1.16.2013

Unicot Honing Method

Overview
Coticules are very versatile hones: when used with slurry, they remove steel rapidly. When used with water, they are a fantastic finishing stone. The challenge of honing a razor on nothing but a coticule is to bridge this gap between keenness from the slurry and sharpness required to finish on water. The Unicot Honing Method provides a simple solution to this dilemma. The Dilucot Honing Method is a more advanced approach.

Unicot Honing Method | Image Credit: Coticule



What You'll Need
  1. Straight Razor
  2. Coticule Stone
  3. Slurry Stone
  4. Water
  5. Electrical Tape
  6. Drinking Glass
  7. Tissue Paper or Towel

What You'll Do
  1. Make sure the razor does not shave arm hair. If it does, run the razor without any significant pressure (edge down) over the bottom of the glass jar. Repeat as necessary until it no longer cuts arm hair.
  2. Create a slurry on the coticule by sprinkling some water on the yellow surface and rubbing with the slurry stone until the fluid attains a milky consistency.
  3. Place the razor on the coticule and perform half X-strokes with the index finger pressing down on the middle of the razor near the spine. Perform diagonal back and forth motions without flipping the blade. Count 30 laps then flip the blade and copy 30 laps on the other side. Check if the razor shaves arm hair. If not, repeat the 30 laps on both sides in the same manner. Continue doing this until the razor manages to cut arm hair.
  4. Once the razor shaves arm hair, refresh the slurry, only make it thinner than before. Perform 30 regular X-strokes with as little pressure as you can while steadily guiding the razor.
  5. Add one layer of electrical insulation tape to the spine. Rinse the razor but do not rinse the coticule. Instead, add a few more drops of clear water. The slurry should be quite watery. Perform 30 regular X-stroke laps. 
  6. Completely rinse the coticule and sprinkle clean water on top. Rinse the razor. Finish with 50 laps, using only clear water on the hone. Remove the tape and gently dry the razor with tissue paper or a towel.
  7. Strop the razor on a good hanging strop. Keep the strop reasonably taught and apply light pressure on the razor. Strop 60 laps on clean linen and 60 laps on clean leather.

Videos

Unicot Honing Method | Video Credit: Coticule


Tips
  1. Lap counts presented apply to a typical 6" x 2" coticule stone. Adjust the lap count according the size of your stone.
  2. An edge cannot develop keenness on a hone before both sides of the cutting bevel are completely flat up to the edge, and this edge must be free from damage.
  3. Dulling the razor in the beginning takes the guesswork out of assessing the keenness of the entire edge.
  4. If you are new to straight razor honing, it may be wise to start out on a full hollow blade given they carry a smaller bevel face which can be easier and quicker to hone.
  5. Aim to learn a steady and even honing stroke.

Sources
Unicot Honing by Coticule

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