Norton makes a variety of abrasive and sharpening products. They produce popular waterstones used for honing razors. The 4000/8000 grit combination stones are the most popular.
This is the most commonly used, discussed and recommended straight razor hone. It is a man made hone which is manufactured by Norton Abrasives, and created by taking abrasive powder, and creating "stone" by combining the powder with a binding agent. In layman's terms, think of it like putting sand in a puddle of glue, waiting for it to dry. Of course Norton has this down to a science, and the example was extremely primitive, but you get the point. These stones come in 2 sizes, and the one you ideally want is going ot be 8" X 3" by 1". The white side of the 4/8K is 4000 grit, and made in Italy, the yellow side of the hone is 8000 grit and made in the USA. As a "water stone" it uses water as a lubricant, and as a means to keep swarth (or metal deposits) from rendering the hone ineffective.
- This hone has 2 ideal grits for straight razors.
- This hone cuts relatively quickly, which is optimal for establishing an edge in a reasonable amount of time.
- Due to the size/width of the hone, you can keep the entire spine/edge on the hone at once, so you do not have to hone in the "X" pattern.
- These hones offer a superb value, as it is 2 grits in one hone.
- hone needs to be soaked for 15 minutes prior to use.
- This hone will need to be lapped periodically.
- This hone is somewhat fragile. If you drop it, it'll shatter.
- This is a relatively large/heavy hone, which can make it a little cumbersome for those who prefer to hold the hone in the palm of their hand (like myself) when honing.