|Review by mcase||posted 04-17-2013 02:30 AM||3784 views||2 times favorited||4 comments|
I have experimented with a fair number of sharpening methods. I bought a Tormek years ago so the primary bevel was never an issue. The goal was producing a razor sharp secondary bevel quickly and easily. I had given natural stones a whirl, buying two Pro Edge brands stones – a Hard White Arkansas and a fine Hard Black Arkansas. Neither stone cut worth a Damn – period. So, I pretty much gave up on naturals and invested in Japanese waterstones and have a respectable set of good quality ones. Still, the water, the mess, and flattening them was a pain. Then I came across a small forty-year-old Smiths Hard White Arkansas I had as kid. Well it sure did not look like the chalky thing that Pro-Edge called a Hard White Arkansas. The old Smiths was much more quartz-like in appearance AND IT REALLY CUT THE STEEL AND SHARPENED. Well that got me to thinking! So I decided to give naturals another try. This time I ordered a stone from Dan’s. I got a Hard black Arkansas (ultra fine) . Boy what a difference! You could immediately feel and HEAR the difference as it quickly put a razor edge on my A2 chisel blades. I have concluded several things from this. One: there is some truth to the tale that true Novaculite is played out. Its obviously true of some quarrys that are providing useless stones. Secondly, the reputation of naturals as being really slow cutting is probably in part due to the fact that these miserable stones are out there tarnishing the reputation of the genuine article. And of course another obvious conclusion is that there is still real true Novaculite available from reputable dealers like Dan’s. The Dan’s stone I received was superb. It cut hard A2 steel quickly and provided a razor edge. It was also dead flat right out of the box. I bought the Pro Edge because its was far lees expensive than Dan’s, but I may as well have lit a cigar with the money. So I’ll end this review with a quote right from the Dan’s web page – “The Bitterness of Poor Quality Lingers Long After the Sweetness of Cheap Price is Forgotten!” How true.