PDA

View Full Version : What is Stropping to you



Sarge
11-12-2011, 12:13 PM
From thought started by the poll, what does stropping mean to folks around here.

To me stropping is polishing/finishing an edge on some other medium besides the stones, and not just edge trailing strokes

Perhaps I'm too rigid in my definition here, but whether it is horse butt, some other leather, balsa, felt, newspaper, and whatever compounds are involved Stropping is something other than the stone.

Personally I don't strop. I did once upon a time but stopped in an effort to improve my sharpening, as I felt that stropping covered up some of my flaws with the stones. I also don't think stropping at sub micron grits helps much and from what I've experienced just isn't for me as far as food goes. Now if I was shaving or cutting paper for a living I'd strop for sure but I don't like it for food.

Maybe I wasn't all that great at stropping but I think it is more that I prefer more bite and tooth than I've gotten from stropping at that high of grit. For my uses and purposes I think finishing on the Kitayama makes very excellent edges for food.

But again I think stropping is something done off the stones on some other medium. I'd love to hear what other people think.

tk59
11-12-2011, 12:20 PM
I thought the definition of stropping was to make edge-trailing strokes regardless of the substrate. I started out with chromium oxide on horse and then switched to finish stropping on stones (I like the 8k SS but Kit is nice, too.). Since then, I've tried out the full line of HA substrates and Dave's set-up, as well. My favorite set-up is currently stropping on Dave's old leather charged with 1 micron diamond. I'm still fiddling around with some other compounds and balsa, as a substrate. I definitely agree that the sub-1 micron compounds are not as nice.

Eamon Burke
11-12-2011, 12:23 PM
I would probably define it something like this. (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php?2023-Kitchen-Knife-Glossary#stropping)

Sarge
11-12-2011, 12:37 PM
I thought the definition of stropping was to make edge-trailing strokes regardless of the substrate. I started out with chromium oxide on horse and then switched to finish stropping on stones (I like the 8k SS but Kit is nice, too.). Since then, I've tried out the full line of HA substrates and Dave's set-up, as well. My favorite set-up is currently stropping on Dave's old leather charged with 1 micron diamond. I'm still fiddling around with some other compounds and balsa, as a substrate. I definitely agree that the sub-1 micron compounds are not as nice.

strop (strp)
n.
1. A strap, especially a short rope whose ends are spliced together to make a ring.
2. A flexible strip of leather or canvas used for sharpening a razor.
tr.v. stropped, stropĚping, strops
To sharpen (a razor) on a strop.

Like I said I'm probably too rigid in defining it.

tk59
11-12-2011, 12:44 PM
Yeah, I've definitely seen the dictionary definition and I'm okay with that. My "working" definition literally comes from my collective experience on knife forums and videos from various knife related sources (professional knifemakers and sharpeners). I've definitely modified my terminology to keep in line with the way things have been described here over the years. Probably the finest example of this sort of thing is the "primary vs secondary bevel" question. Don't ask. :D

Eamon Burke
11-12-2011, 01:10 PM
Using 'stropping' as a term for edge-trailing strokes on a stone is confusing and redundant. Confusing because that means that sharpening normally is both sharpening and stropping at the same time, and redundant because we already have the term "edge-trailing". Stropping refers to "using a strop" and a strop can be many things, even for razors, but no strop can be used edge-leading.

I always finish on every stone by deburring, edge trailing strokes, deburr again. It's my little ritual.

Sarge
11-12-2011, 01:18 PM
I always finish on every stone by deburring, edge trailing strokes, deburr again. It's my little ritual.

:plus1:

tk59
11-12-2011, 01:34 PM
Redundant, sure. Confusing? I wasn't confused back when I first saw Murray Carter talking about finishing edges by stropping on a stone, were you?

Eamon Burke
11-12-2011, 01:58 PM
The point is to not confuse OTHER people.

And yes, it was confusing as hell learning to sharpen on the internet. Everyone talks in acronyms, and uses the same words to mean very different or opposing things. I would read posts, read tutorials, watch videos, and 99% of it was "whatever works for you" or "watch me and do this" kind of information. It is good for specialized terminology to be logically consistent, some people actually learn by understanding the words that are spoken/written, not just by watching and doing.

I grew up with my father's razor strops hanging on his bedroom closet door, and when people were talking about stropping on stones, it didn't make any sense.

*edit* FWIW, I thought Murray Carter was a total quack for about a year and a half. Mostly because of his loose use of language and the way that he presents cutlery in such a ritualistic, "do this and then you get this" approach to everything without transferable knowledge. It's like getting landmark-based directions. Works for locals, but that's about it. I have crazy respect for Carter now, because he is right about almost everything.

JohnnyChance
11-13-2011, 03:45 AM
A strop can be a thing or an action, I have no problem and no confusion with referring to edge trailing finishing strokes on a stone be referred to as stropping.

mpukas
11-14-2011, 01:17 PM
A strop can be a thing or an action, I have no problem and no confusion with referring to edge trailing finishing strokes on a stone be referred to as stropping.

I'm with you on this. A strop (n) is a sharpening device other than a stone that can be leather, balsa, newspaper, etc that requires edge trailing strokes so as to not cut into the surface.

Therefore, stropping to me is synonymous w/ edge trailing strokes, and can be performed on any medium, including stones. Stroping is a form of sharpening, which is also honing.

On another note, steeling (whether on a steel or ceramic rod) is NOT honing, as the term is used frequently by some "kitchen experts", as honing is sharpening and steeling {generally} is realigning the edge, not removing metal to create a new edge.

deanb
11-14-2011, 07:44 PM
There is a difference between a steel and a ceramic rod. Ceramic is much harder than knife steels so it does remove metal.

tk59
11-14-2011, 09:58 PM
There is a difference between a steel and a ceramic rod. Ceramic is much harder than knife steels so it does remove metal.Actually, a steel should only be used if it is harder than the blade and it will also remove metal unless it is a smooth polished steel.

Eamon Burke
11-14-2011, 10:52 PM
I'm with you on this. A strop (n) is a sharpening device other than a stone that can be leather, balsa, newspaper, etc that requires edge trailing strokes so as to not cut into the surface.

Therefore, stropping to me is synonymous w/ edge trailing strokes, and can be performed on any medium, including stones. Stroping is a form of sharpening, which is also honing.

On another note, steeling (whether on a steel or ceramic rod) is NOT honing, as the term is used frequently by some "kitchen experts", as honing is sharpening and steeling {generally} is realigning the edge, not removing metal to create a new edge.

Neither honing nor sharpening are technical terms. Sharpening means "to make sharp" and sharp means "cuts well". So it's all lingo, and as long as you are an avid or professional sharpener, you ARE an expert, but rarely do experts agree. There are ooddles of experts here, this is an enthusiast forum.

mpukas
11-15-2011, 11:29 AM
Neither honing nor sharpening are technical terms. Sharpening means "to make sharp" and sharp means "cuts well". So it's all lingo, and as long as you are an avid or professional sharpener, you ARE an expert, but rarely do experts agree. There are ooddles of experts here, this is an enthusiast forum.

I wasn't referring to anyone here as a "kitchen expert" as there are many real experts here; I was referring to media "experts" that really aren't, who confuse and interchange terms to make themselves appear more knowledgeable - and marketable - than they really are.

I noticed some time ago, as an example, that there's a big difference in the way the straight razor world and the kitchen + knife world uses the same terms. After doing a little research on definitions I came to the conclusion that the kitchen + knife world is less correct in it's use of terms; not necessarily wrong but less correct none the less. The problem I have is when "lingo" gets thrown around a small enthusiast community and then the "lingo" becomes the acceptable definition of a term, contrary to what the real world common definition may be.

Not sure what you mean by "honing" and "sharpening" not being technical terms. They have definitions. Particularly honing. Sharpening is a form a honing (Honing is an abrasive machining process that produces a precision surface on a metal workpiece by scrubbing an abrasive stone against it along a controlled path.) Steeling is a form of sharpening (to make sharp), but not a form of honing. Steeling a rod is not intended to be honing as the intention is to realign an edge. Saying that, I do understand that some rod materials may remove some small amount of metal in the process, so that definition has exceptions.