Shapton 16K Straight Razor Edges

Controversial Claims Surrounding Shapton 16K Straight Razor Edges

The Microscopic Journey of a Klas Tornblom 185 Straight Razor: Exploring Claims on Shapton 16K Glass Controversy

The investigation into a Klas Tornblom 185 Hollow ground razor’s microscopic progression stems from a conversation that started years ago, sparked by Sham (hibudgl on the forums), a highly knowledgeable straight razor honer and mentor.

Sham contends that utilizing the 16K Shapton Glass for finishing a straight razor causes microchips in the edge after exceeding 20 strokes. Despite numerous attempts and varied approaches, all trials with the 16K failed, as detailed in his comprehensive thoughts on the Razor and Hone Forum.

Having known Sham’s accuracy over time, I found myself naturally disagreeing, being a steadfast Shapton enthusiast. Meanwhile, debates continued while people somehow managed to shave amid the discussion.

In my view, the majority of issues associated with the 16K Shapton Glass likely arise from underhoning, revealing deeper scratches that weren’t adequately addressed in earlier grits (refer to my theory on razor overhoning). However, considering Sham’s expertise, underhoning seems less likely in this scenario. Sham and I also align on the impact of diamonds in the bevel setting process, attributing them to various later problems.

Now, delving into the technical aspect—the behavior of the Shapton Glass series. The stones feature a softer binder for the easy release of abrasives, designed to tackle harder, abrasion-resistant steels. An all-Shapton Glass progression might result in loose abrasives causing microchips or tiny potholes. Maintaining a clean stone surface is vital to mitigate this.

Another aspect could be the blade’s geometry, possibly too acute for the steel’s characteristics. Shaptons gradually thin out the edge, and if the geometry is overly acute, it may lead to breakage. Adding a layer or two of tape adjusts the angle, preventing this issue.

Now, let’s examine the microscopic details of the Tornblom razor’s progression:


Microscope images offer guidance but may exaggerate imperfections. The challenge lies in discerning when to accept certain flaws. In the case of the Klas Tornblom 185, geometry played a crucial role in preventing microchipping. The thin grind and steel characteristics required extra effort to achieve a good shave.

Regarding the 16K Shapton Glass controversy, Sham’s claims about chipping are partially accurate—the edge can chip under certain conditions. Geometry significantly influences synthetic hones for razors, especially in an all-Shapton Glass progression.

Sham’s recommendation of keeping the strokes on the 16K Glass minimal holds true, assuming underhoning isn’t a factor. Stone cleanliness remains crucial.

Ultimately, the 16K Shapton Glass can deliver a fine shave. However, it might be a bit finicky, serving as just one element among many influencing the shave’s outcome.

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