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Bout shape and size


New Member

This is my first post, I am new to straight razor shaving but do have some experience of honing with waterstones but not razors. I am glad I discovered your site, it has a lot of useful information from experienced people. I just wish I had found the site before I bought my bout. I understand the natural nature of the rock determines the final shape but think the bout I have will make it difficult for me (novice) to ensure the whole blade gets the same amount of contact each stroke. I have attached a photo. What shape and size would be recommended and is there any noticeable difference between selected and the normal Coticule.


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Well-Known Member
It's a very nice bout. It won't be a problem getting a good edge on a razor. Personally, I would use this particular shape exactly opposite form how your picture shows the razor on it. Hence with the tang nearest to the curved side. Normally one would keep the tang near the longest straight side of a bout, but for this one I would make the exception.

Don't be afraid of circling strokes when working on bouts like these. I'm not talking about pathetic short and shaky circles ( just prone to make the spine loose proper contact), but about stable wide ellipses. One of the charming aspects of a Coticule is that the sharpening process is slow enough to put you at the helm of your honing. Regularly check how the edge evolves, by doing the TPT or TNT and by watching how the different parts of the edge "undercut" the fluid. This allows you to focus on separate parts of the blade and work on them as your observations dictate.

A bout nearly forces you to approach sharpening that way. And that I consider an advantage. Rectangular hones give the user a false sense of confidence that the razor will develop uniformly. But in reality that is often not the case. Sometimes a blade duller near the tip, in which case that part will require extra attention. Some razors have a smiling edge, and unless you possess the skill to match the curve with matematical precision in your honing stroke, some parts of the edge will develop faster than others.
What may appear as a problem related to bouts (unequal edge development) is actually just as present on rectangular hones, even if we don't always realize it.

My best practical advice for you is to start using your Coticule. It may easily go much better than you'd imagine.

Kind regards,


Well-Known Member
Welcome on the forum. You should do fine with your stone. greets Ron


Well-Known Member
Welcome from me too. My first coticule was a similarly shaped, but smaller, coticule. I loved it, and I'm sure you will too. :thumbup:


New Member
Many thanks for the welcome and the reassurance my bout is up to the job.( am I :rolleyes: ) I have used my bout for honing one razor, the one I use for shaving, the edge seems fine to me, I suppose I am just used to the regular rectangular shape of the Naniwa.


Well-Known Member
Bart has it bang on.
I have a nice big le veinette which I couldn't really afford.
Truth is I spend most of my time on my dresante which is smaller than your bout.
It just so happens I've spent the most time on this hone and know it really well.
Just start using it.

Good luck


Well-Known Member
Welcome from me too :)

I am sure once you and your bout get to know one another, you will have a great time honing and shaving from the edges you produce

Best regards
Ralfson (Dr)