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Actual grit rating


Well-Known Member
I've read in many places, by alot of the honemeisters, that a coticule corresponds to a stone with a known grit rating of 6K to 8K, but judging by the feel of my shaves, it just does not seem to bear out those findings.
I've been working with my new stone every day.. some dilucots, and some just touch-ups of razors previously honed on synthetics up to 12K. The current razor I've been experimenting with was touched up with the coticule, and the edge was sharper than off the 12K Naniwa it had been previously finished with.
Everything I've read suggested that coticule edges were noted for smoothness, but not necessarily sharpness. My latest findings belie those statements.
So, I'm wondering, do the grit ratings assingned to coticules correspond in any meaningful way to those assigned to synthetics, or is it just such a different arena that those rules do not apply?

Can natural stones and man made stones really be compared on an equal basis?


Well-Known Member
Normally I don't repeat third hand information, but I was told by a gentleman, who worked in the abrasives field, that we shouldn't associate grit ratings to anything other than garnet based sandpaper. His reasoning revolved around the fact that grit systems are based too simply and do not cover shape, hardness, or friability of any other form of abrasive. He said this while we were discussing the new ceramic sandpaper, when I brought up abrasive wheels he told me that film mounted abrasives, paper mounted abrasives and cloth mounted abrasives vary more than enough between them that he couldn't conceive of teaching me enough about the differences between sandpaper and solid abrasive components in the amount of time we had.
In short he told me exactly what I have been hearing about naturals lately, but from what I got this also pertains to synthetic hones. Mind you this information was from a retired person and these facts could have changed in the amount of time he has been out of the industry.


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BlacknTan said:
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As your Coticule edge gets sharper it also gets smoother, thats one of the wonderful things about them Bill, Sharpness and smoothness go hand in hand, as your recent findings show, once you get it sharp enough its amazingly smooth, which for me at least is unlike any other honing system I have tried :thumbup:

Whilst we can compare the effects we perceive off a natural stone (metal removal, bevel scratch pattern, keenness etc.) to that which we perceive off a manmade stone, there is no true like for like, I believe that a lot of the nonsense comes from people trying their best to describe the qualities of a natural stone, and that the grit rating system falls a little short.

There is also the myth that the highest possible grit rating must make for a better finish "So I finished up on my wackinamiyama 30,000 and boy the edge was scary sharp" I'll bet it would be, but how long would the edge and indeed the skin on your face last after using that

My warmest Regards
Ralfson (Dr)


Well-Known Member
I must say that what my friend Ralfy states here correlates with my findings, so far, exactly.

I'll admit I was in the trap that higher grit = sharper razor = better shave. I wanted a Japanese Natural that I heard were up to 30K, but all the names, symbols on the stones, good sellers vs. bad sellers proved daunting, not to mention financially risky for me, not knowing what it all meant.
I went with the coticule because the price was reasonable, and it didn't seem like I had to be on a first name basis with the Pope to get a good one performance-wise. And, I haven't been disappointed. I put my H. Diamond 8000 on the La Veinette this morning and got my closest shave ever... And very smooth because I was able to use such light pressure.

I'll admit here that my first coticule efforts left me a bit disappointed, but i've been working on the stone near everyday, and I'm starting, just starting to get a feel for what to expect when I do certain things. So, for me at least, I think I've got the hone to take care of my razors for the rest of my life...

And that's really all I was looking for...


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BlacknTan said:
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Coticules are for sharpening, what straight razors are for shaving. They both require an amount of perseverance for learning the skill. As such, they aren't for everyone. But for those who stay at it, a rewarding journey awaits.

Thanks for sharing. :thumbup: