The combination of the man-made India stone and the natural Arkansas Stone makes this a versatile stone. If you do a lot of sharpening, you’ll appreciate the large 8" x 2" x 3/4" stone; its generous size allows for longer strokes to speed up the sharpening process.
The Norton India stone is an oilstone made with aluminum oxide abrasive. This side features the Medium India grit. This side is great on dull knives, it is used prior to the Soft Arkansas side.
The Soft Arkansas stone is made of a stone called novaculite. This stone is quarried from the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Made of almost pure silica, the stone makes a great surface for sharpening knives and tools. The Soft Arkansas stone is finer than the Medium India side. Because this is a natural stone, the color of the stone varies.