After refining the edge, we bring your razor to shave ready sharp using a Naniwa 8,000 grit bench stone. This hone brings the edge to what is universally regarded as shave ready. At this point the razor’s edge will give you a fine, smooth shave. The process becomes less sharpening and more polishing and refinement of the already existing edge. The 8,000 grit stone removes more of the tiny burrs and jagged edges from the actual edge and brings the razor’s edge closer to true. The end goal of this process is a bevel we can see ourselves in. The 5k stone imparted a near mirror finish on the razor, this stone takes the polish to the next level. The polish is so good, its a hair’s breadth away from being a true mirror finish. IN fact, the only reason we reserve that title is because the next step polishes the razor even further! Trust us, seeing is believing.
After the 5k stone, we polish the razor on the 8,000 grit stone until the razor’s edge gleams bright and true. The process at this stage is more polishing than sharpening. The edge is brought to an even smaller cutting angle. In mathematical terms, we are bringing the radius of the edge even closer to zero. In layman’s terms, we are working to reduce the width of the very edge as close to nothing (thin) as possible. We are working to even out any unevenness in the edge and to polish the bevel. Polishing the bevel is important because it cuts down on the cutting resistance. DE blades are coated with teflon to help cut through hairs, straight razors are polished to a mirror finish to help cut through hairs. The reason is simple, less surface resistance makes it easier to cut.
Getting the razor to shave ready depends upon each individual razor. 8,000 grit is extremely small. Consequently only minuscule amounts of steel are removed. Tougher steels take longer to remove the steel necessary to polish the edge and decrease the edge radius to acceptable levels. Even “regular” steel is still hardened and is extremely hard to cut, taking a substantial amount of time to perfect the edge. We do not stop until the razor is ready to shave. Upon achieving this level, we do a final visual inspection with magnification and prepare to take the razor to the next level.