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Arkansas Whetstone Grades

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.

What grades of whetstones are there? 

Soft Arkansas (Medium)

This Arkansas Natural Whetstone is the most popular of whetstone grades of novaculite.  It is an all-purpose stone used by woodcarvers, sportsmen, butchers, commercial knife sharpeners and even housewives.  This stone is used by people who desire keen, sharp edge on their knives and tools in a minimum amount of time.  Soft Arkansas stones may be  white, gray and black, or pink and gray in color.

Hard Arkansas (Fine)

 This Arkansas Natural Whetstone grade 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 Whetstones are popular among woodcrafters and a variety of industries including the dental industry.

True Hard Arkansas

(Extra Fine)

This Arkansas Natural Whetstone grade 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 whetstones 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)

These Arkansas Natural Whetstones are also classified 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)

This Arkansas Whetstone grade is black or blue-black in color.  This crypto-crystalline novaculite structure is the most dense and therefore has the properties to achieve the finest polished edge possible.

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