Progressive Stropping---Using an ERU Sharpener.

Fred Rowe

Well-Known Member
I have been working on this tool for almost 4 years; refining the machining process and making slight changes to the tool itself. The truth is, I am still learning about how to use it and how to get the most out of it.

My initial thinking was: Make a sharpener with identical opposing disc that support two perfectly aligned [mirror imaged] carbide surfaces that can be adjusted in precise increments of 1 degree or less. When I say perfectly aligned surfaces, I mean they are just that. The carbides are lapped on a diamond plate "after" they are epoxied in place. The end result, is a perfect "V: Hurrah!! Now that I have accomplished this; what are its uses?

What I wanted to share on this thread is something I have just discovered over the last 6 months or so. I call it "Progressive Stropping".

It goes like this: sharpen the blade on a stone or diamond plate using degree wedges to control the angle and produce a "flat" cutting edge or use a sharpening system with a known controlled angle.
Take the edge to where it has a small burr from plunge to tip.
Using a matching inclusive angle set on the ERU remove the wire edge by pulling the blade through the "perfect V" You will feel the burr come off.

An example: say you sharpened the edge @ 30 degrees inclusive. After the burr has been removed using a matching angle of 30 degrees;
widen the "V" by approximately 2 degrees to 32 degrees and pull the edge through the"V" keeping the blade aligned with the alignment pin.
It only takes one to three passes at this setting. Now widen the "V" again to 38 to 40 degrees and pull the edge through the "V" keeping the blade aligned using the alignment pin. The passes that are made at 32 and 40 degrees are stropping the edge along slightly different areas of the edge. The last passes at 40 degrees is only touching the apex itself.

I have found I get a much more refined edge stropping in this manner than I do using a normal strop where just one side is stropped at a time.

This is for you folks who have one of my sharpeners and have yet to discover this technique. I use this whenever I touch up my kitchen knives, my EDC or any other knife that has been ground with a known angle, cutting edge.

Try this and let me know what you think. As someone who has been learning how to use this tool for a few years, I believe this to be the ultimate in Stropping.

I have not been on the forums much of late. We have been upgrading the shop and we have been swamped trying to stay ahead. At 72 I don't put in the 12 hour days anymore but I get just as tired in 6 hours

Regards, Fred