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Coticule variance...


Well-Known Member
When I first got a handful of coticules, they all seemed to work about the same and I shrugged at the way Bart Classified them all and talked about how one coticule is good for this and another is good for that.

Then I got another handful and another. Now I've got a few "keeper" stones. Among them is one Yellow/Light Peach colored with very little patterning. That stone is like a couple I remember reading about in the vault in that it is wickedly fast and pulls up slurry in just a couple passes making repeated rinsing necessary to finish on it. And then there's my other. It's a deep orange/brown with pale speckles. It doesn't even look all that much like a coticule (more like the bastard offspring of a Coticule, a Washita, and an alumina synth). And I can do a thousand passes on it without bringing up the slightest hint of slurry. And of course the edges off these two are totally different.

In the pictures are the two stones I mention (side by side, then individual closeups and a shot of the layering in the fast one). There's also a third stone that I THINK may be a coticule but who knows. It's almost as soft as the fast one here, but finishes even finer than the slow one.

The one with the crack does have the lateral blue line also found on the La Petite Blanche layer, but on vintage Coticules, that could originate from any former mine, I'm not sure what that means.
Nonetheless, La Petite Blanche is a very constant layer, delivering among the fastest Coticules with a good amount of "slurry dulling", and an engaging to mellow edge. Not sure how much your Coticule correlates with that.

The best way to compare Coticules, or hones in general, is to put on an impeccable edge with a known setup on identical razors, and then create a secondary bevel on each one with the hones you're going to compare. The secondaty bevel on caries the edge properties of the hone it was created with, and if the benchmark primary bevel was perfectly keen, the secondary bevel will cary the maximum keenness of the tested hone. At least, as long as you keep the pressure on that narrow secondary bevel very low.

I find that the difference between the final edges that can be obtained on Coticule are very minimal, way below any threshold of general preference.

Thanks for posting Ian,