Special Stone

SSFGR 1
SSOFGR Label.jpg

  Special Stone only for Good Razors

While this one didn’t come with a label, there’s no doubt that this is one of the ‘Special Stone only for Good Razors’ hones from France. It was in fact shipped to me from France, and after careful inspection I’m convinced that it’s a SSOFGR. The photo of the label above is for reference only, there is no label on this hone. Apparently, this fine hone had never been used - there were no signs of handling wear or use of any kind on any part of this stone. 

This particular example has a very nice shape/size – perfect for hand-held finishing at the sink. The color is a very flat grey, with a good amount of sparkling flecks dotted throughout the lapped working surface. The feel is unique – I’ve not had a hone with the same feedback as this one. Where the Purple Lune has sort of a hard waxy type of feel, this stone has harder type of glazed feeling that also seems to produce a type of resistance or drag when honing. 

The edges are chamfered quite heavily – I believe that doing so prevents the stone from splitting/flaking. The saw marks on those chamfers are quite extreme – so I lapped the long sides down smooth to protect the razors edge. I may smooth out those marks on the short sides also – but for now they serve to help identify the stone.   

In use – this is a killer hone, but it’s temperamental. On water – it’ll leave a really toothy edge, so a low viscosity lubricant should be employed. Oil seems to be the favorite choice, but I’ve had good success experimenting with lather. Glycerine mixed with water works also, but getting the mix/ratio takes a bit of trial/error. 

These are (I’m guessing here) a phyllite or schist type of stone; pretty hard but dry, and a bit brittle. Exposed corners show that these stones will cleave/fracture easily, but they will do so in an irregular manner. This one seems to absorb water at the surface but it also seems to purge that water very quickly. When used with water only – these stones leave a sharp but fairly rough edge – you can see a photo of this on the Lune page. 

I’ve seen grey and purple Lunes, but I’ve never seen a purple SSofGR hone – so while it’s possible that the labels were used indiscriminately at times, it’s very possible that there’s another part of that story that is yet to be told. I’ve also seen grey SSofGR hones that have a somewhat different ‘look’ to the working surface. So – it’s also possible that there are a lot of untold stories behind these fine hones. 

Many of these hones show a ‘grade’ stamp on the side, but this one does not. I’m not convinced that those stamps weren’t just marketing ploys though. I’ve not seen substantiate proof that an ‘extra extra fine’ Lune/SSofGR is significantly finer than one without a stamp, or a stamp that only says ‘fine’. I am inclined to think that one of these hones with an XXF stamp might just be polished a bit more than the others. 

Approx. Dimensions: 4.5 x 2.3 x 0.9” / 114 x 58 x 23mm

Weight: 13.8 oz 391 g


© Keith V Johnson 2014 - 2018