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Thread: Razor sharpness

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Sep 2017
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    Default Razor sharpness

    Hi all you and welcome me to this forum! I'm new to straight razor shave, have a very little experience. So, i got vintage USSR made carbon steel straight razor honed by master. 1st and 2nd shaves seemed to go smooth. I know that before each shave i must strop the razor on lather strops. Right now i don't have any strops, planning to buy a good one. After 2nd shave i felt a little discomfort, the razor seemed a little dull. Guys at baggerandblade advised to use newspaper as alternative strop. Ok, I've used it today with chromium oxide following it by stropping on clear side and shave again. It seems restore some sharpness, but now razor doesn't do hair cut test (it's doing with some pressure). Is it possible not to do hair cut test but shave normally or i get dull blade? Also can i use any method as alternative to expensive stones or maybe good strop with some abrasives can recover the sharp edge?
    Sorry for my bad English, thanks in advance!

    Sent from my Lenovo K33a42 using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2013
    Pompano Beach, FL
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    Welcome. If you have a leather belt make sure both sides are clean and Strop on the smooth side. It works in a pinch.
    JeffR likes this.

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    Narek (09-30-2017)

  4. #3
    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada
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    If your stropping technique is off it can dull your edge fast.
    Chromium Oxide is and abrasive for sharpening.
    Poor stropping on CrOx will ruin a good edge in no time.
    It's not what you know, it's who you take fishing!

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    Narek (09-30-2017)

  6. #4
    Senior Member
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    Chicago Suburbs
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    While it is good to get a commercial strop, as hinted by the guys at B&B, many different materials can be used successfully for stropping. The thing about newspaper is that the inks contain finely ground pigments (probably carbon black) that help polish the blade. However, many natural materials contain very fine silica particles.

    Any clean leather can be used: horsehide, cowhide, pigskin, kangaroo, etc.

    Many types of fabric can be used: linen, cotton, denim, polyester, etc. as long as the weave is uniform. I have stropped on my pants leg, or on my shirt at time, even though I have a couple of commercial strops and several DIY ones.

    If you think about it, you skin is a type of leather. Some people strop on their hand...just be sure you do not cut yourself.

    Welcome to the world of straight razors.

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    Narek (10-01-2017)

  8. #5
    Sharp Minded Citizen
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    The hangig hair test is only relevant if both the hair and blade are clean of oil or waxes(like the one from cromium oxide)

    As the good people above have said...stropping can be done on multiple material. Clean leather is the prefered choise though.
    Cromium oxide will refresh the edge a long time until someday it wont and you will need to send it for rehone.

    Another important thing about keeping the edge longer is wipe... strop and oil imediately after finishing the shave.
    The edge is sutch a fine can oxidize very quickly.
    Wiping it removes water and foam...stroping it dries it and refreshes the edge...and oiling it prevents oxidation during storage.

    Also make sure your stropping technique is correct.
    Have fun!

  9. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    As soon as you can get a proper strop and then watch Lynn's tutorial on stropping technique. Then watch it again and again. FORGET stropping with paste until you can strop PROPERLY. Personally I would buy a Westholme starter strop, I don't know where you live so I can't comment about import duties etc. But these are a good strop to start with as you get such good feedback.

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