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How bad are “nicks”

So, like most people here (I assume) I’ve got a couple nicks in the first strop I purchased. To date, I’ve been stripping around the nicks sense they were at the extreme ends of the strop, but this morning I stupidly put Another nick near the middle. Avoiding this would leave me about a 6 inch area to strop on. (See picture). All the nicks are very shallow.

My question: is it “safe” to strop over these nicks or will that damage the edge?

I’ve got a couple Tony Miller strops on the way and a Vintage C-Mon from BST. They should be here early next week and then this won’t be a problem. But until then, do I use a bunch of short strokes or can I use full length strokes over the nicks?



If the nick is an indentation and the blade does not catch, there is no issue. If there is a flap sticking up that can catch the blade, then you can sand it out with fine grit sandpaper. Try to remove only as much leather as necessary to make the leather feel smooth. You do not want to enlarge the damaged area or sand any deeper than necessary.

It sounds like you might need a little more practice using a dull blade to develop the muscle memory needed to strop without nicking the leather. Nearly everyone ends up with a few nicks when they are learning, but generally those nicks are at the bottom and top of the stroke path. I read somewhere "Do not strop any faster than you can count." That is good advice.
What you could try is give it some leather conditioner and rub a wine bottle over the strop with a little pressure. Might smooth out the nicks a little so stropping wont be an issue.