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From an aspiring razor sharpener (and a question)


New Member
I received my first coticule about a month ago. I do not know which layer but I feel sure it is one of the more difficult strata available. I use it to sharpen a vintage three-quarter hollow razor, really more re-sharpening, most evenings in pursuit of the elusive HHT 3. I have arrived at a few guiding principles for me, a newcomer, and invite comments and corrections based on your greater experience:

1. There is a tendency to use too thick of a slurry and for too many strokes on most razors, mainly talking about re-sharpening of razors not total makeovers.

2. After reading recent comments on technique from Bart and Emmanuel, fewer dilutions on slurry appear to be necessary. When considering and trying their approaches I realized that they were essentially saying and doing the same thing in slightly different ways.

3. That Emmanuel can achieve an HHT of 4 in 6 or so dilutions and a few on water while I seemingly repeat the same procedure and sometimes stumble to a 2 tells me that the use of pressure is the real key and that is what takes time to master. I feel stroke technique also plays a part, especially x strokes.

4. Strokes on water are also very important. Stropping 60 linen/60 leather also causes real increases in sharpness.

I am sure this list will grow with time. Now my question. I started tinkering with another razor. It is closer to a quarter hollow Dixie blue steel and requires much more effort to sharpen. Is this typical for less hollow razors or are others factors at play?

Thanks in advance and I appreciate all the instruction gleaned from these pages. There is still a significant learning curve but not a cliff.


Well-Known Member
tis can happen since more "wedgy" razors have a larger bevel so there is more metal to be removed

kind regards


Well-Known Member
jeffm said:
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In general, yes. One extreme is extra hollow grind razor, where you have just a thin strip of metal, from which a very narrow bevel is formed. At the other end of the scale there's a wedge, which in theory would require metal to be removed from entire razor surface, which would mean bevel width equal to spine-edge distance. Of course, tape is usually being added to make sharpening such razors feasible. So in general you could say that the less ground the blade is, the wider bevels are formed.

However, provided that 1/4 hollow blade is new, metal at the very tip of the blade will have similar thickness like 3/4. It's just the part of the blade, that is ground to a thin strip, is smaller. The difference will be pronounced (much) later, when you hone your razor enough times to reduce its width and when bevel will be formed in the area where steel starts to gradually gain thickness towards the spine.

Obviously the steel itself is another, pretty important factor, actually. If the 1/4 hollow isn't too worn, I'd venture an opinion that there's more to the steel, than to the grind.

Just look at the bevels on both razors. If they're of similar width, it's the steel, if 1/4 has a wider bevel, it's an obvious (but not necessarily just one) reason why it's harder to sharpen it.

I hope that it was clear enough?

best regards,


Well-Known Member
Friend jeffm.Many factors.You are completely new in straight razors honing ?or you have axpperience by others hone (except coticule}. Is the coticule well flat with rounded edges?
Is the razor suitable for honing.Did settle a initial edge? How was the HHT before and where reached after. My last question is where are you located.If you are in Europe you can send me the razor for honing ,keeping you informed what i found returning the razor with an HHT4 before stroping.Sorry i ask you obvious things but is normal bearing no image.


New Member
The quarter hollow razor is old and it does indeed have a wider bevel. That makes perfect sense now. I am brand new to honing and decided the romance and allure of the coticule was too much to resist. I live in the Southern US and purchased the coticule flattened from Jarrod at Superior shave so I don't think it is a faulty stone. I am learning and there is a lot of technique info to process and put into action and routine. But I will endeavor to persevere. Thanks for your help. I have already learned something new!


Well-Known Member
Sounds to me like you are doing very indeed
I would just say that for every razor, regardless of the grind. Unicot works very very well, if you take the pointers that you mention in your opening post, and apply them to honing using Unicot, with a little experience you can't fail :thumbup:

Best wishes with your journey
Ralfson (Dr)


Well-Known Member
well.. I think your points # 3 & 4 are very salient :thumbup: Well stated, IMHO.
After working on this for almost a year now, I'd agree completely that the magic of the whole process comes about by applying the appropriate pressure at the appropriate stage. It's an art in that every razor seems to want a slightly different touch with.