Ambidextrous Honing and Stropping

Discussion in 'Hones/Honing' started by Alum of Potash, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. On more than one occasion, I have heard Jarrod from The Superior Shave mention that he wished he could hone and strop in an ambidextrous way--sort of like straight-razor shaving. Certainly an ambidextrous approach would pose an advantage with regard to a more balanced wear of the razor, strop, and hone--especially the strop. But is anyone actually doing this?--and if so, what comments or advice can they provide?

    Being right-handed, I personally have no problem shaving with my left hand; in fact, I do a better job with my off-hand here. But in stropping, I'm definitely right-handed. Honing poses a strange situation for me because I am left-handed when using both hands, but right-handed when only using one hand.

    [Edit. To a mod: I put this in the honing forum, but perhaps it is better in the general straight razor talk section?]
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  2. I can strop ambidextrously - no problem.
    Of course, I have a disposable strop dispenser hanging on the wall of my bathroom for daily use....:whistling:
  3. I agree that stropping would pose the most serious problem. Sort of like the advice to start shaving with both hands from the start; it may mean that repeated habits may be hard to break further down the road. Sort of like stropping for the first time, a cheap piece of leather and a butter knife might be an aid in practicing from the start. In any case, hones can normally be turned from one end to the other to even out the wear; both hanging and paddle strops should be redesigned IMHO so that either end could be held as need be.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  4. I am left handed. I hone and strop with my left hand and shave with both. I really have never tried to hone with my right hand. I might have to try this out, and I might get my old practice strop out and try it too.
  5. Legion

    Legion Moderator Emeritus

    I hone and strop with my right, but I shave with both. Works for me.
  6. I am a lefty..... But....

    I hone strop and shave lefty also write and eat...

    I throw a ball, play golf, shoot a bow and arrow righty....
    I shoot a handgun ambi and a rifle/shotgun lefty...

    I can write on a chalk board ambi but on paper lefty...

    I am screwed up..
  7. This is exactly how I am Paco. Most things lefty but some righty too.
  8. Wow Paco, I would be in a constant state of confusion if I were you. My left hand is completely useless, I can barely scratch my ass with it
  9. I'm not really following on what the advantages of being ambidextrous would be here. With shaving, it can make sense, although I typically only use my right hand these days (but certainly am fully capable with my left hand, which is actually the hand I mouse with). With honing or stropping, you've got a rock or strop in the middle, and it's not like you're going to switch sides in the middle of either activity. If you're concerned about using the same pressure and level of coordination in the forward and backware strokes, it seems to me that it'd be easier to focus just on that than trying to learn how to do it all over again with your non-dominant hand.
  10. noahpictures

    noahpictures Contributor

    I have done it a few times and it helps...but it is a pain. Now I just focus on using even pressure.
  11. At the risk of moving off-topic, let me say that my sense is that the whole "dominant-hand" thing is culturally ingrained. Shaving with both hands with a straight has at least taught me this, as has sketching from life with my non-dominant hand. Let's say that with any given x-stoke, stone or leather, the blade is moving from left to right (already a culturally ingrained assumption); then the right side is receiving the end result. With a hone, one can turn the ends around to balance things out, but with a stop the build-up remains the same. Hence the theoretical advantage of stropping ambidextrously, or wanting to turn the strop from one end to the other, like a hone.

    While shaving, one shuttles the blade's edge across the face, edge first, as if one was honing (although the taught skin itself is more like a strop). If one can succeed in doing this ambidextrously, why can't one do the same while stropping and honing?
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  12. I am almost 100% ambidextrous, I can write left handed but it looks funny. I am mostly right-handed, my parents converted my from being left handed as a infant.
  13. they tried that with me when i went to school... but my parents put an end to that...
  14. I can't see why anyone would bother. Of course I feel the same way about ambidextrous shaving as well.

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