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Honing Oil Substitute (Here’s 7 Best Oils For Sharpening Stone)

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Blunted and dull knives bring honing oil on the spot. You need to sharpen your kitchen knives with any sharpening stone using light and resistant oil. That’s a reason, honing oil comes into play. However, if you are unable to find it, you can try any honing oil substitute to save your precious knives.

In a kitchen, knife sharpening starts with the selection of a versatile honing oil after getting a handy whetstone.

The best honing oil has low viscosity, extreme lubricity, appropriate chemical chemistry, and superior pressure additives. It should be resistant to corrosion, highly visible, non-staining, and safe for household use.

And in order to replace honing oil for your knife sharpening, pick up the oil having the right composition to be compatible with your steel, iron, or copper knives.

Honing Oil Substitute

Below is a list of some suitable alternatives having properties similar to honing oil that you can easily find around you.

Make sure you check the compatibility of the final substitutive oil and your knife. Since knives are remarkably made of various metals and alloys including iron, copper, brass, steel, and bronze, so you need to consider their chemical nature to avoid unwanted corrosion.

1. Tri-Flow Oil

Tri-flow oil is the best knife cleaner, rust remover, and fine oil for the sharpening stone. It locks moisture, humidity, and any type of abrasive damage to the knife while sharpening.

Its superior lubricating and stability power comes from the combination of light oils and extreme pressure additives.

Moreover, tri-flow oil is resistant to the heat produced while working and makes its use easy and safe even for household honing applications.

2. Kerosene Oil

Kerosene oil is the best honing oil substitute for its lower viscosity, higher heat resistance, and excellent lubricity. When applied to the whetstone, it prevents abrasive friction and any type of scrape that your knife might get during sharpening.

Its reduced density makes the sharpening process easy, smooth, and time-saving. And don’t worry about the lodging of whetstone as its cleaning and removal is simple. In other words, kerosene is also the best oil for sharpening stone and other honing applications.

3. Cleaners And Degreasers

Kitchen degreasers and glass cleaners are widely available, cheaper, and safe to use. The reason why they are best for knife sharpening is their ability to penetrate.

Most often, glass cleaners and kitchen degreasers are used to remove the sticky oil from the clogging pores of sharpening stone. You can also use cleaners to do the same. However, these are also good to apply before you are going to sharpen your knives.

Before proceeding with degreasers, don’t forget to dilute them as they are often more concentrated than honing oil and glass cleaners.

Widely Available Honing Oil Substitute

Instead of searching for the finest honing oil for knife sharpening, think of already available oils in the kitchen. Yes, it’s surprising but you can really use them for household honing purposes.

We all have cooking oil, mineral oil, clipper oil, and sewing machine oil on hand. All these are good to apply over sharpening stone and do the work same as a honing oil.

4. Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is one of the cooking staples we have all time in the kitchen. Although, vegetable oil is a little more viscous than honing oil, you can apply its thin covering safely.

Vegetable oils including canola oil, corn oil, rapeseed oil, and coconut oil have higher smoke points. Therefore, they can bear friction and heat produced while sharpening.

Try to avoid walnut oil, flaxseed oil, and safflower oil for honing your knives as these can block the pores of whetstone making it useless.

5. Clipper Oil

Clipper oil is an oil-based lubricant that comes with hair clippers, shavers, and beard trimmers. It contains light fractions of petroleum and simple mineral oils to ensure the proper working of clippers.

It reduces the friction of blades while cutting, prevents them from corrosion, and keeps them sharp for a long time. And the amazing fact is that clipper oil is also a great substitute for honing oil.

Apply a thin layer of clipper oil over the whetstone and sharpen your blunted knives. It’s safe for household applications as it resists the heat and friction produced as a result of sharpening.

6. Mineral Oil

Mineral oil refers to the class of light lubricating oils that are refined from crude petroleum products. Due to its nature and composition, mineral oil finds various applications in pharmaceuticals, textiles, and electrical industries.

However, its lower viscosity, higher lubricity, and sufficient smoke point make mineral oil the best honing oil alternative. You can easily locate mineral oil in local markets and stores at cost cheaper than honing oil.

Apply mineral oil over the sharpening stone in a way that it makes a thin lubricating layer. Now, you can sharpen your knife without any fear of abrasive damage and stone clogging.

The best thing about mineral oil is that you can use it for any kind of kitchen knives and other metallic utensils.

7. Sewing Machine Oil

Sewing machine oil is all time available in every home since it’s vital for the proper working of sewing machines. Its oil composition is quite similar to honing oil as it contains high-pressure additives, anti-rust agents, mineral oil fractions, and anti-wear factors.

Its extreme fluidity makes whetstone ready for knife sharpening and prevents from pore blocking and stone lodging.

Pick Up The Best Honing Oil Substitute

Consider the following factors before going to select the final lubricant for household honing applications.

Oil Composition: Honing oil contains a collection of mineral oils, anti-wear agents, extreme-pressure additives, and ant-rust agents. All these factors ensure the finest honing performance of the oil. So, choose an alternative with a chemical composition similar to honing oil.

Availability: Honing oil is not readily available all around the globe and its relatively bigger price also makes it out of reach. For that reason, go for an alternative lubricant that is easily accessible to you at a lesser cost.

Characteristics: Your honing oil replacement must have higher fluidity, extreme lubricity, and, substantial resistivity to heat, corrosion, and friction. It should be light and easy to remove without clogging the pores of the whetstone.

Compatibility: Check out the nature of your kitchen knives before going to get the best lubricant for sharpening stone. You need to check the compatibility of oil and your knife to prevent your precious knives from getting blunted or rusted.


It’s not a big deal to search for the best honing oil alternative as plenty of options are always available out there. For knife sharpening, look for an easily accessible, cheaper, and less viscous lubricant oil capable of making the honing process smooth without harming the knife and whetstone. The best honing oil substitutions are mineral oil, vegetable oil, and glass cleaners.


Hey, I’m Ayesha Khalid, the main writer of Substitutesfor.com. I love to write about food ingredients, cooking guides, and helping tips and tricks to upgrade your cooking experience. The aim of writing is to provide you with a collection of substitutions and novel ideas to try so that you can find all the needed information at once. Here, you can get ideas according to your diet restrictions, taste preferences, and health conditions.

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