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A hard, fine-grain, Abrasive stone used to hone tools and blades. Whetstones are usually composed of Chalcedony, Silica, or Sandstone. Artificial whetstones are made with Alundum® or Carborundum. Whetstones are sometimes oiled before use and, hence, called oilstones.

Synonyms and Related Terms

oilstone; snakestone; honestone; rubbing stones; sharpening stone; coticule, Ayr stone; Ouchita stone (from the Ouchita Mountains in Arkansas); Scheifstein (Deut.); wetsteen (Ned.)


Properties of Common Abrasives

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 869
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998