Test ad

Arkansas Wet Stone - Hard or soft?

Joined
Jul 25, 2010
Messages
7,432
Hi guys!

I have something in mind. I´d like to buy an Arkansas Wet stone. But I don´t know which one. I have a japanese Wetstone 1000/3000 and a sharping stone for scythes. Next to a Spyderco Sharpmaker.

But I like to sharpen my knives in the antle I´d like to. The Sharpmaker is not used much in the past time.

On some shops I´ve seen the Arkansas Stones. Soft and hard. Looking at the said sharping setup; which one should I choose? Hard or soft?

Thank you for your answers.

Kind regards
 

Jason B.

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
11,089
It wouldn't be much if any different than some of the stones you have now.
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2009
Messages
1,511
Soft Arkansas is the most coarse and cuts relatively slowly compared to synthetic stones, ceramics, etc. Hard Arkansas is one of the finest (though I think different colors of stones are increasingly fine). Again, it cuts quite slowly.

I think Arkansas stones are a bit of an anachronism: I don't see any area where they seem to be better than other alternatives. I'd expect your water stones to cut at least as fast as soft Ark, if not faster.

OTOH, I haven't used Arkansas stones in literally years, so I might not remember some desirable property they exhibit.

Brian.
 

David Martin

Moderator
Joined
Apr 7, 2008
Messages
19,440
Natural stones cut different than man made as the grain structure is different. They cut slow and polish. White hard, Translucent and black are the harder stones. They are forgiving and easy to use. Be sure to purchase quality stones which are flat. DM
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2010
Messages
7,432
Hi guys! Thank you for your advices. I was still thinking about it. Maybe I gonna take some other japanese waterstones ... 250/1000 and so on...

But I´ve already heard much good about the Ark stones... I´ve seen in several stores combination stones, like the japanese waterstones. One side hard the other side soft. Do you have experiences with those combistones?

Kind regards
 

Jason B.

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
11,089
What do you expect from these stones?

To just have more stones is more than good enough of a reason, I use that reason myself all the time, but know that they will be slow at removing metal and within the grit ranges you already have.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2010
Messages
7,432
Well, the wetstone is just good, when there´s already an edge on it. Making it finer and sharper. I thought with the ark stone there would be more material loosing so an edge can get faster on the blades. Maybe I was not right. Sorry, my english is not really the best. Maybe I didn´t understand what you were writing above.

The coarse scythe stone is really for completelly worn down knives. With absolutelly no edge on them. Bringing back an antle which can be sharpened again. And between that - scythestone and the japanese waterstone I wanted something with less grit than the scythestone and with more grit than the waterstone, I already have.

I thought the ark stone would be a good choice. But that doesn´t seem to be the case. Which grit and stone should I take?!

Kind regards
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
6,557
I have zero experience with the combination natural stones, but in general I'd recommend a good soft Arkansas and Black surgical or translucent. The soft can produce nearly as fine an edge as the hard, but with better feedback and a bit faster. In general the Arkies work best on carbon steels and the plain stainless varieties - 420hc, 440c, Aus6,8. I have had a tough time using it on 154cm and tougher, though the black and translucent can still do a good job of a final polish on some of the high vanadium stuff. David Martin is correct in the Arkansas grain structure is quite a bit different from other stones - a very high polish is possible from a soft or even a Washita stone.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
1,146
I have not tried Arkansas stones, but I have a lot of Japanese Naturals.
On normal steels such as VG10, Blue 2, simple carbons, you will be able to get great edge after bevel set on synthetics.
Downfall of Jnats is the prices are very high for quality stones.

IMO synthetics are the optimal way to go price wise and performance wise.
 

MagenDavid

Want some Kosher Salami?
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
497
What do you expect from these stones?

To just have more stones is more than good enough of a reason, I use that reason myself all the time, but know that they will be slow at removing metal and within the grit ranges you already have.

I'd been considering one of those Hard/Soft Arkansas benchstones myself, as an intermediate step between a Norton fine India and balsa loaded with 1 micron boron carbide. Lately I've mostly been sharpening what amounts to 5Cr15MoV and 12C27. Would my edges benefit from the extra step?
I ask in the context of your video where you sharpen a Henckels and go from a fine India stone straight to a strop; I think I remember you mentioning that the lower hardness stainless steels don't benefit from a highly polished edge like newer steels will.
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2012
Messages
1,261
I have not tried Arkansas stones, but I have a lot of Japanese Naturals.
On normal steels such as VG10, Blue 2, simple carbons, you will be able to get great edge after bevel set on synthetics.
Downfall of Jnats is the prices are very high for quality stones.

IMO synthetics are the optimal way to go price wise and performance wise.
You should look at the date before you post. This is a necro thread.
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2014
Messages
1
You should look at the date before you post. This is a necro thread.

Instead of helping a member, Bladenoobie1 has exposed himself as an arrogant ignoramus. He knows nothing about sharpening. Here's the answer:

Waterstones cut quickly, but "dish" quickly - a poor buy. Stay away!!!!

India's (AlO) keep their flatness and are much cheaper - great buy.

Carborundum (SiC) cuts faster than India's, and may dish after many, many, many, many uses (good buy).

I would go with India - but that's a personal choice.

Remember, that sharpening is an art - it has nothing to do with speed, but everything to do with skill and peace of mind.

Forget everything that you have heard, and do the research.

http://www3.telus.net/BrentBeach/Sharpen/index.html


<< When I was born, I grew older, and when I got older I aged. >>
 

Jason B.

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
11,089
Instead of helping a member, Bladenoobie1 has exposed himself as an arrogant ignoramus. He knows nothing about sharpening. Here's the answer:

Waterstones cut quickly, but "dish" quickly - a poor buy. Stay away!!!!

India's (AlO) keep their flatness and are much cheaper - great buy.

Carborundum (SiC) cuts faster than India's, and may dish after many, many, many, many uses (good buy).

I would go with India - but that's a personal choice.

Remember, that sharpening is an art - it has nothing to do with speed, but everything to do with skill and peace of mind.

Forget everything that you have heard, and do the research.

http://www3.telus.net/BrentBeach/Sharpen/index.html


<< When I was born, I grew older, and when I got older I aged. >>

Thanks for showing some true colors. I recommend reading more and posting less.
 
Joined
May 7, 2017
Messages
34
I know this is late but if you are still interested i am posting this. The Soft Arkansas is the only one that can really "put an edge" on a knife on it's own. The other stones (hard, black, translucent,) are so fine grain and remove steel so slowly they function like a strop instead of a sharpener. So if you only wanted one stone not three I would recommend a soft arkansas. You could get a tristone if you wanted to try all three. Me personally I went with three 8" bench sized arkansas stones (soft, hard, black,) on a wood base from best sharpening stones. But I also have a diamond stone with ceramic rods if I want a quick dirty edge so I don't have to spend ten minutes at a table sharpening every knife.
 
Joined
Jun 29, 1999
Messages
7,459
I use a 14" long Black Arkansas whetstone that I inherited from a great uncle who was a carpenter to put a finishing edge on high carbon blades. Seems to impart a microscopically serrated edge that will easily top hair. Doesn't work quite as well on current 'super steels' with high carbide content, like S30V, etc.
 
Top