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First strop

Just received my first straight razor. Blade feels sharp enough to shave with however I‘ve been told i need a strop. After read watching, I’ve learned there’s different types of strips as well as materials. What’s your explanation and recommendation for a beginners strop?
 
Everbody cuts up their 1st strop eventually. So, start cheap. I recommend the Poor Man’s Strop from whipped Dog. I got the kit with the balsa strop included, and it has been helpful.
 
As Mr. Houston said, you will cut up your first strop. The Whipped Dog Poor Man's Strop is good. A much cheaper but still good one is a Chinese dual cow-hide & denim strop.

Strop.jpg
They are available on AliExpress for under USD 10 and may be available on fleabay and/or Amazon for more. I haven't looked.

To address your other concerns, stropping is NOT done to finally sharpen the edge (i.e., it is not meant to take any metal off the blade). The stropping process is to only realign the edge for the next shave.

There are two main types of strops used; leather and cloth. Cloth tends to be a bit more aggressive on the edge than leather. Personally, I only use clean leather for stropping. NEVER apply any sort of abrasive to your leather strop. If you must use an abrasive (and I don't) only apply it to a cloth strop.

For a beginner's or any strop, I would recommend one at least 60mm wide. Some are available up to 75mm wide. My edge lengths are between 65mm to 70mm long and I have no problems stropping them on a 60mm wide strop. Many strops are only 50mm wide and that makes the stropping process more complicated to fully strop the whole edge length.

Also check out the thread "How To Use A Pasted Balsa Strop". It's a long read but well worth it. I strongly recommend that you take notes as you read the thread. The instructions are refined along the way. With proper use of pasted balsa strops and your leather strop, you should be able to keep your blade's edge perfect so that it will never need honing again (excepting for blunt force physical damage).
 
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You also cant go wrong with an Illinois brand strop as your first affordabe/ quality strop....figure 40 USD and below....depending the your model you choose.

Larry
 
What they said. The Poor Man strop will work as a beginner strop. There is a guy on ebay called "thexbay" selling a 2-1/2" wide beginner strop for $8.88 that will work, too. Upgrade later, after you make your newbie mistakes on the cheap expendable one.

Here's a link for you. Unless your razor was honed by a trusted, reliable, competent honer, it is very likely dull. Here is how you find out.
(1) Is My Razor Sharp? The Treetopping Test | Badger & Blade
 
I broke the rules and started with a nice 3” horse hide and linen strop from Tony Miller. They are great quality and reasonably priced for what they are.

I’ve been using it carefully for about a month now without incident. The wider strops take away the requirement for an x-pattern stropping method. This takes out another variable that can confuse the early morning mind. Now I’ve got the hang of it I throw in a few x-patterns for good measure.

My recommendation would be to buy a wide strop first. Get the best quality you can afford and don’t mind replacing if you stuff it up.

The Tony Miller is nice because you can disassemble it with a screwdriver and he sells spare parts. If you need a new piece of leather or canvas you can just buy that and don’t need to buy a whole new strop.
 
I broke the rules and started with a nice 3” horse hide and linen strop from Tony Miller. They are great quality and reasonably priced for what they are.

I’ve been using it carefully for about a month now without incident. The wider strops take away the requirement for an x-pattern stropping method. This takes out another variable that can confuse the early morning mind. Now I’ve got the hang of it I throw in a few x-patterns for good measure.

My recommendation would be to buy a wide strop first. Get the best quality you can afford and don’t mind replacing if you stuff it up.

The Tony Miller is nice because you can disassemble it with a screwdriver and he sells spare parts. If you need a new piece of leather or canvas you can just buy that and don’t need to buy a whole new strop.
All good advice. Tony Miller also has basic strops for sale. I contacted him via his website about a starter strop. He happened to have a 3” first quality Horween strop with a cosmetic defect that he sold me. I put a couple small nicks in it at the very bottom. It is still an excellent strop. I recommend his products and customer service without reservation. Google heirloom razor strop.
 
I also ponied up for a Tony Miller Heirloom Horsehide as my first strop. Well, technically ...as @Tomo had mentioned TM's strops are modular, so in fact I was lucky enough to also receive a plain Horween from Tony to practice on while I hone my stropping skills. I had ordered a variety of strops and ended up sending them all back once I held the Heirloom. Definitely recommend doing business with the fine gentleman as from personal experience he goes above and beyond.

I did end up keeping a Harold Solingen double sided paddle strop. Solely because it has a padding underneath to make the surface slightly convex. I'm thinking of throwing some diamond compound on either side and then using it to maintain the edge on a Dovo Special I picked up from Jarrod. It might work out, I'll post the results.
 
I also ponied up for a Tony Miller Heirloom Horsehide as my first strop. Well, technically ...as @Tomo had mentioned TM's strops are modular, so in fact I was lucky enough to also receive a plain Horween from Tony to practice on while I hone my stropping skills. I had ordered a variety of strops and ended up sending them all back once I held the Heirloom. Definitely recommend doing business with the fine gentleman as from personal experience he goes above and beyond.

I did end up keeping a Harold Solingen double sided paddle strop. Solely because it has a padding underneath to make the surface slightly convex. I'm thinking of throwing some diamond compound on either side and then using it to maintain the edge on a Dovo Special I picked up from Jarrod. It might work out, I'll post the results.
Good move. If I had my time again I would have ordered a replacement leather with my first order. I haven’t needed it yet but it’s probably good to have a spare on hand. The replacement parts are good value if you can avoid the additional shipping cost by ordering it from the start.
 
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