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finishing quality of honing


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As I become more interested in honing with a coticule and have nothing to do but waiting for my first shaving equipment which should arrive home soon, I remember something I've read on B&B. It was an experiment of Joel of different kind of honing
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In his conclusion, Joel noticed a slight difference between a vintage coticule stone and a new quarried one. So I wonder if there exists (or have existed) some stone with very special arrangement of garnets which give them exceptional finishing quality. Or may be the newer hone might be slower than the vintage and needed some more strokes but the solution is certainly not so easy as I think Joel would have investigated on this.
Joel noticed also that better results were obtained with diamond pastes or chromium oxyde (even if the edge was not as rigid and long lasting as with the hones), is it possible with recent development of coticule honing to get these results?



Well-Known Member
There are differences in coticules from different layers (Les Latneuses vs. La Verte, for eg.). There is ample proof of this in the Coticule Vault.

I believe that most people who have used both vintage and modern coticules here believe that there's no difference in quality of the edge that can't be explained by the differences in layers.

Is it possible that Joel's vintage coticule came from a layer that cut faster than anything being mined now? Sure! Still, it could just be a case where his 'vintage' coticule came from a faster cutting layer than the modern one he had.

Since we don't know how many coticules he's compared, and what the layers were, it's very hard to draw any conclusions from his experiment.

I believe there are a lot of people reciting the 'vintage is better' mantra in our hobby.....mostly for no good reason (there are exceptions, of course).


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I have visited the coticule vault and it seemed that most coticule have excellent finishing quality.
I understand (may be am I wrong) that Bart has introduced a new classification of the finishing quality (brisk,engaging, mellow) to better define the balance between harshness and smouthness of shave of an excellent edge. So the difference of finishing quality is not that important.
I agree with you that it is very difficult to draw conclusions of that experiment. But am I right if I say that with "elbow oil" (English translation of a french expression) and patience, one can get as fine an edge honing with most coticule than working with different grit diamond paste up to 0.25 micron in the finishing stage?
that will be a very interesting conclusion to that experiment.


Well-Known Member
Well I have never used diamond paste so I have no idea :blink:
However 1 thing I know for sure is that a coticule finished edge if done perfectly does not "improve" with Crox
Of course "Improve" is very subjective, For me the perfect edge is as sharp as it is smooth, and I do know that pastes tend to give me sharp but not that smooth.

Oh and the "Vintage" thing is IMHO all about layers, the coticule stones form over a time period of around 400 million yrs, I can believe that 1 mined 100 yrs ago would notice a difference from one mined this afternoon

My best regards
Ralfson (Dr)


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chti_lolo said:
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Crisp, Engaging, and Mellow are not the same as harsh, good, excellent (or anything else similar to those). They were carefully chosen adjectives designed to avoid such comparisons.

In short, Cris=rejuvenated feeling skin=good ; engaging= basically the way your skin feels after a refreshing shower when really dirty or something = good ; mellow = like your face didn't feel anything at all = good

All of these are desirable traits depending on the person (I prefer Mellow to Engaging but enjoy Crisp, and I believe Bart's preference was Crisp... at least I know he enjoys a crisp edge).

Honing on a coticule will leave a different feeling edge than the .25micron pastes, but they are all good edges. It's just slight differences that we'll notice, and a matter of personal preference. But yes, with "elbow grease" and patience will get you a great result!


Well-Known Member
Richmondesi, sorry my bad english doesn't exactly translate my thought.As a DE shaver, I thought that the difference between crisp, engaging and and mellow is quite the same as the difference between for instance Japanase Feather, Swedish Gilette or Turkish Derby. All these DE blades are excellent but the Feather are a bit sharper and harsher, and the Derby less sharp and smouther. It is just a matter of personal preference. So, I think I totaly agree with you.