Whetstones are one of the most common items found in male and female Viking Age graves. The majority appear to be microcrystalline volcanic schist. Everyone carried a knife but iron and steel knives at that time often didn’t hold an edge for very long. Whetstones were carried in a pouch of ‘essentials’ or attached to a women’s chatelaine along with a small knife.
These whetstones are volcanic schist from Washington State. Their grit ranges from 1000 to 3000 and can produce a true razor sharp edge. The stone feels smooth but refresh the cutting edge of a knife with only a few strokes. Size is approximate since Stones vary in size.
ALWAYS use whetstones with water. Wet the stone before use and rinse off the black residue before storing it. Contrary to a popular belief, oil holds the metal residue, thickens with time and eventually clogs the whetstone until it is useless.
Not recommended for axes. A courser stone like our natural sandstone whetstones should be used for chopping tools.