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Ambrose Cordovan Strop

I took quite a while to get this review in because it was my first time using a cordovan strop so I didn't really know what to expect as a result. I was so blown away by the Spanish strop Jose (Ambrose) has that I needed to get everything out of this strop to give him the fairest review and make sure it stood up to the success to his Spanish strops.

I used 5 different razors to get my final results and my results are a combined of each. WK1; 6/8 Full Hollow Gotta, WK2; TI 69 Frameback, WK3; TI C135 1/4 Hollow, WK4; Joseph Allen & Sons Near Wedge, and WK5; 5/8 Freddy Reynolds Half Hollow. My set ups are done on a weekly rotation so I get the feel of the product and and know if it is going to work for me so I figured this gives the strop a big area to cover in razor types. All stropping was done on this strop it was not used as a finishing for these razors.

Fit and Finish:9
Surface was very unique to me. I've never held a cordovan strop so I didn't compare it to any other strop but the strop felt almost like patent leather at first until I started to rub the leather between my fingers. Then I began to figure what the deal was with this stuff, it was almost different to other strops like latigo, horse, English bridle and Ambrose's Spanish where you noticed the difference just by touch. This was meant to be enjoyed by the blade not by just feeling it with your fingers but it was softer with each pass of my fingers. The color was a dark chocolate with Ambrose's stamp at the bottom of a plain end of 2 x 18, my favorite by far. Very traditional looking as always. The thickness is where this thing scared me; one wrong move and I felt like I was going to have a travel strop. In all honesty, I have not nicked this strop once and is the same shape I received it in. I did about 60 passes and the razors responded well to all of them except the near wedge but I felt that particular razor shave well all week, it was just more of a feel. So a 9 was in order.

Second Material:10
I don't know if there is an option for stropping material, I just chose a linen backing to it. I'm glad I did because the back matches to the 2" width of the strop and looks like a cleaner strop visually. It doesn't resemble a material I've used before, I'd say it is a version of linen. It has a dense webbing that doesn't fold and feels sturdy. I do like that after almost two weeks there are no signs of fraying and it has excellent feedback.

Efficiency: 10
All razors did stay sharp all week and didn't feel the need to put in extra passes. 60is was more than enough.

I love the design because since I like the plain end and unobstructed strops with dangling things this one fits me. Besides performance, the most positive thing for me in a design perspective is the one piece design. There is not second piece of leather at the top of the rivets(?). It just folds over nicely. I'm glad the leather isn't black but it matches my office furniture in chocolate.

I have no doubt this strop is worth every penny. I have never paid over $100 for a strop and have come close to buying luxury strops but never found the need to when there are wonderful products out that do the job just fine. This is a luxury item and I consider a cordovan not to be a necessity but an experience.

Again, Jose is a top notch guy and I would never hesitate to deal with him. I spoke to him on the phone and his enthusiasm is heard when we were talking about what new stones he has and what his plans were. This strop is a nice luxury to add in my room, I do use it as a finishing strop but for the test I used it for all my stropping in the mornings. Except for the feel of the leather which was only secondary and had nothing to do with the results but Jose wanted an honest review and he got it.

Photo credit to dmcconnell
5.00 star(s)
4.00 star(s)
Overall Value
5.00 star(s)
Amount of Draw
3.00 star(s)
Thickness of Leather
4.00 star(s)
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