As a birthday present to myself, I place an order for a Norton 4/8K combo water stone, on July 3,2015. It was a good solid stone for me at that time and I enjoyed many of great edges on it. But in my humble opinion, it's a beginner's stone for those who are just getting started honing their own blades. But unfortunately ONLY the 8K stone lasts:
Here's why I have to send my straight razors off to be re honed:
^ As you can see, the 4K side of the stone is gone. I was using that side of the stone to set bevels which takes a little while to accomplish but NOT as long as I thought and was told that it would take which is really cool. Would I buy this combo stone again? No because it doesn't last. I don't regret buying it because I learned a lot about this stone and I also learned a lot about setting bevels and what goes into honing a razor using ONLY this specific stone and I learned a lot about myself and my honing capabilities using this stone. Unfortunately using just a 4/8K combo stone isn't enough to remove my beard anymore. In comparison to how tough my beard is now, I went from getting 4 shaves with a Perma-Sharp DE blade in a slant razor which eats DE blades, and only touching up a straight razor every 90 days with this stone. Now I'm doing good to get 3 shaves with the same blade in a mild safety razor, and this Norton 4/8K stone no longer provides a sharp enough edge on my straight razors to give me a quality shave and I'm burning through edges. So basically it's now time for me to upgrade my stones and move on.