Straight Razor Shaving – Preparing the Razor

As I mentioned in my last straight razor post, things can get a bit confusing at first when it comes to using a straight vs a double sided razor.  It isn’t as straightforward as lather up and go, you need to ensure that your blade is shave ready and the way you get your blade ready is by using a razor strop.

Before moving any further along we need to clear something up. Using a strop is not sharpening your blade, in order to sharpen your blade you need to hone it. I’ll go into honing in greater detail with the next post, but the short of it is that before you can properly use your razor you need to get it honed which is accomplished by running the blade over a wetstone. Honing should be done every few months.

What stropping does is ensure that your blade has a nice clean straight edge before every use. Strops, for the most part, are made from good quality leather.

Using a strop properly takes a bit of practice, but it didn’t take me very long to get the hang of things. First thing you need to do is attach one end of the strop to secure object. Mine attaches to a hook that I have inserted into one of my bathroom shelves, but you can use anything really as long as it doesn’t move on you.

While holding the strop tight with one hand, use your other hand to run the blade back and forth along the strop. Without using too much pressure, start with the sharp side of the blade facing you and flat against the strop and move the blade away from you. Once you reach the end turn the blade over and run it back down the strop.  After 30 or 40 strokes your blade should be good to go.



Like I said in my last post, there is a bit of a learning curve to straight razor shaving, one that I wasn’t prepared for the first time around, so as I learn I’ll post.  Feel free to come along – share any comments you have below.

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