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Westholme or Tony Miller?

Trying to decide between luxury strops. I think I've narrowed it down to Tony Miller (Heirloom) and Westholme. Probably in the 'notovan' if Heirloom, or Cordovan if Westholme, but I'm also tempted by Tony's Old #2 Steerhide. Both involve a wait: as I'm based in the UK, the Tony Miller also doubles the otherwise perfectly reasonable cost through postage and probably customs charges, while Westholme are only making periodically with no stock expected before mid-January.

Thoughts?

Mostly a good problem to have, I know...
 
Either one will make you very happy.

I have TM Notovan and I really like the draw and feedback when stropping. It's one of my favorite strops.

I own a Horween shell Cordovan strop from Scrupleworks and it is also fantastic, with a light but very nice draw. Also, I have a steerhide strop from Rasoirsabre, which I believe to be similar to TM's Old #2 Steerhide. It is a thicker piece of leather, less flexible/pliable than Notovan/Cordovan, but very supple. It has a slightly heavier draw and it is also a pleasure to use.

Among these three, I would place them in the following order of preference: Notovan, Horween shell Cordovan, Steerhide. It all comes down to personal preference

Given the fact that Westholme is not making strops periodically, I would suggest going for the TM Notovan with linen as second component.

If you are willing to expand your choices, you may want to check Scrupleworks (his oil-tanned horsehide is VERY close to TM's Notovan - I love it!) and Kanayama (horse shell, different than Horween Cordovan but an amazing strop material)
 
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Big difference in price between TM and Westholme.
I have the former in no2 heirloom steer hide 3" and a matching linen component.
Both do the job very well. I do not use a strop to listen to how silky the draw sounds
and feels.....it's just to align the blade after shaving and honing.

The Westholme strops appear without warning on FB and are gone in seconds....and they
are 200-250 quid a pop. Im sure they are good but not enough to lose one's mind or wallet over
 
Never tried a TM but I did get a Westholme just to see what the fuss is about.
Very nice strop but like Tester said they are pricey.
 
Variety is the spice of life. If you can afford to, get both.

If you can't get both today, get the one you want more.

Can't decide? Flip a coin and measure your reaction to what the coin has decided for you. If you're upset with the coin's decision -- go against the grain.
 

Acmemfg

Contributor
Ambassador
I have 4 TM strops.
Notovan
Roughout
Italian Bridle
Horsehide
All are splendid examples of high end workmanship
I have a Herold Oil Tanned Russian also. Nice strop but a Miller it ain't.
Never had a Westholme but I am told they are a fine bit of goods. Not my style trolling around Facebook to see when they may be available.
FWIW...Tony's Roughout is far and away my favorite.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Contributor
Ambassador
There are other luxury strops. The one I use is sometimes sold here (but not today). Even if you're not interested in this strop it might be worth reading the write up on it. Mine's the horse shell.

Beach.Strop.2019.1.640.JPG

The photo is my strop on a beach trip (yes I travel with it). Great strop it is.

I also have and use a Tony Miller linen strop. He makes great stuff.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
There are other luxury strops. The one I use is sometimes sold here (but not today). Even if you're not interested in this strop it might be worth reading the write up on it. Mine's the horse shell.

View attachment 1048849

The photo is my strop on a beach trip (yes I travel with it). Great strop it is.

I also have and use a Tony Miller linen strop. He makes great stuff.

Happy shaves,

Jim
Very interesting write-up. Definitely has me intrigued! I take it, you much prefer it over your TM? I currently have two TMs, a 3" plain vanilla and a 3" plain roughout vanilla. I greatly prefer the roughout. Such a nice strop... one of these days I'll splurge for his nicer versions.

Still learning my technique though so the plain vanillas are great.
 
TM strops are tops for me...I have the 3” Plain Vanilla with Linen Backing and the Travel Strop with Cotton Backing. My other strops, don’t get much use since my acquisitions of these terrific TM products...BTW...Tony is great to deal with, great communication and shipping.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Contributor
Ambassador
Very interesting write-up. Definitely has me intrigued! I take it, you much prefer it over your TM? I currently have two TMs, a 3" plain vanilla and a 3" plain roughout vanilla. I greatly prefer the roughout. Such a nice strop... one of these days I'll splurge for his nicer versions.

Still learning my technique though so the plain vanillas are great.
I have a Tony Miller linen strop, but it has no leather component. He doesn't always offer a linen only strop at least not on the website (but might make it if asked although that's a guess).

Professional Strop.Tan.JPG ProfessionalStrop.Side.Brown..JPG

This is another of my strops. It's the Professional Strop from a Canadian vendor. Two sides. Very nice, but spendy.

I like the horse shell best right now and use both it and the linen every shave.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
I have owned both and currently only have a 2 TM and a Kanayama, as I sold the Westholme.

Can I offer you another suggestion, a Kanayama. I have a 50000 and much prefer that over the Westholme. His cordovan is softer, thicker and just feels soooooo buttery.
 

Suhrim21

Contributor
I checked out westholms site and availability of stops is when he has time every 3-4 months or so. Tony Miller has stops always. Based on that I would get a TM strop. I have the Steerdovan and love it. I find I am using it more than my Kanayama 70000 cordovan and my Red Imp 700C and even my Dubl Duck Special no1 cordovan strop. With that said westholm does have some gorgeous strops. You can always get a TM strop now and when Westholm has strops available get one of those as well.
 
If I could only have one it would be a NOS Red Imp 700C hands down.
However, a second would be a Kanayama. A 50000 is reasonable and will last a lifetime if you don't slice it. There are a gorgeous leather to hold and strop on.
 

Suhrim21

Contributor
If I could only have one it would be a NOS Red Imp 700C hands down.
However, a second would be a Kanayama. A 50000 is reasonable and will last a lifetime if you don't slice it. There are a gorgeous leather to hold and strop on.

You know it's funny you say those. The 700c I have is almost NOS. And I do have the kanayama 70000 and the more I use the Tony Miller the more I prefer it to both of those strops.
 
You know it's funny you say those. The 700c I have is almost NOS. And I do have the kanayama 70000 and the more I use the Tony Miller the more I prefer it to both of those strops.

I have never used a Welstholm. I'm sure they are wonderful strops.
I have used everything else. I do not find the 70000 Kanayama to be as effective as the 30000. It is certainly thicker and butter smooth but not as effective. Also the linen with the Kanayama is very good and effective, I think the best modern cloth component available.
Tony makes a beautiful strop I have owned two of his.

NOTHING for me is as effective as the Imp, not even close.
We all have preferences, mine is based on performance alone.
Visually, tactilely etc, nothing beats a Kanayama IMO.
 

Suhrim21

Contributor
Yup it shows even strops are a YMMV.

Dont get me wrong I love my 700c, kanayama, and my dubl duck cordovan, I just really love the Tony Miller
 
I think most preferences are for the "feeling" of the strop.
Some like a light fast draw, some a heavy sticky draw.
Almost any piece of leather will work. Not all are as effective or efficient though.
Boar is one of the most efficient leathers made but I gave mine to a friend as I prefer the Imp for feel and just about as effective.
I have had some where 1-200 strokes are not as good for a stropping session as 60-80 on the Imp.
 

Suhrim21

Contributor
I think most preferences are for the "feeling" of the strop.
Some like a light fast draw, some a heavy sticky draw.
Almost any piece of leather will work. Not all are as effective or efficient though.
Boar is one of the most efficient leathers made but I gave mine to a friend as I prefer the Imp for feel and just about as effective.
I have had some where 1-200 strokes are not as good for a stropping session as 60-80 on the Imp.

That part I do agree with. While my C-MON 414 looks to be NOS it definitely is not as good as the other strops I have.
 
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