Without a set bevel and a brilliantly sharp cutting edge, there's going to be no cutting of whiskers. There are ups and downs, and difficult razors and good and bad days behind and ahead.
The important part is the study and the practice, and the learning from experience, and from reading about other guys' experience, and being able to understand and apply the information.
Also, the discipline to resist moving on to the next stone until the necessary result appears, and to understand what is being done, why, and how the edge should and does look and feel. That, combined with the willingness to decide what to do if the necessary result doesn't come.
- 1. DMT D8E 1200: Careful use as needed based on the unique characteristics of any given blade, and not leaving this hone until an authentic arm hair popping edge are essential.
2. Naniwa 2000 SS: Coarse enough to refine the edge, and smooth enough to start the polishing process before graduating to the 3rd stone.
3. Norton 4k/8k: Calls for judicious application. TPT, TNT, and instant elimination of arm hair should result. There's no longer any need of a pyramid under these circumstances.
4. Naniwa 12k SS: Polish and refine prior to the 5th and final stone.
5. Escher: Lapped and used with water. Attention is given to maintaining full contact with the edge, all along the length of the blade, and using all but non-existent pressure while holding the blade steady with both hands.