The author of this blog does not advocate hate or unprovoked violence against any group. The purpose of this blog is to provide the very best information regarding philosophy, mindset training, and technique for the Christian Martialist in their broader Biblical, theological and cultural contexts. Nothing posted here should be construed as promoting or excusing hostile speech or acts toward anyone.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Christian Warrior Gear: Strop to Achieve Keenest Edges

To the Christian Warrior, a knife serves as more than a stealth or last-ditch weapon. You will pit the edge of your knife against a variety of objects in order to accomplish a multitude of tasks at home, on the job or in the field. To maintain the keenest edge, you will need the right gear. After trying out a strop, I recommend it for a variety of reasons.

But let me back up a little. I have had a Blackjack knife with a convex blade for a number of years. I had never sharpened it because my stone, ceramic or diamond hones would flatten and ruin the convex edge. I finally decided to bite the bullet and order an inexpensive strop, and boy, am I glad I did.

Last week, I received the strop set (click here to see it) from Smoky Mountain Woodcarvers. The directions were sparse but clear, so I set myself to the task of sharpening. I decided to practice on some other blades before I tackled the Blackjack.

I had chosen the four-sided hone because it offered more stages from rough to finished edge than a competitor's two-sided strop. It worked well on the carbon steel blade of my Ka-Bar pocket knife (a camp knife with stainless awl, screw driver, can opener & bottle opener in addition to the carbon steel blade) which, alas, they no longer make.

As I worked it, the strop polished the sides of the blade to a highly reflective finish. That's actually the same process by which it sharpens. That is, it polishes a multitude of tiny imperfections from the edge of the blade.

When I tried stropping my CRKT K.I.S.S. knife, I made an interesting discovery. The stropping process sharpened the serrations as well as the straight portion of the blade. So much easier than dressing each separate serration with my diamond rattail hone.

(Note: the CRKT K.I.S.S. has a couple of serious drawbacks. If you grip it too tightly, you may unintentionally depress the liner lock mechanism, and the blade may collapse against your finger(s). Also, if you close it one-handed, you must take care to keep your fingers out of the way of the closing blade.)

When I'd finished, the CRKT would cut paper, and I could change directions so as to make a wavy slice in the sheet. I could do this with a serration as well as with the straight edge.

At length, I thought I'd gained enough of a feel for the stropping process to try it on my Blackjack blade. I took it through the four sides of the strop three or four times, then I tried it out. 

Results? Incredible!

When I bought it new, the blade could shave hair from my arm -- just barely. Now, it will shave a patch bare in one stroke. Also, I can now cut zig-zags as it slices through paper. It's definitely sharper than when it came from the factory.

I may discuss the benefits of stropping more in the future, but for now, let me say that if you want the sharpest edge with the least wear on your knife, try stropping.

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