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Honing oil?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by javyn, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. javyn


    Oct 2, 2013
    I am just getting into knives and knife sharpening and was wondering what is "honing oil" exactly?

    Would it be okay to just use the Ballistol that I use to clean/oil my guns with as a honing oil as well?
  2. jefroman


    May 17, 2001
    Honing oil is generally a light mineral oil. Exact composition will vary by manufacturer. I just buy plain no-name mineral oil from the pharmacy as this is much cheaper than buying any of the branded varieties. Ballistol is mineral oil based so that should work fine.
  3. Agreed. Honing oil = light mineral oil, or sometimes called 'white mineral oil'. Usually pretty colorless, odorless and more 'watery' in viscosity. The pharmaceutical grade (laxative) mineral oil is sometimes called 'heavy mineral oil', because it's a bit thicker. But it's also very pure, and safe for use in food-related tasks.

  4. Magnaminous_G


    Jul 13, 2011
    I'd go with WD-40 or Lansky/Norton honing oil. They are formulated at the ideal weight for use with oil stones. Speaking of which, it really does depend on what stone you're using. You don't want to use any oil on a diamond plate or water stones, for example.
  5. leghog


    Aug 10, 2013
    I've used a drop or two of honing oil or sewing machine oil on my 29 year old 4" DMT coarse diamond stone since I've owed it. Same as I do my Arkansas hard. I simply wash them with hot water and a drop or two of dish soap when I'm done and thoroughly dry them, especially the DMT. DMT recommends dry use or wet. Water or oil. The important things are to clean it after use and to keep it dry in storage.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
  6. Magnaminous_G


    Jul 13, 2011
    If it's working for you, then carry on. But there's no reason at all for you to use oil on your diamond plate. If you want to float swarf, soapy water will do just as good a job with less mess. And DMT does not recommend oil.
  7. I've also used oil (mineral oil, or even mineral oil-based hand lotion) on my DMT hones. In particular, it has made for better feedback on my Duo-Sharp bench hone. So long as the hone gets cleaned afterwards (dish soap & water), no harm in doing so. And the lighter the oil, the more easily it cleans up. Oil doesn't evaporate like dish soap & water does (in dry desert climate, where I am); that's the main reason I looked into using it, and found it to be useful.

    I know DMT doesn't recommend it; but they also don't specify why. So long as the diamond hones are cleaned regularly, they're pretty much bulletproof as to what's used to lubricate them.

    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
  8. leghog


    Aug 10, 2013
    Straight from the DMT® FAQ: "While we recommend you use DMT® products dry or with water only, it is acceptable to use a variety of lubricants when sharpening with DMT® products. Mineral oil, mineral spirits, kerosene, WD40 can all be used without harming your DMT® sharpener."

    So while DMT may not recommend use of oil, they state it is acceptable. I've found a couple of drops of oil floats the swarf away without the mess water makes and makes for a lighter touch when needed as feedback is more easily felt. Also it's much easier to clean than when using the plate dry. Plus after three decades with the same DMT plate, I'll probably never change my routine now.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
  9. Magnaminous_G


    Jul 13, 2011
    Well... more power to you guys, then. :D
  10. Monofletch

    Monofletch Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 14, 2010
    My diamond set came with a bottle of oil in the package. I believe they are Smith's.
  11. Sharpnessis


    Aug 11, 2012
    I was just getting into sharpening on stones. All because of jdavis882 's videos. I guess I shouldn't have put 10w40 on the coarse stone! Doh!

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