The right razor strop is very important for a shaving routine since it supports the razor blade and ensures that your blade will last longer. When you’ve got top-notch straight razors, the last thing you want to do is throw them away because you kept them in a drawer for a few years and the blades became dull. Instead, you want to give it a good strop and get it back in shape. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on a razor strop, so keep reading for a buying guide that will help you find the best strop for your money.
Stropping is the process of creating a very sharp edge on a straight razor. It is most commonly done with a leather strap, or “strop”, attached to a handle. There are many methods to sharpen razors, from using a manual strop to using a sharpening stone. Since most people don’t have access to a sharpening stone, regular stropping is necessary to maintain the sharpest edge you can. It can be done with a variety of strops, from a leather strap to a piece of canvas. The key is to find a piece of soft material that is rough enough to create a sharp edge, but smooth enough that it doesn’t ruin the edge.
The following list of the most popular razor strops will help you pick your next purchase so let’s see the alternative on the market today:
Last update on 2021-04-07 at 04:32 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Our recommended razor strops:
Parker’s Handmade 3″ x 27″
This razor strops from Parker is a great alternative for anyone looking for a really large, 3-inch straight razor strop. It measures 27 inches by 3 inches, making it the largest one you will find on our list. Thanks to its large stropping surface, it is long enough to allow a full stroke in one go. It is a double razor strop, handmade in the USA, and features replaceable leather and straps made of canvas material. It features a powerful surface for effortless and quick sharpening and it is a highly suggested barber’s strop. If you are looking to invest in a great product, this one is your best bet.
GBS 2.5″ X 23.5″
This option from GBS is an excellent choice when it comes to shaving hardware. GBS is known for its high-quality products and unique style, so for its price, this is a great option without breaking the bank. This specific model is 23.5″ in length and 2.5″ and it’s made of cow-hide leather. It features a stainless steel clamp that swivels so as to securely hang your strop, and one side is made of leather, while the other is made of fine black leather. Considering its very attractive price, it definitely worths a closer look, especially if you are on a limited budget.
This is another great option if you are looking for a large razor strop at an affordable price. It measures 23″x2.5″, made of cow-hide, and also features a canvas strap at the back. This product is made in the USA and it’s a high-quality product, obviously, there are many standard razor strops that are of higher quality and more durable, yet this one can be found relatively cheap so it’s a great deal for any beginner.
I wanted to include this product in our recommendation as it is considerably smaller than the typical size. Made of cow leather, this is a pocket-sized razor strop that will allow you to sharpen razor blades, knives, and chisels while on the road. It is quite portable and features a swivel hanging tab on one end. This is among the cheapest options online, and if you are looking for an option you can take with you while traveling this one is highly recommended. For daily use, you should be looking at larger designs for better performance and convenience.
Hide & Drink
This product from Hide&Drink is another great option that can be found at a really affordable price. In fact, it costs way less than most of its competitors. It measures 12″x2″ which is a great option for anyone that doesn’t like large strops. It is a great handmade product that is backed up by a 101 years warranty from Hide&drink, so you essentially get lifetime support for your purchase. If you are looking for a durable medium-sized alternative, you can’t go wrong with this one.
What to consider when buying a razor strop?
It is vital to regularly strop your razors in order to keep them sharp. One of the most frequently used accessories is the hanging strop. It can be hanged from a wall or a surface in order to be used. Keep in mind that as with any leather, your strop needs to be taken care of in order to be in good shape. In most cases when you buy a leather razor strop, it is ready to be used right away, yet it is a good idea to apply conditioner before the first use.
While straight razors aren’t that hard to use, you must take the time and effort to properly sharpen them. If you don’t, you risk cutting yourself and ending up with an uneven shave. Fortunately, after a few passes and a few minutes later, you can learn how to sharpen a straight razor and get the benefit of close and smooth shave. The size of a leather razor strop plays a big part in its quality. The bigger the size, the more area the strop can cover, and the easier it is to adhere to your leather’s surface. It’s also important to note that a larger size won’t necessarily mean a higher price tag. If you’re a beginner, a size of 4-inches by 2-inches will be perfect. If you’re an expert, an 8-inch by 4-inch strop will be ideal.
What materials are razor strops made of?
Often used by people who shave with a straight edge razor, a razor strop is a flat strip of leather or canvas that is used to sharpen and even out the blades of straight razors. Stropping can bring a dull blade edge into life, or even help a blade that was sharp, to begin with, stay that way in between shaves. They can be made from many types of leather and various materials with cowhide, horsehide, and synthetic ones being the most common. The cowhide ones are a budget-friendly option but it all comes down to personal preference. The choice of the strop will determine also the sharpening pastes you will have to use. Don’t forget to also buy saddle sop and oi in order to clean the leather side of your strop.
The key considerations for what makes a good strop are:
1. The material used for the strop, which is the leather that the strop is made of. This is because a strop needs to be “tanned”. Tanning is the process that makes leather strong and durable and also protects it from rotting and also makes it supple (soft and bendable). The tanning agents used in strop leather are a trade secret, and this keeps the process of making leather strops a very secretive process.
2. The stitching, which is required to make the strop functional. The stitching must be sturdy hence the stitching plays an important role in the functionality of the strops.
The strop has a coarse side and a fine side. The coarse side is used to remove nicks, rust, dirt, and burrs from rough edges that are formed when the blades are used. The fine side is used to smooth off the blades in preparation for a finer sharpening stone. Strops are traditionally made from leather, but can also be made from synthetic or other non-leather materials.
You have to make a decision and figure out what kind of straight razor strop you want. There are three different kinds: leather, linen, and canvas. While leather is the most popular, it’s also the most expensive. Linen is a great option for people who want a good strop for a bit less money, and canvas is a cheap alternative, but it’s not the best.
Frequently Asked Questions
What compound to use?
Do you need a hard or soft compound? An oil compound or a creme compound? A white or pink compound? There are many factors to consider when it comes to the maintenance of your razors. The compound, also called strop paste, is a lubricant used to provide a smooth surface for sharpening straight razors, and electric and other manual razors. It can also be used to keep your razor in good condition when it’s not in use.
Professionals have their own choice of stropping paste. From electric strop paste to traditional oil strop paste, or even water soluble diamond paste. If you google for the best strop paste, you’ll get a million different answers. The best stropping compound should offer a substantial improvement in how sharp an edge feels and looks. To achieve this, a stropping compound should be able to both remove fine amounts of metal from a blade’s edge and hold onto the removed metal so that it is not redeposited on the blade’s edge during the stroke.
Are strops ready to use Immediately?
You’ve just got a new razor strop, but you’re not sure how to use it. Or you’re worried that you’re not using it right. Or maybe you’re just wondering if you’re using it enough. Don’t worry, we’re here to help! A lot of folks think that you need to wait for the leather to break in before you start using your strop. However, to get the most out of your leather razor strop, you should start honing as soon as possible.
At first glance, the idea of a razor strop seems pretty simple: if you want to keep your razor sharp, you need to strop it to keep the edge on it. But that simple definition is hiding a lot of potential confusion. After all, when it comes to stropping, there are two different sides to the strop: the leather side (also called the spine), and the smooth side (also called the fall). Which side do you need to use first? The answer is it depends on the type of blades you are stropping. If you want the best results, you should strop the blades in a direction from the spine toward the cutting edge for the first time, and then strop it in the opposite direction from the cutting edge toward the spine for the second time.
What’s the difference between stropping & honing?
Stropping and honing are often used interchangeably by novice straight shavers, but there are some differences between the two that can make one option more desirable than another. With stropping, a strop is run through one’s fingers in a back and forth motion to create a straight razor edge as sharp as possible. Stropping is used after honing to remove nicks and burrs from the edge of the razor. Stropping should be done after every shave and about once every month you should run the razor through a hone to re-establish the edge. Honing, on the other hand, refers to the act of using honing steel to straighten a blade. The edge created by honing is not as sharp as one created using a strop, but honing the blade is much faster and easier than stropping.
The first thing to understand about how stropping a razor works is that it has very little to do with the types of strops you use: whether it’s suede or smooth leather, or even whether it has a bit of abrasive thrown in to help the process along. Stropping is about removing microscopic burrs on the cutting edge of the razor’s blade. These burrs only happen at the microscopic level and are usually only visible using a microscope. It is possible to completely remove all of the burrs by carefully using a microscope and a strop, however, it’s simply not worth the time and effort involved in doing this.