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Diamond Stropping Compound - which grits to use?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by aesmith, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. aesmith


    Jan 19, 2015
    I want to have a try with diamond paste stropping. I see you can get all sorts of different grits, so for example what would be the grade to use after either Spyderco Fine ceramic or King 6000 waterstone? I'm not going to make a full set of strops at this stage so will only go for a couple of grades to start with.

    Thanks, Tony S
  2. 115Italian


    Nov 13, 2015
    I use 1 micron on smooth leather backed with wood.
  3. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    Between 4 and 1 micron.

    Here's Michael Christy using 4 micron Jendi ind diamonds (think he's using sprays) then he follows up with some Ken Schwartz sprays.

  4. M-S-T

    M-S-T KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 20, 2016
    4, 2 and 1 micron will cover most of the possible scenarios.
  5. shinbone


    Dec 13, 2005
    DMT sells 6, 3, and 1 micron diamond pastes in 2 gram syringes bundled together in a kit. That makes it easy to get started with diamond pastes without buying large quantities.
  6. aesmith


    Jan 19, 2015
    Great thanks. What are people's thoughts on using planed softwood as a substrate? I have plenty of softwood so could quickly make any number of these.
  7. dalefuller

    dalefuller Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    I use 2 micron paste on balsa wood after using the UF Spyderco rods. Then green CrO2, then bare hard leather.

    Got the paste from Wicked Edge and the green is a strop block from Knives Plus.
  8. Generally agree with previous posts, in that a good starting range is somewhere around ~ 3µ and finer.

    I've liked DMT's 3µ in particular; it brings up a FAST polish on a wood strop following DMT's EF or EEF hones (9µ & 3µ). I have DMT's 6µ paste as well, but haven't felt much need to use it for stropping. For coarser finishes, I've preferred finishing on the hones themselves, which leave more aggressive 'tooth' for the rated grit. Any stropping done after that is usually done just on bare strops of leather, denim or paper, in my preferred uses.

    About using wood, I think that's the best way to use such compounds. The compound works a lot more aggressively than on something like leather; that means polishing is much faster, and the firmness of the wood substrate keeps edge-rounding to a minimum. If the wood is a bit firmer than balsa, the strop can be used with a bit more pressure as well. I've not liked using balsa so much anymore, because it's soft enough that it can compress and deform under moderate pressure from the blade's edge. I started using basswood in lieu of balsa, as it's firmer and still tight-grained and smooth, and I was able to find it from the same sources as with balsa (at hobby/craft stores) and it's also cut in sizes convenient to making strops. Very easy & convenient means to put one together.
  9. aesmith


    Jan 19, 2015
    Thanks again. I was also thinking with these more expensive compounds you don't want it to soak too far into the strop.
  10. LVE


    Mar 31, 2018
    I have never stropped very much and the one thing I don't ever see anyone ever talk about or mention is how to determine what micron size to use after sharpening.

    For example if I stop sharpening with an 8000 grit sharpening stone should I choose a diamond paste that is rated at the same grit as the stone or should I start with something coarser and end with a diamond paste that is the same grit as the stone I was using or should I finishing stropping at a finer grit then the grit of the stone that was used.
  11. BellaBlades

    BellaBlades Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 12, 2013
    Generally I use .5 micron on smooth leather after the final 1200 grit.

    The .5 micron is just aggressive enough to bring back that razor edge every time it begins to dull.
  12. DeadboxHero

    DeadboxHero Triple B Handmade Knives, Big Brown Bear

    Mar 22, 2014
    Just 1 micron, Don't need anything else
  13. shinbone


    Dec 13, 2005
    I use my diamond paste on basswood bought on Amazon. Each one needed to be “lapped” on 220 grit sandpaper before adding the diamond paste.

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