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  1. #1
    Junior Honemeister Mike_ratliff's Avatar
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    Default A compendium of hones and their grits

    Since we're starting much of this over, I thought it would be nice to have one single place to go where the properties of hones can be listed, compared, and rated.
    This includes the synthetic hones like Norton, Spyderco, Kitayama etc...
    and the natural hones coticle, transparent arkansas, etc...

    including prices, and places where you can get them...

    Now I don't have, or use every stone out there, so Instead of giving you information I don't have I'm creating a rating system that will give a baseline.

    First is grit using Norton as a baseline, with a grit/cutting speed reference
    below 1000 = razor killer
    1000 = coarse/ ultra fast
    4000 = medium/fast
    8000 = fine/fast
    above 8000 = finishing or polishing

    so when rating my Kitayama 12000 grit stone I could simply list it as

    (Kitayama 12k finishing/fast)

    The next thing is price range
    dollar signs would be appropriate here, (and hopefully one of our european mambers can give an appropriate exchange for us)

    $ = $0.01 - $40
    $$ = $41 - $80
    $$$ = $81 - $120
    $$$$ = $121 and up


    Norton 4k a medium grit fast cutting relatively inexpensive hone could be listed as

    Norton 4k -medium/fast $$
    Belgian Blue coticle - medium/slow/$$$


    What do you guys think, is this going to work?

  2. #2
    Senior Member IsaacRN's Avatar
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    This actually sounds like a very good idea

  3. #3
    El Duderino The Dude's Avatar
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    Since Spyderco hone grit size is yet to be determined, i have to go with what my microscope says compared to my norton 4k/8k (no camparison for UltraFine) and i believe whatever i can say, has been said better by Joel's review at B&B.

    EDITed for Nicky
    I still have Grits listed but i can only go by comparison to what i have used. For someone to list what makes it special, they would have to have tried almost all stones.

    Spyderco Medium approx 3000 = medium / ultrafast $
    -----less on the scratch pattern than Norton 4k side
    -----very fast at removing the metal, i would suggest cleaning after every use (just use COMET and a wet papertowel)

    Spyderco Fine approx 8000 = fine / fast $
    -----in the microscope it appears to be slightly finer than norton 8k side
    -----cuts proficiently fast but i actually wish it cut a little slower

    Spyderco UltraFine approx 13-14k finishing / moderately slow $$
    -----going with Joels grit size on this one but under the microscope it seems to be fairly accurate maybe leaning towards the 13K??
    -----cuts slow, i need about 35-40 passes on my Friodur but i like it this way.

    They are great hones, and great for the money. Especially if you dont plan to be setting bevels and dont need to buy the Medium hone. The two inch width pretty much forces you to use an "X" pattern and i like to hold my hones in my hand, and these hones are not too heavy to do that.

    Recap: The hones are hard as hell, wont need lapping for quite some time (i will deal with that in the future i suppose) and IMHO are just the right size. And only about $110 for all three hones.
    Last edited by The Dude; 01-21-2008 at 06:25 PM. Reason: Nicky

  4. #4
    Senior Member nickyspaghetti's Avatar
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    A database is a good idea but the grit rating is a little dodgy when it comes to some stones.
    Take for example the different grit rating systems. The difference between an 8k rated on one scale and one from another scale can be quite large - also look at the 8k coticule, everyone would argue that it is miles ahead of an 8k when it comes to the edge.

    Maybe a solution would be to keep it to properties of the stone with a short description of anything that makes it special?

  5. #5
    Junior Honemeister Mike_ratliff's Avatar
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    works for me, It's just nice to have one place to go if we want to know about a certain hone...
    Once we have enough input, we can combine it together and make a reference for the Faq section.

  6. #6
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    There are challenges to the system but it would be nice to be able to look up the relative merits of hones?

    When one manufacturer uses the average grit size with a standard deviation and the next uses the largest grit size to describe their hones it is difficult to compare unless you already have them and can look at the results.

    The system doesn't need to be perfect I'd love to be able to look up simple things like:

    A shapton 8k is a good next step after a Norton 8k as the norton 8k largest grit is around 3.x microns and the largest grit in shapton 8k is 1.x microns or
    but "do/or do not" the have about the same affect on my blade and are similar (but different) and I should instead go to a 12k / 16k /30k hone as a next step in polishing rather than wasting my time.

    or 2k sandpaper has similar/different characteristics to a 4k hone.

    and where does my swaty that's in the mail fit into all of this?


    - Bob

  7. #7
    Frameback Aficionado heavydutysg135's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    Since Spyderco hone grit size is yet to be determined, i have to go with what my microscope says compared to my norton 4k/8k (no camparison for UltraFine) and i believe whatever i can say, has been said better by Joel's review at B&B.

    EDITed for Nicky
    I still have Grits listed but i can only go by comparison to what i have used. For someone to list what makes it special, they would have to have tried almost all stones.

    Spyderco Medium approx 3000 = medium / ultrafast $
    -----less on the scratch pattern than Norton 4k side
    -----very fast at removing the metal, i would suggest cleaning after every use (just use COMET and a wet papertowel)

    Spyderco Fine approx 8000 = fine / fast $
    -----in the microscope it appears to be slightly finer than norton 8k side
    -----cuts proficiently fast but i actually wish it cut a little slower

    Spyderco UltraFine approx 13-14k finishing / moderately slow $$
    -----going with Joels grit size on this one but under the microscope it seems to be fairly accurate maybe leaning towards the 13K??
    -----cuts slow, i need about 35-40 passes on my Friodur but i like it this way.

    They are great hones, and great for the money. Especially if you dont plan to be setting bevels and dont need to buy the Medium hone. The two inch width pretty much forces you to use an "X" pattern and i like to hold my hones in my hand, and these hones are not too heavy to do that.

    Recap: The hones are hard as hell, wont need lapping for quite some time (i will deal with that in the future i suppose) and IMHO are just the right size. And only about $110 for all three hones.
    While I agree with your very fine grit estimate for the Ultrafine, I would put both the medium and fine stones significantly courser than you have listed. The medium stone seems to cut very fast and leave a scratch pattern like it is in the mid hundreds (500-600 grit) and the fine seems to be similar to a DMT-E (1200 grit). This would make sense because these are really "knife hones" and the grits that I have listed are what you would want to use on most knives.

  8. #8
    Junior Honemeister Mike_ratliff's Avatar
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    I can also add that my transparent Arkansas stone is a slow cutting very high priced 8-10k stone. unfortunately these vary greatly I understand.

  9. #9
    El Duderino The Dude's Avatar
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    Heavy,

    Be it my inexperience with other hones, but under the microscope, my FINE doesnt make scratches that aren't too much different than my 8k Norton
    (i dont feel like editing the other post, but i meant to put slightly COARSER -maybe 7k - than the 8k side, but i would never guess 1200 because it seems to be alot finer than the MEDIUM hone. My Medium Hone grit "guess" was based on the fact that i tried to redo the bevel on my Wapi (before i had my RS microscope, i did have my 30x hand lens which does "OK" but i wouldnt suggest it because you have to hover over the blade and risk damaging it) and it didnt seem to be much coarser than the 4k side of the norton.

    I dont disagree with you, you've had much more experience with hones than I have, but I find it hard to believe that its 600 grit and 1200 grit, that just seems low to me. I have 1000 grit sandpaper that feels much rougher than my Medium hone. But whatever, all i know is it makes a great progression from one to the next and leaves a phenominal edge.
    Last edited by The Dude; 01-25-2008 at 02:46 PM. Reason: wrong word

  10. #10
    Senior Member toolarts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    -- i like to hold my hones in my hand, and these hones are not too heavy to do that.
    Me too, and I thought I was the only one...

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