We have managed to secure a limited quantity of Chinese 12k (12,000) grit waterstones at a very keen price. This grit rating is very approximate. These are ‘natural’ stones and very hard, much harder than either the Belgian stones or the Naniwa stones offered elsewhere on this site.

These stones offer a budget alternative to the two mentioned above and are ideal for ‘touching-up’ the edge of your straight razor when the strop can’t quite get it back to shave-readiness.

The downside? Well, they are a hard stone so cut slowly - you’ll need about fifty passes minimum. Also, quite a few of them have small chips to the edges - this doesn’t affect their performance and these can be removed with a dressing stone or wet’n’dry paper. Equally, they will probably need to be lapped before use. The usual method is with some wet’n’dry paper and a sheet of glass. This is reflected in the price.

The upside? An excellent finishing stone for anyone on a tight budget or who wishes to dip a toe into the water before committing to a much more expensive hone. I’d rate these as top value for money.

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