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Need a strop reccomendation

Hi guys.
I just recently recieved my first "real" straight from an ebay seller - n1elus. Its a beautiful 3/4" J&W Ragg napoleon razor. I say "real" because I purchased a sanguine straight and strop years ago and that experience put me off straight shaving until I did some research and found that all blades must be both honed and stropped before use.
So, now here I am with this beautiful piece of equipment, which I am assured by Mr. Millar has been honed on a coticule and a waterstone and is shave ready. The thing is that, he suggested not stropping before first use of the razor but stropping for every shave after. As I have been practising with the crappy sanguine storp for a while now I feel that I should splash out and buy a decent quality strop. But here lies the dilemma. My heart is telling me to go for a hanging strop (of the wide variety - i.e. a Tony Miller 3"), but from what I have been reading it would be wiser for me, as a beginer to buy a paddle strop so I don't wreck the edge.
So gentlemen, I have several questions (sorry this is taking so long!):
1. I am going to buy a strop anyway, I know it has to be wide, but I dont know whether or not to go for a paddle or hanging strop?
2.Do I need the canvas as well as leather, I was going to just buy the leather
3.What should I go for in terms of horsehide/cowhide/red & black latigo?
Any help would be much appreciated as always gentlemen, and once again apologies for the length of the post!
 
Sorry, this will all be over soon I promise!
I just need to know will it make a difference in the quality of shave if I do strop before the first shave, or should I not bother and just strop before all subsequent shaves?
Thanks.
 
1. I am going to buy a strop anyway, I know it has to be wide, but I dont know whether or not to go for a paddle or hanging strop?

It doesnt really matter. Some guys suggest starting on a paddle, but I dont think you really need to. Whatever you get, its probably worth getting a practice strop, because you WILL nick your strop, and you dont want it to be your good one.

2.Do I need the canvas as well as leather, I was going to just buy the leather

Im a canvas fan. I find it keeps the razor sharper for longer

3.What should I go for in terms of horsehide/cowhide/red & black latigo?

Theyre all good - the main difference is in how much draw they have, and youre new to this so you dont really have a preference yet.

Sorry, this will all be over soon I promise!
I just need to know will it make a difference in the quality of shave if I do strop before the first shave, or should I not bother and just strop before all subsequent shaves?
Thanks.

Depending on where it came shaveready from it may be pre-stropped.

The reason its suggested not to strop before your first time is because its so easy to roll an edge by accident. So id say dont strop before the first time so you know what sharp feels like, but do strop before every other time.


Good luck!
 
Strop Choices:

The two that get the most press around here are the SRD and the Tony Miller. Of the two, the TM is a little tricky to come by because his store is closed about half the time (he concentrates on making strops for two weeks then on selling them the next two). Also not all his variations are always available so if you want one of these and want to be certain of what you get and when, go with the SRD. The links are:

http://straightrazordesigns.com/ind...ath=36&zenid=7e94177fe376a95bb2fc9505194429dc
http://www.shop.thewellshavedgentle...21AE6FC3F94253CC66B6A27493B0A702.qscstrfrnt02

I see TM is open for business as of this writing.

Me, I'm a little different and prefer either the Filly or the El Toro from RupRazor:

http://ruprazor.com/store/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.browse&category_id=9&Itemid=32

Your first (or only) strop should be a hanging strop. Avoid horsehide at this time. Some people like it as a secondary strop but most, I think, would say cowhide for your primary strop.

If you want to save money, forget the fabric and get just leather (e.g. the Filly).

If you are not used to stropping, don't go whole hog with an expensive strop, unless you also get a practice strop to go along with it. TM has a practice strop and you can think of the Filly as a practice strop. A practice strop is good enough to be your only strop for a long time.

Others may have different but equally good :001_smile advice.
 
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Cd someone expand on why one would not want horsehide as a primary strop?

Completely agree that you want a hanging strop. Paddle strops are really intended for a different purpose--use with pastes to do something closer to honing. There is a reason a hanging strop is as long as it is. You would drive yourself carrying stropping your razor before every shave on a short paddle strop.

Interesting differences of opinion on canvas. I am not convinced that an unpasted canvas strop does much. And I am completely convinced that I do not want to do anything with a pasted hanging canvas strop. That is were paddle strops come in.
 
Cd someone expand on why one would not want horsehide as a primary strop?
From Tony Miller's web site:
[Horsehide strops] tend to have a lighter draw and make an excellent finishing strop, especially when combined with a Latigo second component in place of linen. For this reason though I do not suggest them as the best choice for a beginner where the increased draw of Latigo will make the stropping process easier to learn.
 
No mention of Illinois Razor Strops but mine have treated me well and they're reasonably priced. I have a 127 and a 827 (Russian). I started with one of Tony's apprentice strops then used the 827 for a while before I picked up the 127 used. I think the draw on the 827 is great for learning. The 127 is horsehide and it gets the most use now.

I also have one of Tony's travel strops which is also horsehide and excellent. One of his artisan horsehide strops is definitely on my list for Santa. :santa:
 
The Straight Razor Design strop did get a mediocre review recently here so you better go with the Tony Miller strop, it's worth the wait. I have been a member of straight razor forums for over 3 years and have only seen positive reviews on Tony Miller's strops. He sells cheap and good practice strops as well.
 
I was going to buy a Tony Miller strop but they sold out so quickly that I wasn't able to get one. What that means is that there is a week that he is selling and a week that he is manufacturing for a total of two weeks before you can attempt to buy a strop again. Add on to that shipping time and that is up to a month without a strop. At the time I was trying to order, all that I had was one straight razor.

I bought a strop from Vintage Blades and feel comfortable that I made a good choice. The craftsmanship speaks quality especially when compared to the *** ZeePk strop I bought to get started (but then again that is not a good comparison). Go with what you want or need. If you 'want' a Tony Miller, then hold out. If you 'need' a strop then go with something that will work well without being a waste of money. Vintage Blades sells strops and so does Straight Razor Designs. Now, I am not an expert by any stretch of the word when it comes to strops. However, these business have to maintain a reputation in such a small niche. I think that if the quality were not up to par for the average straight razor user, they would not sell these products. Both sites have 'contact' information that might be more beneficial for you to get the answers that you need for choosing a strop that works for you.
 
Another good source:
http://ruprazor.com/store/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.browse&category_id=9&Itemid=32
proxy.php
 

Tony Miller

Vendor
I do apologize for the limited availability of my products but making strops is only a sideline for me, done when family, church and career allow. After nearly 4 years of full blown production it is time to slow down and not miss any more of life.

I appreciate the all the support and kind reviews and I will continue to make the same quality products I always have but just not at the same pace as before.

Thanks again,
Tony
 
I do apologize for the limited availability of my products but making strops is only a sideline for me, done when family, church and career allow. After nearly 4 years of full blown production it is time to slow down and not miss any more of life.

I appreciate the all the support and kind reviews and I will continue to make the same quality products I always have but just not at the same pace as before.

Thanks again,
Tony

Well... I, for one, am just very grateful that you make them at all. Thanks Tony.
 
I am a newbie too and I chose a Tony Miller strop. I purchased a latigo/cotton 3" artisan strop. I also got the practice strop, which I think is a must for us newbies. Why risk nicking the nice strop when first starting out?

I am still using the practice strop and have not used the real one yet. Judging merely by the looks of it, I'd say it was worth it. TM strops looks beautiful and are quality built.
 
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