The 8" x 3" x 1/2" Norton Soft Arkansas Bench Stone is a natural oil stone. The Soft Arkansas grade is the coarsest of the Arkansas Stones we offer. It is a medium grit in the overall spectrum of grits. It is often used in progression after the fine grade of the Norton India Stone, and before the Norton Hard Translucent Arkansas Stone.
Note that Soft 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 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, and a Hard Translucent Arkansas will leave a very refined edge that is approaching mirror fine.