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Strop Compound.. Green, Gold, White, Pak etc etc or does it really matter

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  • Strop Compound.. Green, Gold, White, Pak etc etc or does it really matter

    Just wondering what most of you folks use of strop compound .. Or does anything go ??

    Also how much do you put on the leather ?

    Last edited by willywog; 05-07-2019, 08:37 AM.

  • #2
    I've used several and not found there to be any noticeable difference.


    • #3
      They are all very fine abrasives. As long as you can hold the bevel angle the same each time, any one of them will do.
      I try to coat the strop surface fairly evenly. Most of the time, I do not succeed but I find it does not matter.
      Just like coloring with big Crayola crayons.

      The strop can be just about anything: leather, office file folder, file card, cereal box card, I even use a tennis ball.

      I have been using Chromium Oxide for many years. It is naturally a green color.
      Most of the time, it has some white Aluminum oxide added to it.
      I would not know if that's much of a helper or not.
      Brian T


      • #4
        I like the flexcut gold, I put it in my pocket for a whole before rubbing it on the strop. I have been using mdf as a strop, I is easy to cut grooves into to deal with gouges and v tools.


        • #5
          I agree with the above info.
          I get mine from Flexcut Gold &, they offer four different grits.
          . . .JoeB


          • #6
            I like the Flexcut gold and have learned with it. I use a file folder with a tad of oil and I'm happy...super sharp edges.
            Living among knives and fire.



            • #7
              There are a number of good strop compounds My choice is Tormex PA70. It is a white tube paste compound that spreads easily on the strop and works well.
              We live in the land of the free because of the brave!


              • #8
                I use white or Flexcut gold. Rub it on the strop like a crayon on paper. Then strop away. Be sure to keep the wrist angle so you don't roll the edge.

                Bob L


                • #9
                  I do not think there is much difference among any of the stropping compounds. I have several sticks of different types. I put the compound on the leather by using an old pocket knife. Put the end of the stick against the leather, use a steep angle on the pocket knife and scrape some compound off onto the leather. Move to a new spot and repeat. I take special care in getting compound on the ends and edges of the leather. When I made my strop, I cut off the edge sof the leather to make a sharp angle. I use this area for the inside of V tools and gouges. When I have the compound in spots down the strop, I use the old knife as if I were stropping it (I guess I am stropping) and smooth the compound down into the leather. It does not have to be even. That will happen as you use the strop.


                  • #10
                    When you come right down to it I don't think there is much difference from one compound to the next. It's what's in the compound that's doing the work and that is generally aluminum oxide. I don't like and don't use any of stick type waxy compounds as I find it hard to get them to go on the leather evenly. Since it's aluminum oxide that's doing the work why not just use aluminum oxide and eliminate all the sticky waxy stuff. I use straight aluminum oxide powder which I just sprinkle onto the stop and rub in with my finger. I like the way it feels under the knife and it works like a charm.
                    Keep On Carvin'
                    Bob K.

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                    • #11
                      Lots of different opinions on this topic. I use the green chromium oxide and the Flexcut gold both. I have a scrap piece of shelving that I glued a strip of cereal box cardboard to (grey side up...). Works great. Just scrub the compound bar on it like a crayon - doesn't have to completely cover the cardboard. When it turns black, that means it's working - the black is just the microscopic particles of steel that the compound has removed from the blades.

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                      • #12
                        For me there's a huge difference in the honing/ stroping compounds . that's like saying there's no differents in Arkansas stones. They all get your knife sharp. But at what level sharpness you want? Choose your level of sharpness wisely young willywonky and go far ..


                        • #13
                          Lots of opinions based on anecdotal evidence, but no definitive surprise there, as we all go with what we think works based on our personal experience.

                          But is there any quality standard for each of the compounds? I use Flexcut gold because that's what I started there a better alternative? I don't have a clue. Is the cheaper compound at Harbor Freight as good as that offered by carving tool suppliers? What standards are in place to ensure uniformity of the grit particles? Should strops be cleaned or changed out periodically to prevent waxy, compound or metal particle buildup? Where can we go for facts instead of opinions?

                          I'm not trying to be confrontational here, and I'm not challenging any of the posters to this thread. I really would be grateful for some professional, competent authority for guidance, since this is so important to our craft.


                          • #14
                            Honing compounds are industrial polishing abrasives.So, industry depends upon the suppliers for some sense of predictable performance.
                            Maybe you make kitchen cutlery. You expect a particular appearance after polishing. I have some cleavers that need more than a lick and a promise.
                            You appeal to the abrasives industry to supply a useful particle size. Wood carving edges are in there, someplace.

                            Chromium Oxide is held to a nominal grit particle size of 0.5 micrometer. That implies both bigger and smaller partices in the mix.
                            Aluminum Oxide is held to a nominal grit particle size of 0.25 micrometer. Same imperfection in particle size distribution.
                            Nobody ever reveals the distribution of particle sizes. Not even 3M.

                            If there's any quality standard, it's feed-back from the various end users. I suspect that the price reveals the efforts for uniformity.
                            I's easy to clean off a leather strop and recharge with fresh honing compound. Some say yes, some say no.
                            I gave up and use some sort of card stock, no cleaning ever needed. Start fresh.
                            The tennis ball is going to have to last as a strop. Alice-dog chewed the covers off the other 2 new ones.

                            What I've noticed is that there's apparently no concern at all for the bevels anges that should be maintained on wood carving edges.
                            I'm sharpening and honing 6-7 different total included bevel angles to get enjoyable performance.

                            When I switched form mostly Pfeil to mostly Pacific Northwest design carving tools,
                            I had to measure a whole different set of bevel angles to keep the edges tuned up.

                            Brian T


                            • #15
                              I find they are "all same", just rub some on like a crayon and have at 'er.

                              Before they slip me over the standing part of the fore sheet, let them pipe: "Up Spirits" one more time.