Coticule Expectations

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by SevenEighth, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    I would appreciate some objective views on coticules.

    I started with them a few months back and am really enjoying the simplicity and relaxed honing approach. I have been getting very nice edges - great shaves. I would like to understand what I could be aspiring for.

    Here are three coticules:


    The one on the left, is fast with heavy slurry and chews through metal at the early stages but is very difficult to finish with. The one in the middle is an amazing finisher but slow and hard work early on. The one on the right is fast and good all the way through although so far not producing as great finished edges as the middle stone.

    I get the best results by running a dilucot with the one on the left, stropping and then continuing with the stone in the middle and finishing on it. I have also stropped (spine leading) on the middle stone and just used these two stones. I have shaved directly from the middle stone without stopping on a strop with good results.

    As I understand it if you use a paste after the coticules you are not really experiencing a coticule edge. Do you agree?

    Should I be mastering each stone for the full progression or do you think the strategy of pairing stones is a good one?

    How keen can I expect a coticule edge? To be honest the middle coticule gets very close to a Llyn Idwal or a Charnley Forest. Is it reasonable to expect a CF level of sharpness from a coticule?
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
    Billyfergie and Keithmax like this.
  2. Timwcic

    Timwcic Well-Known Member

    I have a few Coti’s in my stable, not all have the potential for being a excellent finisher. I only go as high is 8k before going natural. When deciding to going the coti route, I have certain rocks that I use as pre-finishers. Then I go with a few that I use dedicated for finishing. The Uber hard Coti’s I use for finishing, I use a few drops oil oil. That delivers the edge I want. When done, I can go dozens of shaves, only using leather, before a touch-up is needed. Very smooth edges, I love a keen, smooth Coti edge.

    I.M.H.O. whatever touches the edge last, owns the edge. I have never used pastes, but if refreshed or refinished on paste, it is no longer a Coti edge. Nothing wrong with that, as long as it whacks whiskers.

    I don’t own a CF, but I have several hard Arks. When my Coti edge starts tugging, to the Arks they go. A few hundred laps on oil, the edge is transformed to a laser keen Ark edge
  3. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    I've used one of my coticules with oil, but not only for refreshing an edge and not as part of a standard progression. Results were good.

    The middle stone above finishes well with soapy water.

    Can I take from what you are saying your progression is:

    Synthetic -> prefinisher coti -> finisher coti with oil?
    Billyfergie likes this.
  4. Timwcic

    Timwcic Well-Known Member

    Yes, that is my progression when using a Coti. It also give my reason to play with more stones that just using one stone-start to finish
    SevenEighth likes this.
  5. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    Not just Cotis but all natural stone are by their very nature inconsistent

    I test quite a few for friends especially Cotis, I find a routine that works on their stone let them know and it gives them a starting point

    I have said this in the past and caught flak for it but honestly, it takes about 50 different razors honed before I like to rate a stone, and 100 before I feel I know the stone..

    There are many different little tricks to mess with before you really get to know them


    It REALLY depends on the paste, the most popular CrOx ranges from 99.999% pure .30~ super soft to 99% .50~ to the Polishing sticks that have AlOx and FeOx mixed in too
    what they are using as a base medium makes a difference too, From very aggressive balsa - Linen - Leather - Felt these all can impart their own results to the edge

    So when somebody says "I don't use paste I find it aggressive" your first question should be "What paste and on what" it really makes a difference to the feel

    It is a rabbit hole how deep do you want to go
    Billyfergie, Rkep01, Keithmax and 3 others like this.
  6. oscar11

    oscar11 Well-Known Member

    I have 3, one is a nice finisher. One is pretty pinkish in color and is what I consider a middle grit and quick the other is in between. All were found in the wild. Never paid more than $7.50 ea. for them.
  7. Chuck Naill

    Chuck Naill Well-Known Member

    I bought one last month. I use it after the 3 micron film and before the Thuringian. What I learned is that it take more laps to achieve the edge that my beard requires. Full disclaimer, I only do x strokes and no pressure.
    Frijolero, Keithmax and SevenEighth like this.
  8. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord Staff Member

    I've enjoyed the edges a good coticule provides. Smooth, comfy—with no harshness. In my experience, coticules seem to require time dedicated to get the most out of them unlike the 'splash & hone' ease of many synthetic stones. My dilemma is finding the time to dedicate to a single stone when many are calling my name...:p

  9. Timwcic

    Timwcic Well-Known Member

    I feel your pain, so many stones, so little time. A group shot about a year ago, all from the wild

    RyX, Billyfergie, Frijolero and 4 others like this.
  10. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    You are a monster collector!!
    Billyfergie likes this.
  11. Chuck Naill

    Chuck Naill Well-Known Member

    Yes, same brand as I have.
    Frijolero and Keithmax like this.
  12. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    I have found half strokes most effective with all my coticules. This becomes difficult on a razor with poor geometry where a rolling X stroke is called for but I think I've cracked it. I take the stroke slower and roll it as I would the X stroke.
    Frijolero, Keithmax and Chuck Naill like this.
  13. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    I totally agree with you both about the pace of honing with a coti and the call of many stones. Do you find the slower pace is helpful though? Synthetics are so fast that in the past I have produced a problem before I knew it was happening. With a slower stone you have time to adjust.

    I do like using stones in combination but I am charmed by two scenarios:

    1) A minimalist, one razor, one stone, one strop situation.
    2) watching coticule videos where the honer is sitting back in an arm chair, glass of whiskey by their side, a cup of water to dip their finger in for fitting the slurry, running a dilucot progression.
    Arnout, Frijolero and Keithmax like this.
  14. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    What are you defining as a "Half Stroke"

    I know Bart who coined the term, from the old Coticule be days was defining it one way, haven't talked with him in sometime pretty much disappeared
    Others are defining it as what is actually Japanese honing or a Back and Forth stroke which I use quite a bit of
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
    Billyfergie, Frijolero and Keithmax like this.
  15. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    So... Following @gssixgun 's advice: you need to hone 1800 razors to master this set...
  16. Chuck Naill

    Chuck Naill Well-Known Member

    Half strokes on film is edge forward and back. No clue if other defines exit.
    Frijolero and Keithmax like this.
  17. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    Yes back and forth but with an angle - so I get the same scratch pattern as an X stroke. On a larger stone is almost a full X stroke and back again. On a smaller stone I might hook the stroke but adjust the pressure so as not to over hone the heal or toe.

    With the roll I use a rotational torque based on old posts of yours and I tighten the torque at the same points along the edge when I hit them in each direction. It requires a lot of concentration - at least for me it does. On a wider coticule I imagine a one inch honing area - which is another recommendation of yours from an old old post. See, sensei, I do pay attention!! - and now you are going to tell me I'm doing it all wrong ...

    Experimenting with all my coticules: the number of X strokes to half the amount of "half strokes" I get nothing like the same amount of slurry darkening that I get with the half strokes.

    Circles seem to be most effective for polishing problem areas in the final stages with water.
    Keithmax likes this.
  18. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor

    No, actually you are doing a sequence that is nearly exact to mine when I am honing for effect and not making honing vids to help people get started :)

    The Japanese honing or what you guys are calling Half Strokes are very effective and you can really get an exact feel for edge corrections too..

    I stopped using circles except for serious steel removal while doing Edge Restorations years ago they work exceptionally for fast accurate steel removal but I find them too aggressive for most razors. I have read of a few others using them at the finishing stages on J-nats claiming some success, but I haven't found them to beat the Japanese stokes into super light X stokes

    What I love about the Japanese stroke is they are be adjusted easily for steel removal or for a SUPER light blending stroke,
  19. Chuck Naill

    Chuck Naill Well-Known Member

    No circles for me at this point. I figure once you remove the metal it can't be put back. Still learning.
    Frijolero and Keithmax like this.
  20. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    I only use circles for light polishing and extremely sparingly. For instance, final X strokes under water, - starting to get "stickiness" on one side and I can feel a section of the edge breaking the suction on the other side. Light polishing under running water with a small circular motion on the trouble spot often seems to sort the problem out.

    Can't get on with circles in the early stages.
    Billyfergie, Frijolero and Keithmax like this.

Share This Page