All types of abrasion are principally identical except for the speed with which metal is removed. Grinding is creates the rough form, e.g. the grind type (hollow, full hollow, wedge) and is often done on a wheel. The ultimate cutting part is the delicate very narrow angled and hardly visible edge that must be set on a hone. When honing is done, the edge must be polished on a finer medium, e.g. a leather strop. The strop aligns the microserrations caused by the hone particles, and thus reduces the cutting surface in contact with the object.
Hair is protein and can be cut easily with the ideal edge that splits molecular bonding: small angle, weak, polished. This contrasts with stronger objects that easily damage an edge and which need saw like sharpness and thicker edges, a clear trade-off on ideal sharpness.
Sharpening a razor is a trick and a motor skill, comparable with many activities in daily life. Some basic techniques must be learned, which are described here. Literature is unclear about oils and stone choice, but the ideal set which is in accordance with concepts addressed in litterature is the combination of a synthetic #8000 Japanese waterstone, the largest possible Juchten/canvas strop, the latter being treated with olive oil only - and never any pastes or soaps - two times a year.
This is a combination of a modern solution (the waterstone) with
old official techniques. Many grand-mother tricks dating back from
the beginning of the century are institutionalized confabulations
due to lost knowledge; they are the major causes of failures. The
natural stones quarried in the 18th century were superior to any
natural stone produced after 1900; the ultra fine synthetic
waterstone from Japan is an excellent or even better alternative.