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Arkansas stone (Arkansas) is considered one of the best natural stones for sharpening cutting tools. It is sharpening in Arkansas that gives the knife that unique cut that cannot be confused with anything else and which cannot be achieved by anything other than Arkansas itself. Sharpening on Arkansas stones allows you to get a set of incompatible on the same cutting edge properties - high cutting aggression and excellent resistance to blunting. Dan's Whetstone (which both mines the rock to make Arkansas stones and manufactures whetstones) classifies Arkansas stones based on their appearance and abrasive ability into: Soft Arkansas, Hard Arkansas, Black Arkansas, TruHard Arkansas, and Translucent Arkansas. In addition, there are Washita stones, which are also a variety of Arkansas stone, but their abrasive ability does not depend on how the stone looks, so testing each bar for rock density and abrasive ability is necessary to determine the properties of the stone.

Arkansas is unique not only as a stone for sharpening, but also as a natural mineral in principle. This is one of the purest quartz rocks with a silicon dioxide content of 99.5%, which is purer than rock crystal in terms of impurities. In addition to silicon dioxide or quartz-Arkansas stone, they contain a small amount of aluminum (0.02%), boron (0.0005%), calcium (0.03%), magnesium (0.05%) and manganese (0.0007%).

Structurally, Arkansas is a crystalline silica (fine-grained quartz) consisting of intergrown crystalline grains, generally 10 to 6 microns in size, with very strong bonds between the grains. In rare cases, the grain size is smaller, up to 1 micron. Moreover, the grains of the rock, which is also called novaculite, are placed so tightly, and their sizes are so close to each other, that when sharpening, almost every abrasive particle touches the metal being processed and works. This creates that unique effect of sharpening in Arkansas. Due to the specificity of the abrasive grains of silicon dioxide, the scratches that remain on the metal are shallow, but very frequent, so the abrasive ability of Arkansas depends not so much on the size of the grain in the rock, but on the density of the rock.

Soft Arkansas is a predominantly white stone, sometimes with veins. In sharpening, it is used as a sharpening stone. The equivalent abrasive capacity for comparison with synthetic sharpening stones is about 500-750 grit according to the JIS classification.

Hard Arkansas is a stone that has a more varied coloration than Soft Arkansas. Hard Arkansas can range in color from pure white to dark gray, and have both a uniform color and many color blotches in the form of lighter or darker stripes and dots. In sharpening it is used as a finishing sharpening stone. Equivalent abrasive ability compared to synthetic sharpening stones is about 1500-2000 JIS grit.

Translucent, Black, and Tru Hard Arkansas are Arkansas finishing stones that have an abrasive equivalent of about 3000-6000 JIS grit compared to synthetic sharpening stones. Translucent Arkansas is a white stone that transmits light if, for example, a beam from a flashlight is directed at it. Black Arkansas is a black stone, it can rarely also transmit light, in which case the rock is often called Hard Black Translucent Arkansas. TruHard Arkansas is a transitional breed between Translucent Arkansas and BlackArkansas which is of the same density but can be both clear and black in appearance, as well as white milky opaque blotches, yellow, brown, etc.

The recommended cutting fluid for all types of Varkansas stones is oil or water. Stones work much thinner with oil.


Country of Origin USA
Manufacturer Dan's Whetstone Company, Inc.
Material Novaculite
Surface size 152x22x6mm
Form dimensions 161x22x3m (dovetail)
Weight 80 grams
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