Knife Sharpening – Leather Strops

by Woodsbum

One of the many questions I get is about knife sharpening and how I get my knives to hold an edge as long as they do. To help you guys out, I am putting this post together about strops and how to get a great edge without too much work.

Strops have been around for a long, long time. The most common place that people run into them is with straight razors or wall hangings at an old-time barber shop.

Use of a leather strop for sharpening is a bit different that what people are used to, however. In honing or sharpening a blade, little pieces of metal are actually scraped away and thus creating an edge. In stropping, none of the metal is removed. Stropping realigns indentations in the metal instead of removing it. Most commonly a compound is applied to the leather to aid in the polishing. Variations of polishing compound from very fine to course can be applied. Personally, I have 3 that have green, black, and white compound applied.

My strops come from Flexxx at You can contact him for current prices. For the compound, I use Bark River Knife and Tool compound. I have linked to their site with their US retailers.

The best way to explain would be through video. I have linked a video that explains the overall concept quite well and even includes some close up video of the knife edge. It truly explains in 13 minutes what would have taken me pages of pictures and arrows.

Happy Stropping!!!!

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