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Thread: Stropping is King

  1. #1
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Default Stropping is King

    (This is really for the newbies, but I'm putting it here for topic appropriateness.)

    Jack La Lanne has a saying, "Excercise is king, nutrition is queen".

    I think what he means is that both are important, but if you don't exercise propperly, you won't fully bennefit from propper nutrition.

    Well, along the same lines, I believe that, "stropping is king, honing is queen".

    And much for the same reasons.

    While both are important for an excellent shave, if you can't propperly strop, even an expertly honed razor, by a so called "Honemeister", will fail to give expected results.

    "Honemeister" is used on this site by many to proclaim straight razor expertise, but I think the term "Stropmeister" should hold at least the same status.

    There are some, maybe one, who repeatedly claims that he can never get his razors to pass the HHT even though a honemeister has prepared the razor for him. He claims that he can shave with said razors, but I wonder if maybe he, and those experiencing the same, are missing something?
    Could it be that even though the razor was prepared by a "Honemeister", that same person is also a "strop-flopster"? Or maybe the razor was sent out perfectly honed and stropped, but was subsequently subjected to the work of a "strop-flopster."

    Of course some may be better at honing, and some at stropping, but all of us should strive to be proficient at both if we expect to get the best possible results.

    All of my razors pass the HHT everytime, all of the time, and shave "baby butt smooth". I have made the claim that I can go for up to a year or more without re-honing my razor, and keep it HHT shave sharp by stropping alone on a plain old, untreated strop. That is no exaggeration and no joke.

    If you find yourself honing and re-honing your razors to keep a shave ready edge, or are dependent on abrasive pastes, then possibly you need to reconsider your stropping technique. If you can't go for at least six months without re-honing, then it's quite possible that although you may, or maynot, be a "Honemeister", you still need to work on becomming a "Stropmeister".

    Good luck,

    Scott
    Last edited by honedright; 12-24-2006 at 01:37 AM.
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  3. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    And, I want to add, stropping can correct an impropperly honed razor, in some cases. At least I've found that to be true, although it's harder to do. But that is not true of honing.

    Scott

  4. #3
    Still hasn't shut up PuFFaH's Avatar
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    I for one totally agree Honedright, but, shame the nick doesnt match the philosophy
    I could count the times I have had to hone a razor on my fingers in the past 25 years. Consistant well practiced stropping is more than capable of maintaining an edge. I will conceed to the need to go to pasted hanging strops once in a while though. I have strops of what I class as differing qualities, so I am able to bring an edge back on these differing plain leather strops depending on razor steel and bluntness. If this fails, a few strokes over a pasted strop (hanging type) will normally set the edge again for a normal strop.
    I am supprised on this forum by the amount of dedication put into honing a razor, justified though it is. I would fret over the amount of steel I'm removing for one thing on a regular basis. Perhaps honing seems the thing to learn by people new to SR's. I for one spent most of my time learning to strop.
    I bought a Timor Special back in 1982. I have never honed that razor even when fresh out of the box ( it wasnt shave ready when new by a long shot). Good steel and strop technique imo. To add, I have other razors that require more attention on the pasted strops than most ( poorer steel imo) but still have never been honed. Then there are the "slackers" in the arsenal that just need pampering every year or so just to stay in shape (bit like me ). I use these less now.

    I would heartily recomend mastering stropping over honing but not to belittle the need to learn to hone. If done well, a good honed razor will last for years without the need to do it again.

    I'll shut up now

    PuFF
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    Member AFDavis11's Avatar
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    Great thread guys! Now what are the characteristics of stropping which allow you to hone once a year, semi-annually, or quarterly?

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    Loudmouth FiReSTaRT's Avatar
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    Having a rotation of 36.5 razors

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    36.5? You should throw the one with that huge chip away . . . or is that how you treat your 4/8?

  9. #7
    Still hasn't shut up PuFFaH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FiReSTaRT View Post
    Having a rotation of 36.5 razors
    I wish

    I'm sure I'm not alone in favouring just a few razors above the rest. This doesn't negate the fact that I rarely hone if you think about it

    To describe stropping is something I'll have to figure out. Took me long enough to figure out how to do it let alone describe

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    Quote Originally Posted by PuFFaH View Post
    I could count the times I have had to hone a razor on my fingers in the past 25 years.
    Honing razors on your fingers, now that's what I call badass.
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    Still hasn't shut up PuFFaH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dylandog View Post
    Honing razors on your fingers, now that's what I call badass.
    OMG fancy the prof reader (wife) not seeing that

    Quick edit: From Dovos website faq pages;
    There is no generally valid rule for the whetting (stropping) of straight razors; in many cases, it is sufficient to draw the razor lightly over the ball of the thumb, especially when it has been left unused for several days between shaves.

    So you were right, badass on fingers, correct on thumbs
    Last edited by PuFFaH; 12-06-2006 at 11:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PuFFaH View Post
    There is no generally valid rule for the whetting (stropping) of straight razors; in many cases, it is sufficient to draw the razor lightly over the ball of the thumb, especially when it has been left unused for several days between shaves.

    So you were right, badass on fingers, correct on thumbs
    Is that the special technique you and Honedright are using, stropping on the ball of the thumb?

    If you can strop it on your thumb and hone it on your fingers, maybe you can grind it in your armpit and forge it God knows where.
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