Ask ASR: Taping a Straight Razor Spine for Honing

Q: Is taping the spine with electrical tape ever beneficial or recommended?

A: We prefer to not use tape if we don’t have to. However, in some situations, tape is recommended. The spine of the razor acts as a honing guide, controlling the angle of the cutting edge’s bevel. If the razor’s spine is too far damaged or uneven, taping the spine can alleviate some of the unevenness.
Tape also proves its usefulness for wedges. Wedges were not designed to be honed with the spine on the stone (note: this conclusion is disputed). Adding tape to the spine acts as a honing guide for your wedge. It also makes the bevel smaller.
If you do use tape, make sure it is evenly distributed (see picture) and you use a high quality tape. Happy Honing!

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