I recently had the pleasure of testing Haidu’s F180 and F280 handcrafted whetstones and here’s what I think.
Full disclosure: These whetstones were given to me for review by Balogh Attila, owner of Haidu. That being said, I am in no way affiliated with or obligated to Balogh or Haidu. This is my true and unbiased experience and opinion.
These stones are everything they should be. They are flat, solid, cut quickly and evenly and maintained their integrity after heavy use. The edges are beveled, which will help against chipping and show Balogh’s attention to detail.
The F180 stone is 1.5” wide, just over a .25” thick and 5” long.
The F280 stone is 1.5” wide, just over a .25” thick and 7.25” long and includes a +/- #9 sweep slip stone to sharpen gouges, curved knives, etc.
Balogh measures the grit size of his stones using FEPA: Federation of European Producers of Abrasives, as apposed to ANSI: American National Standards Institute, which I am more familiar with. The “F” before the grit size indicates exactly that. Converted to ANSI, F180 equals 180 grit and F280 equals about 300 grit.
I used these stones to remove the secondary bevel of my Condor Sapien; a tedious job that I was not looking forward to. The Sapien is made of relatively hard 1075 steel and promised to put up a fight. The task wasn’t easy, but the quality stones helped get things done. F280 and F180 whetstones are perfect for this kind of job and Haidu’s whetstones did not disappoint. As Balogh suggests on his website, I soaked the stones before and kept them wet during use. This prevented them from clogging allowing them cut efficiently and quickly. Both stones held their shape and flat surface after extended use, which is important to achieve a flat and even bevel.
Abrasives like aluminum oxide, silicon oxide, silicon carbide, etc. are mixed and cast to shape. Once removed from the mold, they go through some finishing touches and are ready for use. If the abrasive ratios, molds, casting or finishing process is off, the stones will be off too. They could be malformed or weak. They could wear unevenly or too quickly and may not cut well or quickly. This was not the case with Haidu’s whetstones.
Haidu F180 and F280 whetstones performed well for me and I strongly recommend them. Visit Haidu’s website: haidu.hu