Because “shave ready’ isn’t good enough. We’re just not satisfied with the level of polish and the edge off of the 8k stone. While shave ready is certainly comfortable and sharp, we want our razor to just look at the hairs and scare them into cutting themselves. We want the hairs to just “pop off” once contact with the razor’s edge is made. An 8k finish just doesn’t quite do that. Stay tuned for our series on why a smoother polish is better and why pulling happens.
Continuing the true honing process, we continue polishing the razor’s edge on a Naniwa 12,000 grit waterstone. Before beginning the next step, we continually examine each blade and test it. Once we are satisfied that we’ve gotten all the sharpness out of the 8k stone, we begin honing on the 12k stone. During these final polishing steps, individual attention to detail is critical. Over-honing and under-honing are the obvious pitfalls. The process can be likened to threading a needle.
Since each blade requires a different number of laps, we cannot tell you how many laps we do. As many as is required is the answer. It is a continual process of honing a few laps, testing, honing a few laps, testing. The process ends once we are satisfied with the edge. At this point, we consider the edge to be “beyond shave ready.” The razor is extremely sharp and will shave hairs effortlessly.
Yet, that isn’t the end of our honing process. While other honemeisters and razor sharpeners are satisfied with this level of polish, we aren’t. We are after the ultimate edge. There is one more step in our honing process. The final polishing procedure that makes our razors truly honed.
Average time spent at this stage: 10 minutes