1x6 Arkansas Black
The 1x6 Black Arkansas stone, often called “surgical black” is one of the finest grit Arkansas stones. It is used for finish sharpening and leaves a shaving sharp edge. It used to be amongst the final say in sharpness, often in competition with the translucent Arkansas for ultimate edge refinement, but nowadays while it still packs a very respectable punch in many sharpening circles, it is a stone for a very nice work sharp edge (roughly equivalent to 4-8K grit depending on the stone and progression) and as a step for continuing to further refinement.
1" x 6" x 5mm in size and mounted to a steel blank, it is used with water or oil dripped onto the surface before use. Air dry after use if water is used. With oil, you can choose to clean or not between uses.
Abrasive Material: Novaculite
Ideal place in a sharpening progression:
- Starting grit for routine touch ups, sharpening, and light maintenance
- After coarser Arkansas and other Natural stones
- After coarser synthetic sharpening stone grits (1K – 4K grit)
- As a final stone leaving a respectable working sharp edge.
- Before progressing finer synthetic stones, natural stones and strops.
The Arkansas Black sharpening stone works on almost all types of knives, scissors, tools and chisels, including those made with abrasion resistant steels. While the 1x6 size is meant for use with the Edge Pro, Hapstone and TSProf sharpeners, it is also a great size for a slip stone, field stone or a pocket stone for knife repairs and sharpening on the go.
This is an oilstone which can be used with oil or water. This stone can also be used in a mix and match progression of other synthetic and natural sharpening stones, as well with other brands such as Naniwa, Shapton, Suehiro, Imanishi, Spyderco, King, etc. Simply wipe the blade clean before and after switching stone types.
On More Traditional Carbon Steel and Stainless Steel Edges the Arkansas Black works on steels between RC 52 and RC 65 on the Rockwell C Hardness scale. This is a tried and true stone for finishing knives from many kitchen knife makers like Henckels, Wüsthof, Gunter Wilhelm, F Dick, Victorinox, etc. and steels like X50CrMoV15, AUS6, and 440B.
On the higher end of the hardness spectrum of traditional steel edges made with steels like 1095, 440C, 52100, Aogami White, O1, Shirogami Blue, W1, etc., the Arkansas Black really brings out a shiny finish and smooth, yet grainy cutting edge that is ready to use, and clean and prepped for further cleanup by finer grits. Traditionally, this stone is extremely well matched to carbon steels.
On Carbide Forming Steel and More Abrasion Resistant Steel Edges such as D2, M2, S35V, S90V, VG-10, etc., The Black Arkansas stone abrades the matrix steel while leaving the carbides intact making the edge sharp and smooth, yet toothy.
Hacks and Tips:
- Using water keeps the stone slightly more aggressive. Using oil creates a paste that, over time, imparts a slightly finer finish.
- By cleaning the stone of oil between uses, the stone is more aggressive at the start. Keeping the old “seasoned” oil on the stone adds more refinement and more polish.
- Clean loaded stones with warm soapy water
- Eventually, these stones will need to be flattened. The best is a medium or fine grit diamond plate or silicon carbide powders.
Comparable Stones: Arkansas Dota Creek, Arkansas Black Translucent, Arkansas Grey