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Considering Belgian Hones

dnullify

Well-Known Member
Just wanted to start off by saying hi,

I'm a member of SRP, and asked a question there yesterday regarding BBWs and hone-sizes.
I figured here i'd ask here as well, seeing as this site's focus is on belgian hones.

anyway, I am considering a new hone, now that I am somewhat proficient at putting a shaving edge on my razors. I currently have dmt hones (C-EEF) and a spyderco UF, which i am able to get HHT 2-3 (4 occasionally) with. i get somewhat comfortable shaves, but i can't help but feel like it could be much more comfortable.

I recently opened up a little bit of spending money, and found a BBW on another razor store that is 150mm x 50mm for $40 (usd). I figured, it is cheap enough to experiment with, however my research and the thread i started concludes that you must be lucky when buying a BBW, to get one that will leave a shave-ready edge once finished. Yet i keep reading some posts, even here, that mention good results with BBWs. i don't mind slower cutting speeds-- i wouldn't know any better, but i don't want to end up with a useless chunk of rock. :rolleyes:

If you all concur that a BBW is not a good hone to buy for use on it's own, then my second question applies: how small a coticule is still useful for razors? being restricted by budget, the only coticule i'd be able to afford would be either a tiny strip, or a bout. using small stones might be a challenge, seeing as im' used to 8x3 hones.

Frankly, i'm at the point where i've over-read the subject and am quite overwhelmed.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate all input.
 

geruchtemoaker

Well-Known Member
Large hones are over rated. The coticule I mostly use is a 3*12(give or take a few mm), and these are not that expensive.

cheers
Stijn
 

decraew

Well-Known Member
geruchtemoaker said:
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Just to make sure we understand each other, Stijn is talking centimeters here, not inches. I agree with him. But, for me 12cm is an absolute minimum length to be comfortable, and I would prefer more like 15cmm length.
 

dnullify

Well-Known Member
So minimum should be around 150mm x 30mm?

the 150x40 from ardennes is 26 euros plus 15 shipping. ~$53. Doable i suppose.
How would the stroke look on something like that? i'm having a hard time finding a video to see what using such a narrow stone would look like.

the 100x50 is 22 euros plus shipping ~$50. shorter but wider.


Also, any input on getting a BBW? it is at the ideal size and price point.
 

dnullify

Well-Known Member
i actually read that thread, and others.

However they haven't really helped me decide whether the BBW can stand with the coticule as far as single-hone results can go.

I have read the comments "experiments are going on", but does that mean BBWs are useable on their own? I'm rather conflicted. if i can have good results, a bigger stone, and for less i'd go with the BBW and try a coticule later on. If the bbw is best paired with a coticule, and inferior to the coticule alone, then i'll just save up a little more and buy the $53 150mm x 40mm.

or bouts...
 

BlueDun

Well-Known Member
dnullify said:
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dnullify, why don't you just give it a try with your BBW and then decide yourself? You may want tor read through this thread in order to get some instructions on how a BBW could be used:
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. I got some tips from another honing affictionado and this is what I came up with. It worked well for me.

Actually, there is a more refined method cooking behind the scene. But for a starting point the above hopefully will do. And don't be shy to play around with your BBW - ya never know what surprise may be hidden in that ol' peace of rock ;)

And by the way: A warm welcome to you !

Cheers
BlueDun
 

danjared

Well-Known Member
You would not want to do heavy bevel work with a BBW. That said, they are perfectly good hones in their own right. And Ardennes will not sell you a non-functional hone. If they make a mistake, they will certainly make right on it.
 

deighaingeal

Well-Known Member
Hello,
I saw your thread yesterday and had to stop reading out of frustration.
You may find that you like the smaller hones, I do.
They give me a sense of control and feedback unavailable from bench hones. They are also much lighter while honing. It is truly amazing how heavy an 8x3 hone is (especially a DMT) after 10-15 minutes. I have even honed with my slurry stone (dont just buy a slurry stone).
As for the BBW, I have quite a few and like them. In fact a BBW was my first natural stone.
Yes you can finish on a BBW. I have done it and do it quite frequently still, but like any stone you will have to learn it before you can get to that level. I don't know that all BBW are good finishers. Of the BBWs I have tried only a few were great finishers where many others I never took the time to see if I could make them great finishers.
Of the BBW I have tried I find that I like the pink dotted ones for material removal and the more homogeneous ones with deep holographic portions for my finishing. since none of my testing was truly scientific in nature this could all be a phenomena caused by the fact that I prefer the looks of a particular stone. This is proven even more so by the fact that my favorite finishing BBW is my first.
If I were to do it again I would have gotten a coticule first. The coticule edges are keener than the BBW, but the BBW are smooth like the coticule edges. I have thought for a little while now to experiment with taking an edge finished off of my synthetics then onto a BBW. Something similar has been practiced by members here with a coticule and many have found the edge to retain much of the keenness of another stone while obtaining the smoothness of the coticule.
Do not dismiss the BBW, but don't expect the edge to be as keen as a coticule. I have never finished on my spyderco UF, but If it is anything like other synthetics the edges are very keen and very harsh. A BBW might feel like it is pulling a little when shaving off of it, but I prefer the edge as it is smooth and it reminds you if you do not have a great technique.
Again remember that this is all personal experience from a (possibly insane) relatively new honer.
Most importantly welcome to our humble corner.
 

dnullify

Well-Known Member
BlueDun said:
Please, Log in or Register to view quote content!

dnullify, why don't you just give it a try with your BBW and then decide yourself? You may want tor read through this thread in order to get some instructions on how a BBW could be used:
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
. I got some tips from another honing affictionado and this is what I came up with. It worked well for me.

Actually, there is a more refined method cooking behind the scene. But for a starting point the above hopefully will do. And don't be shy to play around with your BBW - ya never know what surprise may be hidden in that ol' peace of rock ;)

And by the way: A warm welcome to you !

Cheers
BlueDun[/quote]

Well, I don't actually have a stone yet.. I saw the BBW on SRD, for $40 which sparked this. I had previously ignored coticules, because of their prices. Now that I've done extensive reading, im contemplating it but still have budget problems. Which is why the question is, should I get the good sized BBW from SRD, or a smallish coti from Ardennes
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Welcome Dnullify,

Concerning the Belgian hones (Coticules and BBWs alike), they are all capable of putting a comfortable and effortlessly shaving edge on a razor. Anyone stating something different is talking nonsense. I am not interested in a discussion about good, better and best, that is all a matter of personal preference, shaving style and technique. But BBWs and Coticules certainly belong in the realm of "razor hones".

A group of 9 members have spend the better part of last year running a number of blinded tests comparing the results of 2 randomly picked BBWs with those of a Coticule from the celebrated La Veinette layer. I have been finalizing the report about that study today, and it's only a matter of days before we present it to the public. In the preliminary research for that study, I have sharpened razors on a fair number of BBWs, and that has me convinced that advice can be given with confidence that a BBW will yield a good shave. Better than your Spyderco UF? I really don't know, as I've never shaved off that hone, and maybe we would be getting into the better/best discussion after all.

Concerning the size if hones, I think there are 2 principle schools:
1. bench honing: the hone is put on a solid surface, and the user only holds the razor. Many such users prefer large hones with substantial weight, as this provides a stable surface for honing.
2. hand-held honing: the hone is held in one hand, the razor in the other. I believe it's the prevalent way on this forum. Most practicing it prefer lighter hones. It seems to invite the use of narrower hones, and reveals their advantages.

As we speak, about 10 Coticules lay on my desk. I brought them with me from a visit to the quarry last weekend. Not one is longer than 12 cm, and not one is wider than 3 cm. I promised Maurice, the owner of the quarry, that I'd make a video about sharpening razors on a small Coticule. It's not particularly difficult, just different than what guys using large bench hones are used to.

In the old days, the typical razor hone size was 4 cmX15cm, hence the BBW you found is perfect for razor sharpening,

Kind regards,
Bart.
 
G

Guest

Dear friend i bought this monster in my last trip to Belgium visiting my mother in law. The coticule side is 14-15 mm and weighs 987gr.
It is a beautiful Dressante( as biger as beatifull ,even I am Greek i have american mantality) 200x65x25mm, but it is difficult to manipulate it on the left hand. Thats why I prefer my small Gfather heritage vintage one.
So start unqualified with a small and light coticule for excelent results.
Best regards
Emmanuel

 

dnullify

Well-Known Member
Bart said:
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So, considering i have very narrow experience with edges so far, having only shaved with what I have been able to create, i guess personal preference isn't much help in this decision.

I take it on Bart's authority that the BBW and coticule are both capable of equally comfortable shaves, so I should not dismiss the BBW, though they deliver different results (coticule being keener, not necessary)


as i'm gathering from the many posts, size isn't an issue either, as i can afford something big enough to comfortably hone with using in-hand technique. I'm a hands-on kinda guy, so i think i can learn on a reasonably sized hone.


I seem to have eliminated any deciding factor other than price (which isn't great enough to regard), unless the 1cm the BBW has wider than the Coti turns out to be an advantage.


I've heard of this BBW study, and am quite intrigued to see the results. Perhaps this study will help me decide...


My two options are:

15cm x 4cm BBW $40 + shipping

15cm x 3cm Coticule


I'm sorry guys if it's silly, but i'm only more conflicted about what to choose :blush:

I have learned a lot so far though, and i appreciate all the input!
 

dnullify

Well-Known Member
acutally, sorry. i'm not sure what i was looking at yesterday :huh:.

the 150x40 coticule on ardennes is 57 euros -- Way over budget.

the one for 22 euros was the 100x30, which is quite the difference.

Ohkay i guess size is back as far as deciding factors. I'm going to cut a piece of balsa into that size and see if i can handle it, otherwise it's the BBW unless i can sell my spyderco sharpmaker.

Emmanuel, about how big is your preferred smaller one in the photo?

And Bart, i look forward to that video using the smaller hones. it seems to be what i'll likely get should the BBW idea not pan out.
 

dnullify

Well-Known Member
I cut pieces of paper and cardboard and made a few simulated hones to see what i'd be comfortable with.

I don't think i'd be able to handle anything smaller than 124x30, and i don't think i'd want anything bigger than 150x40

heck. i'm going to wait on that report.
 
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