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Straight Razor Designs Premium I Leather and Cotton Herringbone

Item Description

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Although Tony Miller is a well-known strop maker who has deservedly garnered the respect of many, I decided to try out a Straight Razor Designs strop. This strop consists of Premium I leather and Cotton Herringbone canvas. This combination is not normally available. However, through a wonderful feature called "Build Your Own Strop," I was able to create this custom pairing.

Appearance
At first glance, I notice the richness of tan leather. There are black and red Latigo options but the Premium I comes in this color only. The leather is thick yet soft and supple, as advertised. The edges are smooth and clean. After some closer inspection, I notice a few scratches and scuffs on the leather. They are not egregious but the lighter leather allows imperfections to show clearer.

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Adorning the leather are screws faceted with an ornate design. They add some flair to an otherwise neutral part. Flipping the strop over, I see that they are included on the cotton herringbone component as well. They are on the front sides of each strop.

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The cotton herringbone arrived with plainly visible creases. Apparently, the canvas had folded upon itself during transport. This was exacerbated by the thinness of the strop. Tony Miller's smooth cotton strop is noticeably thicker and of finer quality. The SRD cotton looks and feels like the canvas strap on a bag; in other words, it comes off as cheap. I had to iron it for it to regain its proper shape.

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Use
The Premium I leather is as good as advertised. Right out of the box, I was able to use it without any treatment on my part. I own mostly hollow ground razors and the light draw works perfectly for them. It's somewhere between Horsehide or Shell and Latigo. I'm not a fan of the X-pattern and the 3" width suits me well.

As for the cotton strop, my fears were realized. When a leather strop has a light draw, the cotton or linen component is even more important. Much of the work of keeping a sharp edge is done on that component. This is why most, if not all, vintage shell or horsehide strops have a thick and pasted cotton or linen component. This canvas strop is neither thick nor pasted. I made a tiring and inordinate amount of passes on it and I never achieved my desired result.

Conclusion
I would've rated this strop much higher had it been the Premium I leather only. I'm very pleased with it. However, the herringbone must be included in my review and it brings the overall value of the strop down. I would not purchase the cotton herringbone again. In fact, I would've been better served to buy the Premium I leather strop replacement only at $44.99 + shipping instead of paying $91.73 shipped for both.

For those of you who are beginners to stropping, start with Latigo. It's more of an all-purpose leather. I recommend buying a Tony Miller Latigo and Smooth Cotton strop. It provides you with the Latigo component and a cotton component that far outperforms the SRD cotton component. As a supplement that, you can then buy the Premium I strop. Regards and happy shaving!

Latest reviews

I agree with Telly on almost all points.. except the quality of the leather component, and the performance of the cotton.
At face value, the Premium is beautiful to behold, but upon closer examination, the quality and attention to detail is just not there.
My leather surface has depressions about the size of one's thumbpad, and cracking of the leather surface appeared after the strop was in use for about eight weeks. A light sanding and two rather liberal applications of Neatsfoot oil, seems to have taken care of the cracking, but the depressions are a definite problem for stropping a full hollow blade that needs to keep full contact.
The cotton component, on my sample at least, came with a curve. An arc that is very noticable when hanging. I've tried stretching the cotton to the side, but it always reappears.
Where this strop shines, in my opinion, is the feel of the draw, but this his a highly personal attribute. I prefer a somewhat light draw, and this strop provides it.
I have the P1 hanging next to a Tony Miller "New Standard" in Latigo. The difference in quality of components and care in manufacture is quite striking.
Save a few dollars more for something better, and pass the Premium 1 by.
Efficacy
3.00 star(s)
xa_sc_review_field_title.fit_&_finish
3.00 star(s)
Overall Value
3.00 star(s)
Amount of Draw
5.00 star(s)
Thickness of Leather
4.00 star(s)
I thought I had replied to this review previously, but it turns out I replied in the thread that Telly started about this strop.

Around the time that Telly bought his 3" Premium 1 strop, I purchased a 2" Latigo/nylon strop from SRD as well. I am going to post a separate review for the 2" latigo strop, but I can review the fit and finish issues Telly encountered on this strop, as I encountered the same issues.

Pros:
-There were no surface imperfections in the leather on my strop

-No waiting to place an order (with a TM strop, you might have to contact him, and he may have to make the components you want)

Cons:
-The "canvas" (in my case nylon weave) came creased, and decidedly not flat, Just like Telly's did

-The leather that wraps around and holds both the strop and the strap (canvas component) is crooked on my strop. While the strop hangs straight, when you pull either side taut, you notice that the other loose side is hanging at a bit of an angle.

Conclusion:
You're going to get really nice leather , but don't bother with either the cotton or the nylon.

Other thoughts:
As English said, this feels like a TM clone, and frankly if you're considering one of these, I think it's fair to compare it to a TM strop. A 3" TM in horsehide is less than 4 dollars more than this strop at the time of this review, and it has otherwise identical dimensions.
Efficacy
1.00 star(s)
xa_sc_review_field_title.fit_&_finish
3.00 star(s)
Overall Value
3.00 star(s)
Amount of Draw
1.00 star(s)
Thickness of Leather
1.00 star(s)
I'm only going to comment that this strop looks to be a copy of the Tony Miller strop.

Why anybody would want to purchase a copy is beyond me.

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TstebinsB
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