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The difference a strop makes

So this is a question for those of use with multiple strops, and I think that will be most of us. Do you find that different strops affect your edges differently? I certainly do.

I have a paddle strop from Whipped Dog. This strop can really add life to a dull edge, but it can sometimes make some edges feel rough. On the other hand I have a Tony Miller strop that can soften edges that feel rough from the Whipped Dog, or edges that feel rough from my pasted strops.

What is your experience?
I have not noticed a feel in the shaving - i do know that i must change my focus depending on what i use.

Some strops are easy to pick up and just start - soft, supple and smooth is what i enjoy. Thicker, stiffer strops need a change in my action or practice but as I say, the shaving is just as good for me. I only use hanging strops, some varying linen options with clean leather - no pastes for me.
Some strops do their thing quicker than others. Some are easier and nicer to use. I have mine mentally graded from best to worst but I don’t think my senses are refined enough to detect a difference in the final edge. Saying that, I’d struggle to tell my finishers apart in a blind test too. I believe the difference is real but it’s too small for me to tell.

I could see there being a bigger difference if a strop had gotten contaminated in some way with an abrasive. Paste, diamond powder, dirt and dust could affect the edge in a big way.
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I just counted, I have 19 strops. And like @Tomo I have graded them according to how they feel/the draw and such. But as long as a strop is a good strop I can't feel any difference one does for the shave compared to another. It's all about what you feel in your hand. Of course, this doesn't take pasted strops into consideration.
I think a very low quality strop and a decent to high quality strop feel different. I think though that once you hit that tipping point, the rest is luxury that is hard to quantify.
I only have two strops. My first one was a cheap Chinese one which I found adequate so I use it for travel. Surprised I didn't butcher it when I first started to be honest. The other I have is a homemade kangaroo leather strop. I honestly believe I can tell the difference between them. The roo just feels better both to use and in the edge quality.


Ask me about shaving naked!
I’m with @HazMat Shaver - no difference to me. I actually tested leather and secondaries during that edge longevity test with the Filarmonica 14 Sub Cero (153 shaves). I pushed that edge a bit far because I was testing strops. and you can tell if an edge with 100 shaves on it improves pretty easily, whereas an improvement on a fresh edge might not be so noticeable.

I tested boarhide, roo, and horse (Kanoyama).I could not tell a difference between the leathers. I could however, tell a difference in the secondaries, with flax linen being noticeably better than Kanoyama canvas or cotton. That’s not to say that the canvas and cotton secondaries were bad, they weren’t, but linen improved a worn edge a bit better. If you re-honed after say, 30-40 shaves, you’d never notice the difference in the secondaries I think.
As much as I enjoy my shell cordovan strop, it cannot make up for poor honing. Stropping does not sharpen your razor, it simply straightens the slight distortion that occurs during shaving. I only do about ten laps before and after each shave, with very light pressure. If that doesn't do it, then it is back to the stones.
Assuming at least decent quality components are in the mix - for the most part - how well you strop matters more than what you are stropping on. You won't get a sharper edge off one hide or another, not directly - you may feel the feedback better on one strop and therefore your edges could come up nicer, maybe. i don't use Cordovan Shell any more and those that do are not shaving better than I am because they are.

Stropping, like honing, is one of those "it's done when it's done" things; very much not a formula or recipe. The feedback tells all. Done on horsehide is the same as done on cowhide, steerhide, etc. Counting laps seems sorta pointless to me unless the count is always going to 500, then it would be hard to miss.
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