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Thread: Do you agree with John Juranitch?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    sandpoint Idaho

    Do you agree with John Juranitch?

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    hey guys i was reading an article by John Juranitch where he offers a pretty good argument for not using oil on you arkansas stones. but it is only one opinion and it was written in the 70s. i have a new arkansas stone never had oil on it and i wondered what you guys thought since once i put the oil on it will be a huge pain to remove the oil.

  2. #2
    Use it if you like. I don't but other respected sharpeners do and like the edges the oil gives. I don't agree with John's findings either. His book lacks support but it was not written as a definative work. It was written as a introduction to sharpening. Toward this he did a good job. DM

  3. #3
    WD 40 works well on Arkansas stones. It can be washed off with detergent if you wish, or simply wiped off. Then you can use the stone dry.

  4. #4
    Has anyone actually duplicated his results?

  5. #5
    Yes, I have as far as his sharpening. Not his findings on the oil and floating swarf, damaging the edge. DM

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I rotate my (3) stones in a Norton oil bath. This floats the swarf. Then I squeegee the stones off with a rubber kitchen spatula to remove the dirty oil. The squeegeed oil falls back in the bath, and the heavier bits sink to the bottom leaving the oil relatively clean for the next rinse. The stones at this point are fairly clean, dry, and free of oil as well as lightly lubricated. As you work through the grits (coarse to fine), wipe the blade between stones to avoid contaminating a finer stone with a coarser grit. I use USP (food grade) mineral oil as a lubricant.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Spartanburg, SC
    Nope. My recollection is that he advocates not using oil or water on stones as the floating swarf can damage the edge. I've never had any trouble getting a sharp edge using oil or water on my oil/water stones. The dry pile of dust that piles up on the edge when using dry stones seems like it would do more than whatever is floating in the water/oil.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Upstate, NY
    After reading his chapter re this I don't know what other factors influenced his findings. He says there was a difference in how long his edges lasted with his customers when he used oil - he also was steeling these on a regular and advised his customers to do the same - not sure how any micro dings could have survived multiple steelings. In this case, while his book is excellent on the whole, my own experience with Arkansas (and SiC and AlumOx) stones is that using them without oil will cause one to do a lot of scrubbing to keep the stone clean and deglazed. Oil floats the swarf and keeps it from embedding. Using an oil that's too thick will give poor results, I use the drug store mineral oil and it works great - others have reported good results from baby oil grade mineral oil (slightly lower viscosity). Norton's honing oil is mineral oil - not sure what viscosity. For me it makes a world of difference, improves feedback too (IMHO).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    sandpoint Idaho
    thank you for all the replies!

  10. #10
    I bought his RazorEdge system back in the mid-70's when he sharpened a knife for me at a trade show. I liked the finished result and purchased his device. Over the past 40 years I've had the opportunity to use virtually all the hand held guide devices and the only negative point I can find to Juranitch's is that it wears down the clamp rather quickly. The edges that are produced on his dry stones are fine, and if one uses their own stones of a finer grit, using them dry still produces an excellent edge. NOT as perfect an edge as a Japanese waterstone used wet, but a very serviceable shaving edge.


  11. #11
    I had great results with John's system. But now I prefer the belt grinder and buffer.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Grain Valley, Missouri
    I do very much like his book entitled "The Razor Edge Book Of Sharpening" By John Juranitch. Now I also like the "Complete Sharpening Guide" by Leonard Lee and Ian Kirby's book on Waterstones.

    The Razor Edge Sharpening book did teach me some of the basics that really helped me out. I've used that knowledge combined with what I've learned working with Spyderco's great equipment and I do believe they have some good sharpening strategies as well.

    If anyone knows of a better sharpening book I would certainly like to check it out. Sharpening is a subject I enjoy learning about>> especially with knives and woodworking tools.

    Now as far as his assertion of not using oil or lubricants on sharpening stones I don't fully subscribe to that either. Now the stones in his razor edge kit are aluminum oxide and they are a completely different type of stone than the novaculite that most Arkansas stones are made from. There is a big difference between the natural stones and the man made abrasive stones. They all have different properties and many of them work differently. But overall I do have a lot of respect for John Juranitch and his videos are very informative.

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