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Stropping technique

Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:23 pm

I saw a video where this guy used a 2K then 5K water stone only using a stropping motion, pulling the blade backwards, like when you strop on leather or balsa.
What are the plus and minus of this technique?

Re: Stropping technique

Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:23 am

Well that's how you strop....I guess I'm kind of unsure what you mean.

Re: Stropping technique

Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:52 am

PHILLY <> One can finish with edge-trailing strokes to refine the edge after edge-leading/trailing sequences, or solely implement edge-trailing strokes to sharpen. As Adam explains, he is simply using the 5k as a strop, or he is only implementing edge-trailing strokes on his 2k/5k progression. It is a matter of preference. Sharpening is an art, everyone has their own style.

Re: Stropping technique

Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:44 pm

Would most "experienced" knife sharpeners consider stropping on higher grit stones the proper technique "normally".

Re: Stropping technique

Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:34 pm

JEFF <> I can't speak for "most experienced sharpeners," but I speak for myself, of whom has been sharpening knives for over two decades. I am not a guru, I am not a professional knife sharpener, I'm just one of those seemingly rare Chefs of whom sharpen their own knives, and I get my knives sharp... scary sharp. When I was young I worked as a mate in South Florida on offshore fishing charters, and learned how to sharpen my filet knives so as to do my job. I have been a professional Chef for almost 23 years, and I have to sharpen my knives to execute my job. Not for money, not for show... for work - to make the tools work.

When sharpening, I use edge leading & trailing strokes until I've ground down to just before where I'm happy on my bevel. Then I transition to solely edge trailing stokes... basically stropping on the stone. Once I've finished my edge leading & trailing sequences on each stone, I finish with a trailing only sequence before progressing to the next. Then on to the next stone unless the prior stone was a low grit stone in which had generated a burr. Then of course, I take of the burr before progressing.

I have used, with success, my Kityama (8k or 12k depending on who you talk to) simply as a strop to touch up my knives.

I had stropped after sharpening with newspaper draped on my last stone of the progression for about 2 years. That was when I really started researching sharpening; rather then just doing what I knew, which did work very well. The newspaper method was gleaned from Master Bladesmith, Murray Carter, and it worked. Or so I thought, until I used a real [leather] strop.

This forum has talked me into expanding my sharpening kit into a strop, and all I can say is that it is the largest jump in edge performance & longevity, more so, that I have seen in long time. I mean I knew what I knew, and it worked really well so I never looked for more. Now, with a strop, it cuts my time between sharpening noticeably, and touch ups feel like a fresh sharpening. I always made my knives scary sharp with just stones, but I think about how much metal I've ground off for nothing and it bothers me, retrospectively. We live, we learn... ;)

Re: Stropping technique

Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:14 pm

Melampus ,Thanks for that very informative reply. I've only just begun to delve into the world of knife sharpening and become more interested at every turn.
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