Why would you strop your knife?
Which side of the leather to use?

The purpose of a leather strop is to bring the deformed edge back to its normal position. The smooth side of a leather strop is effective only up to a hardness of HRC62.

Brecht Loterman • Managing Director Chef & Knife

Contrary to popular belief, the cutting edge does not become blunt due to the loss of metal. This kind of wear also happens, but only to a lesser extent. A sharp kitchen knife has a very thin cutting edge and is subject to enormous pressure. A knife does not handle lateral forces very well, which means that the cut will bend over time. At some point the alignment is deformed so much that we can speak of a blunt knife.

With knives over HRC60 there is another effect. These kitchen knives remain sharp for an extremely long time, but can also chip at the cutting edge. In this case, microscopic particles will come loose from the blade.

The purpose of a leather strop is to bring the deformed edge back to its normal position. The smooth side of a leather strop is effective only up to a hardness of HRC62.

The harder the blade, the more resistance the steel will offer when stropping. For hardness above HRC62 it is recommended to use a ceramic honing rod.

There is an option to treat the rough side of the leather with an abrasive such as diamond paste or chromium oxide powder. This abrasive will not only align the edge, but will also take metal particles off the edge. Here we are no longer stropping but sharpening.