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Stones vs CBN / strop??

Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:26 am

Hi Guys,

Curiosity here. Several assumptions.

We are talking about finishing a kitchen knife edge as opposed to polishing a blade.
The steel can take the edge.
Cost not a factor.

What are the pros and cons of a strop loaded with CBN 1.5 micron vs an equivalent grit stone ( 12K I think ).

Many thanks.

Re: Stones vs CBN / strop??

Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:09 am

As always... "compared to what?"

Which stone in particular?


Re: Stones vs CBN / strop??

Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:43 am

Theoretically, nothing. Both would refine the edge the same.

But, as BDL eludes, that's theoretical.....practically it would matter what strop material, how evenly the CBN was applied, how densely it was applied, which stone, using a push/pull stroke on the stone, or just stropping on the stone, etc.

Re: Stones vs CBN / strop??

Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:50 am

Well buying stropping equipment is often times cheaper, way cheaper, and in the words of Forest Gump " that's all I got to say about that."

Re: Stones vs CBN / strop??

Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:57 pm

It becomes a lot more complicated than just stone vs strop. The stone is a solid object made of abrasive and binder with a specific hardness, the strop is typically a soft substrate with a abrasive applied which causes much different abrasion characteristics than a stone.

You can change these abrasion characteristics by changing substrates, balsa wood, MDF, various types and thickness of leather, and I've even heard of diamond paste being used on a iron plate.

So to sum it up, a stone and strop of the same grit will never act the same.

Re: Stones vs CBN / strop??

Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:54 pm

Many good points here.

Looks like we need one of everything :)

Re: Stones vs CBN / strop??

Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:29 pm

BW <> Don't confuse need... with want.

I'm not fond of the man, but Murray hasn't pushed the King 1000/6000/newsprint combo for two decades because it doesn't work. You dont really need much more than that $50 worth of equipment to make a hard kitchen knife shave your face.

I think people lose touch of reality sometimes becoming engrossed with the scores of options available. Yes, I have a Shiite-load of stones & yes, I have quite a few strops, but I don't need them; they are tools in which I embrace as toys resonating with intricate nuance of each for individual application & utilization.

Want. Yes.

Re: Stones vs CBN / strop??

Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:47 am

Of course you can put the CBN on a stone :) And if you so desire, you can use an edge trailing stroke if this is what you define as a stropping motion.

So in this case a 1.5 micron CBN spray on a 12k ish stone gives you a substrate that actually becomes part of the slurry. So plus or minus a little bit, loading a 10k Naniwa would give you a soft 'strop' that you should do edge trailing strokes BECAUSE of the stone, whereas a 15k Shapton pro would give you the ability to do edge trailing and leading strokes, gaining the benefits of CBN over a stone in that it handles very abrasion resistant steels better than the stone alone. Of course this gets quite interesting with natural stones....

Now if the CBN is loaded on say Kangaroo or nanocloth, now you do have the advantage in some circumstances of using a DRY technique. Even more convenient than splash and go. Just go and go :)

Now if we start seeing more k390 knives, well the advantages of CBN becomes even more apparent whether or not we are using a stone or more traditional strop as the base.

I think I'll stop for now as hybrid stone slurries on strops could get pretty confusing.

Overall, your choice would be determined by exactly the effect(s) you wish to achieve and what you have available.

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