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Stropping the night before?

RumpleBearskin

Contributor
I'm an early morning shaver. But that means I'm not necessarily at my sharpest while stropping before the shave, though the piece of steel flying around is. So I got to thinking, is there a substantial down side of stropping the night before (figure 7 - 9 hours before the morning shave?

I'm sure that there will be some oxidation overnight, but is it likely to be enough that I'd notice it during use the next morning?

All opinions welcome. Any actual science is even more welcome.
 
I strop after I shave. Can't say that I notice any major difference vs before I shave. I do keep my razors in a closed box with dehumidifiers in it though.
 
Why would you want to strop the night before, a peace of steel flying around is just enough to crap your pants to wake you up belive me have almost cut my self few times, and destroyed 2 strops at that point I decide for night shave more time less of a rush.
 
I'm an early morning shaver. But that means I'm not necessarily at my sharpest while stropping before the shave, though the piece of steel flying around is. So I got to thinking, is there a substantial down side of stropping the night before (figure 7 - 9 hours before the morning shave?

I'm sure that there will be some oxidation overnight, but is it likely to be enough that I'd notice it during use the next morning?

All opinions welcome. Any actual science is even more welcome.

I normally shave late afternoon after work then usually strop the following morning. I do not strop right after shaving.
I shave every other day.
Never had a problem with oxidation in that timeframe. The strop leaves an extremely light coating of oil on the blade.
 
Very likely you won't notice the difference on the edge. BUT it is more efficient to strop in the morning. After you lather, strop then, while the lather is hydrating skin and whiskers. Also you might think you are gonna shave with one razor, but change your mind in the morning and shave with another.

Many guys strop just a few laps after shaving and wiping the blade, and then do a full stropping session before the shave. Me, I go a few laps after shaving, then do 50 laps on .1u pasted balsa. Before shaving, while I am standing there with lather on my face impatient to shave, I strop on the hanging leather strop. Shaves are always above reproach.
 
In theory there shouldn't be a difference. But you may know the old saying that in theory there is no difference between theory and reality but in reality there is.

I suggest to try it both ways and see which one you prefer. Don't worry about being awake enough, you'll adjust.

For myself, I just have to strop before I shave.

Many roads to Rome, enjoy the one you're on.

Chris
 

RumpleBearskin

Contributor
I've been straight shaving (and stropping) in the mornings for the last two years, so I'm both comfortable doing it and familiar with the results. My interest is in ascertaining whether the strop needs to immediately preceed the shave.

I suggest to try it both ways and see which one you prefer.
So this morning I used a razor I stopped normally the night before. I did not notice any difference in performance. I will try it with a variety of blades of various grinds over the next week or so and see if that result holds up.
 
I'm an early morning shaver. But that means I'm not necessarily at my sharpest while stropping before the shave, though the piece of steel flying around is. So I got to thinking, is there a substantial down side of stropping the night before (figure 7 - 9 hours before the morning shave?

I'm sure that there will be some oxidation overnight, but is it likely to be enough that I'd notice it during use the next morning?

All opinions welcome. Any actual science is even more welcome.
No there is no downside to edge quality by stropping the evening before your shave IME.
 
I've been straight shaving (and stropping) in the mornings for the last two years, so I'm both comfortable doing it and familiar with the results. My interest is in ascertaining whether the strop needs to immediately preceed the shave.



So this morning I used a razor I stopped normally the night before. I did not notice any difference in performance. I will try it with a variety of blades of various grinds over the next week or so and see if that result holds up.

It will be the same for your other blades, makes no difference.
You will still need to be focused for the shave though:)
 
I'm an early morning shaver. But that means I'm not necessarily at my sharpest while stropping before the shave, though the piece of steel flying around is. So I got to thinking, is there a substantial down side of stropping the night before (figure 7 - 9 hours before the morning shave?

I'm sure that there will be some oxidation overnight, but is it likely to be enough that I'd notice it during use the next morning?

All opinions welcome. Any actual science is even more welcome.
I’ve always stropped at night.
 

RumpleBearskin

Contributor
So the consensus (and my limited experience) seems to be that stropping the night before doesn't impact the shave the next morning.

But that leads me to ask, what about stropping two days before? How about a week before?

And if none of that affects the shave, then why do we recommend stropping two times between uses (after use and then again before the next use)? Why not just suggest stropping after each use (or before each use) and be done with it?
 
So the consensus (and my limited experience) seems to be that stropping the night before doesn't impact the shave the next morning.

But that leads me to ask, what about stropping two days before? How about a week before?

And if none of that affects the shave, then why do we recommend stropping two times between uses (after use and then again before the next use)? Why not just suggest stropping after each use (or before each use) and be done with it?

Two days before, a week before, it doesn't really matter until you get into longer time lines where it is possible to get some oxidation on the edge.

Who is recommending twice before? I never have.

Clean the razor very well after shaving (I rinse in cool water then just use tissue), strop the next morning or night and use it the next day or in a week.
I keep several in a random rotation and don't strop any just before shaving as I know they were all stropped the day after their last shave.

So long as they are kept in a dry place a week or two will not matter.
 

RumpleBearskin

Contributor
Who is recommending twice before?
From the Shave Wiki:
Stropping[1] is the process of polishing the edges of an already sharpened blade using a strip of canvas, leather, or other fabric such as felt. Unusual sources for stropping surfaces can be used (newspaper being a common example). While stropping can be used to finely sharpen and polish any blade, it is nearly always used to maintain straight razor edges, used immediately prior to (and usually immediately following, for the purposes of cleaning the edge) the shave.

After the completion of the current shave (for cleaning) and immediately before the next shave = twice between each shave.
 
From the Shave Wiki:
Stropping[1] is the process of polishing the edges of an already sharpened blade using a strip of canvas, leather, or other fabric such as felt. Unusual sources for stropping surfaces can be used (newspaper being a common example). While stropping can be used to finely sharpen and polish any blade, it is nearly always used to maintain straight razor edges, used immediately prior to (and usually immediately following, for the purposes of cleaning the edge) the shave.

After the completion of the current shave (for cleaning) and immediately before the next shave = twice between each shave.

That is but one persons opinion, as is anything in a Wiki environment.
It is not described anywhere else - be it a barber manual or other teaching media specific to teaching professionally.
I suppose a YMMV goes here.
I was instructed by an old school Barber first hand, never mentioned stropping for the purpose of drying the blade.
It is an internet adaptation.
 
Hi Alan,

There is evidence that overnight oxidation is enough to effect the cutting ability of a razor edge. I suggest that you do a little test and let us know your opinion.

Strop the night before, then after shaving a half pass or so, strop again and continue your shave. Your opinion will be subjective of course, but it's really the only opinion that matters.

Victor
 
Hi Alan,

There is evidence that overnight oxidation is enough to effect the cutting ability of a razor edge. I suggest that you do a little test and let us know your opinion.

Strop the night before, then after shaving a half pass or so, strop again and continue your shave. Your opinion will be subjective of course, but it's really the only opinion that matters.

Victor

I would like to see this evidence in overnight oxidation if you have it Victor.
I imagine how the item is stored plays a major role.
I also imagine that the majority of us avoid possible humid conditions for our razors as well.
I just checked a razor that has not been used since early Nov. It was only stropped and has sat.
Under 100x magnification there is zero oxidation visible anywhere along the edge. That is nearly two months, let alone overnight. Not that I would not strop this again before using but there is no evidence of oxidation on mine.
If a SEM is required to see oxidation then it is of little consequence IMO as I do not hone using a SEM but rather the same 100x on a scope.
As always YMMV:)
 
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For a few years now, I've only stropped after the shave. My main reason for doing this is to remove any scum that may be on the razor after shaving and rinsing with hot water. Afterwards, the blade is left to dry for around 1-1/2 hrs or more, then dipped in a solution of 1 pt. mineral oil to 4 pts. grain alcohol, which further removes any standing scum. As for shaving afterwards, it doesn't seem to matter. Normally, that's 72 hrs. later, but I could also shave with it six months later (although in this case, a subsequent stropping just prior to shaving might help a little).
 
Strop the night before, then after shaving a half pass or so, strop again and continue your shave. Your opinion will be subjective of course, but it's really the only opinion that matters.

Victor
I would like to see this evidence in overnight oxidation if you have it Victor.
I'll try to dig up the evidence that I mentioned, but why not just try the test that I described above? It is a simple test that will be more direct, and since you're already stropping the night or longer before, you can do the test without changing your routine at all save the mid shave strop. I did the above test by accident and noticed a big difference, though it had been a week since the razor was stropped in my case.YMMV
 
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I'll try to dig up the evidence that I mentioned, but why not just try the test that I described above? It is a simple test that will be more direct, and since you're already stropping the night or longer before, you can do the test without changing your routine at all save the mid shave strop. I did the above test by accident and noticed a big difference, though it had been a week since the razor was stropped in my case.YMMV

I normally strop the next morning from shaving the day before and shave every other day.
I do not re-strop before that shave.
I have been doing this for years now to no ill effect.
Its certainly worth someone trying if they are curious for themselves but I have done this long ago and see no reason to repeat it.
As stated, how the razor is stored and what gets left deposited on the blade from stropping will be the biggest factors.
 
I think stropping the night before should be fine for you. My understanding is that stropping is mainly about reforming the microscopic edge that has been degraded by the act of shaving.

And only to a lesser degree to prevent oxidation. I don't see that a wait of twelve hours will create oxidation.

I whip up the lather in the scuttle, then do about fifteen laps on the leather. Then lather my face, so I can enjoy the shave while the lather is still warm. Then shave, then dry it on a towel. If it happens to be a balsa razor, then fifty laps on .1u balsa.

I think oxidation worries are more about where you live, not when you strop. In Canada, I have no oxidation problems at all. And that includes times when I'm using a DE and my straight is sitting untouched in the bathroom for several days. But in humid Hawaii, my straights rusted even though I attended to them every day. Hawaii is just DE land for me now.
 
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