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Murray Carter/Shaving right off of chromium oxide?

I'm a big fan of watching as many videos as possible. After the wife goes to bed, I will spend probably an hour or two watching videos of different things. Of course mostly shaving. One of my current things I watch is Murray Carter and his shaving and sharpening videos and most of the things he does makes a lot of sense to me (spine first honing, hardback stropping). The one I can't understand is his constant use of chromium oxide coated leather as his last step before shaving. I can't wrap my head around this and am really wondering, does anyone shave straight off of chromium oxide whether it's on a leather or balsa wood strop? I trying to understand the science of the straight razor and for the most part Murray Carter does a fabulous job of "dumbing down" the science of the razor to me but this is one thing I can't seem to grasp. Maybe someone with some experience (either shaving with it or knowing if this will actually make the shave better) could explain this.

I put this in the strop section due to the obvious (at least IMO), but if it needs to be placed in the general straight razor area, please move it.
 

Legion

Moderator Emeritus
Oh boy. Here we go again.

A lot of the things Mr Carter does is unusual. There was quite a long thread all about his methods if you go for a hunt.

Personally, I go from CrOx, wipe the blade, strop a bit on linen to make sure all the CrOx is gone, then 50 laps leather.
 

Kentos

Wiped out at 25
Moderator Emeritus
Chromium, or diamond, or CBN are sub-micron honing compounds used by many to supplement an edge coming off the rocks. The compounds run from 1 micron down to 0.025 micron. When applied to a strop it gives you the equivalent of a very fine grit stone, much higher than 12k, or even 30k. I am pretty sure Murray strops on plain leather prior to shaving tho.
 
Two different videos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WECH...UCGXQYbcTJ33ZsJfNxpfhWV0U4aasKVZ0pWhzUVvLcjZk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTV4...UCGXQYbcTJ33ZsJfNxpfhWVw9pUyoOLTEtiv8B5FWE1qs

Both videos show him using a leather belt with chromium oxide on it. His last step is the leather but the leather is covered in chromium oxide.

I understand the different microns and the reason for using different compounds. I am just wondering what the reasoning is for leaving a compound as your as step would do other than on plain untreated leather.
 

Kentos

Wiped out at 25
Moderator Emeritus
I saw those videos, which lead to a lot of arguements. I was under the impression he strops on crox as a final step in his honong progression. Stropping on crox everyday might work, but so would stropping on plain leather, and going to crox for touch up. Why dont you email him and ask?
 
Do what works for you. The honing products we have available today were not available when straight razors were the everyday shaver and people got along fine.
 
Do what works for you. The honing products we have available today were not available when straight razors were the everyday shaver and people got along fine.
There's an apt observation.

Why not try it yourself? It's not likely to turn you into a little green monkey or anything. I've shaved directly off stones many times trying to gauge what the stone delivers by itself. Sometimes it's a pleasant surprise. A leather strop just isn't a major abrasive. Sometimes it makes a big difference for me, other times almost none.
 
I tried it on my balsa wood last week, and never again. I did a test swipe the size of my face and it felt like acid running down my face. I don't know if leather would make a difference instead of on balsa wood, but I don't think I will attempt that again. I'm brave enough to try anything once, but I'm not stupid enough to think that it would be a different outcome.
 

Legion

Moderator Emeritus
I find stropping on leather after CrOx takes the HHT up one point, and I imagine it will be smoothing the edge as well. I can see no benefit in skipping the strop.
 
I tried it on my balsa wood last week, and never again. I did a test swipe the size of my face and it felt like acid running down my face. I don't know if leather would make a difference instead of on balsa wood, but I don't think I will attempt that again. I'm brave enough to try anything once, but I'm not stupid enough to think that it would be a different outcome.

Ditto this, the strop makes it a bit softer and a little bit smoother/sharper.

I have shaved straight off of chromium oxide, though, without being red faced or having razorburn pimples everywhere. It just doesn't feel nearly as nice as if the edge gets a little leather.
 
I went from crox to face once after I sliced up my strop. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't smooth. I like a close shave (who doesn't) and find that close comes from sharp, but I just can't do it at the expence of smooth and that (for me) so far, comes from leather. Hence, I used my DE untill I got a new strop - I really should get a "back-up" strop one day ...

Maybe i should try it again one day, but I'll say this; I can't go coti to face.
 
Actually he does not strop on plain leather. He finds no need for it (explained in his latest video)

There is a ton of things to say about Mr Carters techniques.

What is clear is a couple of things.
He is a world renowed blade-smith. As in one of the finest alive today.
He has been at it for over 20 years.
He thus has skills & knowledge that makes him able to do things in a way that doesn't seem reasonable or even is possible to copy but anyone else.

Best way is to try it yourself. And then share it with us. That is the greatest way to learn & expand ones arsenal.

I have been experimenting a lot with the finest of compounds, down to 0.025µ (~640.000 grits)
I've found that once you reach 0.1µ, stropping on plain leather becomes redundant.
But as always, that is on my face, with razors honed with my technique.
 
Actually he does not strop on plain leather. He finds no need for it (explained in his latest video)

There is a ton of things to say about Mr Carters techniques.

What is clear is a couple of things.
He is a world renowed blade-smith. As in one of the finest alive today.
He has been at it for over 20 years.
He thus has skills & knowledge that makes him able to do things in a way that doesn't seem reasonable or even is possible to copy but anyone else.

Best way is to try it yourself. And then share it with us. That is the greatest way to learn & expand ones arsenal.

I have been experimenting a lot with the finest of compounds, down to 0.025µ (~640.000 grits)
I've found that once you reach 0.1µ, stropping on plain leather becomes redundant.
But as always, that is on my face, with razors honed with my technique.
9 years later, add also, that he lived in Japan for 18 years (but we already knew this from his vlogs in Japan 2011 edition) and he has been organizing yearly tours to Japan for 10 or more years.

He shaved his face with an axe, a sword, and scissors successfully on camera 11 years ago.

If he says a 1k-6k-12k(or 15k< nat stone) is all you need for SR. I believe him even if i don't have 3 stones yet.
Also Howard Schechter from Perfect Edge, who appears only on 2 videos on YT, doesn't believe in stroping because the surface is anything but flat, ESPECIALLY not with hanging strops, he uses coticules once a week. Both him and Murray explained how hanged stroping rounds out the micro edge.
IMO these 2 are the most credible sources today because they explain logically even for newbies, because they don't do YT for money or at all and they don't do drama on forums, where we all know forums are full of ****storms.
Also another thing I learned from them is when honing, lead with the spine.
 
What I took away from his presentation had more to do with stropping on a hard-backed surface with or without compounds. He seemed to suggest that this would limit the amount of bevel rounding. It’s interesting that T.I. finishes their razors on paddle strops loaded with green and/or white paste but they still finish on hanging leather based on their own videos.
 

Chandu

I Waxed The Badger.
I like Murray, but sadly, he's gone from telling you what you need to sharpen to convince you to step into the Nano Hone Pond. "C'mon in the water's fine."

I have his sharpening vids that he used to sell. I think they are now free. Quite good even when paying.
 
9 years later, add also, that he lived in Japan for 18 years (but we already knew this from his vlogs in Japan 2011 edition) and he has been organizing yearly tours to Japan for 10 or more years.

He shaved his face with an axe, a sword, and scissors successfully on camera 11 years ago.

If he says a 1k-6k-12k(or 15k< nat stone) is all you need for SR. I believe him even if i don't have 3 stones yet.
Also Howard Schechter from Perfect Edge, who appears only on 2 videos on YT, doesn't believe in stroping because the surface is anything but flat, ESPECIALLY not with hanging strops, he uses coticules once a week. Both him and Murray explained how hanged stroping rounds out the micro edge.
IMO these 2 are the most credible sources today because they explain logically even for newbies, because they don't do YT for money or at all and they don't do drama on forums, where we all know forums are full of ****storms.
Also another thing I learned from them is when honing, lead with the spine.
I am sure i could shave with a spoon, if I were to make a genuine effort to do so. That doesn't mean that when I say something that absolutely is not true, that it must be true anyway just because I can shave with a sharpened spoon.

Pretty sure no member here does YT for money. So?

Of course you can hone spine-leading. You can hone outside in a hurricane. You can hone in a bouncy castle. You can hone standing in a giant washtub full of ketchup. You can hone on a well lapped brick, or on the bottom of a coffee mug. You can hone in the shower or covered with teriyaki sauce. Mostly we do none of those things, and 95% of our honing is conventional edge leading, with no attempt to be different just for the sake of being different, and always assuming that the way it is normally done is the way to do it unless proven otherwise or we just want to experiment, even though every possible experiment you can think of has probably already been performed.

I do not find that anyone who advocates not stropping to be credible in the least. That's like saying one should never disengage the clutch when driving, or one should never use a whisk to beat eggs, or one should always make a point to shoot with the non-dominant eye or always fish with a barbless hook. Many things are possible, but many of those possible things are somewhat less than optimal.

I have shaved without stropping. I have most definitely not found it to be a magnificent experience. In fact the shave without stropping definitely is missing something, and by the third shave with no stropping, the shave quite frankly, sucks. Ditto, shaving right off CrOx or in fact any other abrasive.

Feel free to toss your strops. The massive strop manufacturing mega-corporations will not miss your business all that much. Nobody fears that you will lead a mass exodus from the tyranny of the strop. But on the other hand, I doubt if many guys here will ever take you seriously again on this forum. Stropping is part of shaving, if you shave with a straight razor. Those who use anything other than a clean hanging strop for pre-shave stropping are a minority and they have their reasons. Not one will say, I venture, that their reason is because Howard Schecter or Murray Carter is his youtube hero and idol.
 
9 years later, add also, that he lived in Japan for 18 years (but we already knew this from his vlogs in Japan 2011 edition) and he has been organizing yearly tours to Japan for 10 or more years.

He shaved his face with an axe, a sword, and scissors successfully on camera 11 years ago.

If he says a 1k-6k-12k(or 15k< nat stone) is all you need for SR. I believe him even if i don't have 3 stones yet.
Also Howard Schechter from Perfect Edge, who appears only on 2 videos on YT, doesn't believe in stropping because the surface is anything but flat, ESPECIALLY not with hanging strops, he uses coticules once a week. Both him and Murray explained how hanged stropping rounds out the micro edge.
IMO these 2 are the most credible sources today because they explain logically even for newbies, because they don't do YT for money or at all and they don't do drama on forums, where we all know forums are full of ****storms.
Also another thing I learned from them is when honing, lead with the spine.

Let us know how that works for you after getting some stones, learning how to hone and learning how to shave with a straight without stropping.
 
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