What are Natural Whetstones and Their Advantages?
What is a natural whetstone?
Whetstones are stone used to sharpen, hone, and polish different surfaces such as wood, metal, rock, etc. Therefore, natural whetstones are those that occur in formulations that are useful for coarse, medium or fine level sanding. They have been around since the days of early man. However, the stones are currently receiving significant competition from artificially-made sharpening stones.
What are the advantages of natural whetstones
They are natural, cultural assets, sought after for their abrasive qualities
Natural whetstones have been quiet phenomenal both in the domestic, manufacturing, and technological spaces. People use natural whetstones to sharpen and hone their metallic tools for various tasks for centuries.
Therefore, they are also quite handy to carpenters, farmers, and other professionals who use saws, chisels, etc. You can also use them on kitchen cutlery like knives and hunting weapons like machetes. Razor sharpeners such as barbers also became collectors of various grades of whetstones from coarse to medium and fine grit so they could keep their cutt throat razors shaving sharp and smooth.
Natural Whetstones Are excellent for beginners and experts alike, looking to get great results and mastered their craft.
A beginner will always want to use the cheap and readily available resources—provided they achieve what they want to do. If you simply need to do bare bones sharpening and cannot afford to spend any money you can use a brick, a piece of sand stone, the edge of a car window, sand paper ect. However these options definitely leave a lot of room for improvement and are less than desirable. They work in a pinch, but a good Jasper or Jade whetstone will give you far better results.
Hobbyist sharpeners and professionals consider natural whetstones as a way to add value to their work as well as solve pain and problems caused by dull tools.
Professionals seeking the finest finish find they are adding value to their services by using fine sharpening stones. These tools make your knife edges last longer, stay sharper and become more aesthetically pleasing. Therefore, they go for the tools that adequately serve that specific purpose. Natural Whetstones are so popular because they can do a very fine level of polishing work, and produce a mirror like edge that is razor sharp. The finer the scratch pattern your abrasive makes, the tighter together the apex of your edge.
Natural Whetstones becoming scarce is actually what first led to man made sharpening stones. Natural stones selected for fineness and purity as well as hardness and density are more precise when it comes to polishing finely. Man made particles can be made 20,000 - 30,000 grit but they often still leave a toothy liner scratch pattern, where natural stone often leaves a more hazy finely polished appearance that is reflective and scintillates in sunlight. Straight razor shavers often find that natural finishing stones provide a more comfortable edge. Professional knife sharpeners also find that natural whetstones more clearly distinguish between the cladding and the core when sharpening knives and seeking to achieve a beautiful polish.
Typically, these stones are more expensive than artificial ones because they are limited in supply. However with my treasure hunting efforts I have located enough jasper to cut for quite a while, and will continue to supply these stones for a very fair price for as long as I can.
Natural Whetstones are authentic products, no heat treatments or artificial colors
Natural whetstones are unique and synthetic manufacturers cannot find a way of recreating the same effects in their industries.
Even though sometimes they create pseudo products, for instance, diamonds, you can tell from a careful inspection if you know how the natural material looks on the bevel scratch pattern, vs a rougher whetstone's scratches. Diamond compounds do come in very fine pastes and can be used for achieving very fine mirror like polishes, but they do take many stages to achieve this effect. On top of this these abrasives are consumable, where as a brick of natural sharpening stone is extremely densely packed and will not wear away nearly as fast as a spray bottle of diamond compound or CBN
Help grow the local industry
In most cases, these natural resources are excavated by local investors and professionals. For instance, this is what I do at Wild Whetstones. Supporting the local industry through these natural products goes a long way in improving the global economy. New ventures and opportunities are created along the way. Here at Natural Whetstone Sharpening all of our stones are extracted without the use of heavy machinery and in a very environmentally conscious way.