What strop do you use?

Nonick

Sputniks orbit planet face
Group Buy Associate
Joined
Oct 14, 2014
Location
NSW
What strop can you recommend from personal use? What do you use?

I started with a poor mans strop and then got a TOBS strop with a pasted linen side. I think it's a generic strop that gets rebranded by a few companies. It's narrow (4cm) and I'm wondering if I should look at something different.



Strops haven't got much attention around these parts.

Wondering about a wider strop, better leather? Suade or linen back? 2 inch wide? Any local strop makers around?
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Location
Sunshine Coast
The strop I use these days is the Bison 3" English Bridle Leather in 'black', it is a bit pricey; but it is an excellent strop and it makes my razor hold a sharp as hell edge for a long time. I have used the same razor for each shave for around 3 months so It can keep a razor 'shave ready' if you will.
I also hear that kangaroo leather is exceptional. Plus if you want you can always make one yourself, I believe @bald as has made one so he could probably help with that.
Good luck in your search.(y)
 

bald as

ARKO! dealer & walking ECG
Joined
May 4, 2015
Location
Adelaide
A paddle strop can be made in about 10 minutes. A piece of pine 60 mm wide x 400 mm long x 19 mm thick. Go to a leather seller and get a strip of good blemish free Kangaroo or soft Cow hide and staple the slightly wider strip to your timber, I have one that has Cow on one side and Pig skin on the other side. Place it on a counter top and strop away. @Robbie d [Adelaide knife/razor/leather worker] has made me a truly exceptional double sided hanging strop cow backed with Kangaroo. Personally I would say the Kangaroo gives the best edge.
 

Nonick

Sputniks orbit planet face
Group Buy Associate
Joined
Oct 14, 2014
Location
NSW
Interesting roo leather seems good for many things. It's supposed to be very tough (I hear from a whip maker).

I see the Bison strops are sold locally in 2.5" and 3" anyone got a preference? Also they have english bridle or cowhide.

Kanayama is a big name too - anyone use one?
 

Sxot

New Member
Artisan Producer
Joined
Feb 1, 2016
Location
Nth QLD
Well, I haven't been around straight razors very long, so here is a noobs experience/thoughts;

Do you like your current strop? If so, no need to replace it. It's obviously doing the job.

Kanoyama #30000 is my main strop. They are awesome. I purchased it after asking Mark what would be the best "buy once, last a lifetime" strop. Price wasn't that bad really.
I also have a $30 2" travel strop that rolls up into a tiny container. So you don't need the most expensive there is but generally you get what you pay for. I prefer to buy things only once, hence the Kanoyama but I am not necessarily recommending you get one. I got mine from aframestoyko but I see japanesenaturalstones have a new batch in stock. Kanoyama's numbering system can be confusing, so I have attached a chart to explain it.

Marks other recommendation to me was a Frank shaving strop from shaver hut saying they perform very well.

Charky has a good looking strop - the tri-strop XL. I haven't used one, but they get good reviews and excellently priced. Their main benefit is they have two canvas strops so you can paste one. On the othe rhand, I don't see the problem with pasting the back of the canvas of a regular two piece strop. Lynn Abrams recommends doing this.

In the end, I would say any of the strops sold at the typical reputable places that actually use razors are good. Straight Razor Designs, Wipped Dog, Shave Nation etc. These small businesses rely on good reputation and repeat business, so I can't see them selling something that is sub standard.

As to width - the wider the better really, but in the end, an x-stroke is no drama. I do it on my Kanoyama even though I don't really need to.

 
Joined
Jun 18, 2016
Location
Gladstone, Queensland, Australia
how you progressing @Nonick with your strop choice? made any head way yet?
I use a Scruppleworks 3" Vegi Tanned horse hide with natural Flax linen item ass my main strop & a DIY Roo travel strop when away.
I started with a sacrificial Star shaving 3" Big Daddy English Bridle with felt for the 1st couple of years & use this now for my post honing strop before moving to the Horse hide.
good to see if you have any new choices
 

Draco Noir

Gone but not forgotten...
In Memoriam
Joined
Jan 31, 2015
Location
Hawthorn
I have a Kanayama and a couple of roo leather strops (including a home made travel strop made of roo leather).

Roo leather does a very good job, and is very durable. It's also very inexpensive if you buy the roo leather on ebay and DIY the strop making.

The Kanayama on the other hand is an expensive piece of luxury, made from expensive materials (cordovan leather). It certainly has a more "pedigree" feel than any of my roo strops : it has the smoothest, lightest draw I've felt on any strop at all. At 5 or more times the price of the roo strop, it isn't good value for money. The performance is marginally better than roo or regular leather, but nowhere near 5 times as good, in fact not even twice as good from my experience.

I've come to the conclusion that the skill of the operator is more important than the absolute quality of the strop. You can strop a razor reasonably well on denim jeans for example.....
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Location
Redbank, QLD
I have a couple - a Star Shaving 'Big Mama' in English Bridle Leather in the shave den along with a vintage Illinois 992 that I got off EBay with my Crown And Sword - I've also got a Star Shaving 'Big Mama' in Latigo Leather that I use in the workshop after honing.
I like the felt strop on the Star Shaving strops, however the linen on the Illinois is good too.
To Each His Own
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2015
Location
Melbourne
Since I was just gifted a couple of straights I thought I'd better get myself a strop. Whilst the initial urge was to get something pretty decent I figured I'd nick the hell out of my first one so wanted something cheap.
I ended up ordering this:
http://m.ebay.com.au/itm/Windrose-E...Straight-Razor-Sharpening-Strop-/262325684573
For just over A$50 delivered for a 3" strop I'm pretty happy. Any thoughts on this? If it's crap I'm happy to return.
Instead of linen it has a faux leather side for pre leather stropping. Could this be a problem?
I've dealt with Windrose before and always had a good experience but have never seen this one mentioned.
 

bald as

ARKO! dealer & walking ECG
Joined
May 4, 2015
Location
Adelaide
Looks pretty reasonable to my eye. Practice with a blunt razor and train your muscles and when you actually strop a razor start slow. Give us a review when it arrives.
 

stillshunter

a man of resolve, a man of conviction
State Convenor - ACT
Group Buy Associate
2015 Sabbatical Fail
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Location
Walbunja country
I thought the Kanayama strops were all hype. But since getting my 50k I can tell you they are worth every single damn cent. Nothing come close.
....but a far away second is my home-made roo (tail) strop.
 

stillshunter

a man of resolve, a man of conviction
State Convenor - ACT
Group Buy Associate
2015 Sabbatical Fail
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Location
Walbunja country
So should I use the faux leather like linen or not bother?
my votes for Not Bother
....for generations they just used good old fashioned hide. Though I am also impartial to a few strokes on quality linen beforehand - especially during honing.
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Location
Sydney
Quick check and I can say Black Beauty was made by A. H. Christian & Son operating between 1916 to 1975 in New South Wales Australia .
Given mine has a plastic clip I'm guessing it was made in the 70's.
The strop is 400mm x 60mm double sided, 670mm long and the rear is imprinted with
"Linc
Genuine Hide
Hand crafted
Made in Australia"

I have seen a few different manufacturers call theirs 'Black Beauty', with a similar design so I'm guessing it was a tried and true shared design.
 
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