Stropping question

Discussion in 'Strops/Stropping' started by Steve1981, May 16, 2019.

    After a blade is honed do you just strop the blade before each use? Newb question.
  1. Strop after honing and once used, prior to your next shave.
  2. Some strop before each shave, some after they shave, some both.

    It is important to make sure the blade is clean and dry after each shave so corrosion doesn't occur, especially on the edge. Even if I don't strop on fabric after I shave I still thoroughly clean and dry the blade.
  3. I strop with fabric and leather before every shave.

    After each shave I’ll clean the blade and do a couple passes on the fabric and leather again just to make sure the blade is clean and dry on the edge.
  4. Same here Basil. I think it's important to run your blade on a strop after shaving to make sure the edge is really dry. I do linen/leather post shave. Then 10-15 on leather right before shaving as the soap is softening the whiskers.
  5. Yeah same about 10-20 laps on the leather and fabric after a shave.

    I tend to do more laps before a shave. Maybe 20-30 depending how I feel. Some times I zone out and might do more than I know lol.
  6. I've been following this man's practice since I watched the video. You can fast forward to 13 minutes.
  7. Fascinating film about the old Sheffield hand-work processes. Thanks for sharing. Interesting, too, that the narration was added AFTER Sheffield had stopped producing razors. The second film, of the old geezer lathering from a bar of soap was priceless! I wonder where his collection of 20-odd razors is to-day.
  8. Great video. Thanks for digging that up and posting.
  9. Stropping smooths out the edge. No razor edge is ever going to shave nicely without stropping. Guys who don't know what a good shave feels like or don't know how to strop or have a proper strop (including myself when I was starting out) like to imagine that a fine enough hone can leave an edge ready to shave. It can't. What stropping does is a mechanism that hones just can't do and is a VITAL change to a razor edge for a comfortable shave.

    Stropping also can dry the blade, remove tiny amounts of oxidation that form, apply a thin coat of natural oils to a blade, etc. The point is it serves multiple purposes, which is why it's good to strop when coming off the hones, before shaves and after a shave. It's not necessary to do all three, but you definitely need to strop at some point before every shave (whether the previous act was honing or a prior shave).

    In general, I almost always strop immediately prior to a shave, though on occasion I'll strop coming off the hones on a razor I plan to shave with in the next day or two, then not bother stropping immediately prior (because I know the last thing that happened with the razor was stropping). I can't say absolutely that it makes a difference, but I suspect the shaves where I strop immediately prior are a little bit better.

    I've seen other guys argue the opposite... that it's best to strop the day before so the steel can "relax" or something like that, before a shave. It's a pretty uncommon stance, and as far as I know there's no science behind it whatsoever (whereas stropping just prior has the fact that carbon steel oxidizes supporting its proponents). But the fact that this belief exists does indicate that in a normal environment, it's not going to be night and day different if you strop the day before or five minutes before your shave.
  10. Agree. All those things you mentioned can be seen using a metallurgical scope and high magnification.
    Stropping will change the edge, you can see it. Tine teeth are gone. They almost melt aways and you end up with a nice straight edge. I am talking real 1000x magnification. Palm stropping will remove the tiny ones as well.
    One thing I have observed, edge is much toothier coming off a coticule rather than a jnat. I think it has to do with the finishing on slurry vs water. Don't know, just a speculation. If your edge is toothier than just little that's where the linen kicks in. That thing really works. Maybe that's why the recommendation of linen after coticule.
    Same with water. You can see tiny amount on the edge even though the razor was dried with a towel. After stropping it's all gone.
    Stropping works. Period.
  11. Thank you for the post.
  12. Yes, 50 times on linen and 50 times on leather I what I do. I have a scrupleworks strop(barber style) and I can recommended it to anyone.

    After I shave, I clean the blade with 70% alcohol, let it dry for a few minutes, and put then some mineral oil on the blade and store it then for the next day.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
  13. You are welcome.
    Also wanted to add. Great video. Always nice to see an old-timer shave.
    He kind of reminds me my father. Shaved all his life with a DE. I was telling him about beard prep and all that stuff.
    He just looked at me and said, I don't have time for all this BS. I have to shave and go, I have things to do.
  14. I'm happy you enjoyed the video. It taught me much about the care and maintenance of a straight. We become one with the blade as a person who uses a manufactured blade would never appreciate.

    I like your father's attitude. :a14:

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