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Thread: Buying first strop & trying not to break the bank. Suggestions?

  1. #1
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    Default Buying first strop & trying not to break the bank. Suggestions?

    The title says it all. Just getting into wet shaving and I want a cheap strop that isn't a complete piece of garbage. Open to any and all suggestions/comments.

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    If this is your first strop, do not spend a lot of money on it. It is highly likely that you will nick or scratch the strop until you learn how to strop. If you cut an expensive strop, you will be frustrated. My first strop has several nicks in it.

    For your first strop, I suggest purchasing a 3" wide strop. Since the blade of most razors are almost 3" long, you can strop on a 3" wide strop using straight back and forth strokes. With a narrower strop, you have to add a diagonal component to your stroke. When you are new, having to use a diagonal x-stroke adds complexity to your learning curve. Once you develop the muscle memory to strop properly at moderate speed (don't try to rush it), then you can decide if you want to try a narrower strop.

    Even though I now know how to use a strop, I still prefer a 3" wide strop. When you use an x-stroke, the center of the blade receives more contact than the heal and toe. Thus, I prefer using strops (and hones as well), in which the entire blade remains in contact throughout the entire stroke.

    I recently purchased a 3" wide shell cordovan strop that I had made to my specifications. Because shell cordovan leather is expensive, most available strops are only 2 1/2" in width. I love the full width strop. So far, I have not nicked the leather and hope I never do.

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    Senior Member Butzy's Avatar
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    RUITERTASSEN makes a wonderful beginner strop for dirt cheap prices. I just sand down the back to a fine grit and use that similar to how one might use linen or another cloth. This is what I recommend to all beginners and have always had good feedback. they just make great leather products.

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    JP5
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    Yeah, don't spend too much money on the first one if you think you'll cut it and go slow so it doesn't look like Edward Scissor Hands handled it. How much do you want to spend? Do you just want leather or two components?
    Don't worry about having a 3" Strop yet unless that is what you want. Some of them will cup and a lot of guys feel that using x strokes on a 2-2.5" works the entire edge than just a straight up/down on a 3".
    It is going to be YOUR personal preference though. Some like wide strops, some prefer more narrow.
    I haven't nicked the Strop I made for myself, but a cheapo strop I bought has been nicked when I got distracted.
    Last edited by JP5; 12-16-2017 at 12:59 AM.

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    Gatling-Gun Jerry Gasman's Avatar
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    With an SRD strop you will put out a bit of money at first but the replacment leather or linen pieces are cheap. So in the end you will be well off to go this route. 8f your not sure that straight razor shaving is for you, then whippeddog has a cheap strop that works just fine. I started with the richmans strop from whippeddog. It lasted for about 5 months before it was cut up too bad and i had to replace it. My fault. Not the strops fault. Your stropping on real leather. Thats what matters. You can spend lots of money on lost of different strops but they all do the same job. Some feel better and you will learn what kind of draw you like after buying a few but they are all still doing the same job.

    Learn on a cheap one and go slow. Speed will come with time but its not important at all. If it takes you 3 to 4 minutes to strop a razor is nothing so dont sweat the speed. Enjoy your time in the shaving experiance in all aspects.
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    A Tony Miller 3" fast bridle Plain Chocolate strop is a fantastic way to go and a really good deal.

    I've been using one of his strops on a daily basis for years.

    The Well Shaved Gentleman The Heirloom Razor Strop Company

    Good luck

    Pete <:-}
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    My first strop was $90 . Not cheap in 1983. As the decades passed I realised how little it really cost. I'd say get the best strop you can't afford.

    Nicking your leather strop is bad for your razor also so even if you buy a cheap strop learn the "flip " & practice on a newspaper strop first.
    Last edited by onimaru55; 12-15-2017 at 11:40 PM.
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    JP5
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    Quote Originally Posted by onimaru55 View Post
    My first strop was $90 . Not cheap in 1983. As the decades passed I realised how little it really cost. I'd say get the best strop you can't afford.

    Nicking your leather strop is bad for your razor also so even if you buy a cheap strop learn the "flip " & practice on a newspaper strop first.
    This is a good point since you CAN avoid nicking the Strop if your careful. If you have $$ tied up in it that should make you more cautious.
    Others have mention using newspaper in other threads if you didn't have a Strop available. I believe one person said the pigment in the ink actually has a very mild/fine abrasive effect.

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    The RUITERTASSEN strop is in the running. The price is definitely right. And I'm from Des Moines.

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