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  1. #1
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    Default Care of razors between shaves. Is simple stropping enough?

    Not sure if my questions should be on this forum, or on either the honing or stropping forums. However, let me begin:

    New-comers to straight razor shaving can be confused as to the correct way to care for their razors, and assure continuing fine results. Assuming that one's razor has been correctly honed at purchase, what procedures should be followed after 5-6 shaves with a given razor? The razor is stropped before use. However, reading various posts here and on the Wiki, suggest that after a given number of strops that simple stropping is not enough to keep the blade in top condition. I have received conflicting advice, i.e., strop with pastes vs. light passes over one of the sharpening stones/combination of stones. Frankly, I am just a bit confused as to whether or not there IS a "correct "way to proceed. As appears to be the case with much of straight razor use, there can be many opinions that appear to have vigorous proponents. So, IS there a correct, or "most recommended" way to keep the edge "tuned" up between honings? Is "passing" the hair cutting test the entire criterion to use when evaluating the condition of an edge? In passing, let me note that if one wants to try various methods of assuring the best edge, then the costs can add up very quickly. For example, Dovo pastes with pasting strops, diamond pastes with the Thiers strops, and all manner of stones in varying combinations. Before one has turned around one has purchased several hundred dollars ( at least, and likely even more ) worth of materials. It would be preferable to find a method that works -but how, without trying most of them!?

    Thanks.

    Elliot

  2. #2
    I shave with a spoon on a stick. Slartibartfast's Avatar
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    You need more than stropping when you start to notice a performance loss and the strop no longer brings the edge back.

    The simplest system would be 5 strokes on a barber hone and/or some type of pasted strop.
    Last edited by Slartibartfast; 04-04-2011 at 07:26 PM. Reason: i no speaka da english good

  3. #3
    Senior Member blabbermouth Joed's Avatar
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    Slartbartfest is correct. I personally can not answer this question as I usually shave with any one razor just once or twice a year. Many here on SRP have stated that a honed edge, properly stropped prior to the shave and properly stored (dried and secured) should last ~ 30 shaves. Don't go by numbers. When you feel the razor tugging you will need to 'touch up' the edge. Options are a Barber's hone, pasted leather, cloth or felt strop or balsa plank. Just a few strokes on any of those. Diamond spray is also an option in place of paste.
    “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” (A. Einstein)

  4. #4
    Excited Member AxelH's Avatar
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    I think the pasted strop(s) is the most recommended way to refresh an edge back to acceptable (safe & smooth) shaving. The finer pastes provide a kind of finishing, a way to augment the honing progression. See how they say "crox" smoothes the edge out further, even if the grit rating isn't as high as the finisher (be it 1/4 micron diamond or..).

    I've found very similar shaves when I refresh off of my finishing hone, compared to a chromium paste. I've seen advice for a newspaper strop (do a search) or even using the MAAS polish/rust/tarnish remover as a way to further hone or finish an edge.

    It doesn't have to be that expensive.

  5. #5
    The Electrochemist PhatMan's Avatar
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    Elliot,

    So many factors come into play as well as personal preference !

    For me, aside from the dialy stropping (60 on linen, 60 on leather), I touch up my razors weekly with a CrOx (0.5 micron chromium oxide) pasted hard leather paddle, and once a month they get taken to a 12 k Naniwa. If that fails to get the edge I like, I will re-hone completely.

    Let your shave be the judge of things

    Good shaving and good luck

    Have fun !

    Best regards

    Russ

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