3 Main Types of Sharpening Stones To Use on your Straight Razor
by James Lupton
Most people who use a straight razor know that if it is not sharp enough, it can cause black spots. Not only are such spots uncomfortable, but they can also lead to infections. Luckily, there are ways to avoid this problem. One of them is to ensure that your razor is always super sharp. The good news is that this is quite easy. All you need is a good sharpening stone. Below are the top 3 types of sharpening stones to use on your straight razor.
1. Oil sharpening stones
These are some of the most common sharpeners in the market. They are made of three materials and use oil to eliminate metal filings. Using these stones comes with several advantages and one of them is the price. Oil sharpening stones are quite affordable, and pretty much anyone can afford them. Another benefit of using an oil-sharpening stone is performance. By using it, you are guaranteed a sharp blade and a much smoother shave. However, like all good things, it has its drawbacks. One of them is that it cuts slowly. As such, it will take you longer to sharpen the razor to a level where it will give you the results you want.
2. Water sharpening stones
This is another good razor sharpener, though it has not gained traction in the western world. Nonetheless, they are growing in popularity and for a good reason. One of them is that they cut faster than oil stone sharpeners. This makes it perfect for busy people who do not want to spend a lot of time sharpening their razors. The other advantage of these stones is that they are easier to clean than oil-sharpening stones. However, a water-sharpening stone has its cons too. One of the most pronounced is that it wears off more often.
3. Diamond sharpening stones
A diamond sharpening stone usually has small industrial-grade diamonds attached to a piece of the metal plate. Naturally, this makes it harder than all the other stones discussed above. One thing you need to know before you buy diamond sharpening stones is that there are two types of diamond sharpening stones, and they vary in their benefits.
The first type of diamond sharpener is the one with holes on the surface. The biggest advantage of using this sharpener is that it cuts fast, saving time. The second type of diamond sharpening stone is made of a continuous surface. It is designed for sharpening tools that have sections that could be caught up when using the holed one.
For sharpening a straight razor, the one with a continuous surface is likely to give you much better results. Overall, diamond sharpeners have the advantage of speed. You will get over the whole sharpening process quite fast. They also have the benefit of maintaining functionality for longer. However, they are also relatively more expensive than the other sharpeners, but this is offset by the fact that they will serve you for much longer. When you factor in the time of service, they are more affordable than the rest.
That said, all the three sharpeners discussed above can be used to make extremely sharp razors. Your needs, taste, and preferences should dictate the one you choose. Go with the one that you feel serves you best.