Pastes vs. Hones?

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by Lucy7, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. Lucy7

    Lucy7 New Member

    I was wondering with regard to straights, the pros and cons of honing on a stone versus sharpening with paste on a strop. I'd really appreciate the help, thanks.
  2. IsaacRN

    IsaacRN Active Member

    Honing is more for completely resharpening a dull blade where as paste and strop is like for fine tuning a dulling blade.
  3. PalmettoB

    PalmettoB The Old Guard

    Honing is using the stone to take away a small bit of the metal (or cutting) to reestablish a keen, sharp edge. Once you have done that (e.g., using a Norton waterstone, going from 4000 grit to 8000 grit), then you go over to a pasted paddle or hanging strop, where you polish that edge that you've already established.

    As you begin to notice a blade not shaving quite as well as when first honed, you might be able to take it to the pasted strop first, but if it is beginning to pull or cut you, it's time for the hone.
  4. IsaacRN

    IsaacRN Active Member

    I was using more of the laymans terms....and now i feel like i posted a crappy response
  5. PalmettoB

    PalmettoB The Old Guard

    Not at all, chief! I probably shouldn't have even "quoted" your post, but simply added my own. Sorry if I was stepping on toes! :o
  6. IsaacRN

    IsaacRN Active Member

    You didnt. I just realized i couldve been alot more detailed in my response.
  7. PalmettoB

    PalmettoB The Old Guard

    It's all good. Besides, I've just been doing a lot of honing lately (Ebay razors and all), and went ahead and picked up a pasted strop.

    I was doing okay just going from the 8000 side of the Norton to a plain hanging strop, but the edges weren't super. Now, after I use the 8000 grit, I go to the pasted strop and finish on the leather. Much better edges! (Plus, I'm kinda cheap...I suppose one day I will get a Japanese stone or some such, one of those at the 12000-15000 grit level. But right now I just have the Norton waterstone and the pasted strop.)
  8. IsaacRN

    IsaacRN Active Member

    well your definately one up on me....i send my stuff to Lynn to hone
  9. PalmettoB

    PalmettoB The Old Guard

    That will also get you a very good edge. :p

    There's not many better as honemeisters than Lynn.
  10. Lucy7

    Lucy7 New Member

    No response is a bad response, any help is great. Thanks alot guys. I was wondering if you guys knew of a way to get started honing/sharpening that won't cost an arm and a leg?
  11. Tony Miller

    Tony Miller Member

    The replies look right on the money to me. The pasted strop will refresh and edge that is not too far gone and buy you time between trips to a real hone. After a certain point though a hone is really needed or at least a trip out to someone who can hone.

    Common paste choices would be 0.5 micron diamond or chromium oxide for when a razor fist starts to pull, or possibly 1.0 micron if something more coarse is needed. I use 3.0 quite often on razors needed considerable work but that still have a good, and proper bevel. Some go as fine as 0.25 micron but for me at least the edge proves too delicate for my tough beard. While super sharp off of the 0.25 paste the edge seems to break down easily. It is possible I'm over honing though at that step and less passes would yield better results.

  12. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
    Welcome to The Shave Den, Tony!

    Great first post! Thanks!
  13. IsaacRN

    IsaacRN Active Member

    Heya Tony.....welcome aboard.

    BTW...Tony sells some GREAT Horsehide Strops. I wish i had 4 hands so i could give them 4 thumbs up.
  14. Lucy7

    Lucy7 New Member

    That sounds good. If I could extend the time between honing that'd be great.
  15. Tony Miller

    Tony Miller Member

    Thank for the welcome everyone. I just found this group. Really a nice looking format. I'm sure I'll be a regular here too!

  16. Bill

    Bill Man of Steel

    Count me in as one of those who is glad to see Tony here. His strops are dynamite, by the way! Straight up... a good strop and knowing how to use it is more important than having a good brush when it comes to a straight razor shave.
  17. PalmettoB

    PalmettoB The Old Guard

    Ditto for me. I love my Heirloom # 2 strop. Glad you made it here, Tony. Welcome to The Shave Den!
  18. Reformation Student

    Reformation Student New Member

    TONY :bounce015

    Glad to see you here!

    Tony's strops are the best, everyone.
  19. coolsimon

    coolsimon New Member

    Pasted Strops..

    Ok this is where I tend to have a different experience, as regards the pasted strop.
    In my limited experience I have used both, but before I owned a few hones I did own a brand new dovo favourit..a pressie fom the wife..this was the first razor i used on one of Tony's pasted ...the majority of people do say that you should hone a brand new razor on a high grit stone, this i am not disagreeing with,but I didnt have the confidence to even attempt it so I followed the instructions with the pasted strop and havent honed it yet, as I dont use it always but i am careful when I do strop it on leather, and i have found that it shaves like a champ, on me anyways....but as our more experienced members have said, eventually a trip to the hone is inevitable and the pasted strop will prolong the time between honings...

    anyways this is my tuppence worth...simon

    ps , good to see you Mr Miller...
  20. Tony Miller

    Tony Miller Member

    Good to see you here as well. Adapting to the states okay are you?

    Okay, my REAL take on pastes. Yes, everyone, including me says hones are eventually needed...BUT, I am closer to following Simon's path than my own advice. I rarely hone, I often paste. My first year in business EVERY razor I sold shave ready was done entirely on pasted paddle hones. I started with 9.0 micron for 15 passes then jumped down to 3.0 for 20, 1.0 for 25, 0.5 for 20-25 and tested. often I would need to repeat this process but I'm here to say it can be done, new razor, from box to shave ready completely on pasted strops.


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