Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19
Like Tree54Likes

Thread: 'Aggressiveness' of strops and razor edges?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Portland, Maine
    Posts
    25
    Thanked: 2

    Default 'Aggressiveness' of strops and razor edges?

    I've read numerous times about someone describing the feedback and use/qualities of strops being some form of 'aggressive'. For instance, flax or plain linen strops, even strong vintage firehouse strops seem to be so textually prominent, that I can't imagine they would be OK to use on delicate edges of razors. Wouldn't you want something smoother than something with lots of texture (at a macroscopic level at least), say a 'smoother' leather strop, just like you would use a very smooth/fine hone (for finishing at least)? I could see such strops being useful for knives, but for razors? Someone please enlighten me.

  2. #2
    Previously lost, now "Pasturized" kaptain_zero's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    1,280
    Thanked: 336

    Default

    I use a linen/cotton strop after my shaves primarily to insure the edge is dry. The theory is, as far as I know, that each and every bump on the linen (bump as in natural bump from the weave) tends to catch any part of the very edge that is starting to turn or roll from use and thus do the preliminary edge straightening, leaving the final polish to the leather strop.

    In any case, aggressive use of ANY strop can/will damage the edge, a light hand is important.

    I will not touch my razors to a linen strop after honing, I'm happy with the idea that the hone has kept the edge straight and only do a very light stropping on leather. After the shave, I wipe the blade clean with a cotton terry towel and then do a few very light strokes on a linen strop to dry the very edge.

    Perhaps it's my technique, or my linens, but I have never been able to improve the edge on any of my straights over just stropping on leather, so I stick with leather for stropping and as I said, I'll use the linen strictly for drying.

    Others have different views and results.

    Regards

    Christian
    "Aw nuts, now I can't remember what I forgot!" --- Kaptain "Champion of lost causes" Zero

  3. #3
    Jack of all, master of none KenWeir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Elysian Fields, TX
    Posts
    578
    Thanked: 79

    Default

    That's my understanding as well, that the linen/cotton/felt side does the preliminary straightening, broad strokes as it were, and the leather does the fine tuning, with perhaps a little polishing action if done enough.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Seattle,WA.
    Posts
    471
    Thanked: 46

    Default

    People often use a rougher strop for pastes as well or the rougher side of a smooth strop.

    I just do as was described above. I do a few laps on linen to make sure the edge is dry and clean before going to the fine leather strop.

    After I use a pasted strop I clean the edge with my fingers or by stropping on my leg for a second and then go to the linen strop (to make sure all of the paste is off) before going to the leather.

  5. #5
    Senior Member blabbermouth
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    12,678
    Thanked: 2203

    Default

    Everyone uses variations on the same theme. Linen, Flax, firehose or whatever for aligning the edge and some type of leather to burnish/polish the edge. Using a light hand, as in the weight of the razor, can't be overstressed to avoid damaging the edge.

    I do 10-20 strokes on an English linen (flax) strop post shave to dry the edge/bevel after drying the blade with some toilet paper. I also do a regular stropping routine after honing. I do laps on a hanging hard felt strop sprayed with crox, wipe the blade down and do a regular linen and leather routine to finish.

    Bob
    Dieseld likes this.
    After listening to someone talk ever wonder who ties their shoe laces?

  6. #6
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sandpoint, Idaho
    Posts
    25,225
    Thanked: 12410
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shokunin View Post
    I've read numerous times about someone describing the feedback and use/qualities of strops being some form of 'aggressive'. For instance, flax or plain linen strops, even strong vintage firehouse strops seem to be so textually prominent, that I can't imagine they would be OK to use on delicate edges of razors. .
    And yet they have been, and have worked for Millions of men for hundreds of years... Proof is in the use

  7. #7
    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    32,558
    Thanked: 11011

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kaptain_zero View Post

    I will not touch my razors to a linen strop after honing, I'm happy with the idea that the hone has kept the edge straight and only do a very light stropping on leather. After the shave, I wipe the blade clean with a cotton terry towel and then do a few very light strokes on a linen strop to dry the very edge.
    The 1961 barber manual on honing/stropping excerpt PDF says to strop on leather only after honing. They recommend linen and then leather once the razor has been used for shaving. I followed this advice for a long while, then speaking with one of the premier pro honers I was surprised to find out that he does linen/leather after honing.

    Says it knocks off any divots or anomalies (the linen) after the honing. So I tried it both ways, I haven't come to a conclusion, so I stick with leather like my friend the Kaptain. All stropping once the razor is shaving is done linen/leather, but, following the shave I rinse and dry with a paper towel, then leather only to get the striations in the bevel dry. Different strokes for different folks.

    Member DaveW, and maybe Utopian IIRC, have said that a razor can be well maintained for a long period of continuous use by stropping alone. I can't say through my own experience because I rotate so many it is difficult to keep track.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

  8. #8
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sandpoint, Idaho
    Posts
    25,225
    Thanked: 12410
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Same here Jimmy

    I went with Leather only after honing for quite some time, then it occurred to me that the linen would find any "weak" spots in the edge so I switched

    That was about 2008 IIRC

    To this day I finish honing, then strop on linen, pull out the loupe and look for any issues, then finish on leather.. I figure if the edge isn't solid enough to hold up to the linen it should not be going on my Hollywood face anyway
    JimmyHAD, lz6, chipvj and 8 others like this.

  9. #9
    Senior Member blabbermouth tcrideshd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Oakland Tn
    Posts
    4,177
    Thanked: 982

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gssixgun View Post
    Same here Jimmy

    I went with Leather only after honing for quite some time, then it occurred to me that the linen would find any "weak" spots in the edge so I switched

    That was about 2008 IIRC

    To this day I finish honing, then strop on linen, pull out the loupe and look for any issues, then finish on leather.. I figure if the edge isn't solid enough to hold up to the linen it should not be going on my Hollywood face anyway
    glen I agreed with you all the way up to the Hollywood face bit ! Tc
    Ever wonder why you never see a motorcycle in front of a Shrinks office? ,,,,, then you have never ridden one "

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Seattle,WA.
    Posts
    471
    Thanked: 46

    Default

    By Hollywood face he meant Marty Feldman.
    Last edited by Hirlau; 12-28-2016 at 07:08 PM. Reason: Inappropriate
    BobH, Mrchick and Dieseld like this.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •