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At long last, a review of Torolf's strops. Well, not really, but close enough...

G

Guest

A lot of good things have been said about Torolf's strops. But no review has been written yet. Well, here it is, sort of:
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. I am including the review at the time of writing (So 10. Apr 18:34:24 CEST 2011) as a copy below in the hope that you will find it useful. Since the software here will not digest my HTML code, and I refuse to use BBCode on my own site, you will have to live without the images and links - or visit the original... B)

Strop review: Scrupleworks "Custom"
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"Custom", while consisting of six letters, is actually a four letter word. So, why go for a custom strop? By accident, in fact. I was looking for a replacement for the non-leather side of my SRD Premium I extra long strop. The webbed fabric never appealed to me, despite its good performance. The linen I got instead came from a member of Coticule.be (name: Torolf, nick: tm280). Linen, or pimp your SRD strop contains the details. Then pictures were posted of a complete strop, and I thought, "that is a very nice looking strop, I think I would like one of these, too." So Torolf and I exchanged a few messages, and came up with a solution that works very well for me. Enter the Scrupleworks Custom Strop - just for me.

This strop is not for sale, and I am not sure that it should be, either. Torolfs materials are of such high quality that his strops ought not to be wasted as learning tools. Thus, the need for modular hardware is a non-issue. My strop only ended up like this because I actually wanted to replace the leather on my SRD Premium IV. You may ask yourself why anyone would want to do that. After all, this strop has risen to the pinnacle of stropping fame. The answer is quite simple, really - I could not get a 3" strip of the leather used for The Different Scent's Old Traditional strops. There are many strops out in the market, most of them good, some quite outstanding, some ridiculously priced. If asked for a high quality, all purpose, no-nonsense strop, I would recommend the Premium IV without reservations (except, maybe, that the default webbed fabric looks, feels, and sounds tacky).
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Until now, however, no other leather came close to the Old Traditional's in terms of feel, and draw. It is velvety smooth without suffering from the excessive draw often found in latigo strops. At the same time it is supple, yet firm, but without being as slick like the Premium IV. De gustibus and all that, but for me, it is perfect. But, as stated previously, it does not come in 3" width, and I have come to like that size a lot. Enter Scrupleworks. Without going into any details, it would have been more efficient to simply buy a complete strop. But for reasons beyond the scope of this article, I ended up with a modular strop instead. This needs mentioning because it puts the strop's only two drawbacks into perspective:

  1. [li]The strop is quite thin. While making it the perfect travel strop, it has a slighly negative impact on its stability. Not that this would impair its performance, but being used to sturdy strops like the Premium ones, this one is very lightweight. This obviously would not quite be the case if it had a linen backing, like the ones actually being sold.[/li]
    [li]Not being marginally as good with my hands as Torolf is, the strop does not quite fit the hardware. My fault entirely, courtesy of my first attempt at using punch pliers in twenty years.[/li]
But, those are cosmetic issues. On the up side, the strop is very much perfect in feel, and performance. Whatever leather Torolf uses, it out-performs all my other strops, with the possible exception of the Old Traditional. Unlike the latter, however, it is as long as the SRD extra long strops, and 3" wide. These dimensions make it perfect for my requirements. After the first use, it immediately became my daily strop. Not least because it did not need any breaking in. Its draw has not changed in three weeks of heavy use, and I consider this a definite advantage. The 7/8 Friodur I have been using since then for testing purposes has not lost any sharpness. For me, this is the only test for a strop's performance I care about. And, the Scrupleworks custom has passed it with flying colours.

To sum up this review, I can highly recommend Torolf's services and the materials he uses. All examples of his craftsmanship I have seen so far (three leather strips, two linen strips) are flawlessly executed, and look and feel extraordinary. I do not know what his "stock" strops cost, but I would be more than happy to pay €90 for one (which is what the Old Traditional costs).
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
Nice write-up, thank you Robin. But what about the 2[sup]nd[/sup] drawback, if it was operator's (namely, yours :)) error, why bring it up?

cheers,
Matt
 

TM280

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the review, Robin. I'm glad you're getting a lot out of them.

(even though I did think the hangers were a solution to the red capped length...:p )

regards,
Torolf
 
G

Guest

What I said, Torolf: not really a review, but close enough. Good stuff in any event.

Best,
Robin
 
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