I have been using straight razors on and off since this summer. Got my first straight razor shave this summer at Reds barber shop in Indianapolis. Loved it!! Loved it so much I went back and got another shave. It's like a 1930's barber shop. However, I could not afford to go there every time I shave. I liked the old fashioned way of shaving so much I decided to by my own straight razor and make this my new hobby. (A lot of my old hobbies are gone. Time changes everything. Lots of my old hobbies I now find them to be un-interesting.) Anyway, I bought my first straight razor and strop. It is a Dovo hollow-ground 5/8 with a black handle. I got a package deal. It came with a 2 inch wide strop from the "Premier Strop Company" It also came with COL. CONK shaving soap. Believe it or not I am pretty happy with the "Package" although I am learning as I go. Just recently I purchased some Taylor Of Old Bond Street shaving cream and I like it a lot better than the soap. COL CONK's soap is good but I like Taylor's shaving cream a lot better. To me it lather's better. Another barber I know also gave me some advice. He has been my barber since I was a kid and he used to shave me on the back of my neck with a straight razor when I was a kid. He started cutting hair back in 1960. He warned me that using a straight razor CAN be a rough shave if I was not used to it. The Dovo I bought was Pro-honed. I practiced on my legs at first. (Laugh Out Load) Then I had my first shaves. Believe it or not I actually did not do that bad!! I did not get close on my chin sometimes but all in all it went ok. Had some razor burn and so on but no major nicks. Shaved with it about 12 times and then it became to dull to shave with. My stropping technique is pretty good - I think. Watched several videos on YOU TUBE and that is were I learned to strop. Some people say they do not use the canvas side of the strop? My jury is still out on that one. Before I sent my razor in to be honed I would use the canvas side and then the leather side. After about 12 shaves I sent my Razor in to LYNN ABRAMS to be honed. It is now much, much better to shave with than before. Thank you Lynn. Now when I strop I only use the leather side until I found out more info. Keep in mind I am very new to this site and it has a boat load of information and I plan to stick with this and learn a lot more!! Happy shaving ~ 7890 bn