The Norton Hard Translucent Arkansas Bench Stone is the finest of all natural oilstones. This stone is used on tools and knives where very fine edges are required. The stone is generously sized at 8" long by 3" wide by 1/2" thick.
If you require a fine edge on a knife, this stone is a great choice for a final stone. The fine grit feels almost smooth to the touch. This smooth grit produces a nice polish on knives and tools alike. Unlike a waterstone, this stone is very hard so it stays very flat. If properly cared for, this stone will provide a lifetime of sharpening enjoyment.
Note that Hard Translucent Arkansas Stones are natural products. Small blemishes do occur. They do not affect performance and are not considered defects.
Q. How do the grits of Arkansas Stones Compare to each other?
A. Arkansas Stones are graded not by grit numbers like other types of stone, but by their density and hardness. The less dense, or softer the stone, the coarser it is. The more dense, or harder the stone, the finer it is. The coarsest Arkansas Stone we carry is the Soft Arkansas. The Hard Arkansas is in the middle of the Arkansas stones, and the Hard Black and Hard Translucent Arkansas stones are the finest.
Q. How do the grits of the Arkansas Stones compare to other types of oil stones?
A. The Soft Arkansas is a bit finer than the Fine India and the Fine Crystolon stones, and it makes an excellent next step from those types.
Q. How fine of an Arkansas Stone do I need?
A. The decision of what stone to finish with is a personal one depending on what kind of edge you desire. In general, a Soft Arkansas stone will leave a good edge with a bit of tooth. A Hard Arkansas will leave a more refined edge that is more highly polished. And a Hard Black or Hard Translucent Arkansas will leave a very refined edge that is approaching mirror fine.
Q. If your website says they're unavailable, what does that mean?
A. These stones are hard to get. It is more difficult to find the size and shape of Hard Translucent Arkansas Stones. Being a natural product, you can't make the stone if you don't have the raw material. As a result, they are sometimes not available.
Q. Do all Hard Translucent Stones look the same?
A. Not always. They're more often translucent and off white but sometimes have streaks of color. But all have translucence.
Q. Are Hard Translucent Arkansas Stones really translucent?
A. Yes. They are named accurately. Check out our article Is a Hard Translucent Arkansas Stone Really Translucent? for a demonstration.