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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Default balsa or leather?

    Hello,
    I'm new to this world of straight razor shaving and need some insight.
    I recently bought a straight razor and balsa strop, now I'm not sure what kind of strop i should use to touch up my razor. I know I need a diamond paste for the balsa strop, but is leather better for my razor? Or do you use a balsa prior to leather or vise versa?
    I shaved once with my razor already and being a newbie it was interesting to say the least. my razor felt a little dull but that's probably because i've never done it before, I dunno.
    Any insight or advice on this would be much appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Jordan.

  2. #2
    I shave with a spoon on a stick. Slartibartfast's Avatar
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    Default

    You really want a clean leather strop for daily stropping.

  3. #3
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    Default

    This article is a poor state, but it should nonetheless get you going: Razor Strops - Straight Razor Place Wiki. Make sure to read the articles about finishing pastes and balsa "strops", too.

    Regards,
    Robin

  4. #4
    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Default

    Welcome to SRP. The balsa strop with diamond paste is used to enhance the keenness of an edge following honing or to maintain, as in touch up, a keen edge that is falling off a bit. It is not a substitute for a hanging leather strop and the balsa will see little use by comparison. The leather and fabric strop will be your daily driver before every shave. Some people, including me, also strop after the shave. Good tutorial on learning to strop properly in this 1961 barber manual excerpt from the SRP Wiki help files here.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Thanks for the advice fellas. I think I need as much as i can get. now i just need to find a good leather strop, but that probably won't be too hard.
    Thanks again and keep the advice coming.
    Jordan

  6. #6
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    Default

    JW-
    Let me save you some money-

    Get a real inexpensive razor and and an inexpensive leather strop-

    Watch the youtube videos out there on stropping and start practicing-

    You will cut/nick the leather strop multiple times- Just made you $50+

    This is about stropping- you can basically forget about getting the cheap razor sharp.

    When you cease to heap abuse upon the cheap strop and have a good razor get a modular paddle or good leather/linen strop and go to it.

    You can also attempt to learn honing with the same cheap razor.

    You may well prove to be talented and get honing and stropping quickly-

    I now know I am not a str8 prodigy I tried honing and still learning after 8 months- may never get it like the pros do- Still practicing with the cheap razor.

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