For more information on buffing compound, see our beginner site Common Woodworking.

Buffing compound is not always readily accessible and I was scrounging around in Harbor Freight (a national US chain of tool and equipment suppliers in most major towns and cities stateside) the other day and found a compact round stick of green buffing compound for just under $5. It’s a good sized stick about 20mm diameter and 10cm long. Enough for about ten years or more for anyone sharpening up every day. I used it for three days of demoing and found it to have good consistency and charges the leather strop appreciably. Some are to powdery and require the heat build up from a rotary machine mop to charge the rotating wheel.


  1. Josh Garrisi on 14 March 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Thanks for the tip!
    I’d love to hear your opinion on their 10 dollar handplane. I have one and despite it’s overly large mouth, it still can handle a wide array of tasks from scrubbing to smoothing to running chamfers. I’m always impressed by what the little lightweight can handle.

    • Paul Sellers on 14 March 2013 at 11:05 pm

      I worked one of these about six years ago. It did take some work but at the end it worked just fine. One thing I am cautious about is whether the component parts are quality enough to give longevity. That is my question. The thick lacquer on the plane handles, mine were wooden, took some stripping off but underneath there was some good and solid wood.

  2. Paul Sellers on 16 March 2013 at 11:40 pm

    I would go ahead and use it and I would also prefer this than to wait until a good report comes forth if it means getting into woodworking.

  3. Walt on 16 December 2016 at 10:57 pm

    I want a scraper plane, but just can’t bring myself to pay what they cost today. I’ve looked for a used one, but they cost as much as a new one. So I’ve been reading about how to sharpen a bench plane iron with a micro bevel thru how to change a plane completely into a scraper plane. So I was thinking of giving one of those a try to mod. Into a scraper plane. Seem like a cheap way to give it a try. Instead of missing up a good plane. Whats your thought?

    • Paul Sellers on 16 December 2016 at 11:21 pm

      You don’t need one. They’re hard to set up, they dull in minutes and they are not versatile at all. Better using a #80 scraper. They do the same work but better and they cost much less. There, you have my thoughts.

  4. Pheroz Tengra on 6 October 2017 at 6:25 pm

    I was a fan of the green bar for many years till I ran into a product – “Heavy concentration 0.5 Micron Diamond Spray” A hand american products. This product I feel is better then the green product, and the best part is takes half the time/effort to bring a similar shine on tools. It is a bit pricey $21 for small bottle.

    • Paul Sellers on 6 October 2017 at 8:59 pm

      Sorry Pheroz but it’s not a bit pricey it’s a lot pricey when you think the bar does just a super-fine job far in excess of our woodworking needs and a bar will last about 30 years for an average woodworker. It takes me literally 30 seconds to buff my chisel or plane iron so the time saved can only be inconsequential. I just hate for people to feel this is some kind of tedious task that’s slow. It’s not at all.

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