Stropping knives

Stropping knives

This is a discussion on Stropping knives within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I only recently started using a strop to maintain the edge on my knives and boy am I glad I did. In the past, I ...

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Thread: Stropping knives

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array bklynboy's Avatar
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    Stropping knives

    I only recently started using a strop to maintain the edge on my knives and boy am I glad I did. In the past, I used a belt or the back of a legal pad as an expedient strop when I did not have a hone or stones handy. Recently, I came across the Youtube channel of a real knife hound who is really into sharpening methods and he really advocated the use of a strop
    . KnivesPlus Strop Block Tips - YouTube He compared a number of them and recommended this one from Knives Plus KNIVES PLUS ® STROP BLOCK, Leather Sharpening Strop, KP-STROP8

    For $20, I thought it was worth a try and I am very pleased with the strop and the results. This strop is impregnated with polishing compound and they say that all you need to do, once a year, is put a drop or two of vegetable oil on your finger and rub it into the leather to bring up the polishing compound again. Since I started using the strop, I find much less need to sharpen on my spyderco sharpmaker and when I do, I can get by with the ultra fine rods. I use the strop on everything from my pocket knives to my kitchen knives, including my Shun knives with a 30 degree total edge
    Last edited by bklynboy; July 23rd, 2013 at 12:41 PM.


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    VIP Member Array GhostMaker's Avatar
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    I agree, stropping is excellent. A far amount of the old school barbers down here in the South will still use a straight razor to shave you if asked. It's something to behold when they break out that razor and go to slapping that thing on leather!
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    VIP Member Array Jaeger's Avatar
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    If you want really, really sharp there is nothing better. My Tormek has a slow speed stropping wheel that gets everything as sharp as a scalpel, but its pricy. Yours is a much better deal.
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    Member Array HillyBilly's Avatar
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    Depends on what you are using the knife for, are you cutting meat, slaughtering animals or shaving the hair off the back of your arm. Look around at the people that earn their living with a knife in each hand, what are they using?? As long as it works for you and you are happy that is all that matters cause someone just sold you on it. I've not seen a reason to re-invent the wheel..

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    Senior Member Array bklynboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostMaker View Post
    I agree, stropping is excellent. A far amount of the old school barbers down here in the South will still use a straight razor to shave you if asked. It's something to behold when they break out that razor and go to slapping that thing on leather!
    Around here, (Northern Virginia) the closest I can get to a straight razor shave is the kind that uses a disposable straight razor blade. I am old enough to worked in office buildings in NYC with barber shops in the lobby that provided real straight razor shaves (honed on a strop) and shoeshines, I regularly made use of both and miss the old school touch
    GhostMaker likes this.

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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    When a fine edge is the goal, strops surely work. In an emergency, I learned from an old knife-guy that the top edge of a car side window (laminated safety glass) can work too.
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    I almost always finish an edge by stropping it. Most of my knives are really large so I use a large piece of veg tanned leather that is cemented down to a thick piece of plate glass. I have the leather treated with fine red jewelers rouge.

    Good thread on stropping.
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    VIP Member Array Phaedrus's Avatar
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    I almost always finish on a strop, too. Bare Kangaroo leather is maybe my favorite, with balsa wood being a close second. In a pinch, regular leather is good as well.
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    Distinguished Member Array Arborigine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillyBilly View Post
    Depends on what you are using the knife for, are you cutting meat, slaughtering animals or shaving the hair off the back of your arm. Look around at the people that earn their living with a knife in each hand, what are they using?? As long as it works for you and you are happy that is all that matters cause someone just sold you on it. I've not seen a reason to re-invent the wheel..
    I tend to cut more zip-ties, electrical wires, ropes, hay bale twine, packaging tape, cardboard than I do steaks or attackers. Use the right tool for the job, and find the edge angle that works best for what you do.
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    VIP Member Array Phaedrus's Avatar
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    I should point out that my own specialty is sharpening kitchen knives. I work as a chef and my preference is for a very highly polished edge. For my personal knives I generally polish up to a 10,000 grit Naniwa Chocera and/or a Japanese natural stone. If you could put a grit number on it (you really can't) my Hideryama Renge Suita would probably come in at around 100,000 grit. All of my knives are Japanese and generally capable of taking a nice polish up to 10k or higher. Typically I finish with bare Kangaroo and/or a hard balsa strop doped with 1/8 micron Cubic Boron Nitrate. I'd have to do the math but that's over 150,000 grit.

    Obviously I don't go that high for my wilderness/camping/hiking/EDC blades! Those I generally do a Kalamazoo 42" x 1" belt sander. In that case the highest gritted belt I use is either 1,000 grit or the 9 micron 3M belt. I finish on a leather belt doped with 0.5 micron green Chromium Oxide paste. This gives me an edge that still has some bite that will still cleanly shave. Plus, I tend to do those kinds of knives in the slack part of the belt so I get a nice convex edge.
    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

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