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Thread: Help with stropping techniques

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Default Help with stropping techniques

    Hey, I've been straight razor shaving for a little while now. I get decent enough shaves to walk out the door but haven't gotten up AT yet my issue is with stropping and I'm not sure if it's a problem or not. I don't want it to worsen or develop issues later but my audio feedback is inconsistent. I hold the strop fairly taught along resting the blade on the strop with no pressure. Sometimes I will get audio feedback akin to a sword being drawn from a sheath, other times like the razor is simply being dragged across and on occasion barley anything at all. Once again, I hold the strop fairly taught with no dip and apply no pressure. My second concern is in regards to flipping on the spin. Now I know how it'sssupposed to be done and I've wwatched numerous videos but can't seem to reliability grasp the technique. I usually end up lifting the razor completely off the strop, flip and back on again to repeat the process. Is it something you get accustomed to with practice?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Steel's Avatar
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    Take the proper techniques and practice practice practice. It will come. No need to go as fast as you can. There is no reward for going fast but the reward for slow and steady is a fine shave. My 2.
    What a curse be a dull razor; what a prideful comfort a sharp one

  3. #3
    Not with my razor 🚫 SirStropalot's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum!! Glad you've joined in.

    Lifting the razor off the strop isn't a good idea, or good technique. The spine should stay in contact with the strop. Rather than trying to type it all, look through this thread and you'll find answers, videos and help on most all of your questions.

    StropTober: Beginning Oct 1st 2012

    Best Regards,

    crouton976 and Steel like this.

  4. #4
    Forum mogwai thebigspendur's Avatar
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    Audio feedback can vary from strop to strop and razor to razor. Often times you get no audio feedback.

    Watch the videos and don't lift the razor off the strop while stropping.

    Stropping is just one of those things that seems very straightforward and easy but in fact isn't because it takes coordination which comes with practice. it is important to learn the correct way because bad habits are hard to break.
    Every day without fail one should consider himself as dead-Tsunetomo

  5. #5
    Senior Member DoughBoy68's Avatar
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    Welcome to SRP and the str8 razor shaving community!

    Try laying your strop on a counter top until you develop proper technique, it will also save ruining the edge. Practice with a butter knife with the strop hanging to develop proper technique and establish muscle memory plus it will help prevent cutting your strop. As mentioned before take your time, there is no rush. Str8 razor shaving has a large learning curve, it doesn't come over night.

    Happy Shaving!
    "If You Knew Half of What I Forgot You Would Be An Idiot" - by DoughBoy68

  6. #6
    Senior Member crouton976's Avatar
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    One thing you may want to try:

    Since you don't have your location listed, we can't give any possibilities, but if you got to the top of the site and drop down the menu under the "Community" link, then select "Member List", you can see where all of our members are located. It might be wise to see if any are near you and could give you some tips and feedback in person... you will learn WAY more in a MUCH shorter period of time than just reading things here. This is applicable for all facets of shaving with a straight.

    Likewise, if you post your location, maybe one of our members near you could chime in?
    "Willpower and Dedication are good words," Roland remarked, "There's a bad one, though, that means the same thing. That one is Obsession." -Roland Deschain of Gilead

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    pinklather (01-24-2014)

  8. #7
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Default Crouton hits it outta the park

    RF, I'm a member in good standing in the Hall of Shame when it comes to stropping. I destroyed 5 strops.

    When reading & vids don't do it - its time for some in-person assistance. Either a regional meet-up, or time w/ an experienced member. I'm only adding my vote to what Crouton has already voiced. Its really that helpful.
    crouton976 and Razorfeld like this.

  9. #8
    Moderator Razorfeld's Avatar
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    Crouton and pink are so correct. Nothing beats a one-on-one session. I have benefited greatly from my sessions with pink, a very thoughtful and generous mentor. Find one in your area and have a friend and counselor for life.
    crouton976 likes this.
    "The sharpening stones from time to time provide officers with gasoline."

  10. #9
    Senior Member Kefka's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome to the forum

    I think I know what you are talking about in regards the audio feedback. For a long time I was not always getting the same audio feedback on the return stroke as I was on the initial stroke and it made me wonder what I was doing wrong. Anyway I ended up filming myself stropping by propping my iPhone on the bed to get a good angle on the strop and when I looked at it afterwards I realized that I was putting more pressure on the right side of the strop as I am right handed, (which incidentally was also causing more nicks at the bottom right of the strop) and this was resulting in the uneven stroke. So I guess just try to make sure your pressure is even throughout, full contact on the whole blade up and down, it's so easy to put too much pressure on the heel.

    The above may or may not be an issue for you but I hope it helps.

    Regarding the lifting of the razor off the strop, definitely avoid that, you may end up slicing into the strop if you are not careful, not to mind damaging the razor.

    I find that in the videos, it looks like people are literally just using their thumb and forefinger which would be really hard, but the scales are always in your hand to some degree as well for stability. I found that hard in the beginning because people seem to emphasize the thumb and forefinger so much in videos but the hand is equally important for me in guiding the razor. Also I like to use a little bit of pressure as it is a bit more stable that way. People talk about rolling the edge and such when stropping with too much pressure but I find if you are holding the strop tight enough then a moderate amount of pressure is fine. If you have a scales at home you could run your finger up and down in a stropping motion and se how much weight you are applying to the scales on average. For me its about 250 - 300g of pressure for a normal stropping motion.

    Of course its fine for me to say this here and for you to read and accept it (or not ) but at the end of the day it is indeed practice practice practice that will get you there in the end. You will definitely get there in the end though so don't give up!


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  11. #10
    The Electrochemist PhatMan's Avatar
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    I used to have 'doldrums' in my stropping

    The below are, for me, the best and most informative stropping videos I have seen :

    Sham (hibudgl) :

    Mr AFDavis :

    Have fun !

    Best regards

    Kefka likes this.

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