My apologies for taking so long with the write up, just got moved back up to school.
My experience with honing is very limited. Actually, limited only to lapping films. This stone was nice in the sense that it could be used dry. My alternative honing set up tends to get a bit messy with the water. I did attempt to use the UF wet but water had a tendency to bead up rather than cover the stone. As it is not my stone I did not use soap or oil as I was unsure of any long term effect it would have on the hone. I honed five razors with the UF all of which were just outside of shave ready and one that was around a HHT1. I must agree with the previous review; this stone offers no feed back. The 100th stroke feels just like the first. I was expecting the "suction" feeling that can be noticed with films but as this was dry I never felt anything. Most of the time I wondered if it were working. There didn't seem to be any signs of steel rubbing off on the hone. The HHT1 razor improved after aroung 150 laps. I would do 50 laps, strop, then test the razor with the same hair. After 350 laps I achieved HHT2/3 but could not get better results than this even after 600 laps. I was able to get all other razors to atleast HHT2 and two to HHT2/3. I feel this may be a combination of the razor quality and my overall skill.
So, I feel this is pretty good for a touch-up as there is no set up involved. Take it out, drag a razor across it and done. No water, oil, lapping(?) or other prep needed. I found the hone online for around $75 which I feel is fair but a little high for the results I got. I would guess this stone could be more versitile using diamond paste or CrOx but I may be mistaken. Overall a decent finisher but just not for me.
How far do you normally go on lapping films? The UF should leave an edge very similar in sharpness to the 1 micron film, and if you don't like the edge you get off it, you can follow it up with some 0.3 micron, using the UF as the flat surface. You should be able to find an 8"x2" UF for under $50 on Amazon (I seem to remember them being $49 shipped). When I used mine a lot back when I first got it, it delivered very strong HHT3+ results, dry. The real proof shouldn't be the HHT anyhow, how does it shave? I find mine to leave a VERY skin friendly, VERY keen edge. But of course, YMMV :).
i have wid's uf now and have been impressed with it's edges, it has really surprised me at it's ease of use. so far 4 razors honed. tom
So it sounds like dry is the way to go with one of these. I like my films but have to agree that the entire ordeal can be a bit messy and gets quite the sprawl across the kitchen counter (which my wife just loves). I may end up picking one of these up if I can get a good edge out of it. Sounds like it would be great for touch-ups and the price isn't too bad either. Thanks for the write-ups guys, and to Wid for putting this all together.
I generally go to 1u. I have been meaning to get some CrOx but have not been able to justify the order. At 1u I consistantly get HHT3 results. That said the razors honed on the UF were very comfortable shavers. Side by side UF v. films I could not tell any difference on the shave.
I received the hone today, will mess with it tonight and post up later.
I'll be very interested in hearing about how the spyderco UF works out for you guys as a hone rather than substrate. I've been told how it preforms relies on how the surface is finished/polished.
Got to try the Spyderco this evening on a razor that I have been meaning to hone for a minute.
I went through my normal progression, setting the bevel with my DMT and then refining the edge with my La Grise. Usually after I am through with the coticule I will go to 3um & 1um lapping film with picopaper:)
I used the Spyderco in place of this, doing about 30-40 laps dry and then another 30-40 with .5 micron diamond spray.
Finished with a pasted seatbelt and regular stropping.
I like the results, really didn't feel much different than an edge finished on lapping film. I am no connoisseur yet, I have a hard time sensing the subtle changes between different finishing techniques. Also, finishing on the pasted seatbelt possibly negated any difference there may have been anyway. My main question was whether this could be a stand in for the lapping films and I really think it could, the edge felt just fine.
That being said, I didn't really like the way it felt so much. As stated several times previously, feedback is nearly zilch. I did like it better with the diamond slurry because I could see it moving around and so mentally I knew I was doing something! I could write this off to still being kind of a noob honer, I find a little feedback helpful.
Still though, it's about as uncomplicated as a hone could be, and it cleans up very easily. The diamond slurry left some grunge on it, darkened it up. This came right off with some Bar Keepers Friend and a washcloth, very little effort. (This is what the Spyderco site recommended for clean up, I didn't just decide willy nilly to take an abrasive to it!) It's also such a large surface for the price, 8 x 3 for around $50, that's hard to beat. It definitely has some pros going for it and I'm not sure that I won't purchase one when I run out of lapping film. Slightly leaning towards more lapping film, just for the texture.
Rick, thanks a lot for the opportunity to try this out, very generous of you! I will continue to eyeball this every time I go into Woodcraft and it's very likely I will have $50 burning a hole in my pocket at some point and will pick it up.
And Zirrow, I will get this headed your way ASAP.
Last edited by otto76; 08-30-2012 at 09:05 PM.
Excellent review otto. Hell, I'd have ordered one already to try out if I didn't have one coming to test first. I'd also go ahead and hang onto it through the weekend. This is Oklahoma on a holiday weekend after all - I think you're expecting too much of our Postal system.
Thanks to everyone for their reviews and once again, thank you Wid for the opportunity.
Make sure you guys try it as a hone by itself (without added abrasives) at least once so you can gauge its attributes accurately as a whetstone. I'm buy-curious about a spyderco myself.
For anyone that is interested, there is a 6" version of this up for sale in the BST for $20!
I hope it's okay to post that.
It's sold (the 8" is too), but thanks for the plug.
As the new owner of above named 8" uf please remove me from the list...
a nice walk in the woods helps me relax and relieves tension....
the fact i'm dragging a shovel and a body should be irrelevant...