Applying paste to a strop

Applying a paste to a strop

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.

Types of Paste

Abrasive compounds come in three styles/consistencies. There are pastes, putties/somewhat pliable blocks, and liquids. The most common form of abrasive paste for use with straight razors is diamond paste.

A syringe of Amplex diamond paste, a tube of TI white "putty-like" paste, and .5 Micron Green Chrome Oxide

Since diamond paste is the most commonly used, for this example, I am going to use .5-micron Amplex diamond paste. The "Grade #1/2 MB" on the box below stands for ½ or .5 micron.

Applying the Paste

Refreshing a heavily used pasted strop, or starting a new pasted strop is done in the same manner, and is quick, and easy.

Step 1

Select the proper side or strop in which you wish to use the diamond paste, and make sure it is properly marked so you don't mix up which paste is where.

Step 2

Apply a small amount of paste across the center of the strop. In this example, I probably used a little too much. It's better to have not enough than too much as you can always add more if needed, however adding too much is wasteful, and diamond paste isn't cheap.

Step 3

Take the area of your hand under your thumb in the palm of your hand, and lightly spread the paste across the strop.

Step 4

You should now have diamond paste in the palm (in the meaty part under the thumb) of your hand and the paste should be a little more evenly distributed. Now, take the paste on your palm, and begin to work it across the entire strop.

Step 5

Keep working the paste into the strop using circular motions until the paste is completely and evenly distributed and most of the paste has settled into the strop. You'll know you're finished, as it will seem like there is nothing more you can really do, as well? there isn't you're done! Ideally let your newly pasted strop sit for a day or so, so the paste isn't too wet (it will still work fine, but it'll put a fair amount of paste on whatever razor you are using on it) and mission accomplished. Go wash your hands!