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Perfect Your Knife With Proper Stropping Technique

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If you sharpen a knife blade, the edge is likely to have tiny burrs.

Stropping is essential for removing these burrs.

It is a common misconception that stropping is only intended to polish knife edges.

Well, that’s only partially true.

You can find out more about stropping and how it works by reading on.

Before we start..

let us hear Kevin’s story…

Since i live alone now..

I cook varieties of food every day….

But these days I feel like my knife skill and maintenance is lacking….

My knife becomes dull really fast…

It is really hard to use and I’m afraid that it will hurt myself somehow….

So my friend suggest me to strop my knife?…

But, how? I never strop a knife before. …

So I look up how to strop a knife guide on the internet…

…and it totally changed my life!

Check this out!

Stropping Overview 

How to strop a knife
Credit: Bespoke Unit

The strop, also known as the strap..

..is a traditional barber’s strop used to strop a straight razor.

The barbers tend to make their razors sharp with long leather straps.

In the world of knives, a strop is conventionally a leather strip used to polish, maintain.

..or sharpen an edge using abrasion.

Surfaces are sharpened using the finest stone at the end of the final sharpening process.

The strop not only polishes the edge..

..but also realigns the cutting edge, smoothes the blade..

..and removes excess metal shavings left by your sharpening stone.

Strops are commonly made from leather..

..although other materials such as linen are also used.

There are two types of leather used: smooth (grain side) and suede (flesh side).

Strops are typically made from cow leather..

..which is not acceptable to animal lovers.

There are other strops available to them, such as those made of textile materials.

A strop is anything that is useful during the final sharpening process and is not a stone.

It includes materials such as kangaroo leather, horse leather..

..newspapers, balsa wood, fire hoses, and textiles such as linen, denim, and cotton.

Microfibers and nano cloth are included in the latest ones.

To summarize, you can perform knife stropping with a piece of leather..

.cardboard, denim, newspaper, or even wood.

Each of these stropping media, however, has a unique impact on the edge..

..typically in terms of aggressiveness.

What exactly does stropping do?

Authentic strops do not actually produce abrasive action..

..in the process of repositioning an edge.

The rolled or bent edge is simply pushed back to its original position..

..without being abraded.

If you choose a treated strop, also called a loaded strop..

..its surface will have abrasives.

Alternatively, oils and waxes can be incorporated into them.

Depending on the abrasive type..

..the included abrasives can discard metal at different degrees.

An edge is refined, sharpened, honed, and polished rather than merely realigned.

Here’s the interesting part…

Strops Types

Hanging Strop

Strops are available in different forms..

..so it is important to be aware of the kinds you can use when stropping a knife.

Strops can be categorized into two major types, namely hanging and bench.

The latter includes even the paddle strops.

How to strop a knife
Credit: Lynn Abrams

Those that are used with straight razors and by barbers utilize hanging strops..

..while bench strops are used primarily for razors, knives, and woodworking tools.

The former is attached to a towel, hook, or knob.

It can be pulled tight and conform to an edge.

Bench Strop

Bench strops, on the other hand, are usually mounted on a hard surface..

..and are evenly flat. Acrylic, metal, or wood can be used as the surface.

Flexibility is one of their qualities.

You also have razor strops and mounted razors.

How to strop a knife
Credit: Home Build Workshop

Those with leather attached to a solid wood base, such as maple, are the former.

You have the choice of handheld or bench-mounted strops..

..depending on your work style and the edge to be honed.

Paddle Strop

There is a choice of smooth leather or suede sides for all of them.

On one side, some paddle strops have smooth leather..

..while the other has suede leather.

A razor or hanging strop, on the other hand..

How to strop a knife
Credit: BeaveCcraft

..is a wide belt made from heavy linen on one side and leather on the other.

Some users strop using the heavy linen side to clean the blade..

..before switching to the leather side.

It is up to you whether or not to do this before stropping.

In addition to being used, these strops can also be stored on a wall or chair.

At one end of the stick is a hook, while at the other end it has a generously sized handle.


Stropping Compounds Overview

There is no compound applied to strops for straight razors of barbers.

On the other hand, knives use compounds.

Strops for knives are often used with honing compounds..

..which are micro-abrasives capable of polishing the intended edge to a mirror finish.

Consider applying a compound like this to the surface of the strop if you wish to use it.

Honing compounds may or may not be used, depending on your preference.

With or without a honing compound, you can achieve the desired results..

..although using one will yield faster results.

Proper maintenance of your blades makes for safer, more efficient cutting in the kitchen or the field. That’s where a good knife sharpener comes in”

Adrienne Donica, from Yahoo!finance.com

Depending on the grit and form of the compound..

..you may want to use a honing compound.

For the best results, choose an extra-fine compound.

Consider coating the strop evenly with petroleum jelly before adding this compound.

You may now apply the compound as if you were coloring with a crayon.

Be careful not to add too much of it.

Steps to Strop a Knife

How to strop a knife
Credit: Rajswasthya

The first step is to determine whether your knife is eligible for stropping.

It cannot be stropped if it is serrated.

Striking a serrated knife will damage it.

Only a razor strop is reliable if your knife has a curved blade.

Your knife needs to be sharpened well after you have done this.

Otherwise, you will be stropping for hours and get no results.

The following steps will show you how to strop a knife with a honing compound:

  • Collect all the necessary tools for stropping before starting. It is important to have an appropriate leather or non-leather strop ready at all times. A knife should also be rinsed rapidly.
  • You should now clean your strop if it is not new but a used one or a loaded model. This step is not for those who are using the newly introduced strop. They can move on to the next step. When you stop, metal shavings are left along with stropping compound that was previously left on the strop. You need a clean strop, so you must remove this mess. Rubber alcohol can be used as a removal solution.
  • For refining and polishing, add the stropping compound to the strop.
  • The next step is to find the right stropping angle. Angle positioning is also important here. As a general rule, you shouldn’t use the same angle for both sharpening and stropping. An 18 degree sharpening angle should have an opposite stropping angle. Hold the knife at a 90-degree angle to the surface, which is the easiest way to get the right angle. Its half is 45 degrees, so you know where you should be.
  • Start stropping at the end. Keep in mind that stropping is exactly the opposite of sharpening. It is vital to pull backward since cutting into a strop is to be avoided. Start by positioning your knife at the right angle on the strop.
  • Pull your knife slowly from the heel to the tip in a backward motion. Fix the same angle throughout the stropping process.
  • After the fifth and sixth steps are completed, repeat the process for the opposite side. Continue until you have seven swapping passes. To put it simply, draw a single line on one side and then on the other side. By doing so, you complete seven passes on each side.

If you are interested in getting a leather strop..

..we have the best recommendations for you.

Presents you the 2021 best recommendations for knife strop and sharpener!

How to Strop a Knife with a Belt

Here’s how you strop a knife with a belt:

  • In your dominant hand, take the knife by the handle.
  • Drag the knife’s edge along the grain of the leather belt, applying strong pressure as you go, until you’ve reached the end of the strop.
  • Simply spin the knife in your palm to flip it over, then drag it back up the strop towards you, maintaining pressure on the strop by pressing down slightly with the knife. Remember to keep the blade moving smoothly on the belt rather than applying pressure. To avoid accidently cutting the belt or yourself, move the knife blade at an angle.
  • Pass the knife back and forth on the strop for about 5-10 passes, or until it is fully sharpened and polished, as determined by an inspection.
  • Clean both the knife and the strop with a soft cloth to remove any debris from stropping.
  • The knife has been sharpened and is now ready to use.
  • As you can see, stropping is simple to do, but it serves a crucial role when it comes to keeping your kitchen knives and other household blades in good working order.

Sums Up

Strops will likely become black at some point.

That is completely alright, as it serves as a good indication.

Polished steel has this color. 

A strop might begin to shine.

The problem is that this indicates the effectiveness of the strop has declined rapidly.

An effective strop is always a little rougher.

Using such an abrasive makes polishing faster.

Therefore, it makes sense to roughen the strop..

..which is an easy task that can be accomplished in a variety of ways.


Wire brushes make roughening a strop easy and quick.

Try it gently at first to determine the amount of pressure you need for roughening.

To do this, you can even choose a saw.

By moving it sideways across the stropping surface..

..you will roughen the surface without damaging it.

Stropping doesn’t seem so tough, is it?

When you choose a high-quality strop and a honing compound, it is easy.

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