Next week will make 5 months since I've ordered and owned the Norton 4/8K combo stone, and I've learned a lot about this stone and all of the pros and cons of this water stone. Would I buy this specific stone again? Yes and No. Knowing what I know now compared to 5 months ago when I first got the stone is what makes the decision. In terms of comfortable edges, yes I would buy it again because I've been getting some of the best shaves I've ever gotten since I began wet shaving. In terms of practically, No I won't buy this stone. It's own instructions already contradict it because it's a combination stone which is why I won't buy it again. The instructions state that Norton 4K stone and below require 10 minutes of soaking before honing, while the 8K stone/side is a "spray and go" so what do you do, only soak half a stone? Might as well soak the entire stone. Another problem is Longevity because the 4K side of the stone is about gone, while the 8K side does show some wear but is still pretty close to the same size that it was when it arrived here:
If I had the funds and knew that this would occur, I would've bought them separately to get my money's worth out of these stones. That is the ONLY regret I have about this particular stone. The shaves are great once you learn how to use this stone. Now in terms of the 220/1K Combo stone, I was told by many people NOT to buy it because it dishes really bad and it was basically useless. I kindly agree with that because I've already proven that I can kill the edge of ANY razor, and take it all the way to "shave ready" and get a really close and comfortable shave using this stone ONLY along with my simple stropping method. So unless I get a razor that has some serious issues, the 220/1K is useless. So after owning both the Norton 4/8K combo and flattening stone, these particular stones are what I would consider "middle of the road" water stones with some annoying issues. They're decent but there's better stones out there.