An Introduction to Japanese Hones, pt. 3

Nagura Slurry - The first step in honing a razor

  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!  

An Introduction to Japanese Hones, pt. 2

The Kyoto Natural Hone Association's Logo

Following up on my last article, I’d like to talk a bit more in detail about Japanese whetstones and their characteristics, especially the vocabulary associated with them.

An Introduction to Japanese Hones, pt. 1

Three large whetstones from three different mountains

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…

A Kamisori Primer

Iwasaki Kamisori

Even within the rather select group of wetshavers who follow the straight-and-narrow (har de har) path of straight shaving, I am a member of an even more eccentric cadre: I’m a Kamisori user. What, I hear the voices raised in unison, is a kamisori? Well, to be honest, Kamisori (which is pronounced Ka (a Bostonian saying Car) Me (a name I call myself) So (a needle pulling thread) Re (ally not that difficult.) just means “razor” in Japanese. So 12 bladed vibrating lighted moisturizing face-mowers are also Kamisori. However, for purposes of simplicity, when I talk about Kamisori I am…