razor-sharp scythe is essential when mowing. Therefore, it's
necessary to whet the blade at frequent intervals. Using a
dull blade results in an increase in the number of swings
required, making the work more fatiguing and potentially harmful.
Mowers carry a whetstone, usually stored in a holder that
attaches to the belt. The holder protects the stone and contains
a small amount of water for removing microscopic metal pieces
that clog the stone's pores during whetting.
19th-century wooden scythe stone holder shown here is decorated
with a carved serpent. In the past, it was customary to make
holders out of wood or cows' horns and to personalize your
scythe stone holder by turning it in an ornate manner or by
adding elaborate carvings. Most of today's holders are plastic.