Metal blade sharpening is a very vital process, especially for frequent users. That’s because it helps to realign the blade’s cutting edge and remove any excess metal. More importantly, sharpening helps to smoothen and polish the blade.
Luckily, there are various techniques you can use to sharpen and maintain your knives. In the past, people have used rods, stones, and other forms of sharpeners.
But that’s not the case anymore!
Today, knife enthusiasts prefer using the best stropping compound to maintain their blades. For starters, a leather strop compound refers to a polishing agent that usually comes as a block. Unfortunately, there are alternatives and varieties of honing compounds in the market.
So, choosing the right strop product to suit your needs is not that simple. Yet, that shouldn’t worry you, though!
In this article, we’ll talk about some of the best quality stropping and honing compounds leading the market today!
5 Best Stropping Compounds Reviewed
1. Sharp Pebble Classic Leather Stropping Kit for Sharpening & Honing
This one from SHARP PEBBLE will be the perfect option for those looking for a premium quality knife sharpening strop kit. It meets and exceeds the expectations of any chef, woodcarver, and bush crafter. Simply put, it’s the best strop compound kit for many professionals.
And there are several reasons for that!
First, this leather strop features a classic design made from genuine leather. This gives your tools unmatched performance by ensuring they’ve got the sharpest edges.
Another unique feature that puts this kit on top of our list is its hands-free usability. Thanks to the durable bamboo base with a non-slip rubber grip underneath. And that firmly holds the strop block in place when you’re moving on it.
This, plus the lightweight design, allows you to sharpen the blade on it with ease.
With this kit, you’ll also get a green honing compound. This will give your blade edges a shiny mirror polish and make them feel smooth in no time. Additionally, this compound helps to put your blade back in place if they become warped.
Lastly, this stropping compound kit is very versatile. You can use it to sharpen all types of blades, including straight razors, hunting knives, axes, and more. So, for all your sharpening needs, this kit has got you covered.
2. LAVODA Double-sided Leather Paddle Knife Strop Kit
This is a double-sided paddle strop block with one smooth honing side and one rough leather side. See, that’s how it’s unique compared to the very first product on our list. Its smooth side is processed as fine-ground to ensure the flatness of the surface.
And it’s perfect for the final finishing of metal edges. The split and premium black leather used on the strop block is vegetable-tanned means you get utmost quality.
You can charge the rough leather side with honing compounds very easily. However, if you see the compound isn’t setting on the leather well, you might need to sand it or heat both the leather and bar with a hairdryer.
With this product, you’ll get 1 micron coarse white honing compound.
And you also get 0.5 microns fine chrome oxide green polishing compound. They work pretty amazingly on the leather strop. Whether it’s a DIY occasional job or even professionals with lots of blades to hone daily would find this kit very well suited.
The contoured wooden handle delivers a comfortable grip. You’ll be surprised by its sound, consistent, and quality work. Furthermore, the stopping block is 3” in width, and a total of 15” in height, in which the leather size is 9-inch.
It has two screw holes to stabilize the block to give you a convenient work environment. Be it a woodworking chisel, knife, razor, or anything sort of that; you can quickly gain scary razor-sharp with comfort!
3. BeaverCraft Double-Sided Leather Paddle Honing Strop Kit
This kit is made by BeaverCraft, a brand that has been in the stropping market for quite some time now. The best thing about their products is that they’re reasonable and ergonomic. That’s what the case is with this honing kit.
This knife sharpener measures 14.5” long, suitable for amateurs and pros alike. It delivers excellent honing results and keeps your tool blade sharp. Besides, it’s considered the best knife strop in the market.
But, what’s so unique about it?
Well, the strop is crafted from durable leather material. This features a double-sided design. You can use any side to sharpen and polish your blades. The sharpener very simple to use since you can quickly shift from one side to the other.
This feature clearly differentiates with the LAVODA kit, which has one rough and one smooth side.
Moving on, the unit is fitted with an ergonomic Ash wood handle. hat gives you maximum comfort and a solid grip while you hone your tools. You’ll also get a beginner’s guide eBook to make the kit even easier to use.
Interestingly, the set includes a green honing compound, so you don’t have to buy it separately. This paste is ideal for giving your tools a mirror polish finish, making them look shiny. So, mark it as the best strop for knives that work on any types of knife blades you can think of!
4. LAVODA Pocket Leather Knife Stropping for Sharpening
This is a super convenient and portable stropping kit. It measures only 8-inch long, 1 3/4” in wide. That’s how compact and lightweight this double-sided pocket-sized leather strop is!
You can carry it outside, even inside a stuffed backpack. That’s probably why it’s named “Pocket Strop.” In that sense, it’s very much suitable for hikers and campers living outdoor and wanted to touch up the knife-edge quickly for a clean cut.
That’s the size-wise benefit of this kit.
But you surely can also use it for any indoor metal blade sharpening jobs. Be it a woodcarving chisel, razor, or hunting & kitchen knife; you can turn out the metal edges pretty sharp and polished within a short time.
Just wipe your knife to align the blade edge and polish the surface. And this kit is widely used by many professionals and beginners.
It’s is overall well-made with quality materials. The leather is vegetable tanned, set on ash wood, provides maximum duality and consistency. Moreover, it comes with included micro-fine green polishing compound. The compound is made with chromium oxide polishing, provided you’ll achieve a super scary sharp edge on your blades.
With the coarse side, you can shape the blade and align the edge. And with the smooth side, you can smooth the sharpness and finish up.
5. Hestya Big Size Leather Stropping Compounds Kit
If you want to hone your cutting tool for light use, check out this set from HESTYA. It’s undoubtedly one of the most reasonably priced stropping compounds on the market. Pricing is not the only good thing about this set, though.
Instead, this kit has some incredible features to offer.
But the unique feature is its double-sided design. Like the LAVODA stropping compound above, this sharpener is fitted with double-sided strop options. One side is frosted, while the other side is a smooth surface.
As for the construction, the strop is made from vegetable-tanned leather and natural wood. This combination gives the set long-term effectiveness.
Another notable feature is that this kit comes with two types of buffing compounds. There is a white and a green chrome oxide honing compound. They enhance the finish of the strop by giving it a brighter luster finish.
We also loved that this set is simple to use when sharpening various cutting tools. All thanks to the wooden handle that provides a convenient and comfortable grip. Also, this handle has a hole, making it easy to store as well.
This stropping kit is perfect for DIY crafts as well as polishing razors and knives. However, you should note that it’s well suited for small blades. Otherwise, this sharpening strop may feel a little uncomfortable for longer blades.
In that case, we recommend you look for a stropping kit with a larger base.
Stropping Compound Comparison Chart
Sharp Pebble Classic Leather Stropping Kit
Genuine cowhide leather
LAVODA Leather Paddle Knife Strop Kit
Green and white
BeaverCraft Leather Paddle Strop Kit
LAVODA Pocket Leather Strop Kit
Hestya Big Size Leather Stropping Kit
Green and white
Stropping Compound Buying Guide
A stropping compound is essential, especially for professionals using metal blades regularly. They need it to restore the sharpness of the tools. However, considering the number of brands and types available, choosing one isn’t that simple.
For starters, this particular segment is very beneficial.
Let’s learn a few essential things you should consider when buying your stropping compound. And, it’s all worth it in the end!
The first thing you need to consider when choosing a leather strop is the material used. Look for a strop that’s crafted from high-quality, durable, and genuine leather. If you’re on a budget, opt for vegetable tanned strops.
Also, double-sided leather strops will enable you to work with different compounds, giving you more flexibility. The reason is that they come with one rough and one smooth finishing side. So you can achieve the sharpest edge possible.
Commonly, you’ll find two types of base materials; ash wood and bamboo. Both of these are recommended. But you should consider how the product is designed. If it’s a double-sided paddle strop, you should expect a good grip handle at the end.
Also, larger strop blocks should have the facility to stabilize for safety and easiness. On the other hand, one-side strops might not have handles to grip. But they should provide it in a way that’s easy to put on a base and work smoothly.
As such, our top product, “Sharp Pebble Classic Leather Stropping Kit” has a non-slip rubber base underneath the block to prevent it from slipping while you’re moving your blade on it.
This is very common, and you should find that almost all strops are helpful for a wide range of blades. However, size plays an important role. You’ll have hard times sharpening a large knife using a smaller size strop block.
So make sure you buy the right size tool for the right purpose you want to attempt.
Polishing compound, also known as honing paste/compound. It makes your leather strops worthwhile. If you buy a stropping kit that doesn’t come along with these pastes, you might have to buy it separately.
Luckily, all of the five products we’ve reviewed come with either the coarse or fine or both compounds included.
Some compounds offer better polish, while others provide more sharpness. Luckily, green compounds have the perfect balance between polishing and cutting. So, if you’re a beginner, we’d recommend you choose them. Also, avoid pastes that take long to settle or very dry in terms of consistency.
Instead, stick with options that are simple to work with.
Most stropping compound kits come at a very affordable price. However, you should note that some sets might be overpriced. So, why spend too much on stropping gears when you can still find a quality product at a reasonable price?
However, don’t settle on a cheap kit that compromises performance or quality.
Paying slightly more for the right tool has some benefits. And you get to work with them with ease. More importantly, don’t waste your time and money rebuying tools. So you shouldn’t skimp on your strop if you do care about your work, and it’s all worth it in the end!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What grit is a green stropping or honing compound?
Answer: Green honing compound is composed of chrome oxide, and it refers to a 6000 grit number. That’s a small size grit refers to 1~0.5 microns. These bars are specifically designed to give your blades a mirror shine polish with a scary razor-sharp finish.
2. What grit is a white knife polishing compound?
Answer: White compounds are 1 micron, composed of aluminum oxide, and refers to 9000 grit. Sometimes you only need the green one, while other times, you might require using both white and green honing pastes.
3. Can you use a leather belt as a strop?
Answer: You can use it if you get the robustness within the correct size. It shouldn’t be a joint surface of several pieces that will impact the sharpening. One side at least has to be smooth while the other side could be left rawhide.
Then, you just stabilize the leather on a surface or staple it on a wooden block. So clearly, there’s some extra work, and it’s kind of making your own customized strop block.
4. How does leather sharpen knives?
Answer: Rawhide can’t actually sharpen that much. It requires some additives like white or green stropping compounds. So then, it polishes the metal blade and finishes the edges to the sharpest level. That’s how you align the edge of a knife using leather.
Low-quality strops won’t let you achieve that utmost fit on your blades. Fortunately, the top five best stropping compounds we’ve reviewed (above) will get you out that of that problem. They’re quite practical and helpful to keep your tools in good condition.
Stropping with them will ensure that your cutting blades stay in their best form. They can be used on many items, including barber blades, Utility Knives, hunting & kitchens knives, wood carving tools, and more.
We’re very much eager to know about your choice of a particular product and “why”? Put your comments below and share your experience with us.