Cretan Sharpening and Honing Stones (Turkish Oilstones) - 6 3/4” (170mm) x 2 3/4” (70mm)
The Light gray variety of Cretan stone offered here is of medium hardness and cutting speed and finishes around 8K grit, similar to a coticule edge. This can be further finished with finer stones or used as-is, for razors, knives, woodworking tools, etc.
Note: these are natural stones, sold as cut and lapped by the quarry. This type of stone will sometimes have fracture lines, pores, or other natural defects on the surface. While these will not cause any problem for most uses, for razor honing or other delicate uses the user might choose to lap the surface smoother before use. See the stones on the photos for a representative example. Your stone will be chosen at random from our stock.
Each measure roughly 6 3/4” (170mm) long x 2 3/4” (70mm) wide, (give or take 1/8” (3mm)) and 7/8”(22mm) - 1” (25mm) thick.
Mined on the island of Crete for thousands of years, this truly historic and traditional sharpening stone is again enjoying well-deserved favor among artisans and hobbyists.
Best known as Candia oilstone, Levant oilstone or simply "stone of the East", but also as Turkish or Turkey oilstone because at that time the island was part of the Ottoman empire, it was once the most highly esteemed sharpening stone for use by joiners, cabinetmakers, knife sharpeners and many other professional tradespeople around the world. The stone has also enjoyed widespread acceptance among Greek barbers and is a truly versatile natural stone for the modern straight razor user, knife aficionado or hand tool woodworker.
It is a hard and dense novaculite type stone, with a very high percentage (96-99%) of fine silicon dioxide grains which give it great cutting ability but also the ability to finely hone. Unlike Arkansas stones, it releases grit more easily, exposing sharp particles constantly, making it a much faster option than natural stones.
It can be used with water, with a cutting slurry to speed up the sharpening, and also with oil. Traditionally the stones were submerged in oilve oil for many days, and once it is used with oil it should be used exclusively as an oilstone.
It’s hardness and resistance to dishing mean that knife and tools can have be finely honed with little pressure, but increasing pressure on the steel while sharpening raises the sharpening speed.
For razors where too much pressure should not be used, a cutting slurry with moderate pressure on the blade is excellent for bevel setting, and diluting to clear water with almost no pressure results in a fine edge suitable for shaving after stropping or a finer finishing.