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honing oil

I"ve had my buck's honing oil bottle for as long as I can remember.. and it's finally at the end! It doesn't seem to be available anymore - can anyone recommend a substitute for use on natural sharpening stone? I'd prefer it not to be petroleum based (though, if that's what I've been using for all these years, why am I worried now???!)

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  1. I may not know what I'm talking about but 3-in-1 oil seems to work with pretty much everything. It's pure and light. If I'm wrong I apologize, but that's my take.

    1 Reply
    1. re: caiatransplant

      That's what I use.

      You're using it on metal which isn't porous. So just wash the oil off after.


    2. I would stick with honing oil, it's available from Smiths, or Case and others. Try your local Ace Hardware, or shop on line. Honing oil is much thinner than a regular 3n1.

      1. I ran out of honing oil too and read that it's just mineral oil, which is dirt cheap. So I've been sucessfully using that instead for years now. All it does is remove the "swarf" (steel dust), and it works just geat for that.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Eager6

          thanks for the replies - i might just try the mineral oil, but i'll look online for the other brands mikie mentioned as well

          1. re: Eager6

            That's what I believe too. It is just mineral oil.

          2. I just did an old Chicago Cutlery on India and Arkansas stones using just soapy water.

            There are folks that run oil, run dry, water, or soapy water.

            As mentioned there are lots of honing oils available from Smiths, Halls, Norton, etc.


            5 Replies
            1. re: knifesavers

              I actually use a small dab of metal polishing paste & a little water on my med & coarse carborundum stones. I like the finish better than that of oil alone, & I like the water clean-up (no oily residue).

              My 'surgical black' AR stone gets only water. Although, soapy water might be good on that one. I'll have to try that.

              1. re: Eiron

                What I read is that all oilstones can take water without problems, but once you applied oil to an oilstone, then you need to stick with oil and not switch.

                Anyway, I also use water on my carborundum stone.

                Yes, I like water clean-up too. It is a bit less messy, and certainly a bit easier to store a previously wet stone than a oily stone.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Yeah, I've heard that about NOT changing from oil to water, but that's what I did. (My carborundum is one I've had for several decades, & when I first got it I only used white mineral oil on it.) Everything's working fine, but I guess I'm not sure what bad things are supposed to happen if you do this? :-P

                  1. re: Eiron

                    I think the theory is that when the stone gets oil soaked the water will bead up on it. If yours works, it works.

                    1. re: kengk

                      OK, yeah, I can see that. I think the addition of the polishing paste has helped avoid any potential for surface beading.

            2. Marvel Mystery Oil serves as a good honing oil.

              1. Mineral oil and synthetic motor oil works.

                7 Replies
                1. re: JavaBean

                  Yay! Something to rally against! :-P

                  Personally, I'd avoid motor oil due to the mix of additives they contain. Things like zinc phosphate, molybdenum, detergents, extreme pressure agents, surfactants, dispersants, anti-oxidants, corrosion inhibitors, & other compounds are all in there. Some of them, like the pressure & anti-wear agents, will even work against you as you try to sharpen.

                  But that's just my phobia...

                  OK, so it's ONE of my phobias...

                  1. re: Eiron

                    Hi, Eiron:

                    How do you feel about soaking the stone in kerosene, wrapping it, and then baking out the oily swarf?


                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      Hi Kaleo! I never would've considered this. Is the the oily equivalent of 'washing' an oilstone?
                      (And, I'd be afraid of unintentionally creating a flambé-ed ceramic sponge!)

                      1. re: Eiron

                        You got it, except you tie it up in a trashed dish towel. It works, but you have to air out the oven and kitchen pretty well afterward.

                    2. re: Eiron

                      Really? TBH, it's been awhile and don't recall noticing any detrimental effects.

                      1. re: JavaBean

                        LOL, well, it IS my phobia! But yes, motor oil contains a LOT more than simply 'oil'. If I WANTED to use motor oil, I'd probably look for one of the old-style straight 30 wt "ND" (non-detergent) oils. But with white mineral oil readily available & considered "food grade," I'd sooner use that.

                        1. re: Eiron

                          I think I am more like you. I would opt for using just mineral oil. For one, I know I can ingest mineral oil (pharmaceutical grade). So I know it is food grade safe. On top of that, I think the mineral oil is cheaper too.


                  2. Petro based, but I've always used wd40 on my oilstones

                    1. Also; for anybody that stays up at night worrying about their carbon footprint, spit will work.