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In the kitchen for touch-up: strop or stone?

Recent Forums Main Forum Techniques and Sharpening Strategies Task Specific Knife Sharpening Cooking In the kitchen for touch-up: strop or stone?

This topic contains 17 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Josh 10/12/2015 at 7:54 am.

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  • #29189

    Josh
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    • Topics: 89
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    I use a 10-12″ white ceramic “steel” or honing rod. Edge leading, alternating passes, very lightly. I pretty much always do this after using the knife, after cleaning it. Then after it has been honed I place it back in the block and it’s ready to go for the next time :side:

    I typically don’t like strops, unless it’s for my straight razor because then you want to round the edge and it gives a superb shave. The theory goes (according to Cliff Stamp) that if you strop you are hitting the very apex and actually bending it back and forth, especially the way most people do it with a heavily loaded strop that has been used a bunch instead of a clean strop w/ abrasive compound. This bending back and forth will weaken the apex of an edge (similar to if you bent a paper clip back and forth – it would break) and you will notice a decrease in edge retention the more you strop. This is why Cliff advocates only using stones.

    I am not sure how much the above actually makes a difference, however, in day to day edge retention that would be noticeable. I personally don’t use strops because I find they remove the teeth in the edge that I like so much. So my 1200 grit (or so) white ceramic rod does the trick nicely. If I were to use a strop I would probably grab a paint stick from the hardware store, which are balsa around here, and load it w/ some compound and use that. 🙂

    But this is the trick… thin edges love a honing rod – touch up in 5-10 passes and you can maintain your edge for literally 6 months, shaving sharp, in between sharpenings w/ almost daily light use.

    Oh, and NVG is probably referring to this sharpener.

    Mark, as far as a sander… from what I have read the general consensus is that the Tormek’s aren’t that great unless you are a wood worker. If I were you I would look into getting a Viel S-5. They are a great price and you can pick up a local motor that works on your voltage. I would also almost consider a vfd so you can slow it WAY down hehe, but that is more $.

    #29190

    Mr.Wizard
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    • Topics: 5
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    If proper angle is indeed the case then how do leather barber strops work to sharpen straight razors? There’s no precise angle maintained there.

    Actually there is! A straight razor is specially ground such that the spine of the razor acts as a built-in angle guide. You lay the razor exactly flat and never lift the spine while stropping and this gives you a consistent angle.

    #29191

    Josh
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    • Topics: 89
    • Replies: 1670

    If proper angle is indeed the case then how do leather barber strops work to sharpen straight razors? There’s no precise angle maintained there.

    Actually there is! A straight razor is specially ground such that the spine of the razor acts as a built-in angle guide. You lay the razor exactly flat and never lift the spine while stropping and this gives you a consistent angle.[/quote]

    This is true while honing on stones but not true when stropping on a hanging strop… think about it… everyone will hold different amounts of tension on the strop and get varying angles at the apex 🙂 Check this video out…

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