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Thread: Norton Stones?

  1. #1
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    Default Norton Stones?

    Norton sell a set of stones. They are available from Amazon for about $130

    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Norton-Waterstone-Starter-Kit-flattening/dp/B000XK0FMU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337976185&sr=8-1]Norton Waterstone Starter Kit: 220/1000 grit stone, 4000/8000 grit stone, SiC flattening stone: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific[/ame]

    You get 220/1000 grit stone and a 4000/8000 stone. They include a ceramic (I suspect) flattening stone and a DVD.

    Now the price seems so cheap that I wonder if they are any good.

    Are Norton waterstones worth buying. They are listed for sale on the Lie Neilsen web site also.
    My age is still less than my number of posts

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  3. #2
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    Hi Chook,

    You want my honest opinion?

    The #1000 is good. The #4000 is too soft, too coarse and too vulgar. The #8000 is less coarse, less soft and only a little less vulgar. The #220 is not one I've tried, but it's got a very poor reputation.

    Of all the stones I've ever used of all kinds, I feel very sorry for those who bought Norton's on the premise that they are good stones. They do work, they do get stuff sharp(ish) and they're cheap.

    But if something terrible happened and I had to get rid of my sharpening gear, they'd be in the very first cull.

    That's me, not pulling any punches at all. I just got a #4000/8000 combo a week ago and have had the #1000 for a couple years now. Within the first few seconds of using the #4000, the only thing I could think of was "what the ^%#%&^$ is this?!?" The #8000 side didn't alleviate my concerns by very much at all.

    But they're cheap. Although, I think you can do better.

    Stu.
    The Tools from Japan Blog (about Japanese tools and such)
    &
    The Tools from Japan Store.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schtoo View Post
    Hi Chook,

    You want my honest opinion?

    The #1000 is good. The #4000 is too soft, too coarse and too vulgar. The #8000 is less coarse, less soft and only a little less vulgar. The #220 is not one I've tried, but it's got a very poor reputation.

    Of all the stones I've ever used of all kinds, I feel very sorry for those who bought Norton's on the premise that they are good stones. They do work, they do get stuff sharp(ish) and they're cheap.

    But if something terrible happened and I had to get rid of my sharpening gear, they'd be in the very first cull.

    That's me, not pulling any punches at all. I just got a #4000/8000 combo a week ago and have had the #1000 for a couple years now. Within the first few seconds of using the #4000, the only thing I could think of was "what the ^%#%&^$ is this?!?" The #8000 side didn't alleviate my concerns by very much at all.

    But they're cheap. Although, I think you can do better.

    Stu.
    That's what worried me. Sometimes you can get a bargain. But often things are cheap for a reason. I will get something else. Thank you for your advice.
    My age is still less than my number of posts

  5. #4
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    It's unfortunate, and I regret telling too many people "stick with your Norton until you wear it out, then look for something better" because I was doing them a grave disservice. Apparently the razor sharper folk in the US like the Norton, but I can't believe it any more.

    I'll give it another try out soon, but I'm not looking forward to it. Not at all.

    Note; I'm not saying they don't work. I'm not saying they're slow and inefficient. I'm not saying they're utterly useless. What I am saying is that they're not exactly wonderful to use, and they don't compare favourably with other offerings out there.

    I paid something like US$80 for the combo stone I got, I'm glad I did, but I don't think I actually "got my money's worth" because for the same money, I could have had a single #8000 stone that completely outclasses the Norton combo.

    Just my feelings about it, take them as you will. I still think they work well enough and will give a good edge, but they #4000 and #8000 are not the nicest stones I've ever used. Not by a long way.

    Stu.
    The Tools from Japan Blog (about Japanese tools and such)
    &
    The Tools from Japan Store.

  6. #5
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    Is the Carbatec 8000 grit waterstone any good. They want about $125 for one? And what brand is it? There is no point in spending a few dollars for something that is just okay when for a few dollars more you can get something very good.
    My age is still less than my number of posts

  7. #6
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    That #8000 stone at Carbatec is a King, and it's good enough. It's not $125 worth of good I don't think, but it's a popular stone, well regarded and it works well.

    Stu.
    The Tools from Japan Blog (about Japanese tools and such)
    &
    The Tools from Japan Store.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by chook View Post
    Norton sell a set of stones. They are available from Amazon for about $130

    Norton Waterstone Starter Kit: 220/1000 grit stone, 4000/8000 grit stone, SiC flattening stone: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific

    You get 220/1000 grit stone and a 4000/8000 stone. They include a ceramic (I suspect) flattening stone and a DVD.

    Now the price seems so cheap that I wonder if they are any good.

    Are Norton waterstones worth buying. They are listed for sale on the Lie Neilsen web site also.
    Hi Chook

    Stu is probably the wisest head on sharpening media I know. It not just that he goes to the trouble to try and and compare most (all) stones - and he has access to more than anyone I know - but he is insightful in this regard. The trouble is he also sells this stuff and his ethics stop him saying so. He could outfit you with the best in your price range, or he could offer you choices in a few price ranges. And you would get the best bang for your buck.

    I avoid waterstones under 1000 grit. I prefer to grind with a half-speed or Tormek. The cheapest way is a 6" wheel, but a half-speed 8" wheel is better. The Tormek is the best. Alternately, grind on diamond paste or a very durable sandpaper. The low grit waterstones dish very rapdly, and this will cause nothing but grief.

    The next question that needs to be asked is what steel you plan to sharpen. Basic O1/high carbon steel is easy and you can use just about anything. However, as you go up the ladder to harder, more abrasion-resistant steels, then you do need a waterstone that will handle this.

    Technique is also important, as much if not more, since you can get away with a less advanced (less expensive) stone if you hollow grind or add micro secondary bevels, than if you attempt to hone full bevel faces.

    Speak to Stu.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on constructing handtools, handtool reviews, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

  9. #8
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    Gents, how about this stuff about ethics and interests goes into one thread so it does not pervade the various forums.

    For moderators it increases the amount of threads we have to keep an eye on and as a member it begins to affect the normally friendly tone of the forums.

    For the originator of each of the threads it hijacks the thread off-topic.

  10. #9
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    How disappointing is that! I always thought norton waterstones were the bee's knees in woodworking stones! I have a king branded 6000 stone that is as soft as butter. I can jig sharpen chisels with it but free hand I sometimes gouge the stone and knives are a no go. They always gouge out the soft stone. I think I might take Robsons advice on that one and turn it into a strop only stone.
    I know many straight razor sharpeners stand by the norton stones though.

  11. #10
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    Here in North America, Norton has a very good reputation for quality abrasives of many, many kinds.
    All it takes are a few dorks that can't apply themselves to learning to use their stones for sharpening
    to start throwing rocks because of their personal incompetence and foul the waters.

    I have Norton stones that I use for carving seashell and slate/stone. . . another time.

    I expect carving sharp. That is not wood working sharp. Quite frankly, I'd like to have some
    Norton stones. I need to hone a few edges per day. Maybe sharpen something on a stone once a week.
    If you have to sharpen and hone 50 edges per day, why are you fooling around with stones?
    My best is somewhere between 48,000 grit and 50,000 grit.

    Don't forget that the grit sizing system in North America is not the grit sizing system used in Europe and
    it is not the grit sizing system used in Japan, particularly for water stones.
    Which one of these do you Australians use? Pick one so that we can all sing from the same page.

  12. #11
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    "All it takes are a few dorks that can't apply themselves to learning to use their stones for sharpening
    to start throwing rocks because of their personal incompetence and foul the waters."


    In a recent post in the hand tools section of the forum I expressed my opinion that it was likely that some of the criticisms levelled at certain tools was not due to any inherent design fault in the tools but because the tool was not being used in the manner it was designed to beused. I became aware of this when I bought a 12tpi Veritas rip saw and found that it was nearly impossible to use. Of course, I reasoned, the tool must not be made properly. Well I have since discovered that the fault lay with the way I was using it and once I corrected my technique the tool became marvellous to use. I have no experience of Norton water stones (I do have a Norton oil stone) so I cannot make any personal observations about them but I certainly agree that it is possible that any problems people have had with the stones may not lie with the stones at all. This is not to say that every time there is an issue with a tool that the problem lies with the user. There are sure to be some badly made tools about.

    I have a set of Japanese King water stones and I can get a very satisfactory edge on my planes and chisels with them though I am well aware that there are people who do not liek them at all.
    My age is still less than my number of posts

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robson Valley View Post
    Here in North America, Norton has a very good reputation for quality abrasives of many, many kinds.
    All it takes are a few dorks that can't apply themselves to learning to use their stones for sharpening
    to start throwing rocks because of their personal incompetence and foul the waters.

    I have Norton stones that I use for carving seashell and slate/stone. . . another time.

    I expect carving sharp. That is not wood working sharp. Quite frankly, I'd like to have some
    Norton stones. I need to hone a few edges per day. Maybe sharpen something on a stone once a week.
    If you have to sharpen and hone 50 edges per day, why are you fooling around with stones?
    My best is somewhere between 48,000 grit and 50,000 grit.

    Don't forget that the grit sizing system in North America is not the grit sizing system used in Europe and
    it is not the grit sizing system used in Japan, particularly for water stones.
    Which one of these do you Australians use? Pick one so that we can all sing from the same page.
    Umm, would you be referring to me as a 'dork'?

    I find that rather offensive, especially since I've done nothing to directly contravene anything you have written here in this forum, even though there is quite a lot I don't especially agree with.

    I tend to hold off making a judgement on something until I've actually tried it myself and know as well as I can what does and does not work, what is hype and what is good, solid advice. I also try very hard to not poke holes in someone else's methods because I know that what does or does not work for me doesn't always hold true for everyone.

    But now, you start throwing rocks at me based on my 'personal incompetence'. This is not the first time my objectivity has been called into question and probably won't be the last. It is however the first time I've ever been called 'incompetent'.

    Please, enlighten me so that I discover where I might improve my abilities, especially when it comes to these Norton stones I'm not capable of using, and certainly not allowed to make a judgement call on. Please, let me know which other stones I might be able to compare the Norton stones to so that I can get them and make sure that the Norton stones are as good as you tell me they are, because I'm quite obviously mistaken in my assessment of them.



    Chook, I'm very sorry to have mislead you. I suggest you get some Nortons and find out for yourself.



    Stu.

    (Happy birthday to me, huh?)
    The Tools from Japan Blog (about Japanese tools and such)
    &
    The Tools from Japan Store.

  14. #13
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    Not at all.
    Instead it seems that comments from reviews and Facebook get picked out and carried along
    like a self-fulfilling prophecy. The American television series "MYthBusters" seems to
    underscore just how bad it can get.
    Now I read that dried placenta pills will sustain your youth.

    You guys write to find the best gear and get the best results. I hope we win.
    Yours in swarf,

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robson Valley View Post
    Not at all.
    Instead it seems that comments from reviews and Facebook get picked out and carried along
    like a self-fulfilling prophecy. The American television series "MYthBusters" seems to
    underscore just how bad it can get.
    Now I read that dried placenta pills will sustain your youth.

    You guys write to find the best gear and get the best results. I hope we win.
    Yours in swarf,
    RV, I interpreted your post the same way Stu did, and even going back and re-reading in the light of your "Not at all" reply am struggling to see any other way to interpret it. I'm not trying to get into a bunfight here, just pointing out that your post may read differently (to others) to the way you feel it reads.

    Colin

  16. #15
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    You're probably right.
    Cross it off and move on.
    Won't be back for a while.
    Regards

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