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Thread: Different Honed Edge Results

  1. #1
    Senior Member Robini's Avatar
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    Default Different Honed Edge Results

    As you can see, I am new to this forum and to the world of Straight razors. Trying to learn and share my experiences. I have progressed to a BBS shave with no nicks or cuts... Given this, I am going to assume that my stropping technique is good and not damaging the edge.

    I have been using razors purchased new from SRD and, as I was told, honed to the Naniwa SS 12K. These have been great! Extremely close and smooth with little to no irritation.

    I recently purchased two Wacker razors which were honed on Escher blue/green Water stone by a well known member here. I had my first shave today with one of them. WTG was very nice! A bit smoother than the razors on the SS12k. ATG was awful! The razor did not want to easily cut hair. It took many more effort/passes to get close to the shave I was after. I believe that the skin was irritated due to the excessive amount of touch up ATG.

    End result, not as close a shave as both razors honed by SRD w/SS 12K.

    I know that one razor/one shave does not completely tell any story. BUT, given this experience, what guidance do you have regarding which finishing hone might work best for my face? I do plan on sending out a razor to be honed on different finishing stones to see what might work best as time goes on. It is understood that there are many variables that can come into play and the honed edge is not the only factor.

    I appreciate your input.
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  3. #2
    Senior Member Jnatcat's Avatar
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    Some like a total synthetic edge and some like a total natural finished edge, I am in the camp that like a combo of both so i do my intial honing with synthetics and finish on a JNAT and you have to keep in mind that "Shave Ready" is a very subjective term as what you call shave ready and what i call it may be something totally different, it has alot to do with type of hair, technique, razor used, stropping etc...
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  4. #3
    Member MrEvolution's Avatar
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    I like you, am new to SR shaving also. Reading your post made me realize I have almost the same experience. I have primarily been using Portland Razor Company razors that are finished on a Naniwa 12k. I have very much enjoyed these blades and was able to learn with them.

    I recently purchased a new Wacker and asked to have it touched up before it was shipped. It was finished on a Escher Green/Blue stone and stropped on Shell Cordovan before it was shipped to me. I also found that ATG was pulling and uncomfortable when I tried the Wacker razor for the first time, I put it down and pulled the PRC back out and finished the shave with no issue. Since then I have put the Wacker away until I figured out what may be the issue.

    My thought was that perhaps the Wacker being a full hollow as opposed to the 1/4 hollow of the PRC was making my angle wrong. Today I used a full hollow Dovo that was finished by Utopian, a forum member, and I had no issues.

    I am not sure what stone Utopian used to finish the Dovo on, but he did ask me what stones I own and said he would use something similar. I do own a Naniwa SS 12k.

  5. #4
    Senior Member AcesandEights's Avatar
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    While different stones will give a different 'feel,' I would assume the main difference in the person honing them.

    In other words, I would venture to guess, if Lynn would hone them on an Escher, Jnat or Synth., you wouldn't be as likely to tell a world of difference.

    What is sharp to one may be smooth to another. As is what is smooth to one may be keen to another.

    And, as you mentioned, a wedge takes a drastic different amount of 'pressure' while shaving than, say, a full hollow grind (due to edge flex.) Something that you will acquire a feel for while shaving with different grinds.
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  6. #5
    Senior Member Porl's Avatar
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    It could just be as simple as it is a different razor. Maybe stick with the new razor for the first pass and finish with the old razor.

    Just to get used to the feel of the new razor before you dismiss it. Once you have got used to it try doing a little more with it. Then if you still have no luck send it away to be honed and see if it makes a difference.

    There are so many factors that it is difficult to rule anything out or pin it down to a specific issue.

    I am not convinced that it i because it was honed on a different stone though. Different technique or different ideas about what shave ready means.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on.
    Fact: Opinions are not the same as facts... Well, that's my opinion anyway

  7. #6
    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    The changing grinds does make for a slightly different technique to get a great shave. There was a time when I had shaved a lot with full and half hollow blades and then went with my first near wedge shave, it was not great. It does have some adjustment needed.
    Back to the question of the OP the hand that hones makes a difference for certain. Hopefully your first shave was not really what your blade is capable of. I think you should discuss this matter via email with the person that put the edge on them. Also try another shave. Adjust your technique a little. Although the blade should feel different angainst your skin, it should still cut whiskers.
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  8. #7
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    As you acquire more razors and learn to hone your own razors, you will find that razors shave differently and hone differently.

    A "honemeister" is someone who has honed enough razors that he has the experience needed to tell which stones and techniques will produce the best edges on each razor. Since most of us do not hone thousands of razors, the best we can hope for is to learn which stones produce the best edges on our personal razors.

    Some razors I own are easy to hone. Others are a challenge. Fortunately, the razors that are a challenge are often the ones with harder steels that hold their edge longer once they get to where they need to be.
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  9. #8
    aka shooter74743 ScottGoodman's Avatar
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    If it did not cut properly atg, there are only a couple things that are going on: Your face was not properly prepped, angle was wrong, the razor was not honed properly up to 8K before finisher, or the blade was damaged somehow at stropping.

    Give the blade a good stropping and give it another go ensuring everything else is right. Finishing stones (stones over 8K) just refine finished edges. I use an escher to tone down, just a little, my synthetic edges. As mentioned above, everyone has a favorite finish and you will have to find yours.
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  10. #9
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    I had similar experiences in the early days of learning to shave with a straight. My first few razors were professionally honed based upon the assumption that I had a typical beard growing on a typical face. As time went on I came to realize that this was clearly not the case. I have a ridiculously coarse beard growing from a very irritable face. This was a challenge. I accepted that the honemaster knew what he was doing and continued to have inadequate shaves for quite some time. Then one day he sent me an edge that was far keener than his usual accomplishments and it all came together. I knew that I had to just create my own edge. Many hones have been purchased and I now know what "I" need in a honed razor. The smoothness of a Coti edge crisped up with my Apache Strata as a finisher. But it took me quite a while to come to that conclusion. One of the biggest mistakes I made in search of the edge I was looking for was to constantly use different razors. It was not until I spent a month with the same soap and razor honed off of several different hones that I finally began to understand what was actually happening and which honed edge my face really appreciated.
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  12. #10
    Senior Member Steve56's Avatar
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    If it pulls something is wrong, but if it's OK WTG that suggests that maybe it isn't the edge or the edge is only slightly off at worst.

    I test a lot of stones and use several different razors to test them, Gold Dollar, Japanese, Filly, Puma Inox, French, English.... these razors are quite different of course and that's the point. The Gold Dollar is the first step because I don't care about wear on it, if it tests well, on to Japanese which is easy to get a good edge on. The filly is very thin and sings, and if the HHT pulls or pops, I could do better, the Puma is picky. But properly honed on a good hone, they all shave about the same, not much different.

    When I shave test these razors, I always prep the same way shower and wash the face with a good soap, and I always use a certain set of soaps or brushes because I know the soap and lather quality can affect the shave at the level I am interested in.

    I'd suggest that you test edges using your best straight razor soap and a brush that works well with it, and stay consistent for a shave or two. For testing, you want a soap that is slick with a wide hydration range that you don't have to 'dial in'. For a brush you want one that quickly makes long-lasting, non-vanishing lather (the brush is as important as the soap in this regard IMO).

    The funny thing is that I began controlling soap-brush combinations to test hones, but I learned as much or more about soaps and brushes as I did hones.

    Cheers, Steve

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    Robini (10-16-2017)

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