I need some Info on loading a leather strop...

I just bought a Razor Renew Long Leather Sharpening Strop, Should I load the suede side or the smooth side? And should I load the entire side or just part?

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It really depends on the blade and your requirements.
For my knifes I have several blocks with the leather glued onto it and two old belts.
I found that normal blades really benefit from the suede side while true razor blades with a hoolow or moon shaped blades benefit more from the smooth side.
Here I use the suede side only to break the burr after sharpening.

Where you work on the strap and howmuch distance yu cover with our movements is limited by your skills.
You need to keep the ange of the blade fairly constant, so for the first few weeks you might only use 15-20cm of your strap.
Once you are familiar and used to the lapping motion you will use of the strap what your arms and position allow.

Hmmm... So use one side with one compound and the other with a different type (green/white compounds...)

Not really, well at least not me...
For me it goes lie this when I get my 5 minutes of sharpening frenzy:
1. Sharpen the blade down to a polishing stone, either black dragon glass (not the rel name lol) or a sapphire stone.
2. Take a suede leather strip (dry and no compound at all on it) to break the remaining burr.
3. Take another suede strip and add some fine metal polish.
If well used then I usually only add a drop or two of water.
I use this until al signs of sharpening are gone and the blade has a mirror like finnish.
I don't like the wax based compounds as they ive too much friction and go rock hard in the leather over time, while normal polishing paste can be brushed off once dry, well most of it anyway
4. Use a fine leather strip to giv the edge the final kick as some of the sharpness might have been lost while polishing.

If it cuts through a piece of paper just by pressure it is sharp enough for my needs.
But since cutting is not good for a sharp blade I prefer to donate some hair from my arm.
If the shave is clean and the skin feels happy then I am happy with my work too.

Final truth:
Question: What is the sharpest blade in the world?
Answer: The one you sharpened properly!

James S6428 (author)  Downunder35m1 month ago

Thank You. That helps a lot!

Ok, since you are sooo nice ;)
When I started to use leather to get the last out of my kifes I struggled to keep the sharpness as high as it should be.
Mind you I was used to stones and leather glued to flat surfaces....
Pressure and tension is the key to success here.
Not sure how obvious it is from the video Rick kindly posted.
Some people prefer a really strong grip and a lot of tension on the strap.
Others make it look like their strap is almost loose and with no real tension at all.
A loose leather allows to remove a burr from sharpening with just a few strokes.
But on a sharp blade it means you need to keep the angle of the blade towards the leather under control ;)
In simple terms: a leather strip going around the blade at 30° or more will be a problem if you want things as sharp as possible.
But with just a tiny bit of pressure and good angle control it is a very quick way to keep the blade sharp while shaving for example.

If you really want to get your skills right before getting used to bad manners I strongly suggest to ask in a barber shop with a barber using a belt and proper blade.
A bottle of scotch or wine might get you much faster results than any video or talk.
Plus you might hear a great story on how he learned his business ;)
Until I moved to a different continent doing so not only improved my skills but also ave my a great fishing buddy for many years.

rickharris1 month ago

Don't use a straight razor but these guys look like the know what to do.

James S6428 (author)  rickharris1 month ago

Thank you. It wasn't exactly what i was looking for but it did help.