The honing process begins with a thorough inspection of the edge. Under bright lighting, we take a look at the edge and determine exactly what needs to be done to bring the razor to shaving ready. We look for things such as: double bevel, bevel angle, hone wear, micro-chipping, pitting, or any other adverse condition affecting the edge. Once we develop a clear picture of the edge and razor as a whole, we formulate the sharpening plan.
It is important to use the best optics available to get the best view of what is going on. Cheap optics do not actually give you a true picture, either distorting the picture or under-delivering on magnification. We use a Bausch and Lomb loupe because they produce some of the best lenses in the world. We use 20x magnification because it gives us an up close look at the edge, enabling us to determine exactly what the edge needs.
Finally, we set aside an hour and a half of time per razor because that is how long it can take. Usually it takes an hour.