Just a couple of questions ... Is there a difference between a whetstone (wetstone) and a water stone or is it just the same thing by a different name (sales gimmick?)? I hear a lot of talk on the knife forums about oil stones. Is that something typical for North America? All I ever saw being used for sharpening when I was growing up were whetstones (this is in Northern Europe). I got a couple of old whetstones. They were bought years ago at a hardware store. One is German made. The other one I don't know. I can't read the grit on either of them. Can anyone tell me how long can they be kept in water without damaging the stones? Reason for asking is that I gave myself the task of sharpening quite a lot of (old) knives, just to get the practise. Now it just seems silly to take them out of the water, dry them out and then soak them again a couple of hours or a day later. Do these old whetstones need to have water running over them while sharpening? I remember my dad using them underneath a dripping tap to keep the stone wet. Sorry I don't have more info about the stones, it's been a long long time since I bought / got them.