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Natural Whetstone Company

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Eli Chaps, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps

    Apr 20, 2018
    Recently, I decided I wanted to replace a long-ago broken black Arkansas stone. I'd always dealt with Hall's in the past but they retired/sold out and I was all too sure how I felt about the new company so I did some looking around.

    I'm obviously quite familiar with Dan's and the offerings at Sharpening Supplies but in my searching I came across the Natural Whetstone Company. Seemed like a small outfit but with a lot of offerings. I have to admit the prices made me skeptical. They were quite a bit cheaper than what I was seeing elsewhere, like in some cases a LOT cheaper, so I was concerned about the quality of their stones. I did some searching about the company, including here, and didn't come up with much of anything so I said to heck with it and gave them a call precisely to ask about their stone quality.

    The gentleman I spoke with was friendly and confident in their product. Not in a salesman way, just in a matter-of-fact way, so I decided to throw some money down and see what I got.

    Late Thursday night, I ordered an 8x3 Soft/Black combo stone. Friday morning I received an email saying a USPS shipping label had been created. But then, I didn't get any updates after that. Not even anything saying it had arrived at a post office for processing.

    Well, that must've been the postal service's issue because by Monday afternoon I had my stone. That's from Arkansas to Washington state in four days!

    The product is excellent as well. The black stone is at least as good as the older, smaller ones I have around here from Hall's and one from a long time ago from who knows where.

    At any rate, my experience was very positive and I will be doing business with them again. I don't know if others have had similar or maybe even worse experiences but wanted to share mine.

    I have zero affiliation with them and also hope this isn't in the wrong place or anything.
  2. Blues

    Blues Lapsed SuperMod / Cattle Knife Rustler Staff Member Super Mod

    Oct 2, 1998
    I remember reading for years that the best Arkansas stones were all mined out and wondered about the quality of the (Novaculite) offerings over the past decade or more. (The only ones I own are very inexpensive ones purchased from Ragweed Forge years ago.)

    I'm kind of enjoying the resurgence of discussion about Crystolon, India and Arkansas stones.
    FortyTwoBlades likes this.
  3. jc57

    jc57 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 2012
    I bought a combo soft-hard 8" bench stone and a couple of smaller pocket stones from them. I suggest checking for flatness. One side is flat, the other is oddly warped on a diagonal. Not something that would be easy to lap out without a powered diamond lapping plate.

    Came in a nice wooden box. I am pretty sure from looking at the pics that the non-branded Arkies that Sharpening Supplies sells come from them.
  4. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps

    Apr 20, 2018
    Ya know I remember reading the same thing, that novaculite was basically all gone and shisters were using bonded particles and such and I admit it lent to my apprehension. I even asked the gentleman I talked to about that and he laughed and assured me that their stones are 100% solid pieces. I suspect the real story is more like that all the claims to them are secured.

    I've been using Arkansas stones since I was a kid, so like 40+ years. I know they aren't vogue any more but they work and they give an edge unlike anything else I've used. Not saying it is better, just different and I love it. I know all about the discussions about carbides and hardness and all that but I still love my natural Arkansas stones.
  5. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps

    Apr 20, 2018
    That was my other big concern. Mine is flat to the eye on both sides. I reckon I could take it to work and really give it a good check but I think it is good.
  6. jc57

    jc57 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 2012
    @Eli Chaps Mine is obviously out of flat on the one side, but it's like in a consistent wave. Really doesn't seem to affect me using it with smaller knives. Still, not that happy with it overall and would probably go to Dan's if I wanted another Arkie at this point.
  7. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps

    Apr 20, 2018
    Thanks and that is good to know. Just in the FWIW category, the guy I talked to said they lap all their stones at 80grit. That doesn't mean much more than they lap I reckon.
    jc57 likes this.

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