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Top Strop Alternatives For Knife Sharpening

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You know strop alternative before? The strops are used after the finest stone to finish the sharpening process. A strop’s purpose is to polish the edge and get rid of burrs left behind after sharpening stones.

Leather is the most common material used to make strops, although there are other types. Usually suede and smooth leathers are used, technically known as fleshside and grainside. The strop can be mounted to a rigid base, like a leather on wood paddle strop, or it can be flexible, like a leather and linen razor strop.

How to Use A Strop

With honing compounds, the extremely fine abrasives that give an edge a mirror finish, strops are frequently used. Apply the compound to the strop surface first if you plan to use a compound. There’s no need to cake on the compound, as a little goes a long way.

Keep the blade away from the cutting edge and apply light pressure to the bevel. On the other side, turn the blade over and repeat the procedure. With or without a honing compound, the process is the same on any stropping surface.

Is A Compound Necessary?

Compounds are not necessary for the use of a strop. For instance, razor sharpeners tend to prefer using leather strops without any compound applied. A leather polish will remove any burr from the edge, leaving it crisp and sharp.

If you are interested in getting the best leather strop, we have the best recommendations for you.

According to our experience, whether or not to use a compound is a matter of personal preference. Regardless of method, excellent results are achieved. However, honing compounds tend to show results faster than plain compounds when they contain abrasive particles. Some of us, in the interest of being thorough, use a strop with compound on it and then follow up with a plain strop.

Strop Types

The Box

A double-sided box with two leather surfaces for two different purposes. It can be used with sharpening paste on one side and for pre-shave stropping and finishing on the other. Mahogany wood is usually used for making them. You can stow your paste inside the sliding panel, ideal for travel or for saving space.

The Loom

“Loom” shapes are formed by wrapping leather around wooden or metal brackets. Woven strops are somewhat of a niche item – not many places carry them (but we do). Here, the benefit is the ability to adjust tension. With a simple adjustment, you can tighten or loosen the tension on the strip.

The Paddle

There are a variety of types available. Some are one-sided with only one type of material, while others have four sides with a variety of materials. In the simplest form, a paddle strop is a piece of leather fixed to the wood, and more complex ones are made up of leather, felt, and canvas. In addition to the use of honing pastes and compounds, each side has its own particular utility. They can also give paddy a good whack (but don’t tell anyone).

The Hanging Strop

The hanging strop, developed in the 19th century for the Sweeny Todd era, is the most commonly available type. You can hang them on walls or hang them on backs of doors and hold them with one hand. They can be wound up and stored tightly for travel or storage in the bathroom, and there’s one to suit every budget.

Strop Alternative

Using other strop alternative materials, such as fabrics (denim, canvas, etc. ), allows you to remove loosely-hanging debris and burrs from an edge, and also realign very fine wire edges. There isn’t as much abrasion there, though.

When an edge responds noticeably and positively to stropping on fabrics and other relatively non-abrasive strop alternative materials, I consider this a very positive sign. That’s an indication the edge was already in excellent shape (fully apexed), and was truly ‘ready’ for stitching.

Knives and razors are very well suited for stropping with denim cloth. In addition, it does not impart any grit to the sharpening process, so when used with diamond spray, it produces a super fine edge without contributing to the sharpening process. We encourage you to give one a try and we are confident that you will experience great results with other strop alternative.

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