The price of a whetstone is most often indicative of its quality, which directly correlates to how hard the stone is. “The more expensive stone, typically, is comprised of a harder material, which is efficient at grinding metal off of a good-quality knife,” Lau says. “It allows you to sharpen quicker [and] it allows you to sharpen a very high-quality knife, whereas a cheaper stone may not create a good edge if a knife is made from a very hard metal.” A well-made whetstone should cost $60 to $70.
Four hundred million years ago in a small geographical region of Central Arkansas, now part of the Ouachita Mountains, nature began the creation of a sedimentary rock formation composed of microcrystalline quartz called Novaculite. The word Novaculite comes from the Latin word novacula, meaning razor stone. Novaculite is a recrystallized variety of chert. It is the stone material from which whetstone and oilstone sharpeners are made.