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Thread: Arkansas Hones???

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    Default Arkansas Hones???

    I have been looking at picking up a hone set from norton. The 220/1k, 4k/8k, and flatting stone kit but I keep seeing the Arkansas stones. I have read people use them on straights but I have no idea what grit they are. I have only seen them labeled as hard or soft. Can I get a shave ready edge from one? The more I look into it the more confused I am. Should I just stick with the synthetic norton's that I know what grit I'm using or are the natural stones better.
    I just sent out a blade to Lynn to be honed and I bought a vintage boker to practice my own technic and plan on using the one Lynn hones as a measuring stick.

    P.S. I found some one who buys the norton and cuts them into1/4's and sells them for like 1/2 the price is this worth it ?

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    Pasted Man Castel33's Avatar
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    Default Arkansas Hones???

    Both the arks and Norton's will get the job done. You will need a full run of both to bring a razor to shave ready. I have both and when I use hones I prefer the arks.

    However for new honers here I recommend the Norton's. The are easier to get ready and there is far more wealth of knowledge on this site about using them. The fully set of Norton's are a good deal.

    As to if the whippeddog deal is good it really is a personal choice. Different people like different sized hones. The only thing to remember if you go with the whipped dog deal is you will have to adjust some of the numbers(ie: laps) that are given on this site to fit your stones.

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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDiMan View Post

    P.S. I found some one who buys the norton and cuts them into1/4's and sells them for like 1/2 the price is this worth it ?
    AFAIC, the cut up nortons are NOT worth it. YMMV.

    My ideal honing set ...... what I personally use, a DMT 325 D8C for lapping. Good for kitchen knives too. The Chosera 1k for bevel setting. The Norton 4/8. A high grit finisher is optional. Until you can get a stellar shave honing with the 4/8 a higher grit stone is something you're not ready for IMHO. I've got Arks too and they are good but for razors the nortons are better for a beginning honer, and arguably for a veteran honer.
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    zib
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    You going to see "YMMV" a lot in this forum. A lot of what we do is personal preference. Some guys like Arkansas stones, and some guys like the Nortons, or Shaptons, etc...you get the idea. If your just starting out, I'd go for the Norton 8x3's 220k/1k, 4k/8k and flattening stone. It's a good deal, and the same set I started with. We have a thread called "Janorton" You'll find all kinds of good info about the honing on the Norton's there.

    Arkansas stones are not rated like the Nortons, They are basically, Soft, Hard, Surgical Black, and Translucent. Some debate as to which one of the last two are finer. You also have Washita, and the tri hone sets...

    I prefer Arkansas stones for my knives, not razors, but that's me. Some guys love the edges they get off the Arks.
    Last edited by zib; 09-18-2012 at 03:54 AM.
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    Orange County N.Y. Suile's Avatar
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    Also being that arkansas stones are a natural product they can vary on the grit.
    my vintage clear norton arkansas stone is much finer then my newer one from them.

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    If you're just starting to learn to hone, go with the Nortons.... however, get the full size set. The ones that have been cut are usable, but I think they're too small to learn with. 8"x3" is a great size for straight razors, and I really don't like using smaller stones unless they're finishers. I couldn't imagine trying to set a bevel on a 4"x1.5" hone.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    As has been said, all Naturals are different and will produce “different” results. If you are new to honing you want to remove as many variables as possible so you can observe the results of your actions.

    Having learned to hone on Arkansas stones and now experienced the wealth of stone materials available today or better said the knowledge of the stone materials available today, synthetics are far superior to developing honing skills. The internet has made a wealth of knowledge available to all of us with the ease of a few key strokes, that information before was passed only in books and word of mouth.

    So for the novice, quality, large, synthetic stones (Norton, Naniwa or King) are almost a guarantee of success. Once you have developed the skills to consistently keep a razor flat on a hone, cut an even bevel and sharp edge, then branch out and experiment with naturals. I have seen complete dual grit synthetic stone sets for under $150, a great way to obtain quality tools to learn on. Cutting corners will only cause frustration, develop poor skills and in some cases cause novices to give up.

    A large percentage of honing skills are acquired late at night, alone… razor in hand rubbing steel against stone, make your life easy…er.
    Last edited by Euclid440; 09-19-2012 at 04:30 PM.
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    ok once more,CAN you get a razor to shave with an arkansas stone?my grandfather never had all theese crazy stones he had the same red turkey,and an ark that i have,and both are hollowed,now with that said i bought another ark thats about the same,as the one he used 700 to 900 grit.will it work?

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    As a newbie, go with the Nortons. They are 3" wide and cut fast. Arks are slower cutters and not as wide. The width makes the Nortons easier to master for beginners.

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    You can depending on what ark you have and what other stones you have.

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