One of the most frequent questions we get is about the stones we use with the ViperSharp system. I will give some details here about the stones used in the Vipersharp system. I will therefore detail here the different stones and their purpose, grades and uses.
80 Grit Coarse Stone –This stone is the most coarse currently offered and should be used when extreme reprofiling is needed. If you have damaged a blade or broken the tip then perhaps the 80 grit is a starting point for you. For most knives that are not severely damaged or that do not need restoration the 80 grit is far too aggressive.
220 Grit – This is a good stone to bring an edge to most any knife that needs a bit of work. It is an aggressive stone that will remove a lot of metal but not at the rate of the 80 grit. If mild reprofiling is needed this is a good starting stone. We offer this grit stone in both 5/8″ and 3/4″ width for different preference and blade styles.
Arkansas stones are graded a bit differently than man made stones. They carry a “grade” rather than standard grits. I will give you some grit comparison estimates below so you can have an idea. For many knives the Arkansas stones will do all you need. They are a great stone that is naturally quarried from the ground right here in the USA. The grades on these stones will vary a bit since they are natural stones and the grit you hear will vary depending on who you talk to as well. The primary number shown below is what I received from the quarry. The rest of the explanation is from my research to help give you a better understanding of Natural Arkansas stone grading when related to grits.
Soft Arkansas -Grit equivalent <>400. The soft Arkansas is considered coarse to medium for Arkansas stones. The coarseness is similar to a manmade stone around 400 grit. The range may actually be between 400-800 grit.
Hard Arkansas -Grit equivalent <>800. Hard Arkansas stones are harder than the soft and are considered a fine stone. Their hardness may be between 600-1000 depending on who you talk to.
Black Arkansas -Grit equivalent <>1200. Black Arkansas is considered a fine stone and offers a final pass similar to a 1200 grit man made stone.
We have tried to offer many different stones according to the desires of customers. Many prefer man made stones over the natural Arkansas stones. Others swear by the natural stones. In using the system I have found that the two work well together. There will be other stones of multiple types, grits and materials for the ViperSharp in the future.