Monday, 9 March 2015

What Is Stropping And Why Is It So Important?

You will hear time and time again “Make sure you frequently strop your swivel knife!”, but what does that really mean?  If it’s not actually sharpening the blade, what about stropping makes cutting more effective?


When leather is tanned, there are a number of different tanning agents used in the tanning process.  When carving in to your leather, some of these small particles can accumulate on your knife while cutting.  This microscopic build up on your blade can create tiny amounts of friction and prevent the knife from moving smoothly through the leather, which can create a dragging feeling in your swivel knife cuts.

Jewelers Rouge is a compound that has a slight grit to it and works as a polishing agent, so it can help remove the buildup of these unwanted particles.  Stropping also polishes the swivel knife blade producing a shiny, mirror like finish which cuts down on the drag felt when cutting.   The key for swivel knife cuts is that the blade is sharp, shiny and smooth to get the most control on your cuts!


Learn more about the use and care of the Swivel Knife on our YouTube channel at

Use & Care


You may have also seen our other polishing compounds online or in our stores.  Similar to Jewelers Rouge, these polishing compounds are used to smooth and/or shine a wide variety of metals. Polishing compounds are similar to sandpaper in that they are used from coarse to fine. It is important to first determine what type of polishing compound to use. Polishing compounds also minimizes, or removes the appearance of scratches on surfaces by effectively buffing them out.

Polishing Compounds

White: Used for light polishing. Primarily used in the final finish of steel, stainless steel and zinc.

Red: Used for regular cleaning of metals. Most common uses of this iron oxide compound are for steel blades and precious metals like jewelry.

Green: Used for high gloss polishing. Primarily used in the final buffing stage for stainless steel, brass, aluminum, nickel and chrome. Considered the best all-around luster compound for most metals.

Grey: Used for heavy duty cleaning of hard metals. Produces a good cut with no wild scratches and works to good color on all metals.

Brown: Used for regular cleaning with hard metals. Good for removing light scratches, imperfections and oxidation. The most popular choice for cutting down and buffing base materials.