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Thread: strop compounds and comparative sharpness?

  1. #1

    strop compounds and comparative sharpness?

    I was wondering if anyone had the means or time to compare the different stop compounds and different microns at what types of edges they create.

    I think its most likely the finer you go the sharper the edge, however would it be too "slippery" at a certain point?

    Also would certain compounds at the same micron leave a better edge than others?

    Just curious if anyone has tested this or would be willing to.

  2. #2
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    I've tested quite a lot of compounds from 3 microns down to 0.125 microns. I have not tested finer because 0.125 micro CBN and diamond are already useless. One wrong move and they can lose their bite. IMO, if you want some decent long-lived toothiness go no further than 1 mcn diamond, cbn or silicon carbide. If you want a little more slickness for sashimi, etc, go no further than 0.5 micron chromium oxide, although I must say that just using natural stones gives a very nice edge for this purpose sans chromium oxide strop finish. Going below 1 micron is okay for home users that have a strop available and don't mind putting a few passes or so before every use.

    For what it's worth, I've also tested a lot of substrates and I find them all to be fine unless they give a lot or are very porous. Softer is more forgiving but harder gets you sharper, as long as you don't wobble too much.

  3. #3
    I could give you anecdotal comparisons, but I don't have any micrographs or anything. Or a controlled test environment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BurkeCutlery View Post
    I could give you anecdotal comparisons, but I don't have any micrographs or anything. Or a controlled test environment.
    Yeah. I used to take edges to the microscope but I got lazy at some point. One thing I really believe in is your 1k stone sets you up for everything else. The finer grits are just gravy and there is no sense putting too much time into them.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cadillac J's Avatar
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    I rarely use a strop anymore to finish, as I like the edge right off of a 5K stone--refined yet aggressive and the edge seems to last longer.

    However, the leather strop I've had since starting has 1-micron diamond spray and I wouldn't want anything lower (have and messed with 0.5 chromium but think the 1-micron diamond has always been my preference).

    The better I've gotten at sharpening over the years, the less I care about adding more steps to my process--and my edges are better than ever.

  6. #6
    The reason I asked is just curiosity as I haven't tried anything else than diamond spray.

    I use it to prolong my sharpening an it works quite well. I use to sharpen every week now about every month I just touch it up everyday on the strop. A few light strokes brings it back and holds it pretty well. I have noticed by the third week edge retention starts to degrade a bit though

  7. #7
    Senior Member jwpark's Avatar
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    Call me an old fuddy dud, but I'm strop on leather w/ CO.

    But I strop more to get that last little bit of burr off. So even if I'm leaving the edge at a 1k grit stone, I always strop at the end.

    Jay

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwpark View Post
    Call me an old fuddy dud, but I'm strop on leather w/ CO.

    But I strop more to get that last little bit of burr off. So even if I'm leaving the edge at a 1k grit stone, I always strop at the end.

    Jay
    Nothing wierd about that as long as your bite is coming from somewhere. I took the OP's post as a question over whether super fine abrasives give increased performance rather than whether or not they can be useful. You can finish an edge with any fine compound and get something nice. I would argue only that polishing the edge to a uniform finish (ie completely removing the scratches from the previous stone/compound) is not useful.

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