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What Honing Oil Should I Use?

What's the best kind of honing oil to use with my sharpening stones?

Honing Oils

As we illustrate in our article, Should I Use My Sharpening Stones Wet or Dry? sharpening stones work best when used wet with some kind of honing fluid. For stones like Arkansas, Crystolon, India and other oil stones, the preferred fluid is oil. Since there are many kinds of oil, we are often asked what kind of oil is best to use.

All of the Honing oils that we carry were designed to work specifically for sharpening stones.

The honing oils we sell all contain highly refined mineral oil. Mineral oil is an ideal candidate for sharpening because it is light and does not harden or go rancid. A light oil is desirable because a heavy or viscous oil will interfere with the sharpening action of the stone.

A non-hardening oil is required because an oil that hardens, as most vegetable oils do, will clog a stone reducing its efficiency. Mineral oil also has no unpleasant odors or harmful fumes, making it safe to work with.

While using a vegetable oil may be temping to use, we strongly encourage you to resist that highly available alternative. We often receive phone calls from customers that used vegetable oil on their stones in the past and their stones are now gummed up. By the time they call us, the damage is done. The old adage, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure certainly applies here.

Our light, non-hardening, and safe-to-work-with oil can be used effectively on your oil stones. Using the right oil will not only make sharpening easier, but it will greatly enhance the longevity of your stones.