16k Shapton glass

There was never a stone that got so much love and hate at the same time. Some love the stone and get smooth edges with it, some say shaving with this edge feels like shaving with a rasp. I found it odd that there were so many different opinions on it and decided to try the stone myself.

I used a Swedish 5/8 Heljestrand razor to make it even harder because of the hard steel.

There are 2 main problems with this stone that you need to overcome:

Speed

Shaptons are fast. Faster than pretty much every synthetic and natural out there. And the glass stone is even faster than the pro series. This has its advantages, but at this level, it’s a disadvantage. Because the stone is so fast it’s hard to polish the grooves instead of replacing the 8k scratches completely. If you set a true 16k edge, this will be a harsh edge and you will see micro chipping and flaking at the very edge.

Binder

The binder in the Glass stones is softer and releases abrasive much faster than the Pro stones. This means they are faster, but they also generate slurry faster. Slurry can be handy at low grits to get things set up fast, but after 600 or 800 grit, it only causes more troubles. Especially on these hard Swedish razors. The slurry that forms keeps hitting the edge so that it chips out.

This is the edge that was honed before I called Tom. It had around 40 laps on the 16k before I took the picture.

At this point I had no idea what I did wrong, so I called Tom. He explained this and said I should go back to the 8k Pro and do 40 laps on it to clean everything up again. So that’s exactly what I did. I remembered my edge looked nice and clean at 8k, so I figured that it would look the same. In my experience you can’t overdo the 8k Pro stone. If you wish to do 100 laps, then that’s no problem. The 8k Pro will always look the cleanest because it hides scratches and blend them too. When you progress to the 16k, all the underlying flaws will pop up and the edge might not look as good.

Also, since this is a Swedish razor with very hard steel, the very edge of the edge will never be as clean as a softer American or British razor of the Shaptons.

Yes… the chip in the bottom part is horrible. I decided I wouldn’t go back to 2k to fix it. Hitting the Veho microscope with the edge 1 time will cause this, so I decided to let it be since I’m all thumbs and I would probably hit the edge again (luckily I didn’t)

After that I went back to the 16k. I cleaned it of so no slurry was on top and sprayed it with a bottle of water. I proceeded with VERY light laps. After 10 laps, this was the result:

The edge of the edge will clean up with some stropping. As you can see, there is no micro-chipping anymore.

After 5 laps on the Kanayama canvas + 20 on the leather:

I hope this helps a lot of the Glass stone owners out. Each stone needs a different approach. And until you figure it out, it can drive people mad. I’m glad Tom helped me out here and it gave me a smooth and comfortable shave.

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4 thoughts on “16k Shapton glass

  1. On My dovo’s (I wish I could post pics) I will not build a slurry either on my 16 k gs but I take it up another level the 30 k shapton gs and than strop with plain leather or horse hide and shave every day for about 3 weeks stropping between every shave than I rotate razors until I have time to resharpen the other, so far that has been working fine for me but I am not useing a fancy razor just a basic dovo. I have noticed that to many strops on the stone and if it drys out the edge will collapse the first time I use it. Ouch! James

  2. Beautiful edges I go up to the 16 k gs on my razors and certain knifes michiel has some pics, but I take my dovo carbons up to 30,000 gs and I seem to get a better shave but that might just be my fat redneck face, who knows all I know is the edges on this site are beyond great they are a work of art. Bullman

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