One of my knives needed a touch up, so I wet down a hard Arkansas stone with Buck Honing Oil and did the job. (The high-grade oil showed up in a box of auction-sale junk. Trust me on this one, Sidney; I did not order it from Cabela's.)
The red oil from Buck works fine, At two bucks an ounce it should. Never mind that it looks like, smells like, and feels like plain automatic transmission fluid, about two bucks a quart.
Now, saving a little on honing oil isn't going to make or break you, but there's a principle involved here. Illegitimati non screw u with salesmanship based on pure image.
(Slaves to their own self-image can, of course, acquire an empty Buck Honing Oil bottle and fill it from their stock of transmission fluid. No one will be the wiser, even if knife sharpening is a social activity for you and your circle of friends.)
A disclaimer is necessary since everything I know about chemistry comes from The Anarchists Cook Book or Old Mr. Boston's Bartenders Guide. Maybe upscale honing oil in a cool bottle differs from ATF on a molecular level.
But then again, come to think of it, maybe neither is all that much better than spit.