Handmade in Belgium
Probably the best One-Stone Sharpening Hone in the World!
About Ardennes Coticule:
The Belgian Blue Whetstone, or BBW for short, is extracted together with and at the same location as the Coticule. The BBW comes in wide vertical strata with the thin Coticule seams in-between. The BBW was formed in the same way and at the same time as the Coticule. The presence of iron oxide in the stone explains the bluish purple colour. Just like the Coticule, the extraction of the BBW is a time-consuming task that must be carried out very meticulously, without the use of machinery.
These Whetstones are 100% Handmade in Belgium. Ardennes-Coticule is the sole producer of the famous Coticule and Belgium Blue Whetstones, and they carry on the tradition started by the Burton family in 1865.
Ardennes-Coticule believes that each craftsman or craftswoman has the right to own a whetstone which grinds tools perfectly to fulfill his or her profession, hobby or task. Whether straight razor shaving, cooking, outdoor activities or creating art. Therefore it is our goal to produce Coticule and Belgian Blue Whetstones to supply everyone with the perfect whetstone.
The Belgian Whetstone consists of 30 to 42% garnet crystals bonded together with mica. These garnets are what give the Coticule its exceptional sharpening characteristics.
This Double-Sided Whetstone is a Waterstone and measures 100 x 40 mm and is 18.2 mm thick. Two layer stone: coticule and black slate. Preliminary sharpening on the BBW (Belgian Blue Whetstone) side and fine honing on the Coticule side. Each stone will be unique due to its natural formation.
With the right kind of technique and versatility of the Coticule (see below) it means that only one double-sided Whetstone is needed for the entire Sharpening Process.
The Belgian Blue Whetstone is often compared to a 4000 - 8000 grit Whetstone, using the Japanese grit system, but it must be borne in mind that it is a natural product, and therefore no stone is 100% identical to another. The grit rating is given purely for information, and tells you little about the specific characteristics of the stone. The advantage compared to other whetstones is: A Beglian whetstone sharpens very finely and very quickly. No other whetstone possesses this combination.
The hardness of the garnets ensures that they are able to hone any kind of steel, including stainless steel (inter alia, 18/8 and 18/10 stainless), Damascus Steel and HSS High Speed Steel.
The geometric shape of the garnets gives the whetstone another unique characteristic. The smooth shape of the garnets means that they sharpen the metal without leaving behind tiny burrs. This results in a fine gleam without scratches on the blade, which makes the knife considerably easier to use.
Generally speaking, Ardennes Coticule Whetstones last 20 years in normal use.
Sharpening with a Coticule:
The sharpening always uses water. All that is required is to wet the Coticule surface; there is no need to immerse the stone. During sharpening, garnets are released from the Coticule surface. The more garnets are released, the more abrasive the grinding compound becomes.
A frequently-used method for increasing abrasiveness is to use a rubbing stone (= Bout n° 1) to produce a grinding compound with a high garnet content on the Coticule surface. This is done by rubbing the Coticule surface of the rubbing stone over the Coticule surface of the whetstone. The milky white grinding compound does not take long to appear.
For the fine honing, the grinding compound is diluted in a number of stages with a small amount of water until finally there is only water on the surface.
This method, combined with the versatility of the Coticule, means that only one whetstone is needed for the entire sharpening process.
A few Examples:
1. A razor sharpened with a Belgian whetstone does not damage the skin during shaving. The garnets do not leave any tiny burrs on the blade, which is unique to the whetstones! This means that there is no chance of skin irritation! The Belgian whetstone gives a razor-sharp blade and unrivalled comfort during shaving. Without skin irritation, the skin feels very soft after shaving.
2. Kitchen knives, hunting and pocket-knives keep their sharp blade for a long time, and can be made razor sharp in the twinkling of an eye.
3. The blade of all kinds of tools such as chisels, gouges and axes is polished so finely that materials like wood fibres are cut through quickly and cleanly, resulting in a smooth finish. There are no nicks in the surface. This is why the stone is sought after by carpenters and sculptors.
Various fields of application of the Belgian whetstones range from razor blades, all kinds of cook's and kitchen knives, hunting and pocket knives to chopping and cutting tools.