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SAK, strop and the magic belt

fr Offline VIXADDICT

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SAK, strop and the magic belt
on: September 08, 2020, 07:09:42 PM
Hi swiss army knights!  :cheers:

I just wanted to share something that might be known from all of you but that I just discovered today!

I like my blades sharp. I have several, all different steels (Buck 420HC, Case Truesharp, Opinel Stainless, Japanese blue steel and Victorinox), and I’m working on it on a 1000/6000 japanese whetstone. With time collecting knives, I have become obsessed with sharpness. And my “sharp enough” threshold evolved from “able to grab nail” to “able to cut paper” to “able to slice tomato effortless” to finally “able to shave my very thin arm hair”.

SAKs always have been one of my favorite EDC knife but I always have been disappointed with Victorinox steel. It is good, it get sharp easily and hold edge pretty good but I was never able to shave arm hair with. I have tried many things, from sharpening angle to sharpening methods (frontward, backward, different pressures etc...) but no. Never I could pop out those pesty arm hairs  :ahhh

I had heard about stropping before but I never wanted to invest a penny in a stropping kit of any sort. After all, shaving sharpness was just an obsession and not a need of any sort.

Then today came the day to touch up the blade of my SAK a little. It was at that very moment on belt clip. And on the moment to remove it from the clip I saw my belt and came what never came to my mind before: That's a fine piece of leather that could perhaps make a perfect leather stropping kit  :think:

Then I went to the usual. 1000 stone, then 6000 for the shiny polished look. And then I jammed the buckle of my belt with my knee on the bench and firmly caught the other part with my left hand to keep tension. And I started to rub my edge on the back of that belt in this awkward position. I was feeling ridiculous but full of hope.

Then came the final test... And I now have a bare patch on my both arms (I liked it so much I had to shave the other too  :facepalm:)

So yes, we basically all have a stropping kit bound to our pants  :D And I'm glad I have now a SAK as sharp as any of my other knives  :climber:

If you don't have the right equipment for the job, you just have to make it yourself.

us Offline kamakiri

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Re: SAK, strop and the magic belt
Reply #1 on: September 08, 2020, 08:04:37 PM
Congrats. I didn’t know the importance of stropping until I started doing it.

I suspect that it is somewhat needed for the relatively soft steel and shaping what’s left after burr removal. 

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00 Offline Thunderpants

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Re: SAK, strop and the magic belt
Reply #2 on: September 08, 2020, 09:09:57 PM
Yes, any old piece of leather can be used for stropping! It's kind of amazing how much difference a stroke or two will do (as the actress said to the bishop.)

us Offline Kraken

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Re: SAK, strop and the magic belt
Reply #3 on: September 08, 2020, 09:27:48 PM
I agree that stropping a SAK blade takes it to the next level of sharpness. I usually strop my EDC Explorer about once every couple of weeks, either on the back of an old leather work belt for a quick touch up, or on a dedicated leather stropping block with some compound on it for a finer edge. I strop my work EDC Explorer blades on the cut edge of the corrugated shipping boxes and it keeps them serviceable. For either method a light touch is all it takes to get the edge ready to shave arm hair again.
Semper Fortis

us Offline cody6268

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Re: SAK, strop and the magic belt
Reply #4 on: September 08, 2020, 10:26:53 PM
My view is that--the cheap jeans I buy are like $15-20 from Tractor Supply, and a strop is going to be about the same--but I use the pants every day. 

us Offline Aloha

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Re: SAK, strop and the magic belt
Reply #5 on: September 08, 2020, 10:30:03 PM
The edge of a cardboard box can work too.  I use leather with compound as well.  When you get into diamond spray then you'll know its just another rabbit hole.    :whistle:
Esse Quam Videri

00 Offline Thunderpants

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Re: SAK, strop and the magic belt
Reply #6 on: September 08, 2020, 10:33:12 PM
Yep I have never once felt the need to whittle a human hair or to spit one down the middle with a blade of any kind. But this is apparently where sharpening obsession can take you.
"Oh, the devil will find work for idle hands to do!" - obviously Morrissey was thinking of knife sharpening when he sang that...



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