Cretan Sharpening and Honing Stone GRAY 6 3/4” (170mm) x 2 3/4” (70mm)
The Gray variety of Cretan stone offered here is of medium hardness and cutting speed and finishes around 8K grit.
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 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, 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 any other stone even when compared to man-made ones, since the whole composition of the stone is cutting particles, not fillers, binders and clays
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.
Also available are Cretan rubbing / conditioning stones, for purchase here.
These are hand mined, natural stones, and as such the color, size and shape will vary slightly from stone to stone.