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Stropping: What am I doing Wrong?

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  • #38450
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    I was touching up my 8-inch Victorinox chef knife and after the 1500 grit stone I decided to see if the strops would improve the edge. I tested slicing paper before and after stropping with the 4 and 2 micron diamond emulsion on cow leather strops and there was a noticeable decrease in sharpness. I decreased the angle by 2 degrees before stropping and I did about 10 edge trailing passes per side on each grit with very light pressure. After stropping, it was more difficult both to slice and push cut paper.

    Since I wasn’t happy with the results, I re-clamped the knife and did a few passes with the 1500 stone followed by the 6 micron lapping film and I had a fantastic edge back that slices and push cuts really well. I love the reproducible clamping with the advanced angle guide!

    What am I doing wrong?

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    Hard to say from a distance. Too much pressure or too little on the strops?

    Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge

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    My guess is that when you stropped you never got to the edge and slightly polished the shoulder, up to but just short of the edge. by doing this the material your cutting will want to stick to the bevel or shoulder and the knife will have a duller feel. If the finish of your edge doesn’t match the bevel it may give you a feel that may not “feel” sharp, especially when trying to cut delicate material. When I test my edges I use phone book paper, notebook or computer paper, paper plates and cardboard. Sometimes the edge doesn’t feel great on the delicate paper but actually cuts the paper plate and cardboard better. Just a guess though.

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