How to Strop a Knife|7 Easy Steps, Angles, & Tips with Assistance

To strop a knife with accuracy & perfection, users have to follow multiple steps depending on the knives they are using. The stropping is the last step that is essential to follow after sharpening the knives.

In this process, the edges of the knives are polished and refined to maintain the functionality of the blades. Therefore, to keep the knives safe, versatile, and durable, the users have to strop such knives from time to time.

Here in this article, we’ll take a look at the best steps that users have to follow to strop their favorite knives with pace & efficiency. For this purpose, we have listed the 7 best and simple steps to perform such actions.

7 Best Steps – How to Strop a Knife?

With stropping the knives, it is pretty easy to maintain their functionality as well as their structures. As a result, each of the given steps is followed by the next one for accurate output results.

For those interested in learning more about these special knife-related articles, don’t forget to check out this post-related article on How to clean a sharpening stone? In addition, you should also explore this website for further related content.

1. Prepare the Strop

Clean and debris-free surfaces with the abrasive side facing up are ideal. This first step is widely important for self-defense and protection. As an unclean strop can cause multiple issues, and it would be quite difficult to clean with simple and easy products.

2. Use the Dominant hand

Make sure the knife blade is facing away from you as you hold it in your dominant hand. By correctly handling these knives, you will be protected from their blades and can easily rub against their sharp & pointy edges.

3. Position the Edges

As you place the knife on the strop, keep the bevel facing down and the edge facing away from you. The tip of the knife must be in contact with the strop for easy and accurate hand movement.

4. Maintain an Angle 

Maintain contact with the strop while pulling the knife towards you. You must keep the angle of the blade constant while moving it across the strop. Keep in mind that if you maintain a certain angle, neither the speed nor the perfection of the process will be affected.

5. Flip to Both Sides

Flip the knife over once you have reached the end of the strop, and repeat the process on the other side. You should continue stropping the knife on both sides until the edge you desire is achieved.

6. Use Smoothing Oils

After stropping the blade, use a honing oil or a paste to finish. It will help the blade become smoother. Moreover, it also supports the users in preventing the knife blades from all basic damages like rust or corrosion.

7. Wash the Knives

After you are finished, wipe or wash the blade and strop to remove any extra oil or paste. In the end, you can take a dry towel to clean these freshly sharped knives to make them look more stylish and versatile.

Which Material is better to strop a Knife?

Sharpening knives using strops made from leather is a good idea. Other materials include linen, balsa wood, or even diamonds. 

In terms of durability, leather strops have been considered the most traditional, while synthetic materials like diamond are said to provide a more consistent and fine edge than leather. In the end, the best strop depends on your personal preferences and the type of knife you are sharpening.

Which Angle should you choose in stropping a Knife?

To achieve a razor-sharp edge, you must strop at the correct angle. The angle must match the angle at which the knife was sharpened. Most knives are recommended to be held at 20–25 degrees, but the angle may vary depending on the blade’s design and intended use. 

The manufacturer’s instructions or a professional can help you determine the correct angle for your knife. Moreover, your personal choices can also help you greatly in the easy stropping of such products.

Which Stropping compounds should you choose?

The purpose of stropping compounds is to enhance the sharpening process and increase the abrasiveness of the strops. It is used to polish the knife’s edge to make it finer and more precise. 

Such items also involve leather belts, whetstones to hone or sharpen the knives, and multiple other tools. Stropping compounds come in a variety of forms, each with its unique properties and uses. Here are a few examples:

1. Diamond compounds

A paste or oil is used to suspend diamond particles. For knives that are extremely dull or damaged, or for knives needing to be sharpened, they are one of the most abrasive compounds.

2. Chromium oxide

A fine edge can be created using this green powder. A razor-sharp edge can be produced with this versatile compound when used on a range of knives.

3. Boron carbide

The powder has a black color and is used to create very fine edges. Knives of different types can be sharpened with this compound, and it can produce a razor-sharp edge as well.

4. Green rouge

The powder has a green color and can be used to make very fine edges. The compound is versatile enough to be used on a variety of knives and produces razor-sharp edges. It is also possible to make all of these compounds at home.

Things to avoid – How to strop a Knife?

A few things should be avoided when stropping a knife to ensure safety and effectiveness:

  • Strops that are dirty or contaminated with debris can damage a knife’s edge.
  • A wrong angle can damage the blade and cause the edge to become uneven.
  • Stropping too hard can damage the edge of the blade by removing too much metal.
  • You should avoid the use of the wrong type of stropping compound or abrasive material.
  • Using a knife with a damaged or chipped blade can worsen the damage and make it dangerous.
  • Strapping a serrated knife with a straight strop can damage the serrations and reduce their effectiveness.
  • In the presence of other people, avoid stropping without proper protection. Knives are sharp tools that can cause injury if misused.
  • When you stroke a knife without properly cleaning or lubricating the blade, rust may form.
  • You should sharpen a knife before stropping it if it is not in good condition.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1: Can you strop a knife with a leather belt?

The blade can be stropped with a leather belt if necessary, but it is not nearly as effective as sharpening with a rock. If you want to strop a knife, take off your belt and hook the buckle to something solid, so you can keep it taut when you pull it.

2: Can any leather be used for a strop?

Maintaining the sharpness of your knives, bevelers, and other tools don’t require any fancy equipment. Some leather polishing compounds can be applied to leather tools to restore their sharpness and precision. Most strops are made of veg tan leather.

3: How often should you strop a knife?

A knife should be sharpened every 1–2 months, depending on how it is used. To sharpen an edge, you need a relatively coarse abrasive such as a diamond plate, a stone, or an abrasive belt.

Final Verdict:

To strop a knife, we have given the best steps that the users can easily follow for perfect results. The proper technique of stropping a knife, using a clean strop, using the right type of abrasive, and handling the knife with caution is essential to maintaining its edge. 

You should always consult the manufacturer’s instructions or a professional if you are not sure about the angle or motion you should use with your knife. As a result, we hope you have enjoyed reading this amazing article with its excellent information.


Abdullah is a highly experienced knife expert, and he loves to explore different types of knives. With years of hands-on experience and a deep understanding of knives, now he transforms his knowledge to other people who loves to read about knives.

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