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Thread: Different Strop Materials

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    St. Louis, MO
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    Default Different Strop Materials

    So I'm doing a bit of window shopping, and trying to get my education on when it comes to strops. I know that strops can be almost anything, from leather to newspaper, and they each have their role. I know that leather is often the primary material for daily use, with secondary materials being felt, linen, webbing, etc...

    For EXAMPLE, take one of the SRD Strops. You get the leather piece, and then as the secondary option you either get matched webbing, SRD Premium Fabric, or 100% Hard Pressed Wool Felt.

    What is the difference between the materials? Why would I choose one over the other? Do some take paste better? Personal preference? Do certain blades work better on different materials? Does it even matter?

    Just trying to get my learn on, and hope I'm making myself clear. Thanks!
    ScoutHikerDad likes this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Chicago Suburbs
    Thanked: 99


    In general, fabric strops have three basic purposes:
    1. To clean the blade to remove moisture, oil, soap residue, minor corrosion, etc.
    2. To help realign steel along the edge of the blade. This is similar to a chef using a knife steel on a carving knife.
    3. As a potential substrate for abrasive pastes or sprays (Chrome Oxide, Diamond, CBN, Cerium Oxide, etc).

    It is good to use a fabric strop to realign the edge and prevent contamination of the leather. Whether you wish to use pastes or sprays on one side of the fabric is a matter of personal preference. Some shavers love them, others never use them.

    Stropping on leather completes the realignment of the edge and also burnishes the bevel and edge for a smoother shave. It is possible to use fabric alone (cotton, linen, wool felt, denim, poly webbing, paper, etc.), but traditionally, leather has been used for the final stropping. That is why most strops come with both fabric and leather.

    Although people tend to develop personal preferences for type and weave of fabric and type of leather, nearly any fabric and any leather will work as long as it is reasonably flat. Some people object to the use of animal products and use vegan strops make of synthetic leatherette. That can work as well.
    ScoutHikerDad likes this.

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