Stropping

Discussion in 'General Straight Razor Talk' started by hotreds, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. I can shave with a DE and SE blade for a week or more. Should I not be able to shave with a straight without stropping for the same amount of time?
     
  2. ouch

    ouch Moderator Contributor

    Nyet.
     
  3. UPD

    UPD

    You probably could manage it, but why would you want to? You can't strop a DE blade, but if you could, they would last much longer... You can easily strop a straight razor and make your shaves more comfortable/clean the edge, so why not do it?
     
  4. Kentos

    Kentos Moderator Emeritus

    You could, sure. However a modern DE/SE blade is coated, which gives it the longevity you mention, while the straight is not. Depending on the quality of steel, keenness of initial honing and skill of user who knows how many shaves it could go without stropping.

    We might need to start up a forum challenge!
     
  5. You could do it, sure. But why? At best, you might "shave" two or three minutes from your total shave time. At the potential expense of less comfortable shaves and increased edge wear and tear.
     
  6. No way I'm going to try this, Kani needs love.
     
  7. I am of a different opinion. From my observations, the PTFE coating gets whisked away during the first shave. I do not think that is what provides the edge longevity. The underlying steel is stainless, so it does have that going for it. But what I think the most important factor in DE (or Feather AC blades) life without stropping is the final cutting bevel angle. Most straights are 15-18 degree, or something like that, a Feather SyperPro (as measured by Tim Zowada) is 25 degrees. That is a somewhat significantly larger, and therefore more durable bevel angle.

    Of course, you can create such a bevel angle on a traditional straight with the addition of a few layers of tape whilst honing, but then you'd have to face the wrath of Slash!
     
  8. I dont know why you wouldnt want to strop. Its like having a fresh DE blade everytime and it costs NOTHING. Plus you can look in the mirror and say "yep im a badass"
     
  9. Not strop because mis-stropping might ruin the edge? So, I would get a week of good shaves before ruining the edge by mis-stropping it? Just arguing for the sake of arguing here. Or is it mostly impossible to mis-strop?
     
  10. It is quite easily possible to strop badly and roll your edge, but it doesn't take too long to learn proper strop technique. Turning the edge side on the strop (instead of the spine) when you turn the blade is a good way to roll the edge, too much pressure on the blade, not holding the strop taut enough, slicing into the strop. Keep the strop taut, don't turn on the edge and always move the blade with the edge facing away from the motion direction. Get that down and you'll be fine. Don't overthink it too much.
     
  11. ouch

    ouch Moderator Contributor

    Of course it's possible to mis-strop, but not stopping is a very poor idea. After a week of not stropping, your edge will probably be so dulled that it can't be stropped back to shave ready condition and will need to hit the stones, so how much time would you save? With a straight razor, more than any other form of shaving, you want your blade as close to perfect every single time you use it, and that means stropping and a whole lot of it.

    Additionally, if you're so new to straights that you struggle with stropping, it's a fair bet that your shaving technique will dull your blade quickly. That's one of the big Catch-22's of straights- when you know what you're doing, your edge will last a good while, but while you're still figuring things out, it needs constant maintenance.

    Stropping is good. Learn it. Love it. Live it.
     
  12. I like stropping! It gives me a chance for some lather to sit on my face for a while to soften up my beard. If I didn't strop, I would just stand in the bathroom and look at my latherbeard for a couple of minutes before shaving.

    Depending on what DE blades you use, you may have a preference for a keener or less keen edge, but I am of the persuasion that a sharper edge is always better (within reason :behead:). Especially on a straight razor.

    I understand the hesitation on account of not wanting to ruin your blade, but as Ouch said, you're going to ruin your blade just as badly by shaving without stropping. Just strop gently and slowly at first. It will feel natural very quickly, and it won't take long to be able to feel if you're doing a good job or not.

    Out of curiosity, has anybody here ever ruined a blade by stropping incorrectly? How much trouble was it to fix? I haven't seen much of that on the forums, but maybe it's because we're too embarrassed to mention it publicly. :001_tt2:
     
  13. From the Zowada site:

     
  14. Yup.

    I've rolled the edge plenty of times while I was still learning, (still am, never gonna be perfect).
    Gave the edge a few laps on crox and went back to the strop more carefully.

    As for totally ruining the edge, No.
     
  15. Thank-you, gentlemen. Very helpful! I WILL strop, for better or worse!
     
  16. I would recommend stropping at first with the strop on a counter, then stropping slowly. Concentrate on keeping the spine in contact with the strop and you will be fine.
     
  17. I actually have a paddle strop.
     
  18. That is perfect, just go slow.
     
  19. Here is today's experiment.

    I honed up a razor, and kicked up the final bevel angle using three layers of tape on a pasted strop :)scared:).

    1. Here's the edge before shaving.

    2. After shaving, no post-shave stropping (only stropped on a towel to dry it off)

    3. After stropping.
     

    Attached Files:

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