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Rolling X, Unicot and Half X Strokes On A Smiler


Well-Known Member
Hi, just looking for a little advice, I have a couple of older Razors with a smiling edge and spine, and I would like to hone 1 using the Unicot method, my problem is this.
I don't quite understand how I can perform Regular 1/2 X strokes and cover all of the cutting edge? I see Bart recommends light finger pressure in the centre of the blade, but surely this is no good for a smiler? should I use finger pressure on the toe and heel (not at the same time of course)and keep to a regular 1/2 X stroke.
I normally get the best result from rolling X's but I don't see how to apply that little bit of extra pressure?
Hope that all makes sense? Thanks Guys
On a smiling edge, the regular X-stroke is no good. You are correct about that.
That also counts for the half strokes. Half X-strokes won't work the entire edge.
You need half rolling X-strokes for that. If you can do the rolling X-stroke, then I don't see why you could not perform the half of that stroke. It's basically exactly the same, except that you don't flip the razor at the end of the stroke, perform the same motion in reverse till you are back at the starting point.
That there is a finger resting on the blade, is of no consequence. All you need to do is rock the razor during the stroke. On the heel at first, gradually rocking over the middle till all pressure is on the toe near the end. It is no problem if your toe floats slightly above the hone's surface in the beginning, and if your heel does the same near the end of the stroke. Just make sure the razor rests stable on a part of the spine and edge at all times.
It's all much harder to explain than to do actually.

If part of the edge stays behind, it is OK to place the finger on that part of the edge, to get some additional pressure diverted to that part. But do remember that an edge is all about making the bevel planes meet at the narrowest possible point. If one part stays behind, that can be compared to a chair with uneven legs. You can't fix that by cutting more of the shortest leg. The same counts for sharpening an edge: you can only get to a "low" spot by removing material of the adjacent "high" spots.

We're currently working on some video footage to illustrate the half strokes a bit better.

Best regards,
Thank you kind Bart
I was hoping you knew of a way without the rolling half X as I find that rather :lol:
Your knowledge and generosity are very much appreciated
I asked bart same question and i have tryed several times and it realy is'nt that tricky and it does work i leave my finger on blade.
Thanks Gary
BTW mate that Louderback you have on SRP looks absolutely stunning, now if I could get my wife to believe that I absolutely need to have it......... lol
tat2Ralfy said:
Thanks Gary
BTW mate that Louderback you have on SRP looks absolutely stunning, now if I could get my wife to believe that I absolutely need to have it......... lol

Its an absalute dodle to shave with i would say it as sharp as de blade i paid £92 for it it is a bargan those handles are natural colour.
Bugger! like I said its gorgeous I would have bought it the instant I saw it if I could have, cant believe no one has snapped it up, oh well the way things are here I might be finding myself single soon (tbh) so you never know mate that could be my present to me!!!
of course I would sooner have a wife than a
Buts its a very close race at the moment!!
Dare I mention the stroke I use , well I did for the first time a few weeks ago on a slightly warped W&B 6/8 smiling wedge .
The only way I can describe it as a crescent stroke . Seemed to be the only method that would catch the blade due to the ever so slight warp could .
If you can imagine your about to draw a semi circle with a compass you draw the razor across the hone in the same manner I kept my fingers on the blade the entire journey moving pressure to suit.
The method worked , I just need to see a) If I can repeat the stroke on another razor b) it wasn't just a one off ' by chance' co incidence that it seemed to be the perfect stroke for this razor ..

cheers Garry