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Thread: Strop and paste vs. hone

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    Default Strop and paste vs. hone

    The highest grit I've done is a 16k Naniwa. So far, happy. But if I wanted something a little smoother....

    What's the difference between a strop with paste and a high grit stone or glass, such as Shapton 30k? From what I can tell, the pastes get to about 30k, perhaps higher.

    Has anyone compared the strop and paste to a Shapton? What's the difference? If there is a thread already, appreciate a link.

    Just curious.

    Similarly...at what point do you get to the law of diminishing returns?
    4k to 8k is a huge difference. 8k to 12k is also big. From 12k to 16k is less of a jump, although it's still 4k finer. 20k would be another 4k higher, and 30k even higher. Do you notice the difference with a shave?

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    Senior Member blabbermouth tcrideshd's Avatar
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    You can chase the unicorn edge, but you can go into the 100 edge with some pastes. But it really ultimately rest with you and your ability’s. I get a super smooth edge from a 12k Naniwa, you might not get it as smooth with a 20k. Never seen a 16k naniwa, but if your not getting a smooth irritation free shave then check yourself, if new to honing RAZORS it’s common
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    I've been honing for a few years, and even met with a mentor a few years ago in person to learn some tips. While I may not be perfect, I don't think honing is a shortcoming. I could probably strop some more.

    Shaving is good and comfortable. One spot on my neck gets razor burn when the rest of my face is fine. It grows sideways and I can't, due to curves, shave sideways there. Wondering if a sharper edge may make a difference, but sharper would be a subtle thing I believe, after Naniwa 12k. Wondering if strop with paste or a higher grit stone or glass would make a difference, but I don't want to spend lots of $$ without asking about others' experience.

    Your unicorn edge comment is similar to my law of diminishing returns, I guess. So, the path may not be worth it...just curious what guys think.
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    Acquiring a lot of hones,especially high grit ones, can be a very expensive disorder. Chromium Oxide is relatively inexpensive and can get you to 30k.

    If your bevel is set correctly and your progression has systematically removed lower grit stria, you should be able to get a comfortable shave from an 8K stone, a very good shave from a 12K or other similar finishing stone and a superior shave using a pasted strop.

    I have a 16K Shapton glass that I seldom use because I get really good edges FOR ME using a BBW/coticule => Oozuku or Vermio => CrOx on a paddle strop.

    Poor stropping technique or stropping on a poor strop can undo good honing, so there is that to consider as well.
    David
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    Acquiring a lot of hones,especially high grit ones, can be a very expensive disorder. Chromium Oxide is relatively inexpensive and can get you to 30k.
    Am I to understand that a Shapton 30k glass and Chromium Oxide are basically the same thing?

    If yes, this answers my original question. And since CO is cheaper, that's the reason to do it.

    thanks

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Could be that if you are only getting razor burn consistently in one trouble spot your angle on the blade could be slightly off and/or you are trying too hard there and using to much pressure.

    Bob
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    I have found the Solingen red and black crayon pastes used in sequence on leather loom or paddle strops to work quite well off a coticule or synths in the 6k-8k range.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Maybe not of the Shapton 16k specifically but yes lots of threads on paste and film. Paste can go as high as 0.005um/ 3.2 million grit and film .03um/60grit film. As a point of reference, Chromium Oxide that has been used for hundreds of years is .50um 30,000 grit.

    There are many, many posts on honing on film and stropping on paste.

    Both work exceptionally well, but there are limits, (the law of diminishing returns?) but perhaps not what you think.

    It depends on your beard and skin type, the quality of your honing and most importantly the quality of the steel.

    You can make an edge so keen that it will exfoliate skin painlessly, but a few seconds later your skin will weep blood, (weepers). Film and paste can both easily create those edges.

    Paste readily available to 0,10um/ 160,000 grit can polish an edge stria free and it will shave well, but the edge will not last and begin to microchip, the steel cannot handle the edge. Remember the actual cutting edge of any razor cannot be seen without the aid of magnification of about 1,000 power.

    If you want to experiment with paste, start with pure Chromium Oxide, it will give a smooth keen polished edge, a stick of pure Chrome Oxide is about $10 from any good razor supplier and a lifetime supply. Where as a .50um CBN paste can make a keener, harsher edge, same grit size, different shape grit. 12k and Chrome Oxide is a very good edge for most, but there may be even more room for improvement.

    Honing a straight razor is not just about sharpness, sharp is easy, sharp, and comfortable is the trick and not so…easy. A straight razor edge can be tailored for your skin, beard, and razor, that is one of the benefits, a tailored edge. Necks are almost universally a problem area for the same reasons you have issues. A keen properly honed edge can help, sharper is not always the answer.
    Last edited by Euclid440; 02-23-2021 at 03:41 AM.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth bluesman7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    4k to 8k is a huge difference. 8k to 12k is also big. From 12k to 16k is less of a jump, although it's still 4k finer. 20k would be another 4k higher, and 30k even higher. Do you notice the difference with a shave?
    A look at the micron sizes of the grits that you mention may be enlightening. A 4k jump in grit means different things at different levels of grit. A 20k Gok and a 30k Shapton are listed at having approximately the same grit size. Going from 100k grit to 104k grit would be totally meaningless. Also the same grit in a different binder or applied to a strop is going to cut differently.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    The highest grit I've done is a 16k Naniwa. So far, happy. But if I wanted something a little smoother....
    Higher grit =/= smoother.
    Especially when comparing high grit synthetics to naturals; you can't make those comparisons.

    For finishing I prefer a natural finishing stone over a synthetic. But there are so many, both can do a very good job.
    Crox is a good and easy solution for not needing a high grit synthetic and for smoothing things out.

    It's really finding what you prefer and that's by trying it all.

    But what matters most is skin feel for me and only one natural does it for me and that's a Blue Belgian whetstone, but it's not for everyone. My Escher and Coticules don't do what a BBW does for me, a 20K synthetic is a really fantastic finisher in all honesty as well. But a BBW gives something extra the others don't of keenness and skin friendliness (not even the Coticules do it for me). But now we are splitting hairs and are in a highly subjective and personal territory.

    You should get be able to get good shaves off of a finishing synthetic stone and smooth it out with some crox if you'd like. I don't think I'd bother with other stones above the 10K synthetic range if I were to do it over again, but I would use some crox. The 20K is awesome without pastes, but pricey, and I'm not sure if it beats a 10K + crox.

    Naturals are a whole other thing and these I use without any pastes afterwards, otherwise I feel you're just not using the right natural for you.

    I will say your technique will do almost as much as your edge does.
    Last edited by TristanLudlow; 02-23-2021 at 03:34 PM.
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