People often mistake the term “whetstone” for “wet stone”. It’s quite easy to see why. Since it appears to have the word “wet” in it, they assume it must be used with water or oil.

The truth is – when talking about sharpening stones – the correct word is whet.

It’s an old fashioned term for the process of sharpening a blade. In other words, to sharpen your knife would be to “whet” it. Any stone that was used for sharpening was called a “Whetting stone”.

If your mother yells at you from the kitchen wondering where you’re at, you could reply with “I’m in the barn whetting my axe!”

The term “sharpening stone” is commonly used now days, but you might still hear something different on occasion. In conclusion, “Whetstone” can be used for any type of sharpening stone whether it be a diamond stone, water stone, or oil stone.