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How To Choose The Best Sharpening Strop

How To, Blog

Do you want an intense sharpening pass to result in a perfect finish? Stropping your knife is the best way to achieve this. However, each knife is used under different circumstances. Choose the right strop and when you’re using a straight razor, you need to treat it differently than if you were using an outdoor knife. How should stropping belts be used versus paddles?

Stropping with a Leather Stropping Belt

With a leather stropping belt, you can actually strop with any knife. By using a stropping belt, you can get a pretty sharp straight razor, pocket knife or survival knife. Particularly, knives with convex-grinds are suitable for use with stropping belts. Among these knives is Fällkniven’s survival knife. Convex-grinds are easier to strop because you can choose the pressure and angle yourself with a stropping belt. This round profile of the cut is very easy to follow.

Using a stropping belt for daily maintenance is also an excellent choice. A small hook can be easily attached to something to hang the belt. By doing so, you can easily maintain your knife on a daily basis.

To choose the right strop, it is important to keep in mind that you are in control of the applied pressure on the belt. Therefore, you must ensure that the leather surface is actually flat. There is a risk involved here. As a beginner, you may want to consider a stropping paddle for an outdoor knife or a razor strop for a straight razor.

Stropping with a Stropping Paddle

The first item that you can choose the right strop is stropping paddle. Stropping paddles are simply pieces of leather applied to hard surfaces. Since the leather is applied to a hard surface, you can apply more pressure to the blade. When people first begin stropping, they tend to apply more pressure at the outset than they do later on. The leather stays flat and constant due to the hard surface. Additionally, the stropping compound can be applied more easily.

A small strop on a hard surface is ideal for stropping on the go, such as when (wild)camping or hiking. This is much more convenient than a stropping belt or razor strop. When sharpening larger knives, a large stropping paddle is useful. Knives for the outdoors or for the kitchen can also be a part of this category. With a Japanese whetstone, Japanese kitchen knives can be sharpened up to perfection. The razor strap can be used, as well as a large stropping paddle.

Stropping With a Razor Strop

The second item that you can choose the right strop is razor strop. The razor strop is a good alternative to stropping with a stropping belt or stropping with a stropping paddle. A razor strop is actually a thicker stropping belt that is applied to a frame. The belt tension can be adjusted by rotating the handle. So, it is unnecessary to keep an eye on the belt tension for stropping: the frame does it for you. 

The leather is also more convenient because it is thicker. The cut can still be corrected if you make a mistake. It is likely that you would end up with two (half) belts if you cut into the leather of a stropping belt by accident. Furthermore, it is convenient that the belt doesn’t need to be hung up by a hook.

Razor strops are suitable for outdoor knives, kitchen knives, and straight razors.

Other Materials That Can be Used As A Strop

Leather is the most commonly used material for a strop. The most popular choice for real stropping fans is Russian leather or even kangaroo leather. In addition to different types of leather, there are also other materials that could be used as a strop. Diamond sprays or emulsions such as those of DMT are often used in conjunction with this. For this, simple newsprint, jeans fabric, balsa wood or maple wood are popular materials.

If you are interested in getting the best leather strop, we have the best recommendations for you, so you can choose the right strop based on your requirement.

As you spray diamond emulsion on a flat and hard surface, you lay newsprint on it. Afterwards, you can very gently strop your knife with light movements.

A very flat piece of maple or balsa wood is best, with no imperfections such as knots. The wood is sprayed with diamond emulsion as well. Start gently stropping your knife from there.

If you choose the right strop, you can achieve some great results. For any type of stropping, it is better to use three gentle strokes than one too hard.

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