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This is a Swaty hone. Swaty's were made in Germany and, were and still are thought of as the ultimate, straight razor, barber type hone. Swaty's in flawless condition are quite rare and in demand. This hone is in absolutely flawless superb condition. There are no chips, cracks, dings, etc., it has sharp corners and edges on all 8 corners, and on all 8 edges. This Swaty hone measures 5 1/4" long by 2" wide by 1/2" thick. It is recommended that barber hones, such as this hone, be used dry, with water or lather. Oil can be used, but is not recommended because oil penetrates into the stone and stays in the stone, and thereafter does not mix well with water or lather. If oil is used it is best to always use oil. The use of a barber hone such as this one is a honing method that constantly maintains a razor's sharpness by keeping a razor sharp all the time, instead of waiting for a razor to become dull and thus requiring a complete honing. With this method you simply hone 10 to 16 strokes (5 to 8 strokes on each side of the razor blade) about every 3 shaves. The use of a barber hone is easily held in one hand while honing with the other. This mnethod and use of barber hones is what was used in the straight razor era to maintain a razor's edge when today's fast cutting stones were not available. Quick, easy and simple. While Swaty's are still available, it is very hard to find a Swaty hone in this superb condition.