Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Pocket Strop

I’m obsessed with keeping my knives ultra-sharp.  If I use a knife even for a minor chore I always sharpen it afterwards.  For me a knife is not adequately sharpened unless it’s received the entire treatment from diamond stone to stropping.  Oftentimes however it’s hard to strop a knife in the field.  Unless, of course, you have a pocket strop and then it’s quite doable.

As you can see from the photos the pocket strop is sized to fit into a small diamond sharpening stone case.  I like those little diamond stones because…well, you can fit them in your pocket.  Besides, they are lightweight, they are inexpensive, and they work.  I’ve used those small diamond stones for years and have had no problems with them.  When they finally wear out I just go buy another one.  On a hiking or camping trip they are eminently useful because they are always with you.  I’ve seen videos of people carrying around cumbersome Japanese water stones and large sharping stones but I never do.  I own those things but leave them at the house.  On the trail I travel light.

My pocket strops are thick at about ¼ inch or even a bit more.  I strop on the rough side and, as shown in the photo, hold them in my hand.  Because I store them with the diamond stone I do not add any sort of rubbing compound.  That would probably make a mess and in the field rubbing compound is not really needed.  In the field the little strop puts a razor edge on my knife blade and that’s what I want.

Whether out roaming the woods or in town or on a trip I’ve always got a small diamond stone and the little strop on me.  Just a habit, I guess.  But if you’re like me and you cherish a sharp—really sharp—knife then you might want to add a pocket strop to your everyday carry stuff.