or a hone that has barber or razor stamped/imprinted somewhere. eBay has a LOT of old knife stones in low grits sold as razor hones because the sellers don't know any better. Or else get one lapped and ready to go from whipped dog. If you have the money, I'd get a small coticule over a barber hone myself. Using a coti with water to touch up is no more difficult than using a barber hone for the same task, it will likely cost a bit more though.

Most barber hones are pretty good finishers. The only one that immediately springs to mind as being rather low grit for a finisher is the Carborundum 118s. I've used maybe 20 random barber hones by now, mostly as pickups in old barbers bags I bought for other items, and they're all pretty similar.

As for keeping a razor going indefinitely Chimesche (spelling?) is the guy to ask about that. I believe he did just that for 20-30 years. I have far too many razors to even give touch up honing much thought. My razors don't get touched up, I finish them on a different stone for a change of pace LONG before they need a touchup.
Last edited:


"To Wiki or Not To Wiki, That's The Question".
Staff member
Not a stupid question.

A barber hone can provide a shave ready finish if you are maintaining an edge yes. As Henry mentioned, if someone shows you how to do it, just ask what should you use to maintain that edge.

I personally do not like the finish of a barber hone but it doesn't mean that you won't. I prefer a higher grit natural stone. Having said that, barber hones are a cheap and good way to maintain an edge.


Staff member
Personally I would use a C12k rather than a barbers hone. While it is a much slower cutter, the edge will be finer and the larger size makes it easier to use, for me anyway.

For quick touch ups I use CrO on a balsa bench strop.
Talk to Jarrod at Superior Shave about getting a coti bout. I got a nice natural combo bout, specifically chosen as a finisher. (slow cutter, smooth finish) for around $55 bucks. Maybe more than a barber's hone, or less than some barber's hones, but could also be used with slurry to do much more than merely touch-ups.
Top Bottom