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2-Inch Wide Tony Miller Strops

Because we Americans appear to have outgrown 2-inch wide strops, @Tony Miller can't sell them anymore and has put his remaining 2-inch wide pieces on sale. I recently took advantage of this to order a Notovan strop and an Oil-Tanned Bridle strop with cotton elements (got a further discount by ordering more than one). Upon arrival, I took things apart and sandwiched the leather components back-to-back (removing the leather caps and D-rings at the bottom) and the cotton components back-to-back (keeping the leather caps and D-rings at the bottom there). I asked Tony about any linen elements and he said that he didn't sell his remaining stock there as they didn't meet the grade. Kindly, he offered to throw in a couple of pieces gratis to my order as placed. As always, Tony was very open to my questions, providing a wealth of information on how I might set up what I intended to do.

Just to see how they behaved, I stropped on these for a while last night, and then again briefly after today's shave with a Bengall "Cast Steel" razor. Shave was wonderful, by the way. The Notovan had a very light draw and the Oil-Tanned Bridle just a little bit more, maybe medium-light draw. With light-draw strops like these, I do not see what is the problem with their being narrow! I had absolutely no problem stropping on these with a slight X-pass. The cotton elements I am thinking to paste, although Tony did not encourage this as they are soft, potentially leading to edge rounding. The linen pieces were surprisingly good as far as I'm concerned. I put leather caps and D-rings at each end of one of them and it works very well.-

One thing I will add is that in using the leather back-to-back, it takes on an even thicker quality, reducing deflection during the pass as compared to one piece used alone. The cotton elements would act in a similar way, but there is softness from the surface on down, so it still remains an issue there. The linen is thin, but the surface is firm, but with nice pieces like these (!), I think I want to leave them as they are.

So really, I encourage you to give 2-inch wide strops like these a try! It's really not all that difficult given practice, and a great deal right now. And who knows, maybe one day the wind will change and we'll all be singing the praises of narrow strops once again.

As shown below, from top to bottom: Notovan surface, Oil-Tanned Bridle surface, cotton element surface, cotton elements back-to-back, linen surface.

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I'm new. After reading @rbscebu's "TRADITIONAL STRAIGHT RAZOR SHAVING INSTRUCTIONS FOR BEGINNERS" pdf. 2-inch is harder to learn from as a beginner. As I'm trying to get all my equipment together as someone completely new and being reasonable with my budget. I'm comparing prices from aliexpress and what is suggested on this forum. I am very tempted to get @Tony Miller as everyone is happy with the product. I think the 2-inch option is the best value one. I am more than happy to pay and take any remaining strops that did not meet the grade, since it will be my first. I swear I won't cut it
 
I just just picked up a couple of 2” wide strops. I actually prefer the narrower strops and stones. Between 2 and 2.5 inches is ideal.
 

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
@WenC, Tony will supply a 2½" strop if you ask. They are the same price as his 2" strops. If getting one of Tony's, get an extra replacement section for when you have finished cutting up your first. That will save shipping and you can then replace the cutup leather piece when your stropping technique has improved.

The 60mm wide strops on AliExpress are also usable. The newer models are thinner than they use to be. I use those thinner ones by holding both the leather and denim strops together. If getting one of these, again get 2 or 3. They also make very good travel strops.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
My favorite strop was a 2 1/2” horse leather strop made by Christian & Sons in NSW. It is older than I and after years of use, I decided to replace it because of its antiquity and I thought it should be preserved. I replaced it with a Tony Miller 2 1/2” Horween with no fabric. All in all, I prefer the speed of the TM and the leather performs spectacularly - I couldn’t be happier with it and my antique Christian & Sons rests peacefully and safely on a shelf.
 
If getting one of Tony's, get an extra replacement section for when you have finished cutting up your first. That will save shipping and you can then replace the cutup leather piece when your stropping technique has improved.
Are you talking about the extra Cotton Strop Material on his website or is it feather I have to ask him?
 
I am was very content with my DD narrow strop without a D ring or handle, but my laziness keeps me coming back to my 3” TM strop with a handle. Typical American, I am lazy and spoiled nowadays.
 
Just put in an order. :) I have a 2” travel with the roughout, but I don’t have a Notovan … yet!
2” does require a little more work (I guess I would argue that you need a few more laps to get the same number of inches per spot on the edge.)

I agree that 3” let’s you be lazy and just run the razor straight up and down the strop. The question is whether that is optimal. There’s an argument that on any non-perfectly flat surface you should incorporate a little sideways movement into the motion to ensure that all portions of the edge make contact during at least part of the lap. So I do try to do that. A little more thought required for my TM 3”, but makes it easier to switch to my Kanayamas and my TM travel strop. Also, a lot of my razors are 19th Century with noticeable smiles, so even if I have a 3” wide perfectly flat strop, I’m still not going to get more than 1” of my edge on the strop at any given moment. As a result, if I’m stropping an old Sheffield wedge, I’m more likely to reach for my 2” travel strop.

Some of my whetstones are only 2” wide as well, so to a certain extent the sideways motion is just carrying over from my honing to my stropping.
 

Tony Miller

Speaking of horse butts…
Also, a lot of my razors are 19th Century with noticeable smiles, so even if I have a 3” wide perfectly flat strop, I’m still not going to get more than 1” of my edge on the strop at any given moment. As a result, if I’m stropping an old Sheffield wedge, I’m more likely to reach for my 2” travel strop.
Yes, smiling edge razors on firm strops really make little contact. For those something thin and flexible is idea but sadly feel a bit "cheap" simply because they are thin and yielding. Perceived lack of quality/effectiveness vs. true useful value which they have.
 

rbscebu

Girls call me Makaluod
Yes, smiling edge razors on firm strops really make little contact. For those something thin and flexible is idea but sadly feel a bit "cheap" simply because they are thin and yielding. Perceived lack of quality/effectiveness vs. true useful value which they have.
This could explain to me why my Kyrgyzstan calf-hide strop from China works well with my happy SRs. That strop has a leather thickness of about 1mm or a bit less. To use it, I hold the leather and denim strops together.
 
Yes, smiling edge razors on firm strops really make little contact. For those something thin and flexible is idea but sadly feel a bit "cheap" simply because they are thin and yielding. Perceived lack of quality/effectiveness vs. true useful value which they have.
This is one of the main reason I like roo leather for strops. It is thin enough to conform to the razors edge, yet has very little stretch. Best of both worlds.
 

Tony Miller

Speaking of horse butts…
This is one of the main reason I like roo leather for strops. It is thin enough to conform to the razors edge, yet has very little stretch. Best of both worlds.
I am amazed at how tough and stretch resistant it is. I have a very thin piece, 2oz at best and it is super flexible yet does not stretch at all. Wish thicker stock was easier to source here in the US
 
I am amazed at how tough and stretch resistant it is. I have a very thin piece, 2oz at best and it is super flexible yet does not stretch at all. Wish thicker stock was easier to source here in the US
They make great travel strops. Kangaroo is easy to roll and it doesn’t have much memory.
 
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