Actually we don’t need a compound, without any compound, a strop can be used. Straight razor sharpeners, for example, frequently prefer a smooth leather strop with no compound applied. The leather polishes the metal and removes any burrs from the edge, resulting in a crisp, sharp edge. You can read the best review of leather strop here as well.
On the other hand, knife and tool users frequently use a compound on their strops. They discover it quickly and easily, and it provides them with a significant advantage that meets their requirements.
Whether or not to use a compound is, in our opinion, a matter of personal preference. Both methods produce excellent results, though honing compound with its abrasive particles will show results faster than plain. Many of us do both in the interest of being thorough, using one strop with compound applied and then finishing with a few strokes on a plain strop.
Tips About Using a Strop
Strops are frequently used with honing compounds, which are ultra-fine abrasives that polish an edge to a mirror finish. If you’re going to use a compound, start by rubbing it into the strop’s surface. There’s no need to use a lot of compound because a little goes a long way.
With light pressure, press the bevel against the strop’s surface and move the blade away from the cutting edge. Replace the blade and repeat the process on the other side. On any stropping surface, with or without an honing compound, the procedure is the same.
Never move the blade toward the cutting edge because it will cut into the strop, dulling the edge and causing strop damage. Usually, a few strokes are sufficient. It’s best to use a strop before you notice your edge is dull. It’s an important part of keeping a razor-sharp edge if you use it on a regular basis.
Stropping a blade entails lightly dragging it over a piece of leather or similar material, referred to as a “strop,” in order to polish the edge and sharpen it.
Some experienced knife users prefer to use a stone for the bulk of the “grinding” before polishing with a strop. In recent years, however, the practice of solely stropping knives — without the use of stones, rods, or other sharpeners — has gained popularity in bushcraft and knife enthusiast circles.
The Kind of Compound
The $25 DLT XL Double-Sided Paddle Strop is ideal for working with both black and green compound on a single strop with two suede sides. Our knife experts have been using them for years and have had no problems with them. You give up the smooth finishing side to have two suedes, and the suede on these isn’t quite as suede-y as the French Leather strop’s, but it’ll suffice.
For stropping in the field, nothing beats the mighty $20 Sharpshooter Fine Leather Hone — a high-quality, two-sided (both sides are suede) leather strop that’s just big enough to get the job done but small and light enough to fit comfortably in your emergency pack.
This leather strop is stiff enough that it doesn’t require a wooden backing, and it has a convenient hole for a lanyard to keep it in place while in use. It’s more difficult to strop large blades with a small strop like the Sharpshooter, but it can be done with care.
We carry a Sharpshooter loaded with green on one side and black on the other in a small dry bag similar to the type used to store cell phones while camping in the bush. This $25 Loksak Dry Bags 4 Pack of Assorted Sizes is excellent, and we’ve been using it for years. However, any small, waterproof phone storage solution will suffice.
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