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Review Baryonyx Stones

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Beansandcarrots, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. Beansandcarrots

    Beansandcarrots

    377
    Apr 15, 2014
    [​IMG]
    I bought these stones a long time ago and finally have a review for you.

    When I first got these stones, I have to admit I was a little disappointed.

    I sharpened several knives and felt that the pressure required to successfully grind metal was too high. I wound up with sore wrists; I come from typical Japanese waterstones, some of which require a featherlight pass, lest you gouge the stone.

    Despite being disappointed I was reluctant to review the stones, because I didn’t feel they were bad stones and did not want to give a negative review. I felt like they had so much potential, and I just needed to find a way to squeeze it out of them.

    And then it hit me.

    I grabbed the Manticore and rounded off the corners of the Mutt, Arctic Fox, and the Ptarmigan.

    As a Japanese waterstone user, I felt I was never able to purchase recurve blades, despite how awesome some of them look (like the Kizer Uprising below) simply because I’d be unable to sharpen them.

    But these Baryonyx stones are hard enough that I can use my newly rounded corners to effectively and rapidly grind metal without any concern for gouging the stone.

    Starting with the Mutt, it was time to reset the bevel:
    [​IMG]
    (I couldn't get any decent shots of my edge bevels because the lighting in my sharpening location is terrible for photos)

    Many people complained that the Mutt’s binding was too hard. The woeful issue is that, due to the Mutt’s randomized composition, the strength of the binder is non-negotiable. It must be that strong. However, with a rounded corner, the point of contact is very small, effectively turning the pressure way up. This allows you to use a comfortable amount of pressure while also grinding effectively. The stone was then able to refresh itself and cut at it's maximum rate the entire time, making this $7.50 stone one of the fastest reprofilers I have.

    [​IMG]

    After that, it was time to clean up the bevel on the Arctic Fox. Pressure required here was minimal. After a few passes, we had a good looking edge. I switched sides several times and swiped extremely lightly to debur. Utilizing the minimized contact point, I freakin' love this stone. It's, like, the perfect maintenance stone: freshen up the bevel with this bad boy, then slap a microbevel on the apex with ceramic hone.
    [​IMG]
    You can see the swarf generated along the contact line. With the miniscule contact surface, the stone never had issues loading, and it refreshed itself effectively, again allowing for maximum cutting rate. This stone is softer than the Mutt, but there were no worries about gouging the stone.

    Finally, it was time to engage the Ptarmigan. Again, pressure required was light, yet I still had no concerns about gouging the stone. This put a nice matte finish on the edge.
    [​IMG]
    This is another great stone that behaved similarly to the Fox: enjoyable feedback, softer than the Mutt, but still very hard--no concerns for gouging, fast cutting, no loading. Overall, the performance of this stone was excellent.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The end result after this stone was a nice high matte finish that looks along the lines of a smooth 1k to 1500 grit edge.

    Time to finish up on the dowel strop! Hockey tape and green compound cleaned up our apex and as you can see I was able to slice phonebook paper with no issue.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I feel like I finally found the right place for the Baryonyx stones in my collection. As a freehand sharpener, I now have a solution for recurve blades that I find very satisfying. In their new role, I feel I can reap the full potential of these excellent stones.

    [​IMG]

    Bonus recurve solution: the Bull Thistle and that ceramic rod you see there have also provided excellent results, and are incredibly cheap. The Bull Thistle, again due to the high relative pressure from using a curved surface, is wicked fast and will slap a full reprofile on virtually any steel you want. Have I tried Maxamet? No, but with these stones, I wouldn't be afraid to.
     
    StrayRound, lex2006, 4mer_FMF and 3 others like this.
  2. Coyja

    Coyja Gold Member Gold Member

    629
    Nov 7, 2009
    Interesting review.
    I've got the double sided Arctic Fox field stone and a Mutt arriving tomorrow.
    Can't wait to give them a try.
     
  3. Beansandcarrots

    Beansandcarrots

    377
    Apr 15, 2014
    Please post your thoughts!

    I have little doubt you'll like them. I will say, spend some time on the Mutt and do a number of knives on it, because at first, I was blown away by the speed, but as the surface dulled and failed to refresh itself it rapidly slowed down on me... until this review, that is.
     
    Coyja likes this.
  4. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    I have the Artic Fox set a bench field and scythe stone and a manticore bench and they are great for the price hard to beat ...

    I use them in the field or for a starter on blades people give me that they have let become crazy dull and they do cut fast and the stones hold up well ...

    I'm sure I will be ordering a couple replacements soon ... I have much more expensive stones and I love those also but use them differently ... glad to hear you like these ... as I said for the cost what you get is a great value ... and the scythe stone is perfect for recurves ... use them on my bigger blades often.

    I may have to try the Mutt and the Ptarmigan when they are back in stock.
     
    Beansandcarrots likes this.
  5. Coyja

    Coyja Gold Member Gold Member

    629
    Nov 7, 2009
    So... just opened up the package. How concerned do I need to be about this pothole in the Arctic Fox Field stone?
    (Packaged fine, no damage, no pieces of stone in the box or anything...)
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Beansandcarrots

    Beansandcarrots

    377
    Apr 15, 2014
    Nah, man, I think you should be just fine. Looks like an imperfection during manufacture. If your blade catches in there while you're sharpening, you could just lap it away though
     
  7. Coyja

    Coyja Gold Member Gold Member

    629
    Nov 7, 2009
    Lap it away? Sorry for the ignorance but the only stones I’ve used so far (with good success fwiw) are the small Fallknivens.

    Just seems antithetical to have a sharpening stone arrive new with a pit like this in it, but I am admittedly somewhat of a newb to this.

    I did drop Baryonyx a note to see what he thinks on this. Didn’t want to try it out until I heard back first...
     
  8. Beansandcarrots

    Beansandcarrots

    377
    Apr 15, 2014
    For sure, so eventually the stone will wear unevenly after many sharpenings. This will leave you with a surface that is not optimal for sharpening. Forgiving as surface irregularity may be on curved edges, it is still always ideal to have as flat a stone as possible.

    Ergo you'll need to lap it flat every once in a while to ensure optimal performance.

    This is done extremely easily on either a concrete slab, your sidewalk, a cinder block, sandpaper on glass or other flat surface, or by using dedicated stone flattening utensils like diamond plates. As amazing as I can personally say the DMT Diaflat 95 is for flattening stones, if you want to save money, I have also successfully flattened stones rapidly with nothing but a sheet of glass and silicon carbide powder.

    Again, I don't think that pit will cause you any issue at all, but if it really bugs you, you could grind that surface away until it is completely gone. It just looks like a little air bubble or something from the kiln--I am not sure. But I don't think lapping it away will be worth the loss of the rest of the stone surface, not that I think you will use that stone up either way. I think that would take an extremely long time.
     
    Coyja likes this.
  9. Coyja

    Coyja Gold Member Gold Member

    629
    Nov 7, 2009
    Makes sense, thanks for the detailed response!

    I’ve got some moras I’m itching to try on this Mutt asap...
     
    Beansandcarrots likes this.
  10. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    @Coyja -- It's a small surface defect, and if I'd noticed it I would have sent a different one. However, because it's along the edge, it should quickly wear off and is highly unlikely to catch a tip. If you have any trouble with it, let me know. I didn't receive any message from you that I can see. Just make sure it's sent to the email address shown on our website and it'll go right to my inbox.

    I actually find the remarks about the Arctic Fox and Ptarmigan stones as being really hard a bit surprising, as they're much softer than conventional India stones and similar, though certainly harder than the almost mealy/sludgy softness that some water stones have. The American Mutt is definitely a hard stone, but the ones from the second run onward were done at a 90% press rate that resulted in a bond that does readily shed grit under firm pressure. If used with lighter pressure, you'd want to use oil as a lubricant instead to save wear on the abrasive, but if you just put your body weight into it it shouldn't strain your wrists like pushing from the forearms/elbows will. It's like you're leaning on the stone a little bit. Do that and you should get proper wear. But certainly, using the edges rounded off is a good way to increase the contact pressure and cause the grit to shed as it should. :)
     
  11. CasePeanut

    CasePeanut Basic Member Basic Member

    105
    May 25, 2018
    @FortyTwoBlades I'm eager to try this stones. Will put in an order tonight. Do you recommend oil or water?
     
  12. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Either works fine. I use water so that I may use the stone at varying degrees of wetness. But oil is more lubricating, and so allows for lighter pressure with less wear to the stone. It's also useful for sharpening tools covered in pitch because pitch is oil soluble, so axes and machetes used on conifers may benefit from an oiled stone.
     
    CasePeanut, Blues and lex2006 like this.
  13. CasePeanut

    CasePeanut Basic Member Basic Member

    105
    May 25, 2018
    Thanks!
     
    FortyTwoBlades likes this.

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