Does anyone here use an Arkansas Stone?

Discussion in 'General Straight Razor Talk' started by visualco2, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. I've used Arkansas stones for all my woodworking tools , also use them for my final polishing on str8's. But feel its a little slow
    might like to go with water stones. just a little to use to oil stones . Please give me your take on Arkansas if anyone uses them. Thanks
  2. I don't have any experience with the Arkansas stones. If you post this in the Straight Razor section of the Razor forum, you might get more views by folks who have. Welcome aboard. :smile:

  3. You are heading in the right direction when you say you are thinking about using a Waterstone over an Arkansas stone for your straight razors. Although you don't say what Arkansas stone you are using, even their Ultra-Fine Hard Translucent Arkansas is rated by Norton at about the same relative sharpening ability as their 4000 Grit Waterstone. The difference is that the Waterstone works so much faster. The 4k/8k Combo Grit Waterstone has pretty much become the "hone" of choice within the straight razor comminity. Many still continue on to even finer stones; but for most, the Norton 4k/8k is enough.

    In the mode of full disclosure, I am a Norton distributor. You can view the Norton 4k/8k on my site here ---->
  4. Thanks for the replys, I've been using a soft Arkansas, and a black which is quite hard. These stones are quite old ,45 yrs. or so. and are in very good condition. I do use a 1000grit Norton which I love for nicks and such, but that is also an oilstone.
  5. I'm with you. They are OK, but slow. I use ceramic.
  6. Wow, VintageBlades thats a good price for the Norton, thanks for the link.
  7. I use both the hard white and pink translucent arkansas stones. They are slow hones but will do a perfectly decent job honing a razor. Because they are so slow they make a much finer edge than their grit rating would indicate. I use water or lather on mine instead of oil, this does a better job of keeping the stones clean, and because it's so easy to change the thickness of the lather it's easy to speed them up or slow them down for a finer, sharper edge.
  8. Zig


    I got an Arkansas stone 'made' by Buck ( the knives people ) 12 yrs ago when I got my Dovo stainless str8. It's labeled 'fine' on the cedar box, don't know how that translates to waterstones but I got dismal results until I switched to the Norton 4K/8K waterstone. That, along with a Tony Miller #1 Latigo strop, gave me shave ready edges and a quantum leap in going for the perfect shave.

  9. Not only does he have great prices, he also has great service. I recommend doing business with him.

  10. Probably a soft arkansas stone, which are generally about 800 grit. I've got a pretty fine-grit hard arkansas which will put a hair-popping edge on a razor but it's a bit rough to shave with. Pink translucents OTOH are about 5k grit, and because they're such slow cutters they put a nicer edge on the razor than the grit rating would indicate. You can get a pretty nice shaving edge from a translucent, comparable to a good barber hone.
  11. One thing I've noticed when using my hard Arkansas, when the lighting is right, I look for a refracted light with no bending(sounds crazy:confused: ) , just by that I know its shave ready, It does take awhile though!.
  12. I've used a transluscent Arkansas stone for razors, yes they do go slow, but they impart a wonderful polish to the blade when you are done.

    I just started using a waterstone because my Arkansas stone is a little marbled, and I was worried it might harm the edge. I dont think the waterstone has led to any drastic improvement though it just cuts faster, and doesn't look as nice.
  13. I go by the scratching feeling and sound on the hone, with a smiling blade you can hear the fin forming up at various spots along the blade as you rock it back and forth over the hone :) Yeah, they're slow, but they're sure, and I've used them so much I can hone a razor with them with my eyes closed.
  14. Now that we're on the subject , how do you feel about the Barber hones that we see on Ebay,I've also heard of the "Swatty" is this the best brand or are they more or less the same? and as a comparesion what would you put them up against Arkansas , Norton waterstone,? . I was thinking of purchasing one , just don't want a novelty.

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