Cardboard Strop

Honey Badger Knives by Western Active Sharpening with Cardboard Strop

If you don’t want to buy a leather strop you can make a very simple cardboard strop with components that you probably already have lying around at home.

Strops are probably one of the most simple tools to keep the edge on your Honey Badger Knives razor sharp. Stropping is a very non aggressive process and while it may take a few tries to master the process, it’s virtually impossible to damage a blade by stropping.

Keep in mind that stropping is to help you maintain the edge of a knife that has already been sharpened. If the knife is totally blunt it will need sharpening first before a strop will be of much use.

Use the strop every few days depending on how much use your knife gets and you will be surprised how long you can go between sharpenings using stones.

Using this cardboard strop will help you understand the concept of maintaining an angle as you draw the knife, with trailing edge, across the strop. You may even enjoy the process so much that the next progression will be to get yourself a bench stone and enter the world of freehand sharpening.

The purpose of this article is not to teach you to strop. There are many YouTube videos that explain the process far better than we can. Take a look at the excellent videos from Burrfection and this one in particular showing how good using a cardboard strop really can be.

We just used a piece of cardboard that we found in the office. You could use the backing of a legal pad, a piece of cut from a USPS priority mail envelope or whatever you can find lying around.

The D2 steel knife we used here had just cut up a bunch of cardboard boxes and while still sharp had lost it’s shaving sharp edge.

Honey Badger Knives by Western Active Sharpening with Cardboard Strop
Wood block, cardboard, craft knife, glue stick, green compound
Honey Badger Knives by Western Active Sharpening with Cardboard Strop
Cutting the cardboard to size
Honey Badger Knives by Western Active Sharpening with Cardboard Strop
Gluing the cardboard to the wood block

The cardboard strop will work just fine bare as you can see below

Honey Badger Knives by Western Active Sharpening with Cardboard Strop
Stropping on the bare cardboard

Some folks prefer to use some type of compound. We used a bar of green Dialux but there are many different ones out there that will do the job just as well. Just apply as if you are using a coloring crayon.

Honey Badger Knives by Western Active Sharpening with Cardboard Strop
Applying compound

These compounds have very fine abrasives in them and aid in really getting that fine edge. Note the black deposit on the cardboard strop below after a few strops as the compound gets to work. After about 10 strokes on each side the knife was again shaving arm hairs.

Honey Badger Knives by Western Active Sharpening with Cardboard Strop
Stropping with compound applied

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