Should I Use Oil When Sharpening a Knife?

It may seem as if a sharpening surface is too rough for the knife you are using. This brings up the issue of knife sharpening oil and whether you need it.

Should you use oil when sharpening a knife?

The purpose of knife sharpening oil is to protect the knife from the heat generated by friction. It also helps to carry away metal filings produced during the sharpening process. A good quality knife sharpening oil will do both of these things without being too viscous and gumming up the works. It should be thin enough so that it flushes away any metal bits or grime.

Using natural sharpening stones dry is OK, but wet is preferred. Maintaining a sharp edge requires the use of a liquid to dissipate frictional heat, whether it be water, water-based honing oil, or petroleum-based oil.

What can be used in place of honing oil?

For sharpening purposes, a wide variety of vegetable oils are suitable. It’s important to avoid drying or semi-drying oils including tung, flaxseed, walnut, poppy, and certain varieties of sunflower (see the note below on rancidity for further information on this).

Is honing oil necessary?

Apply a small application of honing oil to your stone before you begin sharpening your razor. Using oil to lubricate the stone when sharpening prevents dry friction that might harm your razor. Make sure the stone isn’t wicking up all the oil by applying a little extra.

Can you use water instead of honing oil?

Yes, you may use water for honing oil. You may use your honing stone dry or wet, as previously suggested. A lubricant is needed to preserve its pores when it is used dry. You must immerse the honing stone in water in order to use it when wet, though.

Can I use olive oil on a sharpening stone?

Sharpening stones should never be exposed to culinary oils like vegetable or olive oil since this might damage the stones. For best results, always use oils recommended for use with honing stones.

Related Questions and Answers

Is cutting oil the same as honing oil?

Honing oil is a liquid, solution, or emulsion that is used with abrasive tools or stones to help cut or grind metal. It may or may not include any oil at all. Besides cutting oil, other names for it include machining oil, tool oil, fluid cutting, and cutting oil.

Can you use WD-40 on sharpening stones?

In addition to cleaning sharpening stones, the specially designed oil spray WD-40 serves a variety of other applications. Spray the oil on the stone’s surface and make sure it’s well covered.

Can you use baby oil to sharpen a knife?

If you don’t mind the scent, it should work perfectly.

Can I use 3 in-1 oil on a sharpening stone?

Oilstones may be lubricated with 3-in-1 or mineral oils.

Which is better oil stone or water stone?

Waterstones are more forgiving than oilstones. If you’re looking for a strategy to speed up the cutting process, this softer binder is the answer. The water stone has a distinct advantage in terms of cutting speed. As a result, it’s more versatile than most other stones.

How can you tell if a sharpening stone is oil or water?

In both cases, the binding agent is what distinguishes the results. Unlike oil stones, water stones include sharpening particles that are held in place by softer material. Magnesium is a good example of a metal that is water-soluble yet nonetheless quite powerful.

Can you use a whetstone dry?

There are no wet or dry stones, but instead, whetstones that you may use wet or dry.

Do you use honing oil on ceramic stones?

When sharpening with a standard honing stone, you’ll find that the hone will travel over the blade with more ease as you go. This suggests that the stone’s pores may be clogged by filings, which lowers the stone’s efficiency. When you’re done cleaning the hone, just apply a few drops of oil to it.

What is honing oil made of?

Honing oil is comprised of mineral oil.

How to sharpen a knife using an oilstone?

This video provides the steps:

How much oil do you put on an oil stone?

You only need about one to two milliliters.

What angle are Buck knives sharpened at?

Buck knives are sharpened at 13-16 degrees on each side.

What is cutting oil used for?

Cutting oil is designed to increase the life of cutting and drilling instruments by enhancing performance and reducing wear and tear under high pressure. Cutting oil enhances machine finish, lubricates to decrease tip welding, and reduces pitting and metal convulsions.

Is Johnson and Johnson baby oil the same as mineral oil?

White mineral oil, paraffin oil, liquid petrolatum, and Nujol are all names for the hydrocarbon compound mineral oil. The only difference between Johnson and Johnson baby oil and mineral oil is that baby oil has a scent added to it.

Can I use water on a sharpening stone?

A sharpening stone should be used with water or oil in order to remove the swarf, or waste material, and keep the stone from clogging.

What natural stones are good for sharpening?

Natural stones are good for rubbing oil on. The oil stone has been used to sharpen knives and other implements for a long time. The Arkansas Stones are another natural stone good for sharpening. Because Arkansas Stones may be used with either oil or water, they merit their own categorization. Sharpening Stones can also be made of diamond.

Should you soak a sharpening stone?

It is best to soak rough and medium-grained whetstones for 10-15 minutes before using them. Simply squirt water on the stone as you sharpen it with fine stones. Fine stones might break if they are soaked in water for too long.

Should I soak my whetstone?

Unlike coarse grit whetstones, fine grit stones require just a few minutes of soaking to avoid splitting. After soaking for 15 to 20 minutes, coarse grit whetstones should be ready to use. Afterward, set a coarse-grit whetstone on top of a kitchen towel and rub it in with your hands until it is smooth.

Do sharpening stones wear out?

If you’ve ever used an Arkansas stone, aluminum oxide stone, or carborundum stone, you’ve probably noticed that they all wear down with time, regardless of whether they are water or oil stones.

What is the correct way to sharpen a knife?

You should always begin sharpening your knife on the coarse side, then go to the finer side after you are done. A rubber pad or cloth beneath the stone can help keep it from slipping. Check the instructions that came with your stone to see whether it has to be oiled or soaked in water beforehand.


While using oil is not necessary to sharpen a knife, it does come with some benefits, including making the process safer. So, consider purchasing a good knife sharpening oil for the next time your knife gets dull.

The “how to use a sharpening stone” is an article that discusses the pros and cons of using oil when sharpening a knife.

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Jack Harrison
About Jack Harrison

JT Harrison is an expert Survival Instructor, focused on wilderness and urban survival techniques. He focuses on survival, prepping, food, water, shelter and other essential steps individuals and families can take to live for long periods outdoors, or in crisis situations. JT has been trekking and climbing for 20+ years in some of the harshest environments in the world. Learn more about JT here or connect with him on Twitter