|This article is about the current version of DF.|
Note that some content may still need to be updated.
Stonecutter is the skill associated with the stonecutting labor. Stonecutters are responsible for smoothing walls, carving walls into fortifications, carving minecart tracks into floors and ramps, and making rock blocks at a stoneworker's workshop.
Because blocks have no quality and neither do smoothed walls, having a skilled stonecutter is mostly a matter of speed; however, since your entire fortress is likely to start smoothing as soon as you designate an area for smoothing, it may be desirable to use the work detail for it regardless. Once you have a large population in your fortress it may be tempting to have everyone do stone smoothing to speed things up, but in the event of one of your dwarves getting a strange mood they may end up becoming a useless legendary stonecutter vs a more desirable skill since stonecutting is a moodable skill (even if they are just a novice stonecutter).
A single boulder will produce 4 blocks; blocks are lighter/easier to carry than boulders; blocks have a higher value than boulders, increasing the architectural created wealth of the resulting constructions; and block walls are more difficult to climb than rough stone walls, nor do they need to be smoothed before being engraved. Blocks can't be used to make furniture, crafts or other stone objects the way boulders can, though, nor can they be used in reactions such as steelmaking.
Fortifications are semi-permeable walls that allow some objects, such as projectiles and liquids, to pass through them. They can be created in natural and constructed stone walls as well as constructed from the build menu.
Having stonecutters smooth large areas can be a good way to train them since it doesn’t consume resources, doesn’t create garbage, and will not produce low-quality results. It also builds experience very quickly at higher skill levels.
For repeatable training, minecart tracks can be carved into smooth stone and then smoothed over. This cycle can be repeated indefinitely, and builds experience during both halves of the cycle. Due to minecart tracks only being designated one row/column at a time, this is rather designation-intensive.
Players concerned with using as few non-renewable resources as possible can instead resort to building constructed walls, designating them for fortification via -, and de-constructing them afterwards. Since fortifications don’t have quality, this will never cause a negative thought for the stonecutter.