Best Sharpening Strops and Compounds 2021

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If you are concerned about your blades’ wellbeing, strops will help to keep them sharp every once in a while. 

While the traditional method of using a rock to sharpen a knife is still an effective method,  the strop and compound mechanism does a better job and achieves extremely sharp edges with minimal efforts. 

So, here’s an opportunity to get razor-sharp blades within the shortest time possible. With the countless available, getting the best one might be a daunting task. 

Not to worry though, you can choose any of the below top 6 best stropping compounds.

Comparison Table

ImageProductMaterialWeight
SHARPAL 208HChromium Oxide0.26 lbs.
Sharp Pebble Classic Leather Strop kitLeather/Bamboo1.1 lbs.
The Viking Double Leather Strop Bamboo/Beechwood, Leather1 lbs.
BeaverCraft Stropping Set of 3Leather0.18 lbs.
LAVODA Paddle StropLeather0.7 lbs.
SHANZU leather sharpening strop kit Acacia Wood1.21 lbs

Top 6 Sharpening Strops and Compounds

  1. SHARPAL 208H 4 OZ Polishing Compound

The SHARPAL 208H Green Buffing Compound is best suited for medium to fine polishes. It is often used together with a leather strop or buffing wheel polish knives, straight razors, and chisels. 

The compound brings out an elegant mirror finish on metals and will do an excellent job in final cuts, initial polishes, and final polishes. It is no wonder they’re mainly used on aluminium and stainless steel.

Newbies are well covered since the buffing compound is effortless to use on leather strops. You simply need to hold it on the strop a few times, and it’ll attach to the leather.

The unit offers a wide range of polishing uses. Besides using it on your knives and razors, it will also come in handy when you need to polish tools like chisels. 

At 0.125 pounds, the unit outperforms most of its competitors who are bulkier and hard to use. This weight is friendly enough for a bushcraft enthusiast. It won’t weigh you down and will easily fit on the side pockets of your bug out bag. 

Pros

  • Cheaper than its competitors
  • Value for money
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty
  • Easy to use and has a wide range of uses
  • Leather is very smooth and barely absorbs the hard, dry compound

Cons

  • You’ll require some extra effort to use the unit

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2) Sharp Pebble Classic Leather Strop kit with Polishing Compound

Meet the premium Sharp Pebble Classic Leather Strop, designed to meet and exceed the expectation of any bushcrafter. The cowhide leather makes it a suitable choice for many professionals like woodcarvers and chefs; you’re no exception! 

The classic bamboo base leather strop design is all you need to keep your blades for unmatched performance! The non-slip nature of this base takes safety a notch higher. You will not encounter accidents even when polishing your blade with force. 

Not all strops have equal performance, as some are designed from fake leather. Get 100% performance satisfaction with this genuinely designed quality strop. It includes the green honing compound in its kit to ensure you have nothing but an authentic mirror polish on your bushcraft blades. 

The lightweight, generous stropping area and durable design make it easy to use. Imagine the buffing compound as a crayon; you only need to hold it in your hands, apply uniform dragging force, and get the job done within no time. 

The compound is a multi-use unit. You can rely on it to sharpen all kinds of blades, including hunting knives, Chef’s knife, pocket knife, chisels, axe, straight razors, and more. 

Pros

  • Superior bundle
  • Unmatched performance
  • Premium quality leather strop
  • Sturdy green polishing compound
  • Includes a detailed Ebook with tips of use 
  • Can be used by any skill level

Cons

  • Costly

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3) Large Two-Sided Double Leather Strop

If you have a dull blade, the only way out is using a sturdy leather strop with a white sharpening compound and a green buffing compound for polishing. 

This unit utilizes two stropping compounds, instead of one, making you feel the significant difference between a sharp and a razor-sharp tool. 

Bushcrafters looking for a sizable double-leather strop shouldn’t bypass this unit! It boasts a durable 1/8″ thick rough green side and another 1/8″ thick white smooth side. The two pieces enhance your sharpening process by allowing you to choose what best suits your needs.

You can already rest assured that the unit offers a generous surface for polishing your blades from its name. The large 3″ by 10″ stropping surface allows you to sharpen all blade sizes. 

Like the other products on the list, this strop also guarantees a sharp mirror-like finish thanks to the light but sturdy, practical design. 

You can consider this as your giftable package to a Chef, Cook, Craftsman, Hunter, Barber, or knife enthusiast.s

Pros

  • Dual-sided to enhance your polishing experience
  • Best gift package
  • Large polishing surface area
  • Quality and durable construction

Cons

  • Needs a handle for effectiveness
  • Works fairly well

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4) BeaverCraft Stropping Set of 3 Polishing Compound 

This parcel includes three pieces; a white honing compound, a red buffing compound for metal, and a green polishing compound. This one-size-fits-all parcel is an excellent deal for someone who’s planning to stay in the wild for 3+ weeks. 

The white buffering compound is made of aluminum oxide. It provides a lighter cutting action to softer metals and a harder finish to harder ones. The leather strop acts as a reliable stropping compound for hard metals with nickel plating.

The red sharpening compound is also made from aluminum oxide and designed to polish your blades without cutting action. It is mainly used on thin blades to make them shine like jewelry.

Lastly, the green polishing compound is of chromium oxide and provides a higher finish on soft and hard metals. Be sure to use this green buffing compound after using the white stropping compound. You’ll love the brightness that will emanate from your tools.

All these three polishing compounds are of high quality. This way, even the dullest of blades will turn into an extremely sharp unit. It’s advisable to apply every leather strop compound separately to get the most out of each abrasive. 

Pros

  • Versatile uses
  • High quality 3-in-1 polishing compounds 
  • Sharpens all types of knives
  • Stropping compound includes
  • Genuine leather

Cons

  • Require expertise to use all the three compounds; not beginner-friendly

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5) LAVODA Paddle Strop with Green White Compounds

Sharpening your blades has never been more comfortable with the LAVODA Paddle Strop!

The LAVODA paddle strop is perfect for many kinds of tools, including hunting knives, Chef’s knives, pocket knives, woodworking chisels, axes, and straight razors. 

The strop has a fine leather split on one side and suede leather on the reverse. Together, the set puts the sharpest edge possible on your blades. 

Since the kit comes complete, you needn’t struggle about buying other polishing equipment separately. The strop and the compound will be well convenient for your needs.

Lucky for you, the buffing compounds are easy to use on the leather strop. You only need to hold them on the strop a few times, and they’ll attach to the leather effortlessly. 

The wood base is a product of American ash, and together with a contoured handle, you will have a comfortable and secure grip even when using the unit for prolonged hours.

The unit boasts an overall length of 15 inches, suitable for both beginner and professional woodcarvers. With the two holes at the stropping block, you can enjoy using the unit as it assures stability and safety. 

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Suitable for both beginner and professional woodcarvers
  • Firm and stable wood base
  • Comes with a contoured handle for a comfortable grip.

Cons

  • Some customers have complained of leather ripples and bubbles in some places

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6) SHANZU Leather Sharpening Strop Kit 

The SHANZU leather sharpening strop kit is the only unit with an acacia wood base on this list. If that doesn’t excite you, maybe you’ll appreciate learning that the model comes with genuine leather to create an excellent sharpening station for honing your blades.

The strap is easy-to-use and will align your blades’ edges to make them razor-sharp. And so, instead of sharpening that tool or knife on a bench stone, you can save your energy and use the SHANZU strop kit to get the work done. 

Besides bushcrafting, it is an ideal option for professionals like chefs, woodcarvers, and barbers who’re looking to keep their blades razor sharp. 

The polishing compound is made from chrome oxide and alumina and works with various materials, including aluminum, wood, stainless, steel, copper, brass, cast-iron, and much. Since it is made with the utmost attention, the detailing and quality herein will last you a lifetime.  

It is the ideal choice for many professionals like chefs and woodcarvers to keep their tools razor sharp. And with the non-slip rubber, you can create the perfect sharpening station that will hone your knife while taking care of your safety. 

It’s lightweight and therefore, easy to hold in your hands without causing strain. Alternatively, you can pin it down on a working table and get the job done in a matter of seconds. 

Pros

  • Affordable pick
  •  Non-slip rubber
  • Effective performance
  • Premium quality
  • Multi-purpose use

Cons

  • Compact polishing surface 

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Best Stropping Compound Buying Guide

Things to Consider Before Buying Stropping Compound

Stropping compound isn’t something you regularly buy unless you work with blades. 

But, for you to have a perfect bushcraft adventure, stropping compounds will come in handy, where or not you’re a blade-smith. And so, before buying the best unit, here is what you should know: 

  • Leather Strop

For the best blade edge, the most vital thing to know is how well you can drag and flip on the strop. If your strop is fake, even your flipping skills may not be helpful. If you cannot differentiate real from fake, you might land on low quality.

With this in mind, finding a high-quality leather strop should always be a number-one priority. 

If you can find strops with leather on both sides, do not think twice; they are the best to work with as they let you apply two separate compounds to have the best edge. Those with tight budgets can consider the vegetable-tanned strops. 

  • Honing Compound

What makes strops useful is compounding. While it’s not easy to go wrong with buying them, many people often find it daunting to get the right color. 

Some compounds offer a better sharpness and others give a better polish. So, your choice should depend on your needs. 

Typically, green compounds are the best as they come with the perfect balance between polishing and cutting. 

To know the significance of the colors, be sure to check their meaning on the web before buying your next stropping compound. An exemplary compound is that which doesn’t require too much time to polish your blade. 

  • Base

While there’s nothing complicated about the base, it determines the durability of your unit. If the base isn’t from bamboo or wood, it’ll likely break during use; something you wouldn’t want to occur during your sharpening job. Therefore, it’d be wise to go for a bamboo base that is more durable.

  • Price

Price isn’t always a big concern since strops are not costly products. However, you’d want to be keen that you do not spend too much on something that isn’t pure leather. At the same time, be sure not to go for cheap products that compromise quality and performance. 

  • Handle

Many strops don’t have handles, but you’re likely to meet a few with handles on them. We recommend bushcraft fanatics to go for strops with handles as they are safe to work with. This feature would be beneficial for newbies who’re not accustomed to using the strops regularly.

  • Rubber

Most manufacturers are now designing high-end units with the non-slip rubbers attached to the base. This way, the strop will not cause accidents when you’re dragging your blade with force. So, if you can sacrifice some extra cash to go for a strop with a non-slip rubber base, your safety levels in the wild will be top-notch.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use my strop right away?

A: No, before using your stropping compound, you’ll need to apply it on a leather strop. Sometimes, you may need to apply oil beforehand to make the process more effective.

Q: What is the strop and stropping compound?

A: A strop is suede or leather on which blades are sharpened. A stropping compound refers to the abrasive that the user applies on the strop before he/she does the dragging or polishing.

Q: How can I apply the block?

A: Applying the block doesn’t need too much expertise. It is very similar to drawing with a crayon, except that the paper is the leather strop, and the crayon is the block. 

Sometimes when the strop is more laborious and won’t stay put on the leather, oil is used to make it softer. If it is still hard, you can use heat to make it smooth.

Q: How long do strops and compounds last?

A: Strops usually last for six months or so. But the compound can go on for years, depending on the use. It is challenging to use it away entirely even after years of continuous use.

Q: How do you keep the compound?

A: It is recommended to not keep it out in the open as it may become drier and ineffective. So keeping it in a box with a lid on is enough to make it go on for years.

Our Top Pick

The SHARPAL 208H 4 OZ Polishing Compound ranks as our best stropping compound. It is an affordable pick that comes with value for money. The unit is useful in all its endeavors, and since it can be used in many applications, the versatility is something to invest in. What gives it a competitive advantage over its peers is the superior quality that gives you the confidence of durability. No bushcrafter should miss out on this!

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