Leather Stropping- The Final Step To A Razor Sharp Knife Blade

In this Schrade Quick Tip Video we’ll show you how to turn a simple piece of leather into a fine stropping tool. We’ll also show you how to use the strop to put that …

24 thoughts on “Leather Stropping- The Final Step To A Razor Sharp Knife Blade

  1. James Ritchie says:

    Stropping compound is ALWAYS necessary. Despite all the YouTube videos about bare leather a sa strop, it doesn't work. It's a complete myth. Bare leather has no grit, and without grit, you cannot affect steel.

    This myth got started because barber strops have compound on one side, and bare leather on the other. Customers would watch the barber strop first on the compound side of the strop, then on the bare leather side, and assumed both sides aided in sharpening.

    Not true. The compound side sharpens the razor, and then the bare leather side cleans the edge, removing tiny bits of compound and metal the compound side leaves on the edge. This is ALL bare leather does. It cleans the edge, and nothing else.

    It can take four hours of continuous stropping with bare leather to achieve the same result that less than ten seconds of stropping with compound achieves.

    And you do NOT place your knife blade flat against the leather. That is stupid. It's dumber than a screen door on a submarine. Just as when using a sharpening stone, you MUST match the bevel angle when stropping. There is no bevel angle, no grind, including a full flat grind, that has such an angle.

    Either you match the bevel angle of your knife, or you can strop for a year without making your knife one bit sharper.

    If your edge isn't as sharp as you like after just a few passes, either you're not matching the bevel angle, or you need to use a sharpening stone. Adding more compound will not help. No knife stays sharp forever. Using a strop prolongs the edge, but every so often, you will have to use a sharpening stone again. You know this time has arrived when just a few passes with a strop no longer works.

    And just saying "stropping compound" is useless. Stropping compound comes in many grits, and for many uses. With most popular brands of compound, green compound is the finest grit that actually cuts metal, and this is what you should use. If you buy a brand that has a different color scheme, then buy the finest CUTTING grit that brand has.

    Again, with most popular brands, red is not considered a cutting compound because it has a grit of roughly 30000, and is a polishing compound only. You do not need this for sharpening, but if you want a display knife to have a beautiful, true mirror finish on the bevel, then you can use red after you finish with green.

    You should also buy the leather for a strop. Scrap leather, or a belt, make a lousy strop. You want hard, thin, vege tanned leather for most grinds, and thick, soft leather for a convex grind.

    While I'm at it, do not use sandpaper and a mouse pad unless you also strop a knife that has a convex grind. Otherwise, you'll turn the grind on your knife into a half-assed convex that you'll have to repair with a sharpening stone, and doing this is no fun.

    Anyway, everything in this video is completely wrong, complete nonsense. I don't know who advise Schrade on this one, but whoever it was knows absolutely nothing about strops or compounds.

    This video should be taken down, and one put up that has at least one correct thing in it. This is the first Schrade video I've seen that is literally wrong every step of the way.

  2. Bryan Resch says:

    I was thinking of putting new leather on my strop. Do I have to put Veg Tan back on or can I use any soft flexible leather ? Someone gave me a bag of scraps but none is Veg Tan

  3. Mick Bator says:

    Great tips as always, thumbs up!  Thank  you for the contest and the opportunity.  I would love that 153UH, reminds me of a knife my grandfather carried daily.  Thanks again guys!

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