This page was created from Joel's Interactive Guide to Straight Razor Shaving and can be discussed in this threadhttp://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=28590.
Abrasive Pasted Strops
Abrasive pasted strops are extremely effective means to getting and keeping your straight razor sharp, and most certainly are the easiest. While you can paste a hanging, or paddle strop, the ideal pasted strop is going to be in paddle form, as it is less apt to "give" and will be much flatter than a hanging stop pulled taught. Abrasive pastes come in a various materials/abrasive agents from diamond, to chrome oxide, red paste, green paste, black paste--the list goes on and on, but the common objective is to apply the pastes to a paddle strop to act as a "hone." Once these abrasive pastes have been applied to the strop, they embed themselves into the strop (either balsawood or leather) and the simple act of stropping will actually remove metal, and polish the edge of your razor. Using a pasted paddle strop takes no special skill (unlike honing) and has very little to no learning curve associated with it. Pasted paddle strops are also one of the more cost effective means of keeping your razor scary sharp, as a 4 sided strop is not terribly expensive, and will give you the ability to have 4 different grits on the strop. The most popular abrasive pastes are diamond paste, and green chrome oxide. Diamond pastes come in various grits, expressed as "Micron" ranging from 9 micron (very coarse) to .25 micron (SUPER fine), while green chrome oxide comes in one "grit" - .5 micron, and is the most popular finishing option, as many feel it provides the smoothest possible shaving edge. Diamond paste is also incredibly fast cutting, which allows you to VERY quickly make your razor a terror, so in my opinion this is the best option for new straight razor users, as it is so quick/easy.
- The quickest/easiest method of keeping your straight razor sharp, with little to no learning curve.
- Very inexpensive, and gives you up to 4 different grit options.
- Never needs to be lapped/flattened.
- Some feel edges created from pastes (vs hones) do not stay sharp as long and need to be refreshed sooner.
- Strops can inadvertently be cut/nicked.
- Residue (paste) from the spine/blade must be wiped off each time you switch to a different grit, or plain leather.
- You must apply more pastes from time to time, which are not inexpensive.
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