All new straight razors produced after Oct 20, 2017 will be honed without tape on the spine.
Previously, Portland Razor Co. straight razors were honed with one thickness of Super 88 electrical tape. This was done to achieve the proper bevel angle and to protect the spine from unnecessary wear during the first honing. Improvements to our manufacturing process have allowed us to do away with this step.
Should I Hone My Razor With Or Without Tape?
This change to our sharpening process corresponds with the change to our scales profile. Razors with the new scales -- those with the centered wedge pin -- can be honed without tape and will have the proper edge geometry for a good shaving angle. Please note, The scales profile was only altered on our Classic 6/8 razors. 7/8 and 8/8 Artisan razors still have the old shape (The Strix, Gryphon, and Phoenix). All razors, regardless of size, will be honed without tape from now on.
You can also perform a visual check to determine if your straight razor should be honed with or without tape. Examine the side of the straight razor’s spine: if there is hone wear, you can hone without tape. Hone wear on a factory-direct Portland Razor Co. straight razor looks like a very narrow flat band where the hollow grind meets the spine. If the side of the straight razor spine is free of hone wear, the straight razor was honed with tape.
If there is any doubt if your straight razor was honed with or without tape, don't hesitate to send it in to us for a honing service. We can hone your razor and let you know if it is to be honed with or without tape moving forward.
Thank you for your continued support, happy honing!