Welcome to Arkansas Stone Grades 101
Natural Arkansas Whetstones are available in various grades and classifications. Users should be aware that color is not the determining factor in grading Novaculite. Some users have been defining whetstone grades by color, but the same colors may be seen in more than one grade and classification. Different grades of Novaculite also have a noticeable difference in texture. The softer the stone, the coarser the surface of the stone feels; harder stones, such as the True Hard and Translucent, have a smoother glassy feel.
How to Choose an Arkansas Stone Grade to Suit Your Needs
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Hard Arkansas (Fine) is most suitable for fine polishing and the maintenance of a fine edge on knives or tools. Hard Arkansas is often referred to as "White Hard." However, users should be aware that Hard Arkansas often has color variations also. To our knowledge, this color does not interfere with the honing process by any means. Hard Arkansas stones are popular among woodcrafters and a variety of industries including the dental industry.
True Hard Arkansas (Extra Fine) is the finest grade abrasive available today. It is most commonly used for industrial applications where an extremely fine polish is required. True Hard Arkansas stones are often referred to as Multi-Colored Translucent; colors, both opaque and translucent, are random and may include black, red, white, and gray--often within the same stone.
Translucent Arkansas (Extra Fine) stones are classifications included in the True Hard Arkansas grade category according to specific gravity under density standards. The reason there is a classification in this grade is because of color preferences by customers. Translucent stones may be a uniform, translucent shade of gray, white, yellow, brown and sometimes even pink.
Black Arkansas (Ultra Fine) Black Arkansas stones are black or blue-black in color. This crypto-crystaline novaculite structure is the most dense and therefore has the properties to achieve the finest polished edge possible.
Dan's Whetstone Company has TRUE HARD, TRANSLUCENT and BLACK stones available in all published sizes and shapes.
Arkansas Stone Grade Table
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