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Thread: Stropping

  1. #1
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    Question Stropping

    Ok so this goes out to all you guys who use your knives in a professional setting. I need some help in deciding weather to spend some $$ on a stropping kit and wonder if there is actually a tangible difference between stropped and un-stropped knives.

    How does stropping affect your knife performance in the kitchen?
    Does it benefit me to strop my knives for work in a professional kitchen?
    Do you strop your work knives?

  2. #2
    Senior Member shankster's Avatar
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    I don't think there's a right or wrong answer to this question.It's all a matter of personal taste in edges.Some pros want a toothier edge in a work environment so stropping or even finishing on a really high grit stone won't give them the results they're looking for.Some want the sharpest/keenest edge you can possibly get, so stropping is part of their sharpening ritual.

    Personal preference.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rockbox's Avatar
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    You can strop on anything that is slightly abrasive such as news paper. You don't have to buy a kit to do it. The kits may give you a better edge, but you test it out cheaply to see if it works for you before you invest money. Jon said that most chef's in japan go up to 6K and strop on newspaper.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." --Albert Einstein

  4. #4
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    The most important thing to keep in mind is burr removal. How you do it and what is required to do it depends on the steel and your technique on the stones. Ideally, you'll have very little burr left by the time you finish sharpening so you just need something slightly abrasive and/or fibrous to finish grinding it off or actually pulling it off. You can do this on your finishing stone by raising the angle and stroking very lightly in either direction. In short, you don't need a strop. It does make things easier in many respects but as others have mentioned, not necessarily better.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Citizen Snips's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    The most important thing to keep in mind is burr removal. How you do it and what is required to do it depends on the steel and your technique on the stones. Ideally, you'll have very little burr left by the time you finish sharpening so you just need something slightly abrasive and/or fibrous to finish grinding it off or actually pulling it off. You can do this on your finishing stone by raising the angle and stroking very lightly in either direction. In short, you don't need a strop. It does make things easier in many respects but as others have mentioned, not necessarily better.
    this is the perfect explanation. i think a lot of people get confused on what stropping is or does. as i mentioned in your other post, i do microbevels for professional work and it gives me more strength and toughness i desire while working 8-10 hour shifts.

  6. #6
    I like the strops. It's easier, and with a good compound, will blend any mistakes or uneven convexity in your bevel. Also, you can't(or at least shouldn't) use a honing rod on really hard knives, so I strop to maintain between sharpening.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by johndoughy View Post
    I like the strops. It's easier, and with a good compound, will blend any mistakes or uneven convexity in your bevel. Also, you can't(or at least shouldn't) use a honing rod on really hard knives, so I strop to maintain between sharpening.
    I agree with all of this except the honing rod part. I wouldn't have a problem with a careful honing on a ceramic or glass rod. Ridged metal rods and any sort of rough banging around is a definite no-no.

  8. #8
    The sanituff boards make a fair strop in a pinch as does a brown paper bag, getting a flat, hard surface is important.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    I agree with all of this except the honing rod part. I wouldn't have a problem with a careful honing on a ceramic or glass rod. Ridged metal rods and any sort of rough banging around is a definite no-no.
    Yeah, I've taken the path of not telling people about the use of honing rods until they figure it out themselves, lol. I've never seen a borosilicate rod in a kitchen, so I figured someone should tell this dude not to rub his J-blade on a steel.

    Soft steel, however, goes hand-in-hand with a good honing steel, and stropping is not a great idea...kind of a waste. If you're looking at lower-end sets of euro blades, and those will not get the benefit of a strop, and if the steel bends into a burr, you'll scuff up a strop and a strop won't straighten steel.

    If you get a harder knife(or knives), and you are a home cook, you can get by with a decent strop setup and just get your knife to a pro sharpener once or twice a year. That's what I would do if I wasn't crazy.

  10. #10
    Senior Member dreamsignals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    The sanituff boards make a fair strop in a pinch as does a brown paper bag, getting a flat, hard surface is important.
    you just strop normally, edge-trailing motion, on the sanituff? i slice on it for debburing but never imagined it having abrasive qualities. cool.

    i've been trying to sharpen completely stropless these days, except for a couple of passes on whatever pants i'm wearing, to improve my technique. kindda the korin video. i think felt was becoming my crutch. i'm also trying to get the microbevel to actually happen...but i digress...
    -thiago

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