Strops with good audio feedback?

Discussion in 'Strops/Stropping' started by PerpetualWonderer, Dec 7, 2018.

    I'm a newbie getting pretty close to 100 shaves (9 more to go!).

    I think I've got stropping under control, i.e., I'm not making the razor duller by stropping, nor am I cutting my strops. I acquired several strops so far, my full size ones being a latigo strop as well as a TM rough-out strop with linen. I sometimes flip the leather side to experiment with the skin side which has a faster draw.

    I'm curious if I'm getting the most out of my stropping. The thought crossed my mind that using a strop with good audio feedback might help me make sure my technique is okay. I'm most worried about applying a uniform, even, and the same stroke going both directions (i.e., I'm afraid my stroke coming back to me might not be the same as the stroke going out).

    Would a strop that makes a lot of noise help me in this regard? The rough-out strop hardly makes any noise. The latigo strop makes more noise. Maybe there is an even noisier strop out there that might help give me clues on how well I'm stropping.

  1. TBH I don't know. I have been doing it for so long my cues are all tactile on the strop. That's why I prefer a barber's end strop and avoid heavy hardware like D-rings, handles, etc. It may if you always use the same razor but will change depending on the width and grind of the razor.
  2. 50FF241A-BFC0-45AA-A81C-2DB5B17D2BD2.jpeg C0B90F43-DADC-4699-953A-E6DC98BFFD3F.jpeg
    Not pictured here, but the Tony Miller Rough Out strop has quickly become my favorite. Everything about it is just “right”.
    Now noisy it ain’t.
    If I want a strop that sings like Jenny Lind, I go to my home made 3” 8oz. Vegetable tanned specimen. Teju lizard bolsters add a nice touch. This strop is scary slick; a skilled hand should be used with it. A Whipped Dog Poor Man this ain’t.
    The others shown (Horsehide, oil tanned Russian, some other Russian strop I no longer own) are all quite worthy. But if you want a shaving version of “Der Freischutz” in the key of A....find yourself a nice slick chunk of 8 oz. vegetable tanned and go for it.
  3. Interesting feedback.

    I'm guessing that louder strops tend to be faster ones. That's bad because I enjoy med/heavy draw. I hate the feeling of the blade just skating on the surface of a strop. Makes me wonder whether the edge is uniformly contacting the strop. Maybe that is just psychological...

    Anyway, barber ends. I can think of at least one famous strop brand with barber ends :001_smile. Maybe I'll give that a shot and try focusing on the tactile feedback part.
  4. I found sound and feel changed fairly significantly based on whether dirty, dry, cleaned, or recently conditioned. I prefer Tanner’s Preserve, which I also use on car seats, to the solingen strop conditioner I first tried. I haven’t used many various strops to tell you which leather felt better comparitively, but cleaned and conditioned with the T.P. was much better imo, after a years light use using the H.Solingen paste.

    I believe the latter conditioning I did gave a nicer difference between sounds of a light pressure vs heavier pressure, and polished the edge better. Losded and dry it just seemed louder all around and perhaps wasn’t polishing as well due to contamination build up. A lot of grey-ish came off when cleaned, and strop feel (to me) improved.

    Keep any small nicks or slice flaps cleared off with a diamond nail file/board, then make sure it is totally cleaned after. That will change the feel too.
  5. Tanner's Preserve... I'll have to remember that one. Since I'm new and have only bought new strops, I haven't felt the need for reconditioning yet. But I can imagine that the cleaner and more supple the leather, the better contact it'll have with the edge.

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