Pros: Effectiveness, Durability, Overall Quality
Great Intro Stone
I'm a novice at using bench stones, but I have used this product to sharpen everything from pocket knives to kitchen knives and fixed blade hunting knives all to shaving sharp in just a few minutes per blade. If you read the simple included instructions and follow them, you can put a sharp edge on almost any knife without a lot of effort. I have had trouble sharpening a particular pocket knife that has a blade made of S30V steel (very hard), but that could be my lack of experience as much as anything. You may want to purchase a stone with higher grit if you want a polished look, as this stone's highest grit doesn't seem to be able to put a mirror edge on a blade. Get an extra bottle of oil as well, as the included bottle of oil is small. Although you don't want to use more than a few drops, you will probably find yourself sharpening everything in the house and run through the included bottle in a week or so. Overall, the three grits attached to backing (which prevents the stones from warping) combined with the heavy stationary base (which prevents the stone from slipping on your work surface) all for this low price makes this a good stone for a beginner like myself.