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Thread: Inexpensive strop
03-04-2011, 08:32 PM #1
- Join Date
- Mar 2011
I was looking for some info on a scalpmaster barber strop. I've seen them on sale for about $18 and would appreciate any feedback.
03-04-2011, 08:49 PM #2
it seems like the general conseus on here is that they are not a good quality strop.
Many members will suggest that you get a strop from straightrazordesigns.com or starshaving.com or several other vendors.
A modular design would be good, because you can replace a piece you nicked and not have to buy a whole new strop.
This is all good advice.
Now, my opinion: if you have the money, follow that advice.
If all you can afford is the $18 scalpmaster, buy it. I personally believe, and I know I am just asking for a reprimand here, that a piece of leather is a piece of leather. I also believe that a cheap strop is better than no strop.....assuming you know what youa re getting yourself into.
Here is the rub, if your scalpmaster is anything like my Beauty and Barber strop, expect to have to do a bit of work to it before it performs nicely, i.e. oiling/conditioning, and breaking in.
Hope that helps.
03-04-2011, 09:00 PM #3
I've never heard of that strop. If you want, you could spend a little more money and buy a Latigo strop from Straight Razor Designs or Vintage Blades which is around $45. It's a little more money, but you wont be disappointed.
03-04-2011, 09:06 PM #4
- Join Date
- Aug 2010
- Vancouver, BC, Canada
As a previous said, there are several low-cost vendors who have favorable reports. The ones that pop into my mind are:
Whipped Dog Straight Razor Sales
starshaving (who I think sells over eBay as well as on his own site)
At least _some_ members have reported good results with their low-priced "entry-level" strops. I use one of Whipped Dog's strops when I travel, and it works nicely. I think you can buy it, and a balsa pasted strop (with paste) for $19.
03-04-2011, 10:29 PM #5
Are you just starting with a straight? If so, that would be an inexpensive way to start, and learn with... IMHO it is better to damage an inexpensive strop while learning than to cut the cr@p out of a new more expensive piece.
I think if you learn with what many consider 'lower end' equipment, you are so much more impressed when you migrate to 'better quality', and you have the experience to not worry about damaging the newer higher quality strop.
03-04-2011, 10:31 PM #6
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
- Stay away stalker!
- Blog Entries
You use a strop before every shave and it can have a positive or negative affect on your razor's edge. Keep that in mind when shopping for a bargain...
03-04-2011, 10:38 PM #7
- Join Date
- Jan 2008
- Rochester, MN
- Blog Entries
You should also consider Illinois strops. They are economical and work well.
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03-05-2011, 12:24 AM #8
- Join Date
- Feb 2011
- St Clair, Michigan
poor man strop kit
First. I'm not an expert. In fact the last time I used a straight razor was about 50 years ago. I recently got the the poor mans strop kit form whipped dog. (Under $20 shipped). Now I have a lot of experience with knifes, so I have a good set of stones, but I've never stropped before (unless you count a steel as stropping).
At any rate I bought a POS cheap old razor to learn how to sharpen razors. After doing a good hone job (using water stones) I had a good bevel to work with, so it was time to strop. The kit has more then just a leather strop. It include a balsa strop with two compounds (one on each side)
Here's where the “test” began. My brotherinlaw has been using a SR for the last 40 years. He was also a barber for an number of years. ()he would be my teacher) he had an old razor that had not been used for a very long time. He didn't believe in anything like balsa wood. He had a barber's hone and a strop, nothing else needed.
He started on his razor with the barber's hone, while I used the green compound on the balsa. He had done his 30 strokes long before me, but that’s because I was trying to work very carefully. We looked at the edges with a 10X Lupe and his showed a great deal more stoning marks, and the edge had a rough look under 10X. Both were sharp and frankly his chopped off more wrist hair then mine.
Next he used the back of his strop while I used the red compound on the balsa. Both did a fine job on arm hair, but his pulled less.
Finally he used the front of his leather strop. We worked some oil into my strop and worked in in, then did the same to the back, and did a bit more in the front. Finally he showed me how to use a leather strop. I will tell you this, he uses far less pressure then I thought. He likes his strop better only because of the length. Be lands the razor on the back then rotates it into the leather as he moves it down. The way he does it, the razor hardly touches the leather. Jim loved the feel of the leather in the poor man strop- very much like his. And it seems to do a great job. He showed me a little trick he can do with a sharp razor. He rests the back of the razor on his arm and moves it up his arm with the bevel not touching the skin. The hair gets cut and falls away just above skin level.
We both had a day and a half shadow, so next the real test. The plan was we would both shave ½ the face with each razor. Good news is I didn't have to call 911. Both razors gave a close shave. His felt smoother, but this is the first time I've shaved with a SR in a very long time. Of course he chose his razor, but admitted that was mostly because it felt so much better in his hand then mine.
The important thing is that the poor man strop system works. And works just as good as an old barber/ long time SR user with his own stuff.
Razors used: his-11/16 Wade & Butcher Very good condition.
Mine- HB&Co Germany Wm Frankfurt HDWER CO-fair condition my first hone
You will also like Larry and whipped dog. He is more interested in helping newbies then making a buck and will help you in anyway he can.
Hope this helps
03-05-2011, 01:25 AM #9
+1 on that advice, Whipped Dog or Starshavingsuppy would be great sources for you, My 1st good strop was an Illinois #206 and I still from time to time use it with great results, I have use a number of applications of Fromm Strop dressing on it in the last couple of years[maybe 4] and 1 or 2 applications of Neatsfoot oil, and it does a great job, couple of nicks here and there, was my 1st so they were expected. Also I own a Starshavingsupply "Big Moma" 2 1/2" width black Latigo strop, very very nice and the price was easy to live with also. Don't think just 'cause of a lack of funds you need to scrimp on useful utiliy, and welcome to the fol', with Wet Shavers the more the ......you get the idea!!
To paraphrase .. "To all a BBS, and To all a Good Night!!"
tinkersd or SRP
03-05-2011, 02:36 PM #10
you could also try looking in the classifieds, for a good priced strop