O.K., so here's my mini review. I'll preface by saying I'm not very scientific by nature and don't get too anal about stuff. I do not have alot of experience with alot of different hones. I found something that worked for me and pretty much stuck with it for years. Over time I've picked up a couple of coti's and and a stone that's supposed to be a escher marketed under another name, it's a dark blue so I expect it would be a lower grade stone. All were antique store finds and were picked up for peanuts. I get good shaves so I'm a happy guy. The razor I used in yesterdays shave of the day was finished with a Apache Strata. I noticed a couple of spots on the blade (not the edge) that needed attention because of my neglect and removed them yesterday. In the process I damaged the edge slightly so I had to take it back to the bevel to work out a small chip and did my normal routine but finished it out on the Apache Red instead of my normal stone which lately has been the Apache Strata. While lapping the Red the first thing I noticed is that it's hard and it took considerably longer to lap than the Strata. It was finished on 1500 wet dry paper. I tried to raise a light slurry with the small stone that was provided for that purpose and it was difficult to do. Seeing how I finished it to 1500 I didn't want to go to a DMT to raise a slurry so I left it as it was. The stone had a slightly glazed look when finished. I finished the edge and looked at it through my loupe and it looked very good. This mornings shave would confirm this. It was an excellent shave, very smooth and comfortable and apparently a very close shave but it'll take until 5PM to confirm this for sure. In my mind it is a finisher, for sure. The question I'm asking myself right now is it better than the Strata. We're all friends here so take the last statement as me "thinking out loud". I did not finish out the Strata to 1500 so that will be one of the first things I'll do. It'll take awhile for me to figure things out. Please don't rush out and buy this stone based off this review because it's just my first impression. The answer could be as simple as I had a better bevel set on the razor the second time around. I have very limited experience with the Strata and next to none with the Red. I do realize what the approximate grit ratings are for both stones but don't much care about that, my face will tell the tale as to what I prefer.