KnifeMasters - Types of Strops
Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."
Types of Strops
Types of strops can vary from homemade to the finest of handmade ones. There are several basic types of strops or stropping methods which all produce the same result. Which one you will use is strictly a matter of personal choice. The western belt style or hanging "Barber of Seville" style strops are most familiar due to their popularity with barbers. These are typically 18" - 23" long with loops and handles to secure the strop during use. The increased surface area of these strops shortens the strokes and time required for stropping.
The German Paddle Strop is an easy-to-use paddle style strop with a leather strop on one side and a fine Belgian or Danish water hone on the reverse side. The French Paddle is a simple paddle style strop designed from Thiers-Issard with a leather strop on both sides. Typically the smoothest side is used as the strop. An abrasive polishing strop paste is applied to the rougher side and acts as a super fine hone. The idea of this method is that the blade is re-polished and re-stropped daily back to its original condition and therefore should not require actual re-sharpening. Re-honing may still be required every several months depending on the use of the blade.
Some strops have linen or cotton backings. These backing are used to heat the blade via friction to make the razor's edge easier to strop. The same technique used to strop a blade should be used on the linen or cotton side of the strop just prior to stropping. If your strop does not have a canvas or linen backing you can accomplish this by running hot water over the blade prior to stropping.
A more modern and faster stropping method can be done on a machine strop. This is normally performed on a belt sharpening machine like EdgeMasters’ 1/3 horsepower, “Home Sharpening Kit”. A leather stropping belt, charged with a polishing compound is used on the sharpener. This system only requires seconds of stropping since the belt is turning at 3,400 RPM’s.
No matter what type of strop you choose, you will find that stropping will give you the finest, finished edge you have ever seen!
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