Climbing Mount Fuji: Mantic59's Kamisori Razor Journey (Part 1)

 

I have been curious about Japanese-style (“Kamisori”) straight razors ever since Jim Rion’s Sharpologist article a couple years ago.  To me it seemed like kamisori razors were better suited for shaving yourself, compared to the western-style folding straight razors (which to me seemed like they were better for shaving someone else rather than shaving yourself).  Unfortunately Japanese-style straight razors are difficult to find in the west.  So when I had an opportunity to purchase a “KIYA Ichogake Kamisori Straight Razor,” for a reasonable price I decided to buy.

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An Introduction to Japanese Hones, pt. 3

Honing a Razor
Honing a razor on a Japanese hone

 

And thus I finally come to the end of the series! I apologize for the delay, but I hope that the payoff will be worth it.

Just to recap, in my first article in this series (Part 1) I introduced a bit of history and trivia about natural Japanese whetstones, and in the second (Part 2) we looked at some of the specific characteristics that make these stones so very good for straight razor honing. In this part, then, I thought I’d give some techniques for using them…the good stuff!   [Read more…]

An Introduction to Japanese Hones, pt. 1


Me with a Large Nakayama Stone

I’d like to take a couple of articles to talk about one of my favorite topics, Japanese natural whestones, or Tennen Toishi. The subject is very deep, so I’ll have to skip a lot, but I’d like to talk about the history of these stones, their different qualities and attractions, and hopefully dispel some of the mystery surrounding them. For more information, you can always check out my blog, Eastern Smooth.

Why whetstones on a Shaving Site?
One of the most important things to know for those thinking about taking up straight shaving is, those blades don’t sharpen themselves. Average use (or misuse) leads to the deterioration of your edge over time, to the point that stropping on leather no longer leads to a comfortable shave. The most common way of fixing that is a whetstone. For some, this is a bit of a turnoff as it does require a certain level of skill and practice to produce a good shaving edge, but for others (myself included) that’s part of the allure of straight shaving: the feeling you get when you successfully put a smooth, sharp edge on a razor is amazing. [Read more…]