This morning's shave was great, but I could definitely tell that it was indeed time for a quick touch on my Gold Dollar 209 which still has the original edge on it when I bought it from Anthony Esposito about a couple of months or so ago. It's an Ozuku Mizu Asagi LV 5 Japanese natural stone edge. And all I've really been doing is basically maintaining the edge on it this entire time. I've never killed the edge on this razor. So I pulled out my Soft Arkansas oil stone and performed a quick touch up. It took longer to write and post this up than it did to do the touch up:
For this specific touch up, I performed 40 round trips followed by 20 seconds worth of circles on each side and to make sure it's even more comfortable, I did 20 stropping strokes on the stone itself. People might say that's bad idea but it's really not because whether you strop or hone on a stone, it's still going to cut because the stone doesn't recognize direction. It's just there and going cut:
After all of that, I followed that up with my full stropping routine of 10 round trips on the nylon webbing, 20 round trips on the scrub leather and 60 round trips on the smooth leather. These oil stones leave a very nice and highly polished edge on the razor that's very comfortable. I have yet to found ANY natural water stone or oil stone that even comes close. Japanese natural water stones are untouched if done correctly, but they can be harsh if they're not used correctly. Coticules are good edges too, but they're not consistent and they can be a very humbling stone. You can't go wrong with synthetics. In fact I highly recommend that you get started with them first before diving into the natural based stones. And I've decided to go with Arkansas oil stones due to my budget being tight. I've also not given up on the honing service either. Screw the trolls and what they think. It's just on hold at the moment until I can master the new set of stones I'll be getting this coming pay day.