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Your favourite coticule layer

jeness

Well-Known Member
I know there are many here who have/had more cotis than I will have in my whole life.

So, which layer is your favourite to use? Why? If it is not the same, what is your favourite finisher layer?

Im curious because everyone says that there are very few differences in coti finishes, but even so everyone has a favourite layer.
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
oooohhhh! Good question!
So far (with the caveat that I've yet to shave off Bart's LPB ) I'd have to say Denny's Las Latnueses is my hands-down favorite.
The creamy side is fast enough to overcome any shortcomings in keenness coming off slurry, and the hybrid side gives me the keenest , smoothest edge i've yet achieved. What I've taken to doing is to run a blade up to maximum keenness on my hybrid, and then going to my stone of choice with few strokes on water. But mostly I'm still working with the hybrid side because I find that the shaves are absolutely heaven!
Tonight I've got two razors done up to use from my LPB, so maybe tomorrow I'll be singing a different tune. That is, if Paul ain't just whistling dixie!
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
You might as well have asked me about my favorite beer or my favorite cigar.
Ask me half a day later, and you get a different answer. :)
Preferences are a weird thing.

For finishing, I really can't tell. The more Coticules I've thoroughly tested the more it becomes all a blurr. Maybe someone who owns 2 or 3 Coticules and uses them a lot, might develop some idea of the fine differences in finish they leave. Which is, I'm just going to keep repeating it, much smaller than the difference bewteen razors, or the difference between shaving soaps, or the difference between a morning shave and an evening shave, or the difference between a shave in a cold bathroom and the shave in a warm bathroom, or the difference between a well hydrated skin in late spring and a dry skin in mid winter, or the difference between a good honing job and a stellar honing job, or the difference between one cup of coffee and three cups of coffee, or the difference between a good nigth of sleep and 4 hours of it. Must I continue? :rolleyes:

It's just a tool. One suffices. But you can turn them into a hobby, and then you migh up having more. But it isn't necessary

By the way, I don't have a favorite straight razor either. I'm probably not the person to ask myself that sort of questions.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

yohannrjm

Well-Known Member
I'm going with Bart on this.......


My favourite coticule is the one I'm honing on at any given time. I'll even extend that to other hones. It's a hobby (honing), and I have fun doing it. The tools are just a means to an end.

:thumbup:
 

danjared

Well-Known Member
I concur with Yohann and Bart. Well, so long as I'm not cursing at the stone I'm using at the time. We grow a certain sentimentality towards our stones. All the roads lead to the same place. We just like different scenery at different times. Today's favorite may not be tomorrow's.
 

wdwrx

Well-Known Member
Well, these threads really get me to thinking.
Take this question at face value, and for the sophmoric question that it is. It's probably an embarrasing display of my still relative n00bness.
Am I the only one that finds different stones give different results? Here's where I'm coming from:
this goes way back;) to the vintage hone that ended up with Dennis, and if some of you may recall, I even went so far as to impose upon Gary to hone a razor on it for me. But I was never able to achieve the same shave quality as I experienced with different stones. same razor and all.
As I spend more and more time with the stones I have now, the ones that I percieve as somewhat finer (probably generaly slower) seem to let me produce edges that achieve higher HHT scores, and, subjectivly, "better" shaves. For instance, i find that i can get consistently higher HHT results on, in order, Le dressante eu Blue, Le Petite Blanche, Le Verte, and ,finally, the hybrid side of Las Lat. I also find that taking a razor from one to the other will leave it with HHt results that I've grown to expect from a given stone. And the shave with the highest hHt results have been generaly what I would call my best shaves.

Now keep in mind, I've only done now about 3 razors on the LPB, but seem to be pretty consistent with the results. (Plus, i'm heading off for a first shave with 'em PDQ) And it's a very narrow grouping. HHT 2 ish to a nice 3+, sometimes even approaching a 4 (with Med hair, not fine) over the range of the hones. And the range tightens up with stropping. But, the point of this whole ramble, is point out that in my rooky hands, I am showing a tendency to prefer the edges that I'm able to achieve that come off the stones that give me the highest HHT results. Am I wrong to try to draw a parrallel between the different blade types and their characteristics that DE users seem to experience?

I guess the best way for me to answer that is to do a razor exchange with blind testing. And spend a lot more time shaving:w00t: No substitute for experience 'eh?
 
G

Guest

I do not even know what layer my Coticule hails from. Neither do I care. I have seen Bart successfully hone several razors on this hone. I know that Bart uses a different layer at home (or several, who knows?), but the results are no different.

So you might say that my favourite layer is the one that works. Any given time.

Regards,
Robin
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
I can honestly say that despite harping on about how la Veinette is my favorite layer, when it comes down to shaving I couldn't say, I do know that I would have no chance of saying which razor was honed on which layer in a blind test, I would say that for me the layer I have most experience using is my favorite, as it is the layer I know best, that doesn't mean I see it as any better than another layer of course.

Who knows once my new La Petite Blanche comes, it may become my new favorite? and if I were to spend a little more time with my Les Latneuse (spl) I might favor that instead.

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Tok

Well-Known Member
As I read the thread title, a little voice in me said "this is going to be dangerous". When I think about how the new price sceme at Ardennes works and how people are going crazy for LPBs, Les Lats and (Some weird short version of La Veinettes), I saw a lot of coticule beginners spend a fortune… I´m glad you got around that pit with elegance.

I have about six or seven coticules and I can´t tell you which razor is finished on which stone.

Regards,
Tok
 

jeness

Well-Known Member
I have one coti,(La Verte) a slurry stone, and a little La dressante bout. Which I only bought because it was too pretty for me to leave it in the shop :)

The honer makes the edges, and not the hone, I know it. That is why I won't buy any further cotis till I get the hang of it. When I get to that point, I want to buy a coti with a similar feeling than my naniwas. That draw and feedback is what I like the most in them. If I can stand it, than I will stop buying more hones and cotis (haha) :)

I am really happy that the most said that they don't have a favourite, that tells me that I have all the stuff to get a world class edge, the only one that is missing is enough practice and patience :)
 

Emmanuel

Well-Known Member
jeness said:
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Dear jeness I haven't a naniva to compare a coticule ,I am a very traditional man, i heard by others that the naniva's feeling is like a rubber .That you can't found on the coticule ia a little bit more abrasive (independent of the coticule) ,i thing my heritage <<vieille roche>>
have a smoother feeling ,but one i can promise you ,with all coticule i am capable to have a beautiful edge and this resultants not because i am smartest of all of you but due to my previous experience.So you have to work with your coticules ,dont spend money for more selling
balances(artificials).
Best regards
Emmanuel
 

danjared

Well-Known Member
Yup, the Naniwa SuperStones feel like rubber because they basically are rubber. The binder on the SuperStone is a resin. This is also why they shouldn't be soaked. The Naniwa Chosera, on the other hand, is ceramic.
 

DJKELLY

Well-Known Member
BeBerlin said:
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How very, Robin. It either works or it doesn't! In ways you are my hero.

I think some of us are honers and others are shavers and some are neither. I have to go with Chris on this one. There are serious differences in coticules in the way they feel and how they finish. We seem to make light of the difference between brisk and mellow, but to me it is a big deal. Though I have never used an untreated (soap/wax/oil) coticule that didn't give me a shave I could live with on a daily basis, I have some stones that work better than others. There is obviously a big difference in speed among layers and that alone may be a point of preference.

In addition, I have some stones that finish better than others, or at least much easier than others. As has been said, once you know what a fine edge is, you can fiddle with a stone to get there with several strategies. For me the test is not smoothness, they are all smooth enough by far, but efficiency in getting those last strays without repeated passes that cause me irritation. The "works or doesn't" principle again.

I have several vintage coticules and don't know for sure, but think they chose them for speed and efficiency. All of my vintages work. Other than that, my Les Latneuses are the most versatile, but I am prejudiced because I got them after hearing they were Bart's favorite stones several months ago and put more time on them to find out why. Now I know.

Bottom line, we are all on our own mutating journey. The "honers" anyway. This is a coticule forum, but I guarantee you, there is a lot of experimentation and use of combination techniques going on to find the smoothest, most efficient shave out there. Personally, I hope I never find it. I would have only one stone like Mr. Berlin.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
This is going to be a unsettling post. It is not aimed at Dennis, although his post convinced me I had to write this one. I would like to point out up front, that I don't own this forum, and even less so the minds of the people who are posting here.

But I did found it, and I can only testify about my mindset at that time. I envisioned the average straight razor user, as I know him. That might not be the same guy most of you know from the various forums. Of the 15 to 20 straight shavers that have been seated at my kitchen table for getting a primer at razor sharpening, only one really stuck around to post on the shaving forums. That's our very own Decraew. (I've met other of our members as well, but neither of them sat on my kitchen table, except Gary, but that's a different story) There are about 5 others with whom I meet a couple of times a year, when we organize a straight razor shavers meeting at one of our homes. The rest of the people that passed here, are only very rarely in touch, or not at all. But while all these fellows shave with a straight razor, they are not daily, or even weekly, occupied with it. It's not a hobby. It's just something they do. Something like heating the living room with a woodstove. Part of a certain philosophy, fun, cosy and pleasant, but not a passionate hobby.

Nonetheless, all these men have been, at a given point, in search of information to get their razor(s) sharpened. Some of them ended up at my kitchen table, because they were friends of friends of guys that were here before. Others contacted me through wathever forum I was active at the time. Yes, they visited forums, but only to find answers for their questions, not to stick around.

These were the guys I had in mind, when I registered the domain Coticule.be. They are people with a feel for tradition and an artisan inclination. People who may appreciate the rich heritage of these ancient rocks that got under my skin so much.


The forum on which I've held a membership during the first years of this hobby was vastly ruled by passionate shaving nerds, as my wife call them. And she counts me among that group. I have absolutely nothing against being such a passionate shaving nerd, although it often feels just too trivial an activity for devoting that much time at it. Maybe that's why I love Coticules so much. Because it lends my otherwise trivial hobby a connection with historical importance. A legacy, if you wish. That sounds better already, don't you agree? But at least, I justify my hobby with someting that connects to reality. A small part of Belgium indeed has been extensively mined, thousands of people have earned a living in its industry, some even died because of it. And the wethstones have been (and are) exported world wide.

On the obove mentioned forum, I witnessed other people applying a different strategy for finding justification of owning a drawer full of hones. They fantasized about the differences and cultivated a very nasty sort of gear fetishism. That's easy to do, because no 2 shaves are entirely the same, and it's amazingly easy to attribute those differences to whatever piece of equipment you wish to focus on, whether that's a new soap, that brush you saved for so long, the latest addition to your hones' collection, the latest hyped paste on your strop. It amazes me how people, of whom many had formal training in fields of science or engineering, were so readily prepared to jettison all principles of objectivity, for the sake of justifying purchases, or for the sake of justifying the time spent with a somewhat insignificant hobby. Not that I really care. If a bunch of guys wants to get together in some collective form of self-delusion, that's all fine with me. But that is not the kind of game I play, and I don't think it is of any help for the group of people I had in mind to serve, upon founding Coticule.be

Does that mean I think there are no finishing differences among Coticules? No, it just means that I don't know. And that no one is going to be able to discern those differences - if thet exist at all - in any meaningful way, by making a couple highly contaminated observations during his daily shaves.
If you want to investigate the differences between, let's say, a specimen of the La Petite Blanche layer and a specimen of La Verte, then get you ass over in the Research section, where we'll do our very best to setup a survey, that deals with isolating the properties of the whetstones, determining the optimum procedure for each of them, and run an unbiased (blind) comparison of the shave performance. Determining the optimal procedure alone, will turn out next to be impossible.
Sure, we can do as did one particular member of that forum. He insisted on using totally invariable routines for all Coticules he owned. Obviously, his routines worked better for some of his stones than others. It led him to believe that only a limited number of Coticules are suited for razor honing. And to this day, he defends that belief with passion. But if we agree we're going to use the optimum approach for each Coticule we test, is it also going to be the optimum way for each and every razor honed with these Coticules? And will that "best possible" edge of the given hones, be the best possible edge for my skin or for someone elses? If one understands the relevance of both these questions, then one understands how utterly impossible it is to rank hones - and Coticules in particular- in some kind of Hit Parade of Smoothness & Performance.


At best one can say: "I haven't fully figured out how to get the best of my hones and razors", because that takes knowledge of the hones and of the razors in one's collection. I have no doubt that all of us would experience even better shaves, if we confined ourselves to only 2 razors and 1 Coticule, though it would be less fun. That is the message I want to bring to the unsuspecting new straight razor users who discover this website and it's forum.
Those of you who like to roam into the finer aspects of your highly indiviudal journey with the whetstones you're painstakingly seek to master, would better learn to express yourself with utmost nuance, as to not incidentally trick the unsuspecting shaver into buying more than one Coticule. Or else we'll have to make a confined "Coticule Nerds" section, and start assignig badges. Or you could get a membership of the aformentioned forum. Contact me if you need the URL.

Please understand that the day I'll stop speaking my mind, I'll be gone.

With respect and warmest regards,
Bart.
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
I like the way you speak your guts out, if one may say so. And I don't even mind the length! :lol:

:thumbup:

kind regards,
Matt
 

hoglahoo

Active Member
Bart said:
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Is that what's happening on razor forums? sheesh! I thought the acquisition disorder talk was just self-deprecating humor - you know, as a fun way to explain to non shaving nerds why someone is collecting shaving stuff. Do people really think that finding justification for toy-collecting requires the surrender of objectivity?

By the way I enjoyed reading your post even though it was long - and here's a smiley for the prophet of h8's (hbuh) sake ;)
 

justin

Well-Known Member
Just so you know Bart I was one of those people you speak of in the beginning of your post. I wish I hadn't discovered that one forum first, because all it did was pollute my mind and make me confused as to what I needed. All I wanted was to get my razors shaving well, and to do it using an easy method without spending a fortune on stones. Then I messaged you and it went from there...

Anyways, I've been using the same Coticule, and the same razor as when I started here. The shaves have gotten gradually better since then. I remember I was having a lot of trouble with this particular razor, but could hone others a lot easier. Now I find honing this razor like riding a bike. :) When I started it was maybe 6/8 and it certainly isn't 6/8 anymore, more like 5/8. It's been on a long journey, and it's my favorite razor :) (only one I use out of maybe the 3 I own).

Thanks for the help buddy!

Sincerely,
Justin
 
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