How to Use a Leather Strop: A Guide

A leather strop is a device that is used to sharpen and polish tools, knives, and other items made of metal. A typical leather strop can be purchased in many stores for less than $50. It’s also possible to make one at home with household materials such as a piece of cloth or leather, some sandpaper, and a few drops of mineral oil. This guide will detail how you can use your new leather strop to get the most out of it!

Things You’ll Need:

  • Leather strop
  • Knife or another metal object to sharpen
  • Mineral oil (optional)

Step One: Attach the Leather Strop

The first step is to attach the leather strop to a solid surface. This can be done with either clamps or adhesive tape. If you’re using adhesive tape, make sure that it is firmly attached and will not come loose during use.

Attach the Leather Strop

Step Two: Apply Mineral Oil (Optional)

If you would like, you can apply a few drops of mineral oil to the leather strop at this point. This will help keep it lubricated and prevent it from drying out.

Step Three: Sharpen the Knife or Other Metal Object

Hold the knife or other metal object against the leather strop so that the blade is facing down. Use a back and forth motion to sharpen the blade. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, as this can damage the strop.

Step Four: Polish the Knife or Other Metal Object

Once you have sharpened the knife or other metal object, use a circular motion to polish it. This will remove any burrs or nicks that may have formed due to the sharpening process.

You’re now ready to use your newly sharpened knife or another metal object! Be careful not to damage anything when using it for its intended purpose. This includes cutting surfaces and yourself!

Step Five: Storing Your Leather Strop (Optional)

If you would like, you can store your leather strop in a cool, dry place when not in use. This will help keep it in good condition for longer.

How to Skive Leather

A skive is a thin piece of leather that is cut from the edge of a thicker piece. Skiving can be used to create thinner pieces of leather for use in projects such as belts, straps, and wallets. This guide will teach you how to skive leather using a sharp knife and some common sense!

How to Skive Leather

Things You’ll Need:

  • Leather
  • Sharp Knife
  • Ruler or Measuring Tape

Step One: Cut the Leather

Cut a piece of leather that is at least 12 inches long and at least twice as wide as the finished skive will be. For example, if you would like to create a skive that is ½ inch wide, you would need to cut a piece of leather that is at least 12 inches long and ¼ inch wide.

Step Two: Mark the Leather

With the help of a ruler or measuring tape, mark the leather at ½ inch intervals along one edge. Make sure that you are marking from the top of the leather (the side that will be facing up once you are finished skiving). Each of these marks will correspond to ½ inch of the final width of your skive.

Step Three: Cut Along the Marked Lines

Using a sharp knife, cut along each marked line from one end to the other. Be careful not to cut all the way through and remove any leather pieces from the edge.

Step Four: Smooth Out the Edges of Your Skive

Smooth out any rough edges with a metal file to ensure that your skive is symmetrical and smooth. You can also use sandpaper instead, but be careful not to scratch or damage the side facing up while you are working on it!

You’re now ready to skive! Be careful not to cut yourself or damage anything when using your new knife.


Which side of leather strop do you use?

One side of the leather strop is smooth, while the other has a rough surface. It would help if you used the rough side to sharpen your knife or another metal object and the smooth side to polish it.

Can I use a Leather Strop on my Straight Razor?

Leather straps are not recommended for sharpening straight razors. Instead, you should use a honing stone to achieve the desired results.

How do I clean my Leather Strop?

If your leather strop becomes dirty or stained, it can be cleaned with soap and water. Be sure to dry it thoroughly before using it again.

How do you use a leather honing strop?

A leather honing strop is used to hone a straight razor. To use one, you should attach it to the end of your countertop or another sturdy surface using adhesive tape. Then, hold the straight razor against the horizontal side of the strop with its blade facing outwards. Next, use long strokes to run the blade along this surface until you have achieved the desired sharpness.

Does a leather strop work on carbon steel?

Yes, using a leather strop on carbon steel knives is possible. However, it would be best if you were careful not to damage or scratch the blade when doing so. You can also apply mineral oil before using your new strop if you would like!

Can you strop on any leather?

No, it would help if you did not strop on any old piece of leather. A leather strop is specifically designed for sharpening knives and other metal objects. If you try to use it on something else, you may damage the strop or the object that you are trying to sharpen.

Related Video: How To Sharpen A Knife Using a Leather Strop