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"The Holy Grail" Bevel setter ?

The "Holy Grail" bevel setter synthetic

  • Naniwa Super Ceramic 1000 (Chosera) ($80)

    Votes: 15 48.4%
  • Shapton Ceramic KUROMAKU #1500 ($41)

    Votes: 14 45.2%
  • Suehiro CERAX 1010 Medium #1000, Ceramic sharpening stone ($41)

    Votes: 2 6.5%

  • Total voters
    31

Slash McCoy

I freehand dog rockets
Out of interest - do you know if Norton waterstone ratings are ANSI or JIS? (Or something else...)
Should be ANSI. At any rate, the Norton leaves a scratch pattern about twice as deep and prominent as the Naniwa SS, and removes steel almost twice as fast. It truly does behave more like a 600 grit stone. That's not a bad thing, it's just a thing. Even more aggressive than the Chosera 1k, way more aggressive. And that is saying something, since the Chosera is, at least in my observation, more aggressive than the SS. In fact I use the SS to clean up the bevel set on a Chosera. Even though they are rated the same, on the same JIS scale. The grit rating is just a number and doesn't always carry over into real world results in use. Not saying the numbers are pointless because they are relevant. Sort of like sharpness tests vs the shave test. Sharpness test results are useful. Shave test results are real world, and what really matters.
 
You need to add Lilly White Washita to this list.
This is the only stone needed, all the way up to 7k+! It's crazy to me why they don't get thought of much for razors. Like any ark, with good surface prep they are insanely good for razors. It's the only way I can fix geometry problems without tape easily. Though they have a huge fan base(like good, super fine coticules) I feel like they are completely underrated. The range of washitas is crazy plus, like llyn idwal stones and charnwoods or any other novaculites will differ enormously depending on surface prep. A pike no.1 or lily white that has made 2 or 3 knives perfect is amazing for bevel setting a razor(especially problem razors) and in the long run, through my personal experience, this is by far the most economical way. That's one man's opinion.
 
One of the benefits of the King 1k, it is soft, so rather than loading up it slurries. Sounds like you are not using the stone with enough water, try a squirt water bottle in place of a spray bottle.

This is good input. I have seen how thirsty the King 1K is and that is part of the problem. I use a squirt bottle and it dries too fast and then chokes up. This is part of the problem, its too thirsty. I will give it another try, however I was hoping to get a stone which is not too thirsty as well. I soak the stone for a good 30 to 45 minutes before I try to work on any razor and as soon as I start working with the stone, I can see the surface dry up rapidly.


Also - I've never come across a King 1k/3k combi... is that definitely what you have @luv2shave ? Suehiro and Naniwa both do 1k/3k stones, but the very well known King one is 1k/6k...

I stand corrected - Yes its a King 1k/6K I had ordered from ebay Japan some time back. The 6K is very soft and crumbles quite easily.
 
Bevel setters don't get the respect and attention they deserve. If it wasn't for the bevel setters, those finish stones that, everyone is crazy for, would be useless. The foundation of success. I wish I had absorbed this concept earlier in my trials. I learn a lot by my failures. I always want to try to understand exactly what's going on and why. This was a hard won lesson.

The Kuromaku 1500 was my first water stone, and believe me I was very late to the water stone party. I learned and lingered on Oil stones and a Natural progression. Got me by, time consuming, unreliable, too many variables,. The 1500 Kuromaku lead to a full progression of Shapton Pro's and I couldn't be happier. I finish on Ark's but I use Shapton Pro's to get there.

I love refining the bevel on the 1.5k. By the time I'm done on the bevel, I'm not getting any swarf on the hone. So nice!
 
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I have a Suehiro and Chosera 1K. I like them both equally well. They both set a bevel equally fast. The Chosera may polish a bit more, but at this stage of honing process, it is immaterial really. I like that the cholera is a splash and go, and has a nice base. But I like that the Suehiro is half the price, and performs just as good. Both are responsive, the cholera feeling like the harder of the two. In the end, I reach for my Suehiro, even though it is a soaking stone.
 
If you use the Chosera 1k a little differently it doesn't glaze so easily. I sometimes give mine a 5ish minute soak before using it - that softens it up just a smidge and lets it release dull grit a little easier. I liked it as a splash and go just fine but I like it even better that way.

I also have Shapton Kuro/Pro 1k, 2k, and those are good too. I lean more toward the 2k as my favorite of the two. But I like the Chosera just a little bit more, wins by a nose.
 
I have seen how thirsty the King 1K is and that is part of the problem. I use a squirt bottle and it dries too fast and then chokes up. This is part of the problem, its too thirsty. I will give it another try, however I was hoping to get a stone which is not too thirsty as well. I soak the stone for a good 30 to 45 minutes before I try to work on any razor and as soon as I start working with the stone, I can see the surface dry up rapidly.
My first bevel setting water stone was a King 800. At first the presoaking and drying seemed like a non issue. I mean who cares how long it takes to dry, it's not like it's taking time on my part and presoaking was rarely much of a problem.

After upgrading to a Chosera 1k I figured that I'd never use my King 800 and sold it . 'I'll never have to deal with all that soaking and drying again'.

Long story short, I ended up buying another King 800 to use for convex knife polishing. Now I perma soak it and really like it for the purpose that I purchased it for. Maybe I'll set a few bevels with it just for old times sake.
 
My first bevel setting water stone was a King 800. At first the presoaking and drying seemed like a non issue. I mean who cares how long it takes to dry, it's not like it's taking time on my part and presoaking was rarely much of a problem.

After upgrading to a Chosera 1k I figured that I'd never use my King 800 and sold it . 'I'll never have to deal with all that soaking and drying again'.

Long story short, I ended up buying another King 800 to use for convex knife polishing. Now I perma soak it and really like it for the purpose that I purchased it for. Maybe I'll set a few bevels with it just for old times sake.

So good that it seems almost regarded as a necessity in a polishing progression! Very good sharpening stone too, but like you I use mine pretty much exclusively for kasumi type stuff, and after thinning. I have used it to set SR bevels once or twice and worked fine, the muddiness though probably isn’t ideal.

Another very good stone that hasn't been mentioned yet I don't think, and perhaps more suited for razor work is the widely-adored Chosera 800...
 
Any stone that you do not use enough water will dry out and load up, even the Chosera 1k or Shapton.

If you hone on a plastic food tray to catch the water and swarf and use a squirt bottle, you can just keep the stone flooded and drying out and swarf build up, are a non-issue.

For years folks have obsessed over 1k bevel setters. Really it does not matter, the bevel setter is a grinder that grinds the bevel flat and to the correct angle so that the later stones can polish the bevels to straighten the edge.

Some stones use more water, some “splash and go” load up, it is a trade off and the user must learn their stone and do what it takes to get the results they want.

I defy anyone to shave with a razor with a pristine, keen finished edge, and be able to tell which bevel setter was used. Honing is in the hands not the stone. Spend your money on a good finisher and put in the time learning the stones you have.
 
My first bevel setting water stone was a King 800. At first the presoaking and drying seemed like a non issue. I mean who cares how long it takes to dry, it's not like it's taking time on my part and presoaking was rarely much of a problem.

After upgrading to a Chosera 1k I figured that I'd never use my King 800 and sold it . 'I'll never have to deal with all that soaking and drying again'.

Long story short, I ended up buying another King 800 to use for convex knife polishing. Now I perma soak it and really like it for the purpose that I purchased it for. Maybe I'll set a few bevels with it just for old times sake.
Mine was my first bevel setting hone too. In fact it is the only synthetic water stone I still own. I mainly use it to thin knife blades now.

They do take an awfully long time to dry out. I don’t perma soak mine, since it doesn’t get used that regularly.
 
I defy anyone to shave with a razor with a pristine, keen finished edge, and be able to tell which bevel setter was used. Honing is in the hands not the stone. Spend your money on a good finisher and put in the time learning the stones you have.
I agree, but most of us are straight shaving for enjoyment and some stones are more enjoyable than others to use. For example if a stone is so soft that one had to flatten it many times to complete a single bevel set or feels like you're honing on gravel. These would not be enjoyable stones compared to a stone that feels like cream and stays flat to boot.
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
Any stone that you do not use enough water will dry out and load up, even the Chosera 1k or Shapton.

If you hone on a plastic food tray to catch the water and swarf and use a squirt bottle, you can just keep the stone flooded and drying out and swarf build up, are a non-issue.

For years folks have obsessed over 1k bevel setters. Really it does not matter, the bevel setter is a grinder that grinds the bevel flat and to the correct angle so that the later stones can polish the bevels to straighten the edge.

Some stones use more water, some “splash and go” load up, it is a trade off and the user must learn their stone and do what it takes to get the results they want.

I defy anyone to shave with a razor with a pristine, keen finished edge, and be able to tell which bevel setter was used. Honing is in the hands not the stone. Spend your money on a good finisher and put in the time learning the stones you have.

Sort of. Some bevel setters/stones have a wider grit distribution.

If I finish on Shapton Pros, I will have coarse striae in the finished razor edge. It makes no difference in the shave as far as I can tell. But the coarse marks are there.

Shapton Glass and G7 do not make these coarse marks on the bevel, the grit is graded to a better degree I think.

I use a school tray too! My pal @Southbound1 gave me one!
 
Even for taking out small chips i use shapton G7 2k or a Naniwa pro 2k. My 1k gouken have not been used for razors in a long while. For work that requires more grinding power a DMT 600 or 1200 work fine for heavier lifting.
The 2k sees allot of use for other applications as well. If i only had one stone for kitchen knifes it would be a 2k Naniwa pro. It cuts fast, but leaves a nice finish. In my experience it leaves a finer edge then my Shapton gs 3k HR.
 

Slash McCoy

I freehand dog rockets
Keep in mind that there are really two much different bevel setting situations. In one, you simply need or desire to tighten up a bevel and get both faces flat and meeting at a precise apex so you can effectively run your progression. In the other, there is damage or irregularities requiring a good deal of steel removal just to get to where the bevel faces will be. In the former, a 2k level stone or 9u film can do the job cleanly and quickly. In the latter, if you don't want to be half a day about it, you start with something coarser, sometimes much coarser. Even diamond plates or sandpaper, to get the process started. The distinction between edge repair and bevel setting is sort of arbitrary and subjective, but in truth are maybe better thought of as a continuum rather than an either/or, one or the other situation. Some new razors are really almost there. Some are horrible and need lots of excavation to get to a good bevel. Pre-owned razors can be pitted or chipped or dinged savagely, or maybe merely neglected and badly worn, or honed by the same person for 30 years with a "personal" touch. The smart honer has more than one bevel setting tool and technique in his bag of tricks. Maybe the whole concept of a "holy grail" bevel setter needs to be set aside.
 
To build on what Slash said, I kind of think of bevel-setting as a two step process, although the steps don't happen independently. Step one is establishing a workable relationship between the spine and the edge. Step two is creating an apex. Like I said, these are happening simultaneously, but step two cannot be completed until step one is established. If you have good geometry, you can grind a flat bevel with a clean apex on a relatively fine stone, even chip removal or repair goes fairly quickly if everything else is in order.

So for me, a "holy grail" bevel setter is one that is coarse enough to do both jobs efficiently, but doesn't set you up for excessive work on higher grits due to deep scratches. I'm not sure such a stone exists, because you're going to be compromising efficiency for refinement at some point depending on the condition of the razor. I think it comes down to finding a stone you like to use and learning how to exploit it.
 
Different stones will leaves bevels in varying degrees of refinement and possibly different geometry. A King 1k does not leave the same bevel as a harder stone, like - say - a Chosera 1k. If the Chosera is kept well and used correctly, the bevel off that stone will be 'flatter' or 'less convex' than a bevel set on the King 1k or a Coticule for that matter.
How much any of that matters to someone is up to the user, and no one else.
My bevel-set game got better when 'better' stones entered the equation. The Nani SS 1k was an improvement over the King 1k, and the Norton 1k. Against all 'advice' from the self-titled poobahs - I got a Chosera 1k and my bevels improved tremendously.
But, I was told "you don't need it', "you're wasting money", "all you need is the Norton", and so on...
Pfft - best investment in honing is in the early work. Most sharpness is developed early on. Dropping a c-note on a 1k-ish slab can reap 10x the benefits over spending 5x that on a finisher.

Honestly, after a mile of bevel setters - and several examples of each - I can say that there is no 'grail' in a global sense.
I would also say that the only 'Grail' that matters is the grail of bevel setting; the action, not the tools.
Sure, the stone matters. But to a point, spending money does not guarantee results.
Factually - I hone better bevels on harder stones. I have 4-5 stones in that 'zone' right now, zero softies and the softest one hardly ever sees razors.

What I've come to understand though, is that if someone can't get the blade's apex to max then it doesn't matter what stone they use.
Better to have a lesser stone and better skills than the other way around.
 
Different stones will leaves bevels in varying degrees of refinement and possibly different geometry. A King 1k does not leave the same bevel as a harder stone, like - say - a Chosera 1k. If the Chosera is kept well and used correctly, the bevel off that stone will be 'flatter' or 'less convex' than a bevel set on the King 1k or a Coticule for that matter.
How much any of that matters to someone is up to the user, and no one else.
My bevel-set game got better when 'better' stones entered the equation. The Nani SS 1k was an improvement over the King 1k, and the Norton 1k. Against all 'advice' from the self-titled poobahs - I got a Chosera 1k and my bevels improved tremendously.
But, I was told "you don't need it', "you're wasting money", "all you need is the Norton", and so on...
Pfft - best investment in honing is in the early work. Most sharpness is developed early on. Dropping a c-note on a 1k-ish slab can reap 10x the benefits over spending 5x that on a finisher.

Honestly, after a mile of bevel setters - and several examples of each - I can say that there is no 'grail' in a global sense.
I would also say that the only 'Grail' that matters is the grail of bevel setting; the action, not the tools.
Sure, the stone matters. But to a point, spending money does not guarantee results.
Factually - I hone better bevels on harder stones. I have 4-5 stones in that 'zone' right now, zero softies and the softest one hardly ever sees razors.

What I've come to understand though, is that if someone can't get the blade's apex to max then it doesn't matter what stone they use.
Better to have a lesser stone and better skills than the other way around.
As Gamma said....you can hone a blade on a river rock if you know exactly what your doing but the "best stones" in the world will never make a razor shave better unless you can use them properly.
 
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