WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
HONING, SHARPENING, & STROPPING:
Although some individuals may interchange these common knife terms, they are actually quite different. Stropping a knife is to realign the edge of your knife without stripping away at the metal. It is possible to hone a knife before each use depending upon the metal and how much “punishment” you put your knives through.
Sharpening a knife is actually removing steel from the knife, giving it a new edge. Only sharpen your knives when absolutely necessary as this is the quickest way to wear them down. A knife that is properly honed regularly should only need to be sharpened a couple of times a year.
The final part of the sharpening process is to strop your knife. When you sharpen a knife, burrs will be formed on the edges. To have the sharpest blade possible, you have to remove the burr by stropping it. This is often done with a leather belt, as seen in numerous barbershops across any town or city.