Is a leather strop necessary when sharpening a pocket knife?

I recently caught the high end pocket knife bug. I bought myself a small Chris Reeve Sebenza pocket knife a few weeks ago and it has gotten a little dull. I tried to sharpen it on an old sharpening stone my grandpa gave me and being unexperienced at sharpening, not only did it seem to make my knife more dull then it already was, it also put a few ugly scratches on the side of my nice knife.

Anyway, getting to the point... I ordered a nicer Spyderco knife sharpener online but I've noticed in a few youtube instructional videos that a lot of people use a leather strop on their knife after they sharpen it. I was wondering if I needed to go order a leather strop. What does the strop do for me?


@Colonol: It's a Small Sebenza. So far it's the only knife I have other than an old buck knife.

3 Answers

  • Pete J
    Lv 6
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    In short not much, but they make good straps for naughty kids! Or teen agers that won't do what's been asked of them!!

    Your best to us an oil stone used for sharpening wood chisels & the like, As your trying to sharpen it rotate the knife in circular motions along the oil stone & on your last rotation drag the knife back towards you as this helps to remove any feathered edge that may have apeared on the knife. Do the same on the other side in the same order .Just make sure you hold the knife firmly as you rotate it along the oil stone.

    Leather straps are only used for sharpening cut throat razors & pocket knives don't need to be that sharp!

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  • paul h
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Most likely, putting a fine edge on a pocket knife with a strop will just make it duller very quickly. You have to understand the way metal behaves at such minute thicknesses. Stropping does give a very fine edge which is good for shaving and low pressure but that same edge is very easy to fold over onto itself and produce a duller edge when used for harder work like a pocket knife would see.

    Imagine a piece of can probably cut yourself with the edge of it but if you fold that paper edge over, you most likely will not cut yourself from the folded edge. It's the same thing with stropping. Stropping leaves a very thin but sharp edge...if that thin metal edge folds over under hard pressure, it leaves a duller edge. You would have to continually strop the edge to keep it sharp and even then, a very fine edge will not stand up to hard pressure.

    Better to just sharpen with a good wetstone and procedures or a good sharpening system at the proper angle. Always sharpen with a motion going into the blade...never away which draws metal away from the blade and thins it out.

    Source(s): Uncle was a butcher and knew how to keep knives sharp.
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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Leather will give you an ultra sharp finish (shaving sharp) but will dull out almost instantly if you use it as a pocket knife. You don't need it for a pocket knife. It's fun to get a pocket knife that sharp but impractical. It does take practice to use a stone properly, I use a series of three stones. Practice on old, cheap pocket knives.

    Source(s): What sizes have you gotten yourself? I have a few hundred of all sizes, no reason, I just like them.
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