Oil FAQs

The Oil Spot – answers to slippery questions

We're going to tackle some common questions on honing oil in this periodic column, so please let us know if there's something you'd like to see discussed. We'll also compile these over time in an FAQ page on our website. We hope this will be helpful to experienced, as well as new, users of honing. Here are some recent questions we've fielded.

How often should I replace my honing oil?
Sunnen biodegradable honing oils (MAN-852 / KG3X / MAN-863 / SHO500) should be changed when the oil becomes noticeably thicker. Actually, the honing performance will have increased, but this thickening signals the onset of bio decay. The result is an increased housekeeping burden.
Non-bio-degradable honing oils like MB30, SHO965, MAN845 or LP8X have the potential for a much longer service life. These oils should be changed when the honing performance decays or they become irreversibly polluted with materials that cannot be removed. For example, extended service honing carbide may increase the level of cobalt fines (which are too small to be trapped by media filters) resulting in a fluid that becomes irritating to the skin. In such cases the oil must be discarded, preferably by recycling. Pollution with any water may result in the irreversible formation of materials that blind the filters making the honing oil unusable.

Are there any issues with mixing bulk automotive transmission fluid and Sunnen honing oil?
Diluting honing oil will degrade its lubricating ability with a corresponding loss in honing performance. All processing recommendations made by Sunnen are based on the use of pure, clean honing oil. Adulterating the oil may shorten your abrasive life, cause you to produce scrap parts, or cause wasted time troubleshooting your honing process. 

I have just purchased a used 1660 machine. What kind of oil should I use?
We are a tooling job shop doing mainly Injection mold repair that involves ejector sleeves made of various tool steels and chrome build-up. We WEDM ID first, then hone to size.
If the machine will be used on a large variety of materials, MB-30 is the best choice because it has the highest performance for the occasional worst materials such as stainless steels, nickel or zirconium, when using either conventional or super abrasives.

What is cylinder honing oil?
Also called machining oil, cylinder honing oil is a solution that aids in the grinding of metal by abrasives. There are a number of different solutions for different honing needs, not all of them oil-based. At Sunnen, we sell a variety of machining oils and are always available to answer your questions about honing oil use.

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