In Search of a Strop

strA few months back my friends father gave me four of his old straight razors. My buddy had no interest in them so they ended up in my shave cabinet. I spent a few weeks trying to find someone to hone them for me but didn’t have any luck, I emailed a few people but never heard back, so they eventually were put aside. Until about a few weeks ago when a fellow Redditor offered to hone a couple for me. Now that they have returned to me I am in need of some additional tools.

First up – the search for a strop. A quick search will tell you that you could spend quite a bit on a strop. But where does one begin? So after a bit of reading here are some of the factors to consider, along with what I decided to go with.

Materials
The leather side, which can be horsehide, cowhide, or even synthetic is the side you use to keep your razor sharp. Stropping your razor helps keep your edge sharp. The quality of the leather is obviously one of the contributing factors in the final price of your strop.

The flip side of the strop is can be one of several materials; canvas,  linen, or felt. You use this side prior to the leather side – it prepares your blade for stropping on the leather side.

I will go into more detail on how each of the sides functions in a future post once I finally get my strop in hand.

Size

Size is the another factor to consider. Strops come in either 2″  or  3″ widths. 3″ strops are easier to use for beginners because the width covers the entire length of the blade. 2″ strops require you to use an ‘x’ motion when stropping in order for  you to cover the entire blade – a skill that might be worth learning.

In the end I decided to spend less rather than more. Since this is my first strop the likelihood of me destroying it is quite high. But at the same time I didn’t want to learn on something that would not help me develop my skill. After much debate and investigation I decided to go with the Poor Man’s Strop  a two inch strop from Whippeddog.com. Great prices and reputation made my decision easy to make. Once it arrives I will post my first impressions.