How to Make a Strop

Are you looking to perfect your woodworking skills and get razor-sharp blades? Making a strop is an affordable and effective way of sharpening your tools.

How to Make a Strop

Stropping, or honing, will give your blades a much finer edge that is ideal for detailed work. Here we’ll walk you through the basics of making a strop, from gathering materials, to crafting the finished product – no matter what your skill level may be! 

Sharpening a blade quickly and efficiently requires the right technique – and one of the best tools to use is a strop. A strop is an accessory designed to polish and hone already sharpened blades.

Whether you’re aiming for perfect edges on household knives or putting a showroom shine on prized axes, using a strop can make all the difference in how well your cuts turn out. In this blog post, we’ll go over what exactly makes up a strop and offer some tips on how to make a strop.

Benefits of Making a Strop

1. Reduces the Need for Sharpening Tools

A strop is a handy tool for maintaining an edge on your knife or other sharp tools. Unlike a whetstone, you don’t have to sharpen your blade each time it gets dull; instead, all you need to do is use the strop after each use and it will keep your blade sharp.

Maintaining an Edge on Your Knife

2. Saves Time and Money

Making a strop yourself is often much less expensive than buying one from the store, and it’s also a time-saver; you don’t have to go searching for what you need at the store or wait for it to arrive in the mail. Plus, you can customize your strop to fit your needs.

3. Provides a Smooth Finish

When using a strop, it’s important to use the right technique; if done correctly, it will provide a smooth finish and help to keep your blade in top condition. You can also use other materials like leather or canvas for different levels of polishing.

4. Easy to Use and Maintain

Once you’ve made your strop, it’s easy to use and maintain; all you need to do is apply some lubricant every now and then, and hang it up for storage when you’re done using it. With the right materials, your strop can last for years.

Making a strop is a great way to save time and money, reduce the need for sharpening tools, and keep your blade in top condition. With the right materials and technique, you can make a perfect strop in no time!

How to Make a Strop in 5 Easy Steps

Step 1: Gather All The Tools You Need

The very first step is to make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials to get started. You will need a piece of leather, a pair of scissors, an awl or punch tool, some strong adhesive (such as epoxy), a piece of wood for backing, sandpaper, and some wax.

Step 2: Cut The Leather

Once you have gathered all your materials, you will need to cut the leather into a rectangular shape. Measure and mark off the dimensions of the strop with a pen or pencil. Then use the scissors to carefully cut out the shape that you have marked off on the leather.

Use the Scissors to Carefully Cut

Step 3: Cut The Backing Board

Using the same measurements as before, cut out a rectangular piece of wood for the backing board. Make sure that it is slightly larger than the leather piece in order to provide extra support.

Step 4: Attach The Leather To The Backing Board

Once you have cut out both pieces of material, use the strong adhesive to attach the leather to the wooden backing board. Make sure that the leather is centered and firmly affixed to the wood.

Step 5: Sand And Wax The Strop

Once the adhesive has dried, use sandpaper to lightly sand down any rough edges on both sides of the strop. Finally, apply a coat of wax to protect it from moisture and increase its lifespan. Your strop is now ready for use!

When sharpening a knife with your new strop, it is important to remember that you should always move the blade in one direction and not back and forth. This will ensure that the edge of the blade stays as sharp as possible. With proper care and maintenance, your homemade strop can serve you well for a long time.

Some Additional Tips to Make a Strop

1. Do Not Use a Rigid Strop

While it may be tempting to use a strop made from something rigid, like leather or wood, this can actually cause more damage than good. The rigid material could break the edge of your blade instead of creating a smooth texture.

2. Sharpen Often

It is important to sharpen your knife regularly with a strop. Doing so will help keep the blade sharper and easier to use for longer periods of time. Additionally, it can help prevent any possible nicks or dents in the metal from forming.

Sharpen Your Knife Regularly With a Strop

3. Use Oil

When using a strop, be sure to apply some kind of oil or lubricant beforehand. This will both help protect the surface of the strop and make it easier for the blade to glide along.

4. Keep a Sharp Angle

When stropping your knife, be sure to keep a sharp angle with the strop. This will help maintain an even edge on both sides of the blade and ensure that it works correctly. If you go too shallow, you may end up with a dull blade.

5. Store Properly

When not in use, it is important to store the strop properly. Keep it away from water and sunlight and make sure to clean off any debris or dust that builds up on its surface regularly. This will prolong its life and help maintain its quality for years to come.

Following these tips will help you get the most out of your strop and keep your blades in top shape for many years to come. With just a little bit of care and attention, you can make sure that your knives are always sharp and ready for action!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Precautions Should I Take When Making a Strop?

When making a strop, it is important to take safety precautions. Wear protective goggles, gloves and a dust mask to protect your eyes, hands and lungs from any particulates that may be present.

Make sure the area where you are working is well-ventilated. Additionally, use common sense when working with sharp tools or materials that may be flammable. Lastly, always read and follow manufacturer instructions for any tools or products you are using.

How Do I Maintain a Strop?

Maintaining a strop is an important part of keeping it in good condition and ensuring it remains effective. Make sure to clean the strop after each use with a cloth or dry brush to remove any metal shavings, dust or debris that has accumulated.

Maintaining a Strop is an Important Part

Apply stropping compound regularly for best results. Inspect the strop material often and replace it when it becomes worn out or damaged in any way. Store the strop in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and away from any moisture or humidity.

What is the Best Material to Use When Making a Strop?

Leather is widely considered to be the best material for making a strop. It provides an excellent surface that allows you to effectively remove burrs and polish blades. However, other materials such as canvas or wood can also be used if you prefer. Additionally, certain compounds such as chromium oxide, diamond paste and emery can be applied to the surface of the strop to further improve its effectiveness.

What is the Best Way to Attach a Strop?

There are several ways to attach a strop. If the strop has an adhesive backing, this can be used to easily attach the strop to a flat surface. Alternatively, you can use screws to secure the strop in place or even use clamps or ties to hold it down. The choice of attachment method will depend on how and where you plan to use the strop.

What is Stropping Compound?

Stropping compound is a special type of abrasive material used to sharpen, polish and refine blades. It comes in different grit sizes depending on the desired level of sharpness. The most common types of stropping compounds are chromium oxide, diamond paste and emery.


Crafting a strop from scratch is a great way to get creative with your knife sharpening tools. It’s also an easy project that anyone with some spare time and materials can handle. Get the right kind of leather, choose the best threading and apply a balm sealant for protection, and you’ll be ready to tackle all your knife sharpening needs with a homemade strop. 

With the help of this guide on how to make a strop, you now have the knowledge needed to construct your own reliable tool for protecting against dull blades or overly abrasive honing stones. As always, be sure to maintain proper safety precautions when dealing with sharp knives or other potentially hazardous items. Knock on wood, may your newly made strop be a loyal sharpening friend for many years!

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Matt Clark

Hi, this is Matt, and I am a leathercraft hobbyist. I have been working with leather for quite a bit of time. When I was a teenager, my father taught me the basics of leathercraft. Along the way I have learned a lot of things about leather work leather items, restoring leather, and creating leather accessories. I started this blog to share my knowledge of leatherworking with others and help people learn about this amazing craft. I also wanted to create a community of like-minded people who could share ideas and support each other in their leatherworking journey.

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