Can You Use WD40 as Honing Oil?

WD40 is a super versatile product that you can use for many tasks. It can remove rust, prevent corrosion, fix squeaky hinges, and much more. But can you use WD40 as honing oil? While it sounds like a good idea, it actually isn’t.

You can’t use WD40 as honing oil because it doesn’t work for the same purposes. Honing oil lubricates sharpening stones, while WD40 evaporates quickly and can’t offer the same protection as proper honing oil or alternatives like mineral oil. Thus, WD40 won’t be effective in removing the swarf or keeping the pores protected.

Is that all there is for WD40? Well, there’s a lot more to unpack about this product if you compare it to honing oil. I’ll tell you everything about it here.

The Main Purpose of a Honing Oil

The primary purpose of honing oil is to protect the sharpening stone. It carries away the debris or swarf to keep the pores of the stone clean, allowing you to remove material from the blade and produce a sharp edge.

What Makes a Good Honing Oil

  • Light. Honing oil is light, and it won’t over-lubricate the sharpening stone. This feature removes the risks of clogging the surface of the stone.
  • Non-Hardening. Applying honing oil is as easy as it is to remove it afterward. Since it doesn’t harden, you can clean the sharpening stone quickly to maintain its efficiency.
  • Stains-Free. Another reason to consider oils is that they won’t stain the stone.
  • Low Viscosity. With a low viscosity texture, the liquid reduces drag-out. Both flushing and lubrication are smoother for efficient sharpening of the blade.

What Can You Do with Honing Oil?

  • It prevents scratches on the sharpening tool
  • Provides great surface finishes
  • Prolongs life service of sharpening stones
  • Improves cutting rate to remove material
  • Reduces drag-out
  • Odorless
  • Flushes swarf (debris)

The Main Purpose of WD40

WD-40 is a water-displacing spray with many purposes, such as lubrication, prevention of rust, and moisture displacement. The components used to make this product remained secret for decades, but now they’re widely available. According to the US Material Safety Data Sheet, the WD-40 has the following ingredients:

  • Aliphatic hydrocarbon – 45-50%
  • Petroleum-based oil – <35%
  • Flammable aliphatic hydrocarbons – <25%
  • Carbon dioxide – 2-3%

Research done by Wired went deeper to reveal the WD-40 components as well as their purposes. Here’s what they found.

  1. Mineral Oil
  2. Decane
  3. Nonane
  4. Tridecane
  5. Undecane
  6. Tetradecane
  7. Dimethyl Naphthalene
  8. Cyclohexane
  9. Carbon Dioxide

Alright, so what does all of that mean? What can you do with the WD-40 exactly?

WD-40 can dissolve and remove rust while also displacing water to prevent rust or corrosion from damaging surfaces again.

These are the primary purposes of the product and why many people use it. However, there’s much more you can do with this water-displacement product.

Squeaky Hinges. Applying WD-40 on squeaky hinges and rotating them back and forth will get rid of the squeak.

Paint Smudge Removal. Paint smudges can ruin a perfect surface, especially when it comes to cars. Use WD-40 to spray the area and wipe it down using a clean rag to fix this issue.

Clean Stainless Steel. Remove fingerprints, grease, and more from stainless steel by covering them with WD-40 and wiping it down using paper towels.

Protect Bike Chains. Spray metal chains or similar gear with WD-40 to keep them protected. Let the thin oil dissolve old grease, and moisture won’t be a problem.

And just like that, there are hundreds of ways you can use WD-40.

WD-40 As a Honing Oil: Is It a Good Idea?

It’s not a good idea to use WD-40 as honing oil because it evaporates quickly and disappears. So, it wouldn’t be effective or economically wise to apply it over the sharpening stone. However, you can use WD-40 to clean the stone because it can remove debris and grime with ease.

1. While Sharpening a Knife

There are several reasons why WD-40 isn’t a good substitute for honing oil. First, the formula of WD-40 is thin and light. As a result, it won’t remove metal shavings or stone particles while sharpening a knife. Secondly, the spray evaporates quickly after applying it. So, it’s pretty much a waste to use WD-40 on a sharpening stone.

2. While Cleaning a Sharpening Stone

WD-40 isn’t a good lubricant, but it does clean sharpening stones with ease. After applying it over the surface, the product penetrates tough surfaces to clean the pores and leave a clean finish. It removes heavy debris, dust, and grime without Struggling. Using WD-40 to clean a sharpening stone is easy. Spray the product over the stone, and make sure to cover every area.

Allow the spray to rest for several minutes so it can soak and float particles away from the Stone. And that’s it! Now, rinse the stone thoroughly.

Are There Downsides to Using WD-40 to Clean Sharpening Stones?

Primarily, a stinky smell is the biggest issue of using WD-40 to clean the sharpening stone. So, you must make sure to rinse the stone thoroughly to prevent it. Another problem is that the wax often sticks to different stones, including diamond stones.

Is WD-40 Bad for Knives?

WD-40 is bad for knives because it could leave an unpleasant smell on the blade. Plus, there are better options you can use. If you intend to use WD-40 to protect the blades, mineral oil is an excellent alternative.

This type of oil is safe if you use a knife for cutting food. Furthermore, mineral oil doesn’t leave a taste and doesn’t smell either. Even better, mineral oils are cheaper and widely available.

WD40 Vs Honing Oil

The biggest difference between WD40 and honing oil is that each one serves different purposes.


The WD-40 spray is excellent for protecting surfaces against rust and corrosion. It also does well at removing stains, lubricating squeaky doors, removing duct tape, lifting residue, and loosening things.

Honing oil is primarily suitable for lubricating sharpening stones. So, it isn’t as versatile as the WD-40.


WD-40 is a super effective product, but there are no other alternatives, just as good. As such, you’d have to buy another one if it runs out.

With honing oil, you have many other options. You can go for alternatives like mineral oils to cover the same purpose and continue working without interruptions.


Lastly, WD-40 is more expensive than some of the honing oils available.

Related Questions

Is WD-40 Good for Knife Sharpening?

WD-40 is not suitable for sharpening knives. The spray evaporates quickly, and it doesn’t remove metal filings or swarf effectively.

Can You Use WD40 on a Sharpening Stone?

You can use WD40 on a sharpening stone, but it’s not an effective lubricant. A proper honing oil substitute to use on an oil stone can be one of the following:

  • Mineral Oil
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Baby Oil
  • Almond Oil

Related Article: What Type of Oil to Use on Sharpening Stone?

Can I Use WD40 on My Benchmade?

WD-40 won’t work properly with Benchmade pocket knives for all of the reasons mentioned before. While it cleans well, this product is not a proper lubricant.

Use Benchmade BlueLube lubricant instead. This product lubricates a Benchmade while also protecting it against rust and corrosion.

Can I Use WD40 on a Balisong?

WD40 protects against rust and corrosion, but it’s not a proper lubricant for butterfly knives. A better option for balisong would be 3-In-One.

Brian Casey
About Brian M. Casey

As a food lover, Brian M. Casey developed a fascination for cooking at an early age. He soon realized that not only the ingredients matter but also the knives and the accessories used to turn those ingredients into a delicious dish. This way, Brian began his journey on the magnificent world of kitchen knives, outdoor knives, knife accessories, and much more. After years of experience with many ups and downs, Brian now wants to share everything he’s learned during his journey as an avid knife collector, a well-seasoned knife maker, and an all-around knives enthusiast.

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