Instructions for Double-Sided Paddle Strops
Congratulations on Your New Paddle Strop
Thank you for choosing a Sharpening Supplies 12" XL Double-Sided Paddle Strop or 8" Double Sided Paddle Strop. Whichever size you decided on, your strop is made in the US using the highest quality materials.
Your strop is a finishing tool for creating razor sharp edges on knives, carving tools, and woodworking tools. Follow these instructions after sharpening by any method in order to get the sharpest edge possible. Your strop is also perfect for maintaining edges. We recommend stropping lightly and often. A few strokes on the strop before you have even noticed loss of cutting ability will keep your knife as sharp as possible.
Paddle Strop Features
Features of our 12" x 3" and 8" x 2" Double-Sided Paddle Strops.
Your strop has two distinct leather surfaces. One side is suede leather, and the other is smooth. Each of these leather stropping surfaces is firmly affixed to a solid hardwood core with a generously sized handle for safe use. A leather lanyard through the end of the handle provides for convenient hanging storage.
Using Your Strop
Following are instructions that will help you get the most out of your new Double-Sided Paddle Strop. If after reading through the instructions, you have any questions about your strop or how to use it, contact us by phone at 800-351-8234 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be happy to help.
Start on the Suede Side
Start on the suede leather side of the strop. Take hold of the handle and make sure you have room to move the blade up and down the length of the strop. For stability, it is helpful to lay the strop on a solid work surface, or at least to rest the end of the strop on a stable surface. Make sure that you have enough clearance to the side of the strop so that you won't hit your knuckles against the work surface as you move the knife across the strop.
Stroke Away from the Cutting Edge
Use light pressure and stroke away from the cutting edge.
Lay the bevel of your blade on the strop. We recommend using the same angle that the edge was sharpened to. Use light pressure and slide the blade along the strop. It is very important to always move away from the cutting edge when you strop, never toward it. An action toward the edge will cut into the strop, damaging it and dulling your edge.
As you move the blade along the strop, also slide the blade along its own length to touch every bit of the edge. Start at the heel and work to the tip, lifting the handle as necessary to follow any blade curvature. At the end of your stroke, lift straight up. Avoid any rocking motion, which will round your edge. Return to your starting position and repeat. Do 12 strokes on this side of the blade.
Flip the Blade
Repeat the action on the other side of the knife.
After 12 strokes, flip the blade to the other side and repeat. You can switch which hand is holding the knife, or hold the knife in the same hand, start at the other end of the strop, and do 12 strokes in the opposite direction.
Finish on the Smooth Side
Now strop both sides of your knife on the smooth leather.
Now that you have stropped on the suede side, it's time to flip the paddle strop over and repeat everything on the smooth side. Do everything you did on the suede side: use light pressure, stroke away from the cutting edge, lift without rocking at the end of your stroke. Strop 12 times on each side.
That's it. You've successfully used your strop. As you continue to strop in the future, you may find that you need more strokes, or you may find that you need fewer. The exact number will vary from knife to knife, and your own personal preference. Don't be afraid to experiment to find what works best for you.
Maintaining Your Strop
Strops require very little maintenance. Keep your strop clean and free of dust, water or other contaminants. If the leather starts to look a little dry, you can rejuvinate it with a leather conditioner like the Herold - Solingen Leather Treatment. Store your strop where it is easily accessible. Using a strop often will help maintain a sharp edge.
We recommend honing compound for the suede side of the strop. You can use your strop with or without compound, but compound will speed up the polishing action of your strop. We recommend Green Honing Compound. It performs well, giving mirror fine results, and is economical as well.
Apply Honing Compound to the suede side of the Double-Sided Paddle Strop.
Apply the honing compound to the suede leather side of the paddle strop. The suede side accepts compound more easily than the smooth side. Using the stick of Green Honing Compound like a crayon, rub it on the suede leather side of the strop. The wax of the compound will soften with friction, so if it seems a bit hard don't be afraid to rub it a bit. Apply until there is green visible over most of the strop.
After applying the compound, use the strop just as the preceding directions indicate. You will start on the suede side just as you would if you used the strop without a compound.
After several stropping sessions, the Green Compound will start turning black. When this happens, rub some new compound right over the old. Generally, there is no need to remove old compound, but if you do desire to remove some, you can scrape the strop with the back of a knife blade or other scraper.