Register a free account now!

If you are registered, you get access to the members only section, can participate in the buy & sell second hand forum and last but not least you can reserve your preferred username before someone else takes it.

Tell me it gets better


Well-Known Member
I only recently received my first coticule - an 8" x 1.5" natural combo, with only a very thin layer of coticule. I immediately started playing around with honing my razors on this stone. Using either a unicot or dilucot method on several razors (full-hollow, wedges - a nice variety) I quickly got decent, but not exceptional edges.

Yesterday I received a 5/8" J R Torrey faux frameback in not-so-good condition. It had pitting near the edge, and several nice sized chips at the edge. I bought it to play with, and also because it was made in Worcester MA, which is only a few miles from where I live. I usually prefer larger blades, but this was $15 shipped on one of the shaving forums, so I couldn't pass it up.

I buffed out some of the major cosmetic issues with the razor, and then honed out the pits and chips from the edge with a DMT 1200. The blade had a slight smile, and I kept it - because I like smiles. :)

Then it was time for the coti. I used the Unicot technique this time. I went through the whole process as written up by Bart, except for adding 30 X strokes on the BBW side with a slurry before going to the coti with plain water. 50 strokes on the coti with plain water, followed by the stropping on canvas and leather, and the razor was ready.

I shaved with it for the first time this morning. Wow!! :w00t: :w00t: What a beautiful, smooth, comfortable shave. It was close too!! - among the best shaves I've ever had - with any razor. WTG, XTG and partial ATG passes were all great and comfortable. This gave the most comfortable ATG pass I've ever had. No irritation, weepers, etc. (I rarely get those anyway, but this was the best ever).

As I said, I've only had the coti for a short while. One great edge doesn't mean that all the edges I get will be equally good, which is sad :cry:. Still, it occurred to me: I know basically nothing about honing with a coti, and the results are already good (at least occasionally).........that means that as I get more experience, this can only get better. :w00t:

Please tell me that's the case. :thumbup:

Oh it gets better :thumbup:
then worse :blink:
then a LOT better :thumbup:
then a bit worse :blink:

And so it goes like climbing an uneven ladder blinfold, your always heading upwards, but now and then you slip down a few steps and bang your chin! hahaha
Good work man :thumbup:

Like Ralfy said, don't worry... it will get better... and worse... and then better than the first.

Bear in mind, all razors (both Vintage and Modern) are not created equal. If you plan to get better at honing, you should maintain a variety of razors, with time you will get to a point where you can tell if a razor will shave well by the feel of the blade on the hone... and a few other signs...

Keep it my friend.
I just ordered a beautiful razor from Smythe over at SRP. Can't wait to get it. SHe looks like a real champ!


The first time I used my coti I thought "damn, it doesn't get any better!" Then I found out how much better everyone else was doing. It took me a while to get to where I could pop hairs off the hone with my hybrid dilocut but now I can. Now I am trying to use just my coticule to do the work from the ground up. Once I pass this hurdle I don't know what comes next.
I have done over 80 razors with my one Coti and I find something new about every 4 or 5 razors I do. Ralfy is spot on about riding a roller coaster too. There are days you will wonder what the heck is going on. I have honed and re-honed the same razor time after time trying to figure out what the heck I was doing wrong and finally just put the darn thing down and walked away. Later things might come back, or maybe not.

Maybe I've been lucky so far, but, apart from one razor that I could never get honed properly, I've had good luck getting sharp edges on most of my razors.

There are some I've got rid of since, because I wasn't happy with the shaving characteristics. Now, between the edges I get off my coti and the Asagi, I think I was blaming the razors for my inability to hone them to a proper edge.

In my defense, some of those were honed for me by 'honemasters' ---- but again, not all honemasters can put an edge on a razor that fit my personal preferences.

I've honed one more razor on the coti since I started this thread, and also got a great edge on that one. I did get two razors that were probably NOS, but they were Japanese (folding) straights, so I honed them on the Asagi (it seemed fitting).

I'm prepared to encounter setbacks in my experience using a coticule. Since I don't hone as many razors as a lot of people here, my progress may be slow. I went through a brief period of razor acquisition lately, but that should now be done for the most part.

Still, I like the edges off the coti so much, I'll be slowly re-honing most of my razors on it. Next up will be a full wedge.
yohannrjm said:
Next up will be a full wedge.
Meet your nemesis.:D

But seriously, sounds like you're doing very well. If you can hone an old heavily grinning wedge, you can hone anything.

Bart -

That's the plan!! (to be able to hone anything) ;)

Gary -

So far I've been using Unicot. I did do dilucot once, but finished on the Asagi, so it doesn't count. :blush:
Bart said:
yohannrjm said:
Next up will be a full wedge.
Meet your nemesis.:D


Well, Bart, you're a prophet!! :D

I've been working on-and-off on the wedge I mentioned. It is a nice Wosty full wedge (or as near as possible) bought from mrmaroon. The bevel needed to be set, so that was done on a DMT 1200. When I start from scratch on wedge razors, I keep wishing I had a coarser hone. :rolleyes:

Anyway, after the bevel was set, I honed it a bit on the DMT 8000, at which point it shaved arm hair, so I dulled it and started on the Unicot using a new Coticule that I received a week or so ago. The blade is 13/16" wide, so I started with two layers of tape, did the bevel correction at which point it was shaving arm hairs again. I then carried on with the usual Unicot technique, adding another layer of tape for the last few steps.

The result was a blade that shaves. I wouldn't call it shave-ready. The edge is certainly not in the same class as my full-hollows.

I think this is because I used the weight of the razor to provide the pressure for the polishing stages. I think it's too heavy and I probably need to use negative pressure.

Anyway, there's a lot of room for improvement here.

On a happier note, I've had great success with some other full-hollow razors. :thumbup:
Ive been honing some wedges lately and the best tip that I can give is not to be afraid to "touch up" a dull spot. After you finish on a hone test for sharpness however you want and the spots you missed (for me its the toe or heel, never both) go back and just concentrate on them. Once you get them honed well go back and do 10 or so regular sweeping or rolling strokes to even it all out. I hone smilers at a 45 degree angle and sweep it forward and down in an X pattern so only 3/4" is left on the hone when I am done. There was some vids on youtube where a man honed a razor just like that one. I belive it was ruprazor resto?
It is not uncommon to think you are done honing a wedge, when in fact you aren't even close. This happens to most everyone when they tackle their first one. The time you spend seems incredibly long and you are sure it just has to be done. It happened to me and now it is happening to you.

The bevel on the wedge is so huge that it just takes 2 to 3 times longer to hone the darn things. So you need to trust the HHT to let you know when you are ready to test shave with it. If it doesn't pass the test, keep going until it does. As Bart said, this may be your nemesis for awhile. My first wedge took me days to figure out. It was just hour after hour of trial and error. I would find something that would work and add to it and see if that would work. Once I had several things that did work, I would dull the blade and start from scratch with a combination of things and keep adding new things again and keep going until I had a sharp wedge.

I think the full time for this was 6 days to figure out and many hours. The best part of all was that I could re-duplicate it again with no problem. Best advice I can give you at this point is to observe very closely what you are doing and try to remember what is happening and how you made it happen so you can duplicate it later.


Everything Ray Said from me too, thats spot on in my experience, a full dilocut takes me about 20-30 mins on a full hollow, and a wedge will take me at least 2 or 3 times that, even then I often have to go back to it in order to get the edge just right. I am now at the stage where I dilocut all my hollows and I am just reaching the level that allows me to do the same with my wedges, its taken me 8 months or so to gain that skill and experience, so keep at it :thumbup:
Thanks for the tips, guys.

I wasn't expecting to immediately succeed at honing the wedge on the coticule - at least not as quickly as with a full hollow.

In the past, I've had a lot of success with honing wedges on lapping film. Those cut so much faster than most other honing media that they're a great help with wedges. Still, even on lapping film, it takes a lot longer to hone a wedge than a full hollow; so I was sort of expecting this.

I'll keep at it until I can get an edge I'm happy with.