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Thread: what would you recommend?

  1. #1
    Member jaro1069's Avatar
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    May 2019
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    Default what would you recommend?

    Hi all im new to the idea of straight razors( dont have one yet) but i know i need a strop for them what do you guys recommend as a first Beginners strop?

  2. #2
    Senior Member TristanLudlow's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
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    As a first strop that you'll probably all nick up, I find the Herold strops mighty fine strops. I still use one myself.

    The Rindleder hanging strop with canvas are the more economical choice and do a perfectly good job. I use their Russian leather, but for a beginner I wouldn't spend too much money on a strop just yet.
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  3. #3
    Gatling-Gun Jerry Gasman's Avatar
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    I started with the Poormans Strop from Whippeddog. But we do have a strop vender in the group. You might contact him and ask what he might have for a beginner.

    @Tony Miller
    But most any low cost clean smooth piece of leather will work. Lots of options. A few others will jump in tomorrow.
    Last edited by Gasman; 05-17-2019 at 06:14 AM.
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    It's just Sharpening, right?

  4. #4
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    I would plus one for a loom or paddle. It forces you to focus on technique, usually is cheap, and often have a pasted side for when touch-ups become needed.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Badgister's Avatar
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    You will likely nick your first strop. If you want to learn to use a hanging strop, then get a cheap one with good leather, here's an example I recommend for beginners.

    More importantly, correct stropping technique will save you a lot of trouble.
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    Gasman (05-17-2019)

  7. #6
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    You can use a wide variety of materials for stropping. You can strop on a leather belt, the pants leg of you bluejeans, on a piece of folded newspaper, or even on the palm of your hand. As has been said by others, use an inexpensive or even homemade strop at first as it is highly likely you will damage it until your stropping technique become automatic and muscle memory takes over.

    There are a couple of questions you need to answer:
    1. Do you want a flat strop (bench strop/paddle strop) or do you want a hanging strop? Flat strops tend to make edges sharper and are often used with abrasive pastes or sprays. Hanging strops have some flex that produce a slight rounding of the edge, making the edge smoother. Eventually, you may want both.

    2. How wide do you want the strop? The most typical widths for commercial strops are 2 1/2" and 3". However, narrower strops are also available. Many of the experienced SR uses tend to recommend 2 1/2" strops, but I am a senior citizen with some arthritis in my fingers, so I find 3" strops are easier to use as the entire blade can contact the strop and I can use straight strokes rather than having to use an x-stroke motion. However, as 3" strops use more materials, they tend to be a more expensive. When you are first learning to strop, I believe eliminating the x-stroke lateral motion makes it easier to master the other aspects of the stropping stroke.

    3. Do you want a fabric strop, leather strop, or both? Eventually, you will want both as the fabric strops (canvas, linen, denim, etc.) do a great job of cleaning the razor edge and preparing it for stropping on leather. If you are purchasing a strop, most will come with both canvas and leather. If you are making your own or purchasing a vintage strop, then you might do one or the other, or both.

    I have one linen strop that I made from Chinese linen fabric backed by Pellon iron-on backing purchased from my local fabric store. It works as well or better than some of the other fabric strops I have. It is always the first step in my stropping routine.

    4. What type of leather? Strops come in a variety of leather types: cowhide, horsehide, Cordovan shell, buffalo hide, kangaroo hide, etc. They all work. The biggest difference seems to be in the "draw" or amount of friction the strop applies to the edge while stropping. One of the slowest leathers is called Russian leather. It is a good type for beginners as you won't be inclined to strop faster than your skill allows. You can always purchase faster strops later. In an effort to produce the very best edges, I often use several strops during my progression. I start with fabric strops and then go from a Russian leather strop to a moderate draw strop and the finish on a very smooth, fast draw strop.

    Tony Miller strops come highly recommended. For a beginner strop, he sells 2 1/2" and 3" "Plain Vanilla" steerhide strops. They are produced from leather that does not come up to his high standards for his premium strops. However, they are a lot less expensive. Once your stropping technique develops, then look at one (or more) of Tony's premium strops. There is no need to spend a lot of money on your first strop.

    If the $45 cost of a plain vanilla strop is outside your budget, you can purchase one of Larry's Whipped Dog poor man's strops. However, they contain the leather strop only; no fabric strop is included. The Plain Vanilla strop contains both.

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    Gasman (05-17-2019)

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