Understanding Honing Compound
What is honing compound?
Honing compound is extremely fine abrasive used in the final polishing stages of sharpening. These abrasives are sometimes loose, but are usually held in a medium like a wax bar, a paste or a spray. The particles in our selection of compounds range from 6 microns, roughly equivalent to a 2500 grit water stone, down to .5 micron, or about 30000 grit. Various materials are used for the abrasive particles such as aluminum oxide, chromium oxide and diamonds.
How do I use honing compound?
Honing compound must be applied to a surface in order to be used. Many surfaces can be used with compounds, leather strops being one of the most common. The compound is applied to the surface and then the edge is passed over it.
Note that honing compound is the final abrasive used in the sharpening process. The abrasive particles are extremely small and will polish an existing edge to a mirror finish, but are not aggressive enough to bring a dull edge back to sharp. The edge being sharpened must have been taken through the finest sharpening stones before the compound is used for it to be effective.
See our article Understanding Strops for more information about strops and how to use them.
We have honing compounds available in wax bars, powders, pastes and sprays.