I had been saving some leathers swatches for use on a strop for when I finally get off my behind and start sharpening my tools. I apparently didn't notice that I had been saving bonded leather instead of real leather.

I would prefer it not go to waste but I wonder if I wonder if it would not be good to use for this.

Does it matter if I use bonded leather for a strop?

2 Answers 2


Well, you can use just about anything for a strop, so I think the question is "Can I make a good strop out of reconstituted leather".

I personally would recommend not wasting time on it and getting some of the real thing (vegetable-tanned leather). But if you're inclined, you could try it out and see how well it does.

The "grain" surface is made out of polyurethane, so I'd say that's out; I don't see it holding the honing compound, more like it would just smear around. The back is made from fabric and shredded leather bound with an adhesive, so there's some sort of chance that may work okay.

You can make a strop out of cardboard and a pretty good one out of MDF. All it needs to do is hold the honing compound well enough to let it do its work, and not break down too fast from the action of rubbing the edge over it.

On the bright side, if you try it and report back, you're very likely to be the world-wide published expert on strops made out of bonded leather :)


I don't know what bonded leather is but if the surface is synthetic I'd say no, it won't make a good strop. There's one good way to find out if it will though and that is to try it :-)

Let's say it doesn't work, no reason to be disheartened since you don't need leather for a good strop.

See my Answer here for a few more details. And for context, the edge in the photo below was polished on a cloth-faced strop loaded with metal polish, not leather loaded with commercial stropping compound:

Stropped bevel, pine end-grain shavings

Pine end-grain shavings on the right, taken from the surface on the left.

Soft-faced strops aren't the only option, see also the hard strops for gouges pictured in How do I sharpen curved tools like gouges?

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