Cretan stone

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Thpp9

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Hello,

I've seen a thread about a Cretan oilstone on BST and it piqued my interest. I am from Greece so I can get my hands on a Cretan stone pretty easily and for a really good price.

Here is a link to the stone I am talking about:


What's your experience with the stone? Will it be any good for kitchen knives? I've heard it's pretty hard so kasumi finish might be a stretch, but I would like to hear your thoughts if you have actually tried pulling it off.

Thanks in advance,
Thodoris
 

KingShapton

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Search function is your friend, you will find a lot of Infos here. Search also for "Turkish Oilstone" and take a look at @cotedupy 's threads...

But I can already tell you one thing... these stones are good!
 
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cotedupy

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Definitely get one! Get more than one. Get ten. They are amazing.

The Cretan stone was known for a long time as the famous Turkish Oilstone / Turkey Stone, and was regarded for most of the last 2000 years as the very best sharpening stone in the world. It still has a pretty strong claim to that IMO.

They are hard, but are more friable than other novaculites, so uniquely among them they can actually bevel polish. Particularly good for erasing jigane scratches and putting a nice haze on, though you won't get a super bright core. Still it's pretty nice: The Washita Thread

I prefer them with oil, though tbh I've only tried very briefly with water. I'd be interested to know whether you can also get a nice bevel finish with water @KingShapton ...?

Here's some history: The Turkish Oilstone Matter

(Since writing those initial posts I've found a few more old Turkish stones, as well as some more historical evidence, including something from 1902 that explicitly states Crete as a source for Turkey Stones. I'd be 110% that the Cretan stone is the Turkish Oilstone).
 

spaceconvoy

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Wish I could order by size instead of weight... any ideas what weight would correspond to a typical 21x7cm water stone?

edit: I sent them an email and will report back if I get a response
 
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cotedupy

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Wish I could order by size instead of weight... any ideas what weight would correspond to a typical 21x7cm water stone?

edit: I sent them an email and will report back if I get a response

If it helps - the average SG of Turkish and Cretan stones seems to be about 2.62 - 2.63

My Cretan is: 172 x 70 x 26 and 824g.
 

KingShapton

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Because you live in Greece you have a huge advantage🙂...seriously, as far as I know these stones are really cheap to get in Greece.

@cotedupy is absolutely right, don't buy one, buy several and try them all. Try them with water, try them with oil and compare multiple stones. They are natural stones, which means every stone is different, there are good, bad and outstanding stones.

With your "home advantage" you can try and choose one (or more) really good stones. If I were in Greece I would do it like this!

One word of advice - from what I know about these stones you will probably need to flatten them in most cases before you can actually use them.
 

KingShapton

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I prefer them with oil, though tbh I've only tried very briefly with water. I'd be interested to know whether you can also get a nice bevel finish with water @KingShapton ...?
That works too, although I have to admit that your results with oil look a little better than my results with water.

But don't forget that I don't really care about polish or kasumi...my main focus is on sharpening.

Unfortunately I can't take a picture of my attempts right now. I hadn't done any and unfortunately I have to take a break from sharpening again at the moment... @cotedupy you know the reason, unfortunately it's the same as last year,☹

At the moment I'm happy if I can sharpen a pocket knife from time to time and not have to regret it afterwards. I hope that changes soon!!
 
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Thpp9

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Thank you very much for your responses! It definitely seems like an interesting stone and I will definitely add it to my collection. As mentioned above, I have a "home advantage". It would be a waste if I don't experience it myself. Hopefully I grab one soon. I will update with my experience when I get my hands on one!

Thanks again for your input!
 

spaceconvoy

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My Cretan is: 172 x 70 x 26 and 824g.
They got back to me very quickly, I'm the lazy one, just so we're clear. They said:

"There is a stone in the dimension 18cm long, 7.5 cm wide and 3 cm thick and the weight is 1130 gr"
 

cotedupy

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They got back to me very quickly, I'm the lazy one, just so we're clear. They said:

"There is a stone in the dimension 18cm long, 7.5 cm wide and 3 cm thick and the weight is 1130 gr"

Ah cool! That sounds a good option I'd have thought. I think @Desert Rat was looking for one too, perhaps you could guys could ship together and then send on, to save on international postage costs (?)

What website was this btw? Occasionally people ask me about wanting to buy them, so it'd be good to know an EU vendor that will ship to the states so I can recommend...
 

cotedupy

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Thank you very much for your responses! It definitely seems like an interesting stone and I will definitely add it to my collection. As mentioned above, I have a "home advantage". It would be a waste if I don't experience it myself. Hopefully I grab one soon. I will update with my experience when I get my hands on one!

Thanks again for your input!

Look forward to hearing your thoughts! I am sure you will like - quite apart from being from your home country, they are just one of the very best whetstones ever quarried anywhere.

And given how cheap they domestically - it might be worth getting a couple as KS said above. You could have one with oil and one with water if you wanted. I get the impression that quality control is probably a fair bit higher now than it was for old 'Turkish' stones, so I doubt you'd get a dud to be honest. There just might be a bit of variation in terms of 'grit' level. I only have one of the modern Cretan stones atm but another is on the way to me, and if I lived in Greece I'd probably have at least five!
 

spaceconvoy

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Ah cool! That sounds a good option I'd have thought. I think @Desert Rat was looking for one too, perhaps you could guys could ship together and then send on, to save on international postage costs (?)

What website was this btw? Occasionally people ask me about wanting to buy them, so it'd be good to know an EU vendor that will ship to the states so I can recommend...
The one linked in the first post here (cretanknives.gr) though the stone options disappeared on me today. Yesterday there were a dozen different weights to choose from but now they're gone, in my browser at least. I tried checking out with a random synthetic stone and shipping to the US was €50 😬 plus I just filled up on gas today and feeling like maybe I don't need a new stone right now... Nice that they were very responsive and willing to pick out the closest stone to the size I requested, so maybe in the future I'll try them again.
 

KingShapton

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@Thpp9: Since you can get the stones very cheaply, it might also be an idea to buy a small stone as a Nagura. At least if you use one of the stones with water... You might also condition the surface of the stone in this way....might be worth a try too?!
 

cotedupy

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Oh dear! Maybe you've reminded them to go check and see if they have any stock... options don't come up for me either any more. And yeah shipping from EU to America can be a killer (weirdly it's much, much cheaper from Aus). Though even with that it still might have about the same as Griffiths were selling for, which was $90 + shipping for slightly smaller stones.

TBH I don't know if and when the Cretan stones will be made again, though OP will know more about their current availability in Greece. It's my understanding that the stones were cut kind of as a special request, and would probably represent less than 0.01% of the same stone sold by that company (owned by the Perakis family). The very large majority of it is sold either raw or powdered for use in ceramic manufacture I believe. Though there may well be other companies on Crete who sell the same and also cut sharpening stones.
 

Skylar303

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Definitely get one! Get more than one. Get ten. They are amazing.

The Cretan stone was known for a long time as the famous Turkish Oilstone / Turkey Stone, and was regarded for most of the last 2000 years as the very best sharpening stone in the world. It still has a pretty strong claim to that IMO.

They are hard, but are more friable than other novaculites, so uniquely among them they can actually bevel polish. Particularly good for erasing jigane scratches and putting a nice haze on, though you won't get a super bright core. Still it's pretty nice: The Washita Thread

I prefer them with oil, though tbh I've only tried very briefly with water. I'd be interested to know whether you can also get a nice bevel finish with water @KingShapton ...?

Here's some history: The Turkish Oilstone Matter

(Since writing those initial posts I've found a few more old Turkish stones, as well as some more historical evidence, including something from 1902 that explicitly states Crete as a source for Turkey Stones. I'd be 110% that the Cretan stone is the Turkish Oilstone).
That's what I've concluded as well. 👍 There's quite a bit of wishy washy info between names. You probably read the same but "Turkish oilstone/Turkey oilstone was believed was the name given to the Cretan's that were shipped to the EU markets and sold under that name.
 
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To all who were speaking of Cretan stones, the website listed above by: Thpp9 of cretanknives has just recently updated the options list and have a full array from 200g all the way up to 4000g+.
shipping to US is $$$. I put an order in for 2 medium size and a mini for possibly slurry.
All in 170€.
Will update when arrive.

cheers
 

Skylar303

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To all who were speaking of Cretan stones, the website listed above by: Thpp9 of cretanknives has just recently updated the options list and have a full array from 200g all the way up to 4000g+.
shipping to US is $$$. I put an order in for 2 medium size and a mini for possibly slurry.
All in 170€.
Will update when arrive.

cheers
Interested to see what they look like, if there's much variation between. Although most I've seen are pretty similar. I'm sure you'll like them. 👍
 

spaceconvoy

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Just got my brick from Cretan Knives (~33 x 73 x 177mm, 1130g). Great service and overall price, €106 with shipping and wire transfer fees. It was hard to stomach the shipping cost being more than the stone, but in the big picture it feels like a bargain.

Have to say the stone was a few mm undersized from their quote, rounded up to the nearest 5mm, in case anyone is fussy about those things like me. Also it's not particularly flat, with over a half mm of deviation across both surfaces, both humped in the middle. That whiteish patch on the upper left corner is surface roughness where it's too low to flatten, not a color variation.

This is my first oil stone, so I don't want to say too much, but initial impressions are very good. It was slower than I expected from cotedupy's description, but I was only using soap and water. Definitely want to see how it improves with oil, but first I want to glue it to a base to alleviate my long-term fracturing/cleavage fears.

Still feels a lot faster than my Japanese naturals, and I was able to touch up a neglected Shun that had some veeeery small micro chips. It was more work than I'd prefer to do usually but I wanted to see how it performed. Seems like it will make a great touch-up stone.

The grit range looks wider than most of my Jnats, judging by the scratch pattern compared to how keen the edge feels, and feels most similar to my Aoto. I wasn't sure about deburring stainless on novaculite, but it worked. A little more difficult than my favorite Jnats, but I'm probably just not used to it yet. The coolest part was the feedback. It's so dense and resonant that you can feel every bit of remaining burr and exactly where it is on the edge.

Very interesting stone, and I suspect I'll be happy to have picked one up while they're available.
 
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View attachment 172410 View attachment 172413

Just got my brick from Cretan Knives (~33 x 73 x 177mm, 1130g). Great service and overall price, €106 with shipping and wire transfer fees. It was hard to stomach the shipping cost being more than the stone, but in the big picture it feels like a bargain.

Have to say the stone was a few mm undersized from their quote, rounded up to the nearest 5mm, in case anyone is fussy about those things like me. Also it's not particularly flat, with over a half mm of deviation across both surfaces, both humped in the middle. That whiteish patch on the upper left corner is surface roughness where it's too low to flatten, not a color variation.

This is my first oil stone, so I don't want to say too much, but initial impressions are very good. It was slower than I expected from cotedupy's description, but I was only using soap and water. Definitely want to see how it improves with oil, but first I want to glue it to a base to alleviate my long-term fracturing/cleavage fears.

Still feels a lot faster than my Japanese naturals, and I was able to touch up a neglected Shun that had some veeeery small micro chips. It was more work than I'd prefer to do usually but I wanted to see how it performed. Seems like it will make a great touch-up stone.

The grit range looks wider than most of my Jnats, judging by the scratch pattern compared to how keen the edge feels, and feels most similar to my Aoto. I wasn't sure about deburring stainless on novaculite, but it worked. A little more difficult than my favorite Jnats, but I'm probably just not used to it yet. The coolest part was the feedback. It's so dense and resonant that you can feel every bit of remaining burr and exactly where it is on the edge.

Very interesting stone, and I suspect I'll be happy to have picked one up while they're available.

That's a cool looking stone nice size too. I would try with water first see how it sharpens.

You could go to oil later. But once it's used as oil stone no going back. What was price is that Turkish lira? How does 106 translate to dollar?
 
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My experience is with those rotating tri stones used in some pro kitchens. The bottom stone would sit in oil bath. Had one at culinary school someone tried to take oil out & use water it was a total mess. I got them into buying their own king stones discount at Cherry Japanese Imports in Honolulu. Used oil slip stones Arkansas to sharpen Ice carving chisels carried little can of oil in chisel bag. For kitchen knives water is clean as are your stones.

Admit I've never even thought of taking oil stone to water esp. if stone is saturated with oil.
 

KingShapton

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My experience is with those rotating tri stones used in some pro kitchens. The bottom stone would sit in oil bath. Had one at culinary school someone tried to take oil out & use water it was a total mess. I got them into buying their own king stones discount at Cherry Japanese Imports in Honolulu. Used oil slip stones Arkansas to sharpen Ice carving chisels carried little can of oil in chisel bag. For kitchen knives water is clean as are your stones.

Admit I've never even thought of taking oil stone to water esp. if stone is saturated with oil.
Using Saturated Oil Stones with water is easy, with the right degreaser. I already said in another thread that I could kick myself in the butt that I was too lazy to buy Simple Green. It would have saved me a lot of work and unsuccessful attempts in the past.

But I completely agree with you, water is the clean solution for kitchen knives - I also resisted using oil stones for kitchen knives for a long time. Today I don't see a problem there anymore, you just have to be a bit careful if you have a progression with a mixture of oil and water stones so as not to contaminate the water stones with oil.

But other than that, man I love my oil stones!

The Cretan stone is an exception for me, it works with water or oil without any problems - both have their advantages and disadvantages. I would never use an Arkansas or Washita (my favorites!) with water.
 
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I hear you sharpening V chisels & gouges is a pleasure with oil. My old man used Arkansas oil stones for his wood tools building models for wind tunnels at NACA that later became NASA.

Visit from Hawaii told him about Japanese waterstones. Gave him a waterstone & showed him technique for kitchen knives. He gave me walnut wood & enough chisels to carve with. I sent carvings back to family. Also did some Hawaiian open ocean sailing catamarans that I sold. Here's one with couple buccaneers in high seas.
IMG_20210107_173653941.jpg


Later after retired he bought Japanese carbon lathe tools sharpened with Waterstones. He was turning beautiful bowls into his 90's.

When he died got rest of his chisels none of my siblings wanted them.
 
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The Cretan stones I ordered on March 24, just arrived.
There was a substitution due to the larger size not being available, ce la vie.

First impressions, similar feel to a soft ark,as porous as an Aoto, quite a variation of grit between stones, anything from 3k to 8/10k. I just used some soapy water and the feedback was very pleasant. The stones are roughly flat, a final dressing is necessary to maximize the edge finish.
I would purchase again, slightly larger and I would ask if they could prioritize a dark stone.
The small slurry stone is the darkest and is quite a bit harder than the larger tan stone, finishes in the 6kish range.
the stones swarfed quickly on a ZDP petty and the slurry stones are highly recommended they do a great job. Will post again after a bit more time to experiment. I would recommend thesefor the price even with shipping,maybe a bulk buy for group of interested.
 

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