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Information About Strop Use and Care
Hanging the strop: The strop is needed to maintain the blade edge for shaving. When using a hanging strop it is attached to a wall, counter or other fixture such as a towel rack so that the strop is about chest height and in a location where you can pull the end out with your non-razor hand as you strop the razor on its surface.
If you have a linen or canvas backed strop, there are several schools of thought about which side of the strop to use first. The general view we provide is from DOVO in Solingen, Germany with regard to the use of their products. Once you become more experienced and educated you can try different techniques to see what works best for you and your razor.
many men believe in the use of the linen side of the strop to ďwarm upĒ the
blade before using on the leather side of the strop. On the other hand many
men simply strop on the leather side and thatís it. The leather side is
always used and the other side is optional. So to make a long story
short: if the individual favors using the canvas back, they should "strop"
the razor on the canvas side first (which should be prepared with the grey
paste), then on the leather side (which should be prepared with the
yellow/white paste). Simply put on a small amount of paste in several
locations along the strop and distribute evenly over the surface by rubbing
it in with the heel of your palm or the smooth side of a glass bottle or
jar, for example. The leather will become more pliable over time. Only
reapply the paste occasionally, if needed.
The strop should be used prior to shaving, and never- under any circumstance- after shaving. This is because after shaving the delicate cutting edge is kind of bent (not visible to the naked eye), and you would break tiny metal pieces out of the cutting edge. This would consequently lead to cuts in the skin. Many refer to this condition as a burr from misaligned micro-separations that occur when the razor is used, but will go back into position and become fine again after approx. 24 to 30 hours. Stropping just before use will further align the blade edge and put it in shave ready condition. In order to get the best daily shave with a straight razor DOVO even suggests an individual even consider having at least two straight razors on hand to fully allow time for the blade edge to rest between shaves for optimal performance.
HOW TO STROP:
Place the blade flat on the strop. Basically, the blade lays flat as you strop, with the back of the bladeís shoulder (the side edge of the back portion of the blade) barley touching. You donít want to hold the bladeís back to high away from the surface of the strop as it will not maintain the appropriate edge angel when stropping. When using a hanging strop, keep it under constant tension to create a sharp cutting edge. If you let the strop hang too loosely, the edge can become rounded and therefore blunt.
Start by running the blade away from your body with the edge facing you and leading in the direction of the razorís back, thereby stroking away from the cutting edge. If you strop the other way, in the direction of the edge (which is the case during honing), you will cut through the strop or cause nicks which can damage the blade. Go slightly diagonal to strop the entire blade surface depending on the width of the strop. Be sure to use an evenly constant touch when stropping and make sure that the complete cutting edge is touching the strop for the wide width model.
For a narrow strop, keep the
blade at an even 90 degree angle to the strop's side while moving the blade
in an "X" (diagonal) pattern up and down the strop. For example, "/" as you
strop away from you, and then "\" as you strop towards you making for a
complete "X" pattern at the end of the complete rotation. While you won't be
stropping the entire blade at the same time, the entire blade edge will make
contact with the strop by using the diagonal "X" pattern.
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Straight Razor Disclaimer and Notice: Straight razors are sharp and cuts can occur. Educate yourself and start by shaving small, easy to reach areas first and exercise caution. The use of a straight razor, or any shaving product, is at the user's own risk. Em's Place assumes no liability or responsibility for any person using razors, blades or any other shaving or sharp products. Always keep these instruments out of the reach of children and pets.