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3" Tony Miller Artisan Horsehide Strop with Genuine Linen Backing.....

Item Description

Artisan 3" Horsehide on the left - Red Latigo on the right....
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First - let me say, Tony makes some beautiful strops..... I mean they are really something special. Second - let me say, no one "needs" a $100 strop. Now - onto the review....

Stropping surface:
The cut of horsehide is nice and thick, and there certainly is no "skimp" on materials here. The horsehide is exceptionally smooth, and the razor just glides across the strop with tremendous ease. There is pretty much no draw from the horsehide.
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Genuine Linen Backing:
The Genuine Linen is no superior to a standard canvas, and is a little "sloppy" looking compared to tightly woven canvas, as strands of the genuine linen sort of "hang" off the side and such. There isn't really much you (or Tony for that matter) can do about it, and Tony began offering this based on requests from his customers - not based on his feeling that this is a superior linen surface.... as well... it isn't. I recommend passing on this option, as it runs an extra $11, and offers no benefit... if anything it is a detriment, as the rest of the strop is SO incredibly gorgeous, and perfectly crafted - it's almost like paying money to have plasic rims/hubcaps added to a brand new Mercedes.
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Quality:
The fit and finish on this strop is simply first rate.... so far, this strops are the nicest I have seen/experienced - and I have quite a few strops. The handles, made of black latigo, are superbly made, identical in size and there is not much that could be done (if anything) to improve the quality of this fine strop.

Overall:
While it is a superbly made strop, and for what it is - a good value - I am not sold on the horsehide, nor the Genuine Linen. I used this strop for a week straight with a 5/8'ths Dovo Tortoise honed on a Belgian Coticule, then did a touch up hone - to get the edge to where I felt it was a week prior and did the same exercise on my standard Tony Miller Red Latigo strop, and the difference was marginal at best - probably in favor of the red latigo. One thing is for sure - the Red Latigo works faster, has more draw, and is more fun to use... at least for me. Essentially the same story for the genuine linen VS canvas... I don't notice a real benefit of one over the other (or using a linen/canvas side at all for that matter) so I would say save the $11. It's an outstanding strop, and you probably cannot get a smoother/slicker strop as a "finishing strop" if you feel you need one, or can/will benefit from one. If you want the prettiest strop out there and aren't afraid of spending a fair amount of $ on a strop, you aren't going to find a better looking (the contrast with the creme colored horsehide and the black latigo handles is gorgeous), finer crafted strop at any price. If on the other hand, you are looking JUST for efficacy/results - I would say stick with a Tony Miller strop in Red Latigo. Do I regret buying the horsehide? Not at all. Would I buy another? I don't think so.

TO DISCUSS THIS REVIEW PLEASE SEE THIS THREAD!

Latest reviews

I bought this strop in a lot with every intention of selling it as I already had a great red latigo strop with the cotton option. I was happy, but before selling it, I was told that I needed to give it a try. So, to the review:

Fit and Finish: I love everything about this strop except the look of the Linen component as Joel mentioned. It looks a little unkempt, but there's not really anything that can be done about that. Everything else is great.

Amount of Draw: I rate this high because it's my desired amount of draw. I find that using the linen extensively and following it up with the horsehide makes for a really great, smooth shave. My red latigo never did match this level of smoothness, irrespective of the various techniques/combinations I employed.

Thickness of Leather: This piece of leather is really nice. I believe it to be just about the perfect thickness.

Efficacy: The horsehide combined with the linen has proven to be my best strop combination. The linen does an excellent job of removing oxidation and restoring sharpness while the horsehide provides the smoothness that I want in my edge. I would love to find a better one if it's out there because it would be truly tremendous

Overall Value: I think it's a great value because it helps me get the most out of my razors, and I'm willing to pay a premium for the best products.

Conclusion:

The most cogent comment that I can think of referring to this strop is that I rarely even use the latigo at all anymore. I've found the linen/horsehide to be a significant upgrade in both the stropping experience as well as performance of my razors.
Efficacy
4.00 star(s)
xa_sc_review_field_title.fit_&_finish
4.00 star(s)
Overall Value
4.00 star(s)
Amount of Draw
4.00 star(s)
Thickness of Leather
4.00 star(s)
I bought this strop a little over 2 months ago, mine is horsehide with linen backing and maroon trim handles.

I have been using primarily a Tony Miller red latigo and cotton backed strop for the previous 2 1/2 years although I do have a couple others but that has always been my go to.

Typically on the red latigo/cotton I was doing 25-50 laps on the cotton and 50-75 on the latigo with very good results. When I got the horsehide I knew from the light draw my approach would have to be different, now I do the majority of the stropping on the linen avg 50 laps which I find to be superior to the cotton for draw and follow that up with about 25-30 passes on the horsehide. I have put over 50 razors over it now and I noticed a smoother shave with the hollow ground razors which the majority of mine are vs using cotton and latigo, for the wedges I could not tell any difference whether using linen/horsehide or cotton/latigo.

The draw on the horsehide while there is very little I have been using it daily the past 2 months I wipe the leather with my palms and while I don't know if that or the use of 2 months have done anything at all to it as it still looks brand new it feels as if there is just a slight more draw then when brand new.

for Efficacy Wikipedia defines that as the capacity to produce an effect, for me as mentioned with hollow ground razors it works great, provided the linen or if desired another strop is used enough before going to the horsehide.

Overall value, if used properly including the linen component it performs as good or better then any other strop and unless damaged it will last a lifetime, that said I think the tendency of a lot of straight shavers especially new straight shavers is not to strop enough on either the linen/cotton or leather/horsehide so for new straight shavers I would recommend the Latigo as it has more draw and possibly potential to accomplish the same thing with less laps.

To use the horsehide only without the linen did not give me very good results, however I have went from cotton to latigo to the horsehide with very good results.
Efficacy
4.00 star(s)
xa_sc_review_field_title.fit_&_finish
5.00 star(s)
Overall Value
4.00 star(s)
Amount of Draw
1.00 star(s)
Thickness of Leather
5.00 star(s)
Zethlent,
Thanks for the review. I myself suggest the Latigo over the horsehide if this is one's only strop. I mention on my website that horsehide has a very light draw so there should be no surprise here that it feels much different than latigo. I prefer horsehide as a second finishing strop, or with some surface work to increase draw if it is being used as a persons only strop.
Tony

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joel
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