How Much Can You Hone A Cylinder? (All Guides Included!)

You should regularly hone cylinders when it is time to replace the pistons. After honing, crosshatches should appear on the surface of the cylinder which allows the wall to retain oil.  Honing regularly is a requirement if you want the most efficient performance from your engine.

You can take ~0.002 inches off the wall when you hone a cylinder. Again, do a double-check with your owner’s manual and instructions. If it does not contain necessary information then consulting an expert before you jump to operation would be the best thing to do.

Don’t worry if it is your first time doing this. If you have the required tools then all you need is a little bit of focus and confidence. Everything else, you will find in this post.

How Much Can You Hone A Cylinder?

Does Honing A Cylinder Make It Bigger?

Yes, honing a cylinder will make it bigger. When honing, you are removing the materials inside the wall. It not only clears the debris and residue of burnt fuel but also the wall itself.

In theory, honing tools also remove materials from the surface. The process is repeated for a long time it will make the cylinder bigger.

That is why you have to be careful when doing it yourself. Because scraping the same part of the cylinder wall as well as scraping for too long would make the cylinder bigger.

If the cylinder gets significantly bigger than the radius of the piston. You will experience a deterioration in performance.

Can You Bore A Cylinder With Honing Tool?

It depends on the tool at hand. Some tools can be used for both boring and honing. You can both bore and hone with a deglazer piston honer.

Although it will have much more time to bore. On the other hand, there are specialized tools for boring a cylinder. They are much easier to work if you only want to bore your cylinder.

A Note: Honing cylinders is not common practice, although it is possible. It would be better if you look at it as the last resort. Read the detailed guide on how to hone a cylinder with sandpaper.

My Recommended Best Cylinder Honing Tools

Standard Duty FLEX-HONE: This one is the most commonly used tool for honing cylinders. Each globule on this tool is attached to the axis independently. Which means each of them can work independently inside the cylinder. It is very easy to work within both home and machine shop.

Cylinder Hone Deglazer: Its flexible shaft allows you to adjust the pressure on the cylinder walls. The gritstone will also last for a long time. And the best thing is that you can use it to bore a cylinder too.

YOTOO 3-Piece Engine Cylinder Hone Adjustable Deglazer: This 3-piece set of tools will allow a lot of flexibility. You can use different ones to hone different parts of the cylinder. They will be a great asset if you want to best hone your performance. If there are cutouts inside then these set will become very handy.

Read the detailed guide of the best cylinder honing tool.

Best Cylinder Honing Tool reviews

Flex-hone RPM chart

Flex-hone diameterSuggested RPM
4 to 13 mm800 to 1200
13 to 50 mm700 to 900
50 to 100 mm600 to 800
100 to 200 mm400 to 600
200 to 300 mm300 to 500
300 to 450 mm80 to 350
480 to 960 mm60 to 120

How To Bore A Cylinder At Home?

Boring a cylinder at home is much different from boring at a machine shop. Usually, the shops have sophisticated specialized boring equipment at their disposal.

On the other hand, you will only have a flex hone tool if you want to do it at home.

You can find (320 grit) or medium (220 grit) stones to bore the cylinder. You have to attach the flex hone to the drill, set the pressure so that friction is at an optimal level.

Then keep moving the flex hone in a circular motion while it rotates. You will have to keep doing this until you are satisfied with the result.

I highly recommend leaving it to a professional if you are not confident. Because not boring the right amount will have a severe effect on the performance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Should I go to the machine shop or do it myself?

I would recommend going to a machine as they have all the specialized tools. Do it yourself if it is absolutely necessary.

2. How long should you hone a cylinder?

You should hone for 10-15 seconds at a time. Also, pay attention to making sure the consistent crosshatch mark is consistent.

3. Does honing a cylinder change bore size?

Keep in mind that removing materials is not the purpose of honing, honing should be only used for sizing and finishing.

4. How much should you leave for honing?

The general rule is to leave 0.03 mm on each side for honing. You will need to hone in several stages for optimal results.

5. Do I need bigger Pistons after honing?

As long as the piston ring gap is within the spec, you would not need a bigger piston.

6. What’s the difference between honing and boring?

The difference between honing and boring is that honing means resurfacing the cylinder’s wall. On the other hand, boring means increasing the size.


To ensure the optimal performance you should hone the cylinder ~0.002 inches. This is the rule of thumbs, the ideal amount might vary depending on your engine type and the manufacturer.

If you are not sure then, then check the instruction manual thoroughly. Remember honing a cylinder to oversize will negatively affect the engine performance. Always be extra careful because improperly honed cylinder will shorten the engine lifetime and affect the performance.

About Jeremy

Hello! My name is Jeremy Bloomberg. I have been passionate about carpentry and DIY. Over the years, my passion slowly turned into expertise and wider knowledge about electronics. I’ve been involved in numerous projects, both professional and personal. I want to share all I have learned with you. Welcome!

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