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Lap count


Well-Known Member
This was something that came into my mind the last time I honed a razor. It had massive honewear and that got me thinking. Then, in the dry soap thread, I´ve read something like "30 laps maximum" and I thought, that too simple. Do I have to alter my lap count from razor to razor, depending on things like bevel wideness, working with/without tape, hone size,…? I think so, but I´m not totally sure. Do you vary your lap count, depending on bevel wideness? I mean, I have to remove more steel, right?



Well-Known Member
Yep, at least for me, but it is not the count so much, but the feel of the edge against the stone. There is a subtle, but definite feeling when a bevel is flat, even with unicot. And, I think there is another definite feeling when a set bevel is touching the hone.

Also, Tok, pressure is an important part of the equation. I generally use a lot of pressure while honing but much less for thin bevels as with those in unicot. This is yet another reason I like narrow hones, as they concentrate pressure on less than the full edge. The ultimate narrow hone is a ceramic sharpening stick and one of the reasons it is so effective is its concentration on a very small portion of the blade. You can watch a razor edge deform with its use, similar to a razor maker running the edge over his thumbnail to check for blade thickness. And yes, I have used a ceramic stick with razors to get rid of burrs formed on a dmt1200 and get hht3 or so with them, due to agressive microteeth.

As for thirty laps used with the soap/wax technique, I think that might have been a minimum and several of us were using eighty or more laps.
YT, Denny


Well-Known Member
Succesful honing has never been about counting strokes for me, but all about "reading" the state of the edge. That's why I always use the beer bottle trick. I know that on a good bevel, ,you can bring the edge back on water only, but that's not the point of course. The point is that it won't respond to anything before the bevel is good. (in which case of course, there is much more work required than X-stokes on water) Once it shaves arm hair, I start aiming for the violin. With some experience that can be done with 5-7 dilution steps. The rest is a matter of finishing on water. That is a matter of doing 30 x-strokes, trying the HHT, doing 50 more if it's not there yet. Trying the HHT again, more work on water with various strategies. I won't stop until I'm satisfied. I suspect that in the future those "various strategies" are going to be replaced by a waxed Coticule, and perhaps some final laps on water.

But counting laps is something I only rarely do. But I often do state numbers in my post, for the sake of giving readers at least some idea where to start.

Kind regards,