Is one finishing stone enough to live on?

Assuming your razors are in good shape and diligently stropped is one finishing stone enough for ongoing maintenance? I have purchased a Shapton Glass 16000 to rehone, am I right in assuming a re hone on that at reasonable intervals is enough or should I invest in sometime coarser to start with?

I rotate between three razors; a Boker King Cutter, A Dovo Carre and an eBay vintage Gotta all were shave ready and all are stropped carefully. The Gotta was the first to need some TLC and a rehone on the 16000 seems to have been enough (to my novice chin) but will that keep me going? Until I get it right with what I have I am not going down the path of buying restoration projects from ebay so I am assuming I have enough but a couple of things I read recently suggesting starting on an 8000 grit for rehoning was the way to go.


The issue I have found is the formation of micro chips, which seems to be a natural result of shaving after a while. If that happens I personally drop a lot lower.

The type of steel makes a difference. The Böker and Dovo are tough and might last just with refreshes on the Shapton.
I'm not sure I can give a rule of thumb answer. You see, what I find is, when the edge starts to deteriorate you have to address it according to the extent of the deterioration.

Or put more simply, it depends how big the micro chips are. If I said, get an 8000, chances are you'll encounter deterioration that would be hard to polish out at that grit. I have been burnt by these honing by the numbers videos.

That's the only down part about synthetic stones. They perform well but have a narrow application.

As I said - you might get away with it with those razors for years.

What's driving the question? Is it cost, hassle of multiple stones, the thought of learning to hone?
after every third shave - light touch up on paddle strop with iron oxide,

when edge is starting to feel less than super - touch up on paddle strop with cromium oxide

I have read about this routine and will make a paddle strop to test it but for the time being I shave until I am starting to doubt edge, then I use lapping film, normally pink/8000 and light green/16000, to refresh edge

when really lazy I use a shavette :)
Many thanks both. As for driving the question I guess it's just a steep learning curve and whilst not shy of buying the right stones, and happy to learn how to use them, I didn't want to leap in with an unecessary purchase if I didn't need to for just maintenance. But neither of you have flagged up that it's a must so I guess it's a bit try and see how it works. The 16000 tidied up the Gotta nicely so I may survive for a while but I suspect an 8000 Shapton would be a prudent purchase at some point.

Thanks again


I buy from Cousins Uk, normally non sticky but now the 1 micron 3M sheet is sticky only, not sure how the sticky version works, protective layer on the back to peel off? don't want to glue the sheet to my Shapton 500 glass stone that I use as a flat base.
I have bought from workshopheaven and cousins.

You can add in the 3 micron film and maybe the 5.

Generally people set a bevel on 12 micron film and then progress roughly halving the microns. It's fine adding in a half step, e.g. 12 to 9 to 5 as it just makes the transition easier in my experience.

The 30 micron sheet is good for stone lapping.

1 micron is close to the Shapton 16k grit rating. So your progresson can stop before that.

I suggest you get one or two practice razors. I personally think a vintage Sheffield with as little hone wear as possible is best or a Gold Dollar - not the 66 - they are a mess. Something like the 200 range or the W54.
Unless you are restoring or repairing dings or chips a finisher is all you need. The key is to maintain your edge and not continually rebuild it. Once I set a bevel it’s done and barring any serious damage I just use finishers or paste to maintain that edge. I have done it this way for decades.

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