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.

Thank you and a question


New Member
Bart, again I need to publicly thank you for the honing service that you provide.

Having now had 2 shaves with my Gold Dollar #208, I can definitely say it was worth the wait :)

I know I haven't contributed here yet, but I've certainly learnt a lot (thanks also to Ray for your scale making tutorial).

Currently, I'm up to almost 30 shaves using a straight razor, most have been with my first a 4/8 French round point that was honed by Steve at The Invisible Edge. My technique is certainly improving from advice here (I've browsed most of the threads), at SRP and at B&B :w00t:

Inevitably, I want to learn how to hone myself (I've already got a small selection of vintage razors from ebay). I've already got a Chinese 12k that I have used to refresh the edge on my 4/8 (I think my early attempts at stropping was the culprit).

Would it be better to get a BBW (I have high grit sandpaper and a flat surface to set a bevel) and learn on a "slow" stone, or would I be better saving a bit longer and just get a Coticule (150x40mm)?
Hello Peter and I would like to wish you a very warm welcome.

I Started with just a BBW and can honestly say I was happy when I switched to a coticule, dont get me wrong the BBW is a super hone, I love and use mine, and we are busy testing its capability in the researchers mess.

That said it is not the easiest stone to learn on, IMHO you will get better results and learn faster if you invest in a Coticule, with a steady honing stroke and the instructions found in the Sharpening Academy, you should soon find that you are achieving good results.

I hope this helps in your choice
Best regards
Ralfson (Dr)
Welcome to and congratulations on your success. :thumbup:

Personally, I wouldn't recommend getting a BBW just yet because there are very few gentlemen who know how to get a good shaving edge out of one. The researchers of this fine site are working on a technique and an experiment is being done comparing the edges off of a BBW and coticule honed following the Unicot method. After that experiment is complete, we're going to analyze the data and see if we've got a protocol developed that is ready for prime time. Until then, I'd recommend doing the Unicot method on a coticule because it's much easier to master than the Dilucot method, and it has demonstrated effectiveness with a lot of different honers of varying abilities and with different coticules from varying veins and characteristics. It seems from my experience that the guys for whom it hasn't worked well have one of two issues. Either their honing stroke is still developing, or they haven't truly followed the technique "to the T"... In many cases, it's a combination of the two. It's still going to take a little time to understand how the slurry works and how to manipulate the slurry during while using the Unicot method, but it's not nearly as nuanced as the Dilucot. This is something that can be learned by new guys, but in my opinion synthetics are easier because they will let new guys get by with less understanding of what's going on. However, it's certainly not "advanced" honing IMHO.

Welcome again, and enjoy the journey!
The BBW is a great hone, certainly underrated by many. As been mentioned we are doing research on how the BBW is best used and what can be expected. This is a slow time-consuming process, because we're dealing with a natural hone. We can't start making claims that would later turn out to not work or only work for some stones. So it'll be another while before we'll come out with "official" recommendations for the BBW. Test results so far have shown that the BBW is capable of more than the general consensus, which it to use it as a go-between, after bevel correction and before finishing.

Coticules can reach deeper into the realms of dullness, and still bring the edge back to perfect shaving condition, where a BBW will need assistance from a coarser (faster) whetstone. Obviously, there can be a point of dullness and edge damage where also a Coticule will require assistance. As long as you are honing razors that are in shaving service, even when they have dulled beyond a "touch-up", Coticules and BBW's alike will work just fine. But if you plan of reviving razors that have been lying in a drawer for years, maybe even used to cut other things that beard hair, a Coticule will certainly hold an advantage over a BBW.

Restoring Ebay "treasures" to a shaveable condition, requires in many cases some serious bevel restoration, which is a more demanding job than bevel correction on a razor is service. For bevel restoration, I recommend a DMT-Fine. That's a diamond hone with a grit rating of 600. It's not that expensive and it will save you a lot of hassle and frustration with with sandpaper. After the DMT-F, Coticules are certainly capable to take it from there. BBW's probably too, but they might benefit from some additional work on a DMT-EF (extra-fine: 1200 grit).

Kind regards,
Thanks very much for the feedback.

Looks like I'll just need to save for the Coticule and wait a bit longer before I can start honing!
I've touched up refreshed razors with my old bbw . I was doing for quite somtime 50 laps 0n bbw slurry, milky slurry that is. 30 laps on my belgium coticule with water the shaves were great.

i have a combo on the way i will be trying out the blue side. i think i will try dilucot with blue and once i'm down to no slurry i will switch to coticule with water to finish.