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Stropping more difficult than honing?

With the spine maintaining contact, try alternating 10 laps with and without the edge making contact - at slow speed. This was an eye opener for me.
I tried this the past few shaves and it really helps. Keeping the edge a mm or two off the strop forced me to slow down and focus on what my edge was doing. It was a lot easier to keep a consistent light pressure after a bunch of laps with the edge not making contact.

Part of the problem with stropping and learning to strop is, new shavers/honers do not know what, they don’t know or are missing.
100%. I started with a shave ready edge, but it didn't take me long to wipe it out with my beginner technique. I started honing on film and got what I thought were pretty good edges. Then I bought a shave-ready razor off an ebay vendor recommended here and was shocked at how good his edge was compared to mine. I just didn't know what I was missing.
 
Another benefit of slow/deliberate stropping- extra time for the lather to sit on your face prepping your beard (assuming you lather up before stropping).
 
Stropping seems to me to be harder to learn because honing responds well to slowing down and stropping never feels right to me if I try to go slow.
 
Interesting topic.
My own routine is 20 laps on flax linen and about 50 laps on the leather of a strop I got from Scrupleworks a while back.
I find it’s been invaluable to my search for better edges.
These days when honing I’m like a little bee going from stones to strop to stones to strop until the magic finally happens.
I’ve had my current strop under a year and never cleaned it, though I can see the reasoning that I should. But vinegar baths and overnight soaks are probably a bit much for me with the space and time I have, not to mention three little ones.
This might sound like barbarism but could I just throw it in a washing machine inside a pillow case for 15 mins?
I never rub my hands on it as there’s unseen grime in the prints of fingers and palms but it must get dusty, and the linen must get filled with blood and soap particles.
I try to consciously feel for or torque very slightly each inch of the edge as i strop. Toe, middle, heel etc and I work hard to keep the strop from tilting or twisting longwise off camber.
I’ve only been at this coming up to four years and would say I’ve learned more in the last 8 months than I did in the first three years.
 
Stropping seems more difficult to me in starting out because there is some flex in the held strop, whereas there is none with a hone. To counter the flex, some folks recommend starting out with a fixed paddle, but this seems wrong to me as the razor needs a little bit of flex so that all the edge sees some love, although this can be achieved to some extent with a narrow fixed paddle by using a more lateral pass. But with a more up-and-down pass in using a hanging strop, a sweet spot needs to be reached and maintained between tension of the strop and pressure as applied during the pass so as not to roll the edge. This takes experience gained from practice and is not all that easy to obtain in starting out.

My recommendation in starting out would be less laps rather than more. After shaving, maybe 5-10 laps max. on the linen side to clean the blade and perk up the edge a little, followed 8 to 20 laps max. on the leather side to restore and maintain the edge. Anything more risks to do more harm than good.

A lot has to do with how the shank is grasped while holding and during the flip. IMO, Sham's video linked below addresses the issue very well:

 
I won’t say stropping is more difficult simply a different discipline. When I feel my stropping is not optimal (it happens) I go to my Lipshaw until I feel right again. The Lipshaw makes for an easy transition to stropping because the motion is very honing like.
 
“So if stropping is more difficult than honing, then I must conclude that honing is a cinch!”

Not a cinch, but not that difficult. The trick to honing is understanding what different razors need. That is the difficulty, identifying problems with different razors and understanding how to fix them.

But if you are just honing a single razor, once the bevel is fully set, maintaining it is… a cinch.

When I started, it was with a single razor and a 6-inch translucent to maintain if. Just a few laps once a week or so, kept me shaving for 10 years.

If you muff the edge honing, you just hone more until you get the edge back. If you stuff the edge on a strop, usually it back to the stone and probably you don’t know what went wrong, so you’re likely to repeat the same mistake.

A good way to learn is on a nylon strop. Nylon is almost cut proof, you can even strop edge leading, (though not recommended) without damaging the strop or edge. You can buy a yard of 2-inch nylon (seat belt type) strapping from most fabric or Army Surplus stores for a couple dollars.

It also will improve an edge, though not line linen or leather and once you get your technique down, you can paste the nylon strop.
 
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