Finely finished and accurate cylinder honing for repair and manufacture

Cylinder Honing

Cylinder honing is a type of advanced grinding which is an important part of our manufacturing and repair processes.

We use honing to produce cylinders that have a finely finished surface with highly accurate dimensions.

We hone cylinders in a wide range of different materials such as:

  • all steels
  • non ferrous metals

The Cylinder Service Centre has invested in one of the largest honing machines in the UK. This give us the capacity to hone tubes of up to 650mm in diameter and up to 14 metres in length.

Having this equipment within our factory means we can provide fast and economic repairs. We can also manufacture cylinder tubes with special dimensions.

This means that we can manufacture odd sized cylinder tubes from scratch in our own premises. Having this ability drastically reduces lead-times and associated costs.

Unusual cylinder profiles we can manufacture or repair include:

  • out of round bores
  • tapered bores
  • bores with keyways and ports
  • bowed bores
  • tandem bores

The Cylinder Service Centre has the only in-house honing capability of this type in the North of England and the whole of Scotland.


Cylinder honing preparation and set-up

If you have an unusual profiled cylinder you are not sure about then please contact us for advice and options.

About the Honing Process

The Cylinder Service Centre is a specialist in cylinder bore honing.

Honing is similar to grinding as the aim of both processes is to achieve dimensional accuracy and a fine surface finish.

Grinding usually involves an abrasive wheel moving at relatively high speeds normally in a side-to-side motion. This can result in a high impact shock to the metal which is not always ideal for some types of surface finish.

Honing uses a different approach making it more suitable for finer surface finishes. It is also better with dimensional accuracy and when dealing with cylinder bores.

The advantages of honing over a more conventional grinding process are:

  • The fineness of the finish
  • The configuration of the surface finish
  • The roundness of the cylinder.

The Fine Finish

The fineness of the finish is achieved because the honing process is more gentle than grinding.

The process can be up to 40 times slower than grinding (15 -76 metres/min v 762 - 2900 metres/min for grinding). However honing does not have the risk of impact damage that can occur with grinding. This is because the honing process maintains a constant contact between the tool and the cutting surface of the cylinder.

This constant contact is achieved by a tool that holds stones that move in a helical motion. The honing tool moves up or down the cylinder as it turns.

The honing tool also presses outwards and is spring-loaded to tolerate eccentricities in the circular motion. This also means that unusual cylinders can be easily accommodated.

The constant change in the direction of movement means that any imperfections on the cutting surface of the tool are not transferred to to the surface of the cylinder. This makes it easier to achieve a fine finish.

The Configuration of the Surface Finish

Honing stones are mixtures of aluminium oxide or silicon carbide abrasive grits assembled into an abrasive block. The stones are bonded together with an agent that can be baked to create a solid tool.

The size of the tool depends upon the size of bore to be cut.

The movement of this stone within the cylinder provides a fine finish. At a microscopic level this appears with cross hatch type pattern.

The cross hatch pattern on the surface finish is ideal for holding microscopic levels of lubricant. This makes it perfect for use in hydraulic cylinder applications.

The Roundness of the Cylinder.

The honing tool assembly is less rigid than a grinding tool. The circular motion of the tool even has a degree of eccentricity.

The honing process uses this eccentricity in the circular motion to good advantage.

The complex circular and side to side movement of the honing stones means that the final circle of the bore hole is a sort of average. This creates a cylinder that is as close to perfect as can be realistically achieved.

The near perfect end result allows the honed cylinder to be used as a reference point for other machining processes. For this reason honing is usually the first part of the machining for a cylinder repair.


If honing is a process at the core of hydraulic cylinder repair and manufacture, then it is also at the core of our business.

The Cylinder Service Centre offers exceptional honing expertise and we look forward to you contacting us to discuss your cylinder honing requirements in the not too distant future.