Leather strops make it easy to help keep tools sharp. Having one around the shop, with the proper strop compounds, is convenient and effective.
The BeaverCraft LS6P1 Leather Paddle Honing Strop can help produce great results across a variety of tools, click here to see it on Amazon. The stropping surface is about 9″ x 2″, it’s mounted onto an ashwood handle, and includes green poilshing compound. This is a solid option for an all-around strop.
Strops can be made from different types of leathers, and the compounds needed can vary based on the tools being sharpened and the fineness of the edge needed. Let’s explore more about the options and what can be most helpful in the shop.
Types of Leather Strops and Leather Strop Compounds
Leather strops perform mainly the same job, though there are different configurations which might appeal moreso to one crafters preference for use. Let’s explore the common types of strops and compounds.
Leather strops are usually made with either leather attached to a strong base (wood or other sturdy material), or leather that is attached to a hook or clasp, and hung. Either option allows the material to be held taught, and the blade to slide evenly over the surface.
DIY Leather Strops
Leather strops can be made yourself, by using just a leather strip secured to a surface. One can also make their own mounted or hanging strop. Additionally, other materials (such as newspaper), can be used in some cases to effectively (although not as efficiently as with leather material) to strop blades.
Aluminum Oxide Leather Strop Compound
Aluminum oxide is a chemical compound of aluminum and oxide; it is applied to leather stops to help in the knife sharpening process. By rubbing this compound into the leather strop, it help draw a smoother, sharper edge (than if the edge had been stropped with just the leather alone).
Jeweler’s Rouge Leather Strop Compound
Jeweler’s rouge is a compound that can be rubbed onto the top of a strop to help with polishing. It is a relatively fine grit that help refine the edge to be very sharp and smooth.
Green Sharpening Leather Strop Compound
Sharpening compounds are mixtures of natural and or chemical materials, that are finely abrasive, and used to refine the sharpened edge of knives and blades. They can vary in fineness, and are usually the last step (and compound) used in the sharpening process.
Best Leather Strops and Leather Strop Compounds
Here are a few recommendations for useful strops and compounds, depending on preference for mount type, and compound type. With some experience, crafters will usually have a favorite for using within the stropping process.
Best Leather Strop – Mounted
The BeaverCraft LS6P1 Leather Paddle Honing Strop is a great option, click here to see it on Amazon. The stropping surface is about 9″ x 2″, it looks very stylish and is mounted onto an ashwood handle. It includes green poilshing compound to help with the final step in the stropping process.
Best Leather Strop – Hanging
The Parker’s Handmade Latigo Leather Straight Razor Strop can be used for different blades edges, and looks incredible along with its quality performance, click here to see it on Amazon. The stropping area is about 17″ x 3″, providing plenty of room for smooth, long strops. It has a paddle-shaped handle, and is constructed from latigo style leather.
Best Leather Strop – DIY
For one looking to make their own strop, recommended is a 8oz/9oz/10oz weight vegetable tanned leather, mounted onto a board or other surface (to help with stability). Hermann Oak makes some quality veg tan leather, click here to see it on Springfield Leather.
Best Leather Strop Compound – Basic Set
The Drixet 6 Piece Buffing, Polishing, & Cutting Compound 1 Oz. Kit includes a range of 6 compounds, click here to see it on Amazon. It includes 6, 1oz, blocks of color-coded compunds, that range from course to fine. This should cover very well most stropping and sharpening jobs.
Best Leather Strop Compound – German Set
The Dialux Jewelry Polishing 6 Bars Set features a set of 6 compound bars, made by Lippert in Germany, click here to see it on Amazon. Each is a very high quality compound, each bar weighs about 4oz, and they range from course to fine. This is an excellent set that should last and perform very well.
Sharp tools are essential for producting quality leather work. Having a good strop and set of stropping compounds helps make this an easy job, while helping lead to better quality leather items that come out of the shop.