If you watch the video above, we discuss what strops are, how to use them, and a few tips on strop maintenance.
Today we are talking strops and how to use them. I am really excited for this video, before we go over everything you need to know about strops, and even a surprise field trip at the end of the video, lets go over the three example strops I have here today. This is a 3 inch synthetic practice strop, you have your hook on the end with fabric on the other side, this is good for beginners because they can learn on it without risking cutting a real leather strop. Remember instead of buying a practice strop you can buy a practice razor that has a blunt edge, then you can use a real leather strop and not cut it at all. Next is a leather strop from Classic Shaving, there is a hook on one end with D-rings on the other, this is a double strop which means it a has a second nylon strop on the bottom in addition to the leather one. This is a box strop, 4 two inch strops in total, two sides are a rough leather, one is tanned leather for fine stropping, and the last is a premium leather for finish stropping.
So what is stropping? Stropping polishes the edge of the blade and realigns it at the correct angle for an effective shave. A strop is a necessary purchase if you wish to keep your razor sharp. I cannot stress how important it is to keep your strop tight and not let it bend while stropping. You should strop your razor approximately 40 laps before you shave, you can also strop after shaving if you wish. Here's a couple of things to remember while stropping, always hang your strop when not in use, don't bend it or cram it in a drawer. When stropping always move the razor towards the back of the of the blade never toward the cutting edge. When you reach the end of the strop, roll the blade over the back of the razor and push it back towards the hook end of the strop. During the whole stropping process the back of the blade should never leave the belt, always roll it over.
Last thing I want to talk about today are a couple compounds you can add to your strop to help you get even closer to the perfect shave. Two tips on strop maintenance, first, chromium oxide and iron oxide, these are honing compounds that can be used on leather, wood, or synthetic strops. They add a very precise abrasive to your strop that helps you get an even more perfect shave. Secondly, get yourself a strop conditioner or paste, you can use a clean 100% cotton cloth, take some paste on the cloth and apply it to your strop in circular motions covering the whole strop. Leave it on for 15 minutes and take another clean cloth and wipe off the paste. By always hanging your strop, and using a strop conditioner, you can make your strop last decades.
To understand straight razors more, click here to learn about their anatomy.