Stropping knives and tools...with toothpaste?

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Hey guys!

I heard of people using toothpaste to sharpen and polish knives. So I thought I'd give it a go and share my findings!

Knife sharpening can be quite a costly affair, so what if you could do it on a budget of a few bucks? Naturally it depends on your knife and the sharpness that you want.

So below you can find a few tips on stropping with toothpaste.

The process

I took a regular, cheap toothpaste. Just like compounds, toothpastes are also abrasive to be able to clean your teeth. It is best to use pastes that have the same ingredients as compounds would...for example aluminum oxide. Teeth whitening pastes should be more abrasive and therefore more useful (generally speaking).

All you do is apply toothpaste to a scrap/strap of leather evenly and let it dry. Then strop. After a while reapply toothpaste to get more of it on. I repeat the apply/dry/strop sequence a few times to get a really nice strop going.

The results

I tested out stropping a dull blade and a sharpened, non stropped blade.

As far as sharpening a blade on such a strop, it goes slowly. But it can be done.

Polishing actually works quite well. Naturally getting a mirror finish is a different story, but just polishing to get a nice, sharp blade is completely viable.

So I hope this gives you some useful info. It was fun testing.

You can see some video of the action below:




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Nice "how-to". I'm pleased to see when someone takes care of their blades, and it hurts when smb is killing them believing that everything is doing correctly. A man in supermarket tried not so far ago sell me a Chinese knife sharpener, proving that this is the best sharpening for knives =\

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Toothpaste contains calcium carbonate..( finely ground marble dust or limestone dust if you will ) which is the abrasive / polishing part of the toothpaste.Calcium carbonate hardness number ..from 3 to 5 mohs

Steel is from 5 to 8 mohs.

So steel ( your tools ) is harder than sharpen or polish a material, the material that one is using to sharpen or polish must be harder than the material one is sharpening or can wear a groove in marble or limestone by rubbing it with a steel tool, you cannot wear a groove in a steel tool by rubbing it with calcium carbonate or limestone.

Nor can you sharpen or hone a steel tool by stropping it on a surface that has had toothpaste , calcium carbonate dust, or limestone dust impregnated into the surface ( leather or wood ) are cleaning the surface of the tool, you are not sharpening it, nor honing it.

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