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Paddle versus strop/paste


Well-Known Member
I've run a thew test to day. Using TI paste on wide paddle, TI paste on my canvas strop.

I have always felt the canvas strop with paste or leather works better than a flat paddle.

So i honed two da's up using coticule milky slurry only untill the edge maxed out. The edge would shave but with some sort of resistants. I normaly would go dilucot or unicot to reach maximun keeness.

I also no you can refine with dovo red paste on a loom strop. Bart has mentioned the belgium's do exactly that and it works.

I had to do 20 laps on canvas strop very light and keeping the strop taught. The result was easily noticed with HHT and the razor easily shaved.

With the paddle strop i did in total 40 laps and the tpt was'nt as stiky as it was of canvas strop. The HHt was passing but not as good as canvas strop. Not shaved with that razor yet.

My point is i could reach keenes with hanging strop much quiker. The paddle strop did not reach the same keeness. It is advised that you should always use a paddle and not hanging strop.

Any one noticed similar thing?, is there a reason why the hanging strop works better?

My only thought is that a hanging strop sharpens better because the edge develops a slightly more convexed edge with the give in hanging strop, which will give sharper edge quiker.
Where as with paddles or balsa you don't get any convexing of the edge or very little. Maybe some can shed some light on this?
Perfect observations Gary.

I agree with you that a loose (hanging) strop will be more affective in adding keenness, because it promotes more convexity than a flat paddle. Making the edge convex, removes most of the steel at the tip of the edge, hence more "edge refinement". With a flat paddle strop, the action is more spread at the entire bevel width, and this is less effective in adding keenness. Because of this reason, on a flat strop, you'll need to do more work to achieve the same effect, or use a more aggressive substrate (such as balsa). The downside of a more aggressive substrate, is that it introduces the risk of burr-creation.
The downside of a pasted loose strop, is that the convexity will increase with every touch-up, and eventually you'll pay the price in shaving comfort because of the steep angle near the tip of the edge.

In my opinion, the very best stropping tool for pasted use, is the loom strop. It gives a much preciser control over the sag (and the resulting convexity than a loose strop. I believe these strops were actually designed to do just that, and are meant for pasted stropping. A daily razor can be kept going for months on a pasted loom strop.

The only downside is that the edges aren't as durable on a coarse beard, so touch-ups are frequently needed, and that those touch-ups won't allow for my favorite Coticule finish. (the convexity prevents contact with a hone).
Which reminds me to e-mail Smythe about a delivery of Coticule powder. :)

Kind regards,
Another advantage of the hanging strop over a paddle strop (especially balsawood pasted paddle strops), is the fact that if you tape the spine of the razor when honing (as in Unicot), you don't need to tape it when stropping (on the hanging strop).

Makes things easier.
very good point. I have to say i prefer using hanging or my livi loom over paddles and balsa hones .Its quik and handy and feels better to me. I just did this as a comparison. I'm not using paste nower days
garyhaywood said:
very good point. I have to say i prefer using hanging or my livi loom over paddles and balsa hones .Its quik and handy and feels better to me. I just did this as a comparison. I'm not using paste nower days

I agree with Gary. I have made my own balsa paddle, and also used Gary's wide paddle with TI paste and found I much prefer the hanging strops (allthough with the right stroke, the same keenness is achievable from both just as equally).
I use both Balsa and hanging strop, as I have said somewhere before, I only use the balsa when honing if I cant get the edge right on the coti/water, then I go back to the hone for say 30 light laps on water because I much prefer the finish, if I am shaving and feel the edge needs a little touch up I go for the hanging strop, for all the reasons above, i.e. a lot of my razors are old and have spine wear which means I have taped the spine when honing, once that tape is off I cant use the balsa, plus as Gary says the hanging strop is very easy and convenient. :thumbup:

I did reach a stage where I didnt need either, and the edges off the coti were spot on without paste, alas that seems to have slipped away, and I find that almost everytime I need a few laps on the balsa as part of the finishing process.
About 10 to 12 tops, I know Ray says to do about 5 but I think His Crox powder is purer than mine
How do you find it improves do notice better hht of the balsa hone?

Ralfy you have the crayon. I used both powder and crayon. To be onest i think i prefer the crayon.
I use powder on balsa, and crayon on hanging, I find they both do a great job at improving the HHT, it goes up about 1 number, say from a 3 to a 4.
I know I'm not the only person that caught the "coticule powder" delivery for pasting... I'll be anxiously waiting to read a bit more about this :thumbup:
torbenbp said:
Ray says 6-10 laps. I do 8 and then 30 light laps on water.


I also finish on water, like I say if I cant pass HHT3 off the stone I will use the balsa, but only after I have tried a few things first, like an extra 200 laps on water or say 2 sets of 30 half strokes then 50 straight x strokes, what I have recently used to great effect is dilocut and finish on water, then if hht is only a 1, I will go straight to either balsa or flip my combo hone over, wet and do 2 rubs with bbw slurry stone, 100 light laps keeping it wet. both of these will give me a nice hht 3, ready for the strop
Which reminds me to e-mail Smythe about a delivery of Coticule powder

Hey! What was that about coticule powder Sir Bart???

I`ve been thinking about making some sort of polish with coticule powder.. if it can be bought it would make it a lot easier to try..
And might I ask what you use the powder for???

regards gents
I've used Coticule dust mixed with candle wax as polishing compound on a felt wheel. It gave a hazy finish. I don't know how coarse scratches it can handle. More experience is needed, but quite honestly, I didn't see much benefit over the commercially available polishing compounds I already have in use.

I have also tried Coticule garnets on a strop (I had put is on a hemp strop). It works quite well, but since I don't have actual need for pasted stropping, I didn't collect much empirical data.
For those who wonder, it's easy to try: Put mineral oil on a DMT-C (or on 320 grit wet/dry sandpaper). Rub with a Coticule slurry stone, till the oil and abraded slurry forms a paste like substance. Transfer to a strop. Repeat if you need more Coticule paste. As a few drops of ink if you want to monitor how well the stuff gets spread over the strop. Use like any other stropping paste.
It works pretty well and the edges are "Coticule smooth".

Best regards,