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Coticule Selection Offer. Performance Reviews.


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As suggested by the good Doctor. A place for the members fortunate enough to have received a coticule recently selected by Bart from the following thread.
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Reviews, questions and help welcome.

I'll start with mine;

La Petite Blanche
It's clear to me at this early stage I have to learn this stone anew after conquering (and being used to) the hybrid side of my Les Latneuses.
I gave it a quick spin with a full Dilucot and all was going well right up to the final water only stage.
After what seemed like ages and no improvement on the HHT, I made a fatal mistake and gave it a couple of extra rubs with the slurry stone, not realising how easy she is to generate slurry.
It seems like I lost where I was up to with the edge after that. Plus it was getting late.
I'll give her another whirl from the very start tomorrow night.
I'd appreciate any tips offered.




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La Petite Blanches will certainly demonstrate slurry dulling. In the future, you know you can just wash that slurry off instead of using it, right? :p

Seriously, though. La Petite Blanches provide a great experience shave when you get it down. That's a beautiful stone. Congratulations :)


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richmondesi said:
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Hehe, I should have continued with the water only, instead of the extra rubs. I'm sure a bit of patience would have made the difference.
Maybe I got a little in front of myself during the dilutions? :-/
It's a pity cos the process was pretty rapid up till that point.


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First thing to do next time you use it: Put water on the surface and make a set of halfstrokes. If there is obvious gray discoloration, you'll never have to deal with misty slurry after the edge reached the "violin" stage on the HHT. If, next to the gray discoloration, there is also a sort of cloudiness that indicates slurry release, your hone needs frequent rinsing while you're finishing. (By the way: I usually hone sitting on the kitchen table, but for finishing I always stand at the sink where I can rinse the hone under the tap as often as I like)

Thanks for starting this thread. It's a cool idea. :)



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Ric, I'm a 6-day noob with a couple of LPB bouts. My experience is tracking just like yours. 'Gloriously fast from bevel set to just before finishing, and hht 2 from the stone, 3 from the strop (thick chest hair). Shaves are decent, but not great. 'Doesn't feel very keen. 'tried hard and liquid soap - slight improvement. I'll try Bart's recommendation about having running water nearby. I'll be very interested in hearing what put it over the top for you. Pls. keep posting.

Update; Bart's on to something - probably nails it. I knew it darkened water from early tests - about 18 stokes and you could see the water darkening. Keep going, and you'd see slurry release mixed in. I did 7 sets, varying from 15-30 circles each, washing the surface before flipping to the other side for each set, wiping blade on shirt or pants. 'Tested hht between each set. After 30 circles each side, hht2-3 was common, using thick chest hair. When I tried going up to 30 circles/side, at about 22-25, the whisking sound suddenly went completely silent, which I took (rightly or wrongly) to be slurry dampening of the sound. Rinse. The whisking sound was back, but a little less loud. Again, rightly or wrongly, I was thinking this was progressing keenness offering less rough surface on which to make the sound. After 7 sets, hht 3 was the norm w/ thick and medium hair - all at 1/2" min. from holding point. 60 linen, 120 shell, and med. hair was falling always, Often w/ sound, sometimes without. Test shave (pitiful lack of beard prep) was decent. wtg/atg - both were decent, and entirely vegetarian smooth. It's not asagi keen/smooth, but you can see it from here. If this was the only stone I had, I'd be fine. 'Haven't tried asagi strokes to see if it improves much or not.

I remember reading on another forum that a member had to finish w/ their coti while water dripped onto the stone surface. It sounds like this rock gives up slurry very quickly and the finishing has to keep it cleared out to avoid slurry dulling.

Thank You again, Bart.


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There's virtually no chance that you need to hone under running water. What's more likely is that you haven't gotten as much keenness during your dilution stages. There is a learning curve with each stone, after all.

Modify the edge by adding a layer of taper and doing the last (taped) stages of Unicot. You'll likely be much more impressed.

"Asagi keen/smooth", while I'm not sure exactly what that means, is within the reach of my LPBs compared to my Asagi/Kiita blend, and they (LPBs) are known for being a very consistent strata.

My recommendation is to put away other stones and keep working on it. Don't expect your best results the first couple of attempts (ie, don't think that's the best your stone can deliver).


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I do the same as Bart. I do my honing at the kitchen table, but when I get to the final polishing stage, I usually go in the bathroom where I can rinse the stone, add water, and even dish soap or lather if the edge is not developing well.


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Ok. Now that I have a little more time, let me tell you about my experience with LPBs.

As many of you know, they're my favorite strata, but I confess it's most likely because that's what I learned on, and they seem easiest for me. Subjectively, I think the feedback they provide is more pronounced than that of other strata, but I am likely wrong about that.

So, when you're honing on water only, there is a very smooth, almost honing on glass sensation that you experience. On slurry, it feels more abrasive. However, at each dilution stage, there is a point at which you get that same sensation of honing on glass across the entire edge of the razor when it's time to move to the next dilution.

Basically, this strata reminds me of my Shaptons. When it's time to move on, the stone "tells" me. Then, add a drop of water, hone until you get that smooth sensation again, and repeat...

You can very easily reach HHT-3 levels off a LPB stone. HHT-4 after stropping is standard, but with heavy stropping, I've gotten HHT-5 results twice.

With this influx of interest in coticules, there's a piece of advice that used to be repeated a lot that I haven't heard in a long time: box up all of your other stones and mail them to a friend for 6 months, and hone every day if you really want to learn that stone. If you have the self-restraint to abstain from other stones without mailing them off, that's great. But, I've been honing a lot of razors on coticules, and there is a learning curve on every new one.


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Paul, this helps.

The frequent water refresh gave significant improvement. What I'm hearing from you is that it's likely from not working the dilution properly. That's certainly easy (and pleasant) to test. On water, I did get a 'whisking' sound and the feel of some abrasion. I'm hearing that those sensation should not have been there - and are likely due to the improper dilution steps.

I've used no other stone for honing since last week. I gave some underperforming edges a few circles on the asagi to see if it improved the edges. It did. I've honed or refinished at least 2 blades/day since last wk, only on the coti. A charter to use only the coti until I get the good edge is a pleasant challenge.

Out of respect for the original purpose of this thread, I'll post further, when needed on another or new thread. The improvement last night from Bart's recommendation seem to confirm his thoughts. I had hoped it would be of help to RicTic or others.

Again, Thank you for your kind help.


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I agree with Paul about more work in the dilution stages and may have a way to test it for you. I am famously lazy and like to start my honing on a dmt1200. I don't have to make a dulling stroke, because there is so much difference from an "almost there" edge and a good dmt1200 one and it is easy to distinguish. I use fairly heavy pressure till the bevels have met and then use light pressure for maybe twenty more X strokes until the bevel is as smooth as a dmt will make it. At this point it should at least violin, but may well be hht3. Think teeth.

Now when you go through your dilutions, you can be sure the bevel was set and you are really looking at refining the edge. It goes very rapidly, takes much less work, and seems to work every time. I get hht3 or greater off the coticule each time before I move to the strop.

This all comes from Bart's excellent article he wrote a couple years ago with just a little Redneck added. Don't know, but I think Bart has moved on from that, but I still love the technique.

So give up your others stones except the dmt. Sincerely, Denny


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pinklather said:
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Don't you dare! Like me you're a newb to this layer and to be honest, I've learned just as much from posts such as yours as I do from some of the more experienced members. All comments and questions produce little gems of wisdom.
For example, had you not took the time to post, richmondesi may well have not took the time to add to your post in way of response.
Because of it we both learned something new particular to this layer.
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So it's all good. :)
Thanks to all the replies so far.

Tonight, rather than start from the beginning, I'll be taking Bart's advice while looking out for Paul's observations.

In the meantime my other coticule's will be relegated to the shelf space, until I've nailed this La Petite Blanche.
With everybody's help, of course. ;)
Back later.


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I sold my lpb to bill. i thought i'd got another one on the way. It turns out i hav'nt, never mind.

My 125x40 was a delight to hone on, the feel and feed back was special. I also did'nt hit the sweet pot of the little beauty, after being use to my hybrid side like your self. i used it several times and did manage a good hht of the hone. I'm sure you will at some point. It will be interesting to see how our ralfy gets on with the lpb.



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Big Result. Big.

I've been shaving w/ at least 2 razors each day to test the result of experimentation w/ the LPB. The razor I worked last night with the frequent water rinse was really excellent. That edge apologizes to no stone - keen, vegetarian smooth. This is what I came for. The reason this is so big for me is not to pronounce success - but the much needed confirmation that success really does exist. 'Contemplating the thought that 'you just may like the jnat better' gnawed on me - what if cotis can't do this? Todays shave was unambiguous - the edge was excellent. It's clear that whatever work/practice is entailed in developing the skills to do it reliably are worth it to me.

Dennis, I also have an Atoma 1200 - Japanese version of dmt. I agree it's alot more efficient. I've used light strokes on arm hair to confirm bevel set, but if hht is usable there, it would be less ambiguous. Thank You! I think the bevel has been solid - and it does progress to 8k+ VERY quickly. I love that.

Paul, the tip to get to the silent stroke before going to water only is big. My work last night was clearly making more noise than that. I think that means that what I thought was a very good edge (hht1-2), should get quite a bit better yet before switching to water only. That's pretty amazing. It will happen today on at least one razor, if not 2.

RicTic - thank you! You're very gracious to endure my flailing about. Things that manage to capture my imagination (lpb right now), take over most other interests. If it's an area I'm not gifted with natural talent, I obsess over it until I develop at least some respectable lever of skill. I can't wait to grab the next blade and get to work.

Thank You all so much. This is fun and exciting, thanks to your kind help.


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pinklather said:
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You're welcome. I guess most flail about when faced with a new vein.
Coticule's seem to be a lot like making love to different women. They're all different, but with care and effort the result is pretty much the same. ;)
At least that's how it seems to me.
The fun part is the finding out.

And the best part about coticule's...they won't nag you for the rest of your life!


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I'm going to go ahead and say if using a coticule is like making love to a woman for you guys, you're doing one of 'em wrong... :-/


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Just a thought. If your La Petite Blanche is releasing slurry on water and impeding a nice finish (it's doing that on my one I think) why not try doing the last stages on the BBW side (I'm assuming most LPBs are combination stones because the layer is so thin). I was thinking of trying that next time with mine as the BBW side is supposed to be slower.

Has anyone tried this? And do you think it might work?


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richmondesi said:
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Not literally Paul...that's just sick. nono.gif

Christ I hope the missus doesn't read my posts. She already thinks I'm losing it.

Update: Tried Bart's sink method. Plenty of water every 10 laps, or so, but it soon became obvious the edge wasn't ready for it just yet.
Probably not far enough on from last night's abortive effort. A case of putting the cart before the horse, so to speak.
A couple of slurry rubs this time and began the half strokes, only moving on when the sensation of abrasion diminished. A decent HHT 2.
Right now I'm taking a break before taking it to the sink for the water only.
Looks promising. :thumbup: