#1
One of the reasons I have stayed away from traditional straights and gone to the replaceable blades is the upkeep of straights. While I have sharpened my own knives, I have no skill whatsoever in honing a straight. BadDad has given me a gracious offer to sharpen my straight that was so called shave ready. I haven't yet taken him up on his awesome offer because of time and lack of a strop. While perusing YouTube, I came across this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcxgvywdgRw. This guy sharpens razors and other blades for a living and said he doesn't use a strop because it rounds the edge. What!!?? I remember my barber growing up stropping before doing shaves and hair trimming. Looking at what he uses for touch up, a Belgian yellow coticule, after 5 or so shaves has me more confused as ever. Strop or no strop that is question. Confused

Mickey Oberman likes this post
#2

Member
Virginia
That's his opinion. Literally one person in all the shaving universe. How many folks do you know use strops? I think that answers your question, but in the end what sits well with you is the correct answer.

Optometrist and ESBrushmaker like this post
Bob from Virginia
#3

That Bald Guy with the Big Beard
Bishop, CA
A strop used improperly will, absolutely, round your edge. A strop used properly will smooth your edge, providing a more comfortable shave.

I strop on leather before every shave, and most times a few laps after, just to ensure the blade is bone dry. After every 5-7 shaves, I strop on linen to refresh the blade a bit, then back to leather for smoothing. After 15-20 shaves, it's back to the 10k/12k for a full refreshing, followed by linen and leather for smoothing.

The key is to keep your strops taught, so that it doesn't bow and start rounding your edge. It will bow a small bit under the spine, but should be taught enough to allow the edge to be flat as it glides across the surface without the leather lifting the edge, rounding it off.

I recommend starting with a paddle strop for this reason. Attached to a piece of board, the leather won't lift and roll your edge. It provides a flat, stable platform which allows you to focus on your strokes, instead of focusing on keeping the leather taught.

I like the poor man's strop of WhippedDog.com It's very inexpensive. I actually cut the hanging loop off of mine, and used a rubber cement to atach it to a piece of wood and make a paddle strop.

Optometrist, Blade4vor, caleb31 and 2 others like this post
-Chris~Head Shaver~
#4

That Bald Guy with the Big Beard
Bishop, CA
I also wanted to add that you can strop on newspaper or denim until you find a strop you like at a price you like. It functions under the same principles by simply dragging the steel into a smoothed position for a smoother edge and blade feel...

caleb31 and Mickey Oberman like this post
-Chris~Head Shaver~
#5

Member
Texas
I myself have 2 hanging strops and don't use them anymore since I have received my SRD modular paddle strop. I was stropping incorrectly and rounded the edge of my razors.

I have also shaved with an edge straight off of my SS 12k and it was a good shave. When using the scrub leather/linen/webbing then doing some laps on leather after the 12k it really smooths out the edge and took what was a good shave and made it a great shave IMO

BadDad and Mickey Oberman like this post
Jerry
#6

Member
Surrey, UK
Fully concur with both Bob and Chris on this one. I've yet to speak with any straight razor user who doesn't use a strop. As Chris says, all strops, even when pulled taught, will have a little flex, but stropping correctly will not damage the edge.

I would pick up on one particular thing in the video. He says that the strop is wide enough to cover the length of the blade - approx 3 inches. This is around the maximum width you'll find a strop. Many, and the ones that I prefer, are only 2 inches, some 2.5. The wider the strop, the more likely it's going to bow in the centre, even when held taught. Using a narrower strop reduces this risk. Furthermore, to eliminate the potential risk of rounding the edge, and to ensure the entire length of the blade is covered, it is recommended to strop using X stokes. Moving a 3 inch blade along a 3 inch strop in a straight line will miss the central area of the edge. I know many recommend the wider strops to beginners as it's easier to move the blade in a straight line. I'm sure this plays a considerable part in why rounding edges is common in that learning phase.

Cincinnatus, iamsms and BadDad like this post
David
#7
An alternative to the paddle strop is to just lay your hanging strop flat on a table edge or something similar. that is what Whipped Dog told me to do & what I have done now twice, with the last shave on the blade feeling the same to me as it was on the first shave straight from Whipped Dog (meaning I haven't rolled the edge-at least not yet). He explained that this helps reduce the risk of rolling the edge of the blade if coupled with proper technique. This way you can still use your hanging strop without having to put together or buy a paddle strop.

caleb31, Cincinnatus, Optometrist and 2 others like this post
Unless you are the lead dog, the view never changes...
#8
(06-17-2016, 05:02 PM)Optometrist Wrote: Fully concur with both Bob and Chris on this one. I've yet to speak with any straight razor user who doesn't use a strop. As Chris says, all strops, even when pulled taught, will have a little flex, but stropping correctly will not damage the edge.

I would pick up on one particular thing in the video. He says that the strop is wide enough to cover the length of the blade - approx 3 inches. This is around the maximum width you'll find a strop. Many, and the ones that I prefer, are only 2 inches, some 2.5. The wider the strop, the more likely it's going to bow in the centre, even when held taught. Using a narrower strop reduces this risk. Furthermore, to eliminate the potential risk of rounding the edge, and to ensure the entire length of the blade is covered, it is recommended to strop using X stokes. Moving a 3 inch blade along a 3 inch strop in a straight line will miss the central area of the edge. I know many recommend the wider strops to beginners as it's easier to move the blade in a straight line. I'm sure this plays a considerable part in why rounding edges is common in that learning phase.


Very well put.

My main strop is a 2" natural leather. I was pretty sure I could tell a difference from the very first go with the X strokes on a smaller strop.
I would like to try to find a pic of one blade's edge after being stropped on a 3" vs 2" with X strokes.

Optometrist likes this post
#9
(This post was last modified: 06-27-2016, 04:11 AM by Gott543.)
I would say to make sure when you flip the razor to do so on the spine, not the edge. When I began using straights, it was suggested to me to do x strokes no matter the width of the strop, guarantees you hit the edge evenly regardless of flaws in the strop or the razor


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

BadDad and Optometrist like this post
#10
I use a 3" board strop (leather). I also have a Bison Made English Bridal leather/ linen hanging strop. I generally lay my hanging strop on the edge of a table and use it as a board strop. I also use a newspaper strop. If stropping is done correctly it will not damage your edge.


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)