Shapton Glass over Shapton Professional Stones For Straight Razors?

So I’ve recently changed my thinking that the Shapton Professional Stones are the best in any sharpening situation (excepting Lie-Nielsen D-2 Cold Hardened plane blades, for which the glass series is specifically designed). The Shapton Glass Stones, seem to be better suited for straight razors (with some exceptions, though…)

I had my theories for about this for 3 months of so, but only know has it been proven which might be better suited for straight razors. My thinking was this: The professional stones keep their shape longer, therefore the bevel on the straight razor would be “straighter”, while the softer glass stones would produce a slightly rounded or convexed bevel.

It looks like the glass stone theory was correct, but there’s more to it now. I think the consistency of the glass stones’ softness through the series is what allows each consecutive stone to conform to the slight roundness of the bevel in fewer strokes than it would take the professional series stones to either abrade the edge flat and/or conform to the bevel.

Think of it this way, with the Glass series, the stones conform to the edge (making sharpening faster), while the professional series makes the edge conform to the stone (making it take longer). That is why some people have reported the higher grit pro stones requiring more than the usual amount of strokes. This makes sense because little or no pressure is used on the razor when sharpening, so wearing down a pro stone will take some doing – especially at the higher grits.

So armed with this new information, which series is now better for straight razors?

Think before you answer……Ā  : )


2 Responses to “Shapton Glass over Shapton Professional Stones For Straight Razors?”

  1. rayman Says:

    I am not sure your suspisions are correct. I can’t prove this though, because I don’t have a set of professional stones to test against the glass. I can, however, tell you what my experience with the glass are.

    While honing over a hundred razors with the shaptons, I have not experienced a rounding of the edge. In fact, I can produce the bevel, which I consider to be two parts – the one you see and the edge you don’t – on a 500k shapton and literally cut arm hair. This is a good indication that there is no round edge.

    The glass stones also seem to require fewer strokes once you leave the 4k stone, well as compared to naniwas which to me are problematic at best.

    I personally find the Shapton glass stones to be superior to any other synthetic stones I have used, but then I haven’t tried the pro line either.

    This is just my own personal opinion however

    • Jende Industries Says:

      Yeah, this was written when I was still in the early stages of figuring out razor sharpening. My suspicions were based on the way I was sharpening at the time, which was with waaaaaaayyy too much pressure! Even now, I am just getting the pressure right, IMO.

      I must agree that I like my Glass Stones for the razors. My favorite are the 3K Glass and the 10K Glass, which along with a few others that I have, are not yet available in the US. šŸ™‚

      My progression lately is either the 1K, 2K or 3K, followed by the 4K, 20 or so strokes on the 8K, then strop and test, then proceed to 5-6 strokes on the 10K, and between 3 and 5 strokes on the 30K. Strop on my Kanayama 50,000 – I always lose count, it’s so enjoyable… :), then enjoy the BBS shave!

      I’ve revisited the Naniwas several times, both the Super Stones and the Choseras. I will admit that the Choseras are much nicer to use than the SS, but I find the Naniwa edges to be a bit “toothy,” a comment that many knife users use in a positive light.

      I’ll have to update my suspicions! Thanks for reading!

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