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The mystery of the strop

BlacknTan

Well-Known Member
Of all the aspects of straight razor shaving, I think I find stropping to be the most mysterious, and one of the most important..
So, here's a question that has been on my mind for some time..
Does everyone strop immediately before the shave? I strop, sometimes thinking I'm prepared, and then might get sidetracked for a few hours. Once the blade is stropped, the edge is once again aligned perfectly, but knowing the propensity of metal to move according to it's memory or internal stresses, does the metal of the edge "relax" once again over time to it's previous position, or where it feels "it wants to be?"
Should I be giving a few more laps immediately "pre shave" just to be sure?
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
Bill, I don't think so, honestly. Instead of metal moving, I think the major concern is oxidation. I've mailed a razor halfway across the world, two weeks after its honing, and when it arrived several weeks later, all the gent did was remove the oil and shave with fantastic results. I do the same thing on occasion, and I very rarely notice any issues.

Back to the idea of selecting a strop: I do think that's a critical consideration, and unlike some guys who act like the choice of strop is immaterial, I firmly believe it makes a huge difference. I've settled on a couple that work very well, and I've gotten rid of some others that did not. The quality of the strop isn't discussed nearly enough to suit me, and I think it's due to the vast collection of razors and hones that many guys have.
 

Emmanuel

Well-Known Member
Personally, my friend i strop my razor just before shaving with my face lathered for softening.I dont believe 5 hrs before or 5 min before produces different.The Old english school propose ,after a shaving the razor should be stay 24hrs before a new stropping and shaving waiting the edge alignment.I haven't opinion on that.Maybe another mate has.
Best regards
Emmanuel
 

BlacknTan

Well-Known Member
Thank you, gentlemen for the insight.

And Paul, I agree that strops and stropping appear to often take a back seat in importance to other aspects of the shave experience. I've yet to find the strop I want to "settle down" with, but I'm still trying!

Thank you both again..
 
G

Guest

Stropping is probably the most underrated skill. Maybe because it looks simply enough, and errors are less immediately obvious than in the areas of honing or beard preparation. But it is a skill that needs to be developed.

What I find amusing, though, is how people have transferred the idiot concept of hone progressions (why use more than one if one works?) to strops. I own "a few" strops. There are some I like better than others - it's all a matter of draw, handling, size, and so on. But I cannot see any differences in the end results. If you find one, great for you. Let's try a double-blind, and see how your theory holds up.
 

Paul

Well-Known Member
danjared said:
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I don't think it "caused" microchipping, but I wasn't able to maintain my razors as well with as others with extended use. I fully accept that it could have been user error, but it hasn't worked well at all for me.
 
G

Guest

Sure. You know my address. Just don't blame me if the thing won't work and I actually write a review... ;)
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
BeBerlin said:
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How is the Williams btw?
Sorry couldn't help it lol

Back to strops, as said from me Bill, I too do the sending out a razor that takes two weeks thing, and the feedback I get has told me the edges do not suffer one bit.

Personally I like to strop just before I shave, I use proraso pre shave as you know, and stropping gives time for it to work, I also strop a dozen or so on cloth after I shave, as I believe it gets the very edge clean.

I do not hold with leaving a freshly honed edge for 24hrs, although I have heard it before, IMHO it's hogwash, besides that how much honing would we get done, if we had to wait until the next day to strop and HHT the blade? Lol

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

garyhaywood

Well-Known Member
I my self strop before shave no matter what. I have several strops. I have found i like mild draw and linen. cowhide horse hide no such a fan of litigo but don't mind it. i go with the feel of the strop. the buffed horse hide i just got is fantastic strop. Its by far the longest strop i have. a good 3 inches longer than my kanayama and my tm litigo.I just don't like the extra lenght it seems to long and unesacerry.

gary
 
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