I bought this Lansky system. In the instructions it says that Arkansas stones need to be oiled while using. Diamonds need to be cleaned with water and others may need a drop of oil or two after use to clean them from metal spans.

How can I identify which one is which?

ps: Tips of any sort are very welcome! kinda new to the whole sharpening stuff:)


Stone side

  • If you show a picture of the other side that shows the actual stones we should be able to tell by looking. In general, diamonds have a silver-ish background as the diamond grit is bedded in nickel or some other metal. My bet is these are alumina oxide, which might be grey or orange depending on the grit.
    – scanny
    Mar 21, 2017 at 23:29
  • can I use them with water?
    – Caine
    Mar 22, 2017 at 19:35

1 Answer 1


These appear to be Aluminum Oxide stones. They might work better with oil. I use mineral oil, easily and cheaply available at the local drugstore. It's also known variously as white oil, liquid paraffin, liquid petroleum in various locales. Baby oil is mineral oil with perfume added.

Water with a drop or two of dishwashing soap works fine for me too. Just clean it off of any metal surfaces when you're done to avoid corrosion.

Be sure to use the full length of the stone to get the most even wear of the stone. Even then, you'll periodically need to lap the stones flat.

  • wow that's very helpfull!!! Thanks a lot!!!
    – Caine
    Mar 22, 2017 at 20:17
  • I have the same set (or similar.) As of 2020 it comes with a small bottle of mineral oil and the instructions state to oil the stones before use.
    – gnicko
    Aug 10 at 10:45

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