Complete Guide to Stropping Compounds – Color Guide and Types

In order to achieve the sharpest knife or tool edge possible, honing the tool with a strop after sharpening is mandatory. Without further refining the cutting edge of the tool with progressively finer grits you will never be able to achieve a super sharp cutting edge.

Stropping Compound Color Guide

Due to the fact that stropping compounds can come in multiple mediums and that the formulas will vary from one company to another, it is impossible to have a single guide based solely on color for all stropping compounds.

To best determine the properties of each compound, you must review the manufactures detailed information for each color. For example, a green compound may be a course grit for one company but be a fine grit for another.

Below, I have organized the stropping compounds by wax based, paste, and powder from several popular manufactures by grit size. This will help you determine what you should buy from different companies.

Stropping Compound – Wax Bars

BeavercraftWhiteWax Bar650 Grit28 microns Amazon
BeavercraftRedWax Bar1500 Grit14 Micron Amazon
Bark RiverBlackWax Bar3000 Grit7 Microns DLT Trading
BeavercraftGreenWax Bar3000 Grit7 MicronsAmazon
Bark RiverGreenWax Bar6000 Grit3.5 Microns DLT Trading
Bark RiverWhiteWax Bar12,000 Grit1.5 Microns DLT Trading
TaytoolsGreenWax Bar50,000 Grit0.5 MicronsAmazon
VeritasGreenWax Bar50,000 Grit0.5 MicronsCraftsman Studio
Grits and Microns are approximates, conversions made with Best Sharpening Stones Calculator

Stropping Compound – Paste

Kent SuppliesGreenPaste650 Grit28 MicronsAmazon
Kent SuppliesRustPaste1000 Grit20 MicronsAmazon
Kent SuppliesGreyPaste2,000 Grit10 MicronsAmazon
HeroldGreenPaste3,000 Grit6 MicronsAmazon
Kent SuppliesBluePaste4,000 Grit5 MicronsAmazon
Kent SuppliesRedPaste6,000 Grit3.5 MicronsAmazon
7 Degrees NorthWhite Paste 9,000 Grit2.5 MicronsAmazon
Kent SuppliesPink Paste 9,000 Grit2.5 MicronsAmazon
HeroldRed Paste 10,000 Grit2 MicronsAmazon
TrendWhite Paste 10,000 Grit2 MicronsAmazon
7 Degrees NorthGreen Paste 50,000 Grit0.5 MicronsAmazon
Kent SuppliesDark PinkPaste50,000 Grit0.5 MicronsAmazon
Grits and Microns are approximates, conversions made with Best Sharpening Stones Calculator

Stropping Compound – Powder

Wood is GoodWhitePowder50,000 Grit 0.5 Micron Amazon
Grits and Microns are approximates, conversions made with Best Sharpening Stones Calculator

As you can see, color does not necessarily determine how course the stropping compound is. Even the actual ratings for each compound can vary from batch to batch.

Green stropping compound will vary from 3000 grit (7 microns) to 50,000 grit (0.5 microns) depending on manufacture and how the abrasive is suspended. In order to determine the grit of any stropping compound, you must read the manufacture information or ask the seller.

What Stopping Compound Should You Use?

If you are new to using stropping compounds, picking the right grits and colors can be confusing and could lead you to purchase the wrong types of compounds.

Those new to stropping and honing their knives should stick to compounds between 3,000 grit and 12,000 girt like the Beavercraft Green Stopping Compound or the Bark River 3 Bar Compound Package.

After you have learned the basics and understand how to strop a knife, you can then work up to the finer compounds like the Veritas stropping compound for a more refined edge.

How to Load a Leather Strop With Compound

Making a leather strop and applying compound can be a little daunting for those new to using strops. This video below shows you how to make a strop and apply compound for the first time.

If you want to apply the compound without a heat source, check out this video below:

Removing Compound From a Leather Strop

Removing compound from the leather strop can be done with a heat gun. Check out the video below to see how I like to remove stropping compound:

Brian Carver

A long time carving hobbyist that enjoys everything from whittling to stone carving. A firm believer that you should have the right tool for the right job but shouldn't be afraid to just wing it.

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