In order to do your best carving, your knives and chisels have to be sharp. There are any number of "sharpening systems" available, most of which cost hundreds of dollars. Having begun carving before those things even became available, my grandfather taught me how to sharpen using a nondescript natural whetstone. I still use the one he kept on the back of his benchñthey last that long.
Later, I was introduced to Arkansas stones, which as you can see from the photo, is what these are. The company's literature states: "This is the rarest and finest abrasive stone in existence. It is the pure form of Novaculite rock, found only in the area surrounding Hot Springs. Our fine light oil, with smooth, even strokes, will give you the sharpest edge or keenest point..."
Okay, that's the advertizing. Here it is from this carver's perspective:
Arkansas stones are the finest available, and the coarse, medium, and fine ones in this set are particularly nice. Just flip the one you want up in the base, put on a little of the supplied honing oil, and you're good to go. They will give you an excellent edge, no doubt about it, but the finest edge? I suppose they would given sufficient time, but we are all pressed for time these days, and the finest edge (and the fastest achieved) is one that has been honed on a leather strop or a cloth wheel using Jeweler's Rouge, once the stoning has been done.
The quality of this Tri-Hone is excellent, as is the price. We wouldn't offer them if they weren't. Better still, it's 100% American made.
The Cape Forge carving knife in the photo is not included–it's there for purposes of scale only.