Natural stones for sharpening knives: Norton and Arkansas stones
The most popular natural stones for sharpening knives are the Arkansas stone and the American-made Norton sharpening stone, as well as Japanese knife sharpening stones. The Arkansas stone is a special fine-grained quartz consisting of fused crystalline grains 1-6 microns in size. If you decide to buy Arkansas, keep in mind that it does not have the abrasive scales used for synthetic materials. Soft Arkansas is used in the initial stages of sharpening, the Hard Arkansas and Black Arkansas varieties in the later stages. Translucent Arkansas is the finest of the entire line of stones and works very finely.
The Norton sharpening stones, also made of fine quartz, are considered the best for sharpening cutting tools. Norton Soft Arkansas is designed for the basic sharpening of cutting tools, Norton Hard Translucent Arkansas is for finishing sharpening or fine finishing. The main difference of Norton Arkansas Hard Oilstone from Japanese water stones is that no slurry is formed on the surface of the stone, the sharpening takes place on the surface of the stone. Oil is used as a lubricant when working with these stones. Water may also be used, but oil may not be used afterwards. The Norton Hard Translucent stones allow perfect polishing of the edge, although it takes quite a long time.