Stippling Tools are primarily used by copper engravers, but can also be used on wood. Copper engravers use them to create dots on the surface of metal plates, which will hold ink during the printing process. The dots thus show up as black in the final print. Stippling Tools will often raise a slight burr on the metal plate, around the edge of the stipple, which can be scraped away.
Wood engravers use Stippling Tools to create a carpet of small round dimples on the surface of woodblocks. As woodblocks are inked with a roller, these recessed dimples do not receive ink, and therefore show up white in the final print.
This tool was made from high carbon tool steel in the United States by E.C. Lyons. It is supplied factory-sharp, but it has not been honed to a fine edge.