Taking care of your knives doesn’t have to be difficult, but you do have to learn a few basics. Almost everyone knows how to put an edge on their knife using a whetstone, but many people forget the final step: Stropping. In these two videos, YouTube user Zyhano shows you everything that you need to know in order to hone your blade with a strop.
There are a few secrets to the process that you might not know about. The first is to use chromium oxide, usually applied to the rough side of the strop, in order to polish and sharpen the edge of your knife. The second important thing to keep in mind is to keep the angle consistent, and strop each side an equal number of times.
Leather strops and chromium oxide compound are surprisingly affordable, and even the back of your belt can work in a pinch. For the best results, though, you should use a dedicated strop that’s been charged with chromium oxide-based sharpening compound. When you strop your knife properly, you’ll be able to see yourself in the reflection on the blade and it will be sharp enough to shave the hair off of your arm.