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Thread: Arkansas Stones - Oil or water?

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    Senior Member CamMorris's Avatar
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    Default Arkansas Stones - Oil or water?

    Just wondering about the general consensus was for honing with Ark stones, I know they are traditionally "oil stones" but wondered what the master-honers here were using. Ive tried it with both, I feel like I get better feedback with water and wonder about oil plugging up the pores? I also finding it a pain switching back and forth with different stones during a honing session.
    What do you guys use?
    Thanks!

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Oil or something water-based that's a good approximation of it (like ballistol).

    In general, for fast cutting, a water displacer can be OK (WD 40, etc), or even good for the mid stones. The coarse stones keep their pores clear best with a light oil (like light mineral oil), and the fine stones work finest with a light oil (though a good stone with WD40 will also make a superb edge off of a good truly hard stone).

    Plugging is the opposite - it occurs with drying oils. You want a non-drying oil like mineral oil, unused synthetic motor oil (i realize there will be aversion to that, but there is nothing toxic about unused synthetic oil - used is carcinogenic, though), light machine oils. There is no reason for a stinky oil, either, so no need to use 3 in 1 or even dan's honing oil (I don't have a clue why their oil stinks). Kitchen machine lubricant and cleaner (light mineral oil) is excellent.

    Unscented baby oil is a bit heavier than light mineral oil, but you can use that, too.

    You will see folks advocating water or soapy water from time to time, but the stones don't work as well with that, and use of it instead of a light oil is an issue of lack of analysis. If soapy water would've been better, people living hand to mouth 150 years ago wouldn't have used oil on these stones like they did.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Oil undoubtedly makes the better edge.

    I mostly use water or a slick shave lather with mine in spite of knowing this. Mostly because that's what I have on hand at the honing station, and 'less effective' doesn't mean not effective at all. It's still an improvement over an 8K synthetic stone.

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    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Smith's Honing Solution

    Solved all my issues with using Oilstones around my expensive Waterstones / hones

    Haven't ever looked back since I found it

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    "No amount of money spent on a Stone can ever replace the value of the time it takes learning to use it properly"
    Very Respectfully - Glen

    Proprietor - GemStar Custom Razors Honing/Restores/Regrinds Website

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    illegitimum non carborundum Utopian's Avatar
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    The nice thing about Smith's is that you can vary its viscosity by adding less or more water to it right on the hone.

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    Senior Member CamMorris's Avatar
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    wow, 10 bucks an OZ on Amazon! Ill have to stick with Nortons.

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    Senior Member Jlander's Avatar
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    $4.99 for 4 oz on the smith website, $6.79 for 4oz on Amazon.
    Jay

    Nemo me impune lacessit

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    Don't know about master honer, but I do hone all my own razors now for two years. I love the Arkansas True Hard group of stones. I use regular baby oil. All my edges are great and shaves beautimus. The oil cleans up easily with Dawn dish washing soap.

    BTW, baby oil: $0.99 for 32 oz at Walmart. I exaggerate, but baby oil is cheap, and works well.
    Last edited by Longhaultanker; 08-11-2017 at 06:37 PM.
    A little advice: Don't impede an 80,000 lbs. 18 wheeler tanker carrying hazardous chemicals.

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    Senior Member CamMorris's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Longhaultanker View Post
    Don't know about master honer, but I do hone all my own razors now for two years. I love the Arkansas True Hard group of stones. I use regular baby oil. All my edges are great and shaves beautimus. The oil cleans up easily with Dawn dish washing soap.

    BTW, baby oil: $0.99 for 32 oz at Walmart. I exaggerate, but baby oil is cheap, and works well.
    Give you that BBS smell too! sorry couldnt resist!
    Ive been using Norton honing oil which is basically clear mineral oil for awhile, bought a quart some time back, guess I'll stick with that until it runs out!
    Thanks all for the input!
    ScoutHikerDad likes this.

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    Senior Member CamMorris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jlander View Post
    $4.99 for 4 oz on the smith website, $6.79 for 4oz on Amazon.
    Sorry, I stand corrected, first one I saw on Amazon was 37.50 or so, didnt dig deeper!
    Thanks!

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