Stropping Guide for Wood Carving Tools

Hello everyone!

Today we are going to show you how to strop your knife correctly. It doesn’t really matter what company sandpaper you choose. The most important thing is to have a waterproof sandpaper.

We will use sandpaper of the following grit sizes: 2500, 2000, ...

We will need: a bar (preferably made of hardwood, so that the wood was poreless)

We start with the largest grit - # 500

And we’ll glue the sandpaper to the bar (with clean hands!).

Then wait for 10-15 min.

Take the next number - #800, and do the same on the other side.

And in the same way we glue the other types of grit sandpaper.

We will be stropping the knives from the largest grit to the smallest.

Here look: grit #500 gives such a tooth on the blade (if you look under a microscope) grit #800 makes these teeth smaller and a grit of# 2000 makes the teeth very fine.

Therefore, the more grit you finish stropping, the longer the blade would last. Because, in the case of a wrong cut, the blade will crumble on some tooth.

Here we have a tool that has not been stropped for a long time, and it has a chipped tooth. Here, the wood doesn't cut, it tears. You can see it very well on soft wood.

All knives are stropped according to the same principle: the stropping angle for soft wood varies from 20°-30°.

The angle of stropping for hard woods varies 33°-38°.

This knife has a factory chamfer.

If your knife does not have such a chamfer, then we measure the thickness of the blade, (in our case, 2mm).

The formula is: multiply the thickness of the blade (2mm) by 2.5mm = 5mm.

We measure these 5mm, and draw on the blade of the knife with a marker (if there is no factory chamfer). We do this with a marker to see any imperfections on the blade.

The first number we have will be grit #500,

We use water to make the sandpaper last longer.

For convenience, you can use a stand of some kind.

With proper stropping, the marker should completely erase from the blade.

If you work with the knife 5 times on one side, you need to work on the other side the same number of times.

When you're done stropping, wipe the knife and the sandpaper off.

Now we have done a basic, coarse stropping.

Next we use strop for knives at #800.

We draw a chamfer with a marker so that we lead the blade evenly.

Usually it's enough to run the knife 10 times.

For hardwoods (such as acacia) such stropping is usually enough.

We continue stropping at #1000 as well.

The next grit is #1500, and we repeat the same actions.

The knife cuts lime cleanly, but it is necessary to apply more effort.


And the last grit is #2500.

The cut is smooth and shiny.

If you're carving a lot of hardwood, you lose the sharpness of the knife blade time after time.

Overall it took us 15-20 minutes and now our knife cuts perfectly!

We hope our tutorial was helpful to you.