I normally do NOT like making permanent decisions like this mainly because I like to make sure everything gets a fair chance. But in this case, I've given too much of a fair chance and have decided to go with strictly Shapton water stones. So these 2 stones are on borrowed time. Once I get the other stones that I want, these will be retired and put into storage:
First my Soft Arkansas oil stone. While I love the high polished edge it produces and the fact that it costs almost nothing, it cuts too slow. It's nearly a 4 to 1 ratio in terms of cutting speed compared to water stones. And if you saw my earlier post, you will know that I have to buy more 3 in One oil to restock what I lost from that leaky oil can earlier. If these cut faster than they do, I would have already had an entire set by now:
Next on the list is this piece of crap known as the Norton 4/8K combo stone or what's left of it. 1st problem is that it dishes really bad and has to be flattened and/or lapped after every use. And if I'm going to pay $88 dollars for something, I want it to last. This is basically a once a year stone and even though they have a full sized version of all 4 grits, I wouldn't buy any of them again:
So why Shapton? Shapton has 2 varieties of water stones and both are fast cutters from what I've seen so far and both leave clean and highly polished edges. And they have the highest grit rating in the industry which my beard requires now. 8K is no longer enough by itself for me to remove my beard without having to make 3 passes and that's after doing 3 honing sessions on the 8K. So I will be going with Shapton instead.