Have you ever used disposable razors before? If so, you’ve probably grown tired of continuously having to purchase them. Straight razors are a permanent alternative, but require the proper accessories for them to stay sharp. Razor strops are useful for this and serve to prevent the edges of the blade from becoming dull. Reviewed further are five of the best razor strops you’ll find online, chosen for their strength and material quality.
1. RED DEER Straight Razor Strop – Best Strop For Straight Razors (Editor’s Choice)
This strop is recommended for people who primarily want to sharpen straight razors.
|A hook is placed on the tip of the strop, which can be placed on a door handle or other sturdy object during sharpening||Only one side of each strop is light enough to polish|
|Safe to use with most knives that average five inches or less, including straight razors||–|
|No compound or polisher needed to use the strop straight out of the box||–|
2. GBS High Quality Leather Strop – Best Strop For Knives (People’s Choice)
There are no instructions though, so use this video for a brief tutorial.
|The two strops that featured are significantly different in length, making them suitable for most cutting tools and utensils||No instructions are provided with the strop|
|No imperfections to be found on both sides of the leather; good stitching||Must be cleaned and prepared with conditioner prior to sharpening|
|When used with a conditioner, blades will come out sharp with few strokes necessary||–|
3. Fromm Illinois Razor Strop – Best Strop For Beginners
|Good for beginners, the strops are ready to use immediately||Although long lasting, pieces of leather could come off if scraped with too much force|
|Durable construction that won’t become damaged too quickly with straight razors||Not suitable to use on flat surfaces|
|Strong hooks keep everything stable when working at a suspended angle||–|
4. BARBER STROP Straight Razor Sharpener – Best Strop For Texture
Still, it’s a good strop that will work just as well as any other.
|Detailed instructions are given in a manual that comes with the product||Due questionable packaging, slight risk of discoloration and/or imperfections in the product when delivered|
|The face is made from suede, a good alternative to leather||–|
|Good grainy texture that won’t lengthen sharpening time||–|
5. Parker’s Handmade Red Latigo Leather Straight Razor Strop – Best Strop For Fast Sharpening
|Made with an even surface that has no nicks||Due to its thickness and coarse surface, sharpening can become very loud|
|The leather is thick and resembles antique strop belts from years past||–|
|Long enough to complete a full stroke in one go||–|
Have you ever used a strop before? It’s an easy job to do, but does requires some level of understanding, or order to not damage the strap too quickly. And while they may seem basic and easy to manage, there are high and low quality strops, of which can sometimes be difficult to discern. The following FAQ will help you find a strop that’s sure to last a long time, so take notes if you’re new to manual knife sharpening.
Stropping is probably the single most important component of learning how to use a cut-throat razor because the good stropping technique will enable you to maintain the edge of your razor for many, many months, some people even think years. Also, if you strop before every shave, you’ll maintain the keenness of your edge so you’ll have good quality shaves, as long as you strop correctly.
The key to stropping correctly and smoothly is how you flip the razor when you’re on the actual strop itself. You have to roll the razor between your thumb and forefinger like so like you might roll a pencil between the two fingers, and that’s the key to stropping on leather.
Start with the spine of the razor on the leather. Gently lower, so the edge and the spine are both on the razor, like so. Gently push away from you up the strop. When you get toward the end, flip by rolling the razor between your thumb and forefinger, always keeping the razor on the leather, and then lower it down gently and pull it back, and then flip by rolling, keeping the spine on the leather at all times, gently down, back up. Make sure the whole edge and the spine of the razor lay flat on the surface of the strop at all times.
Don’t worry about speed at this particular point. Speed will come with time and practice. The most important thing is to make sure that you, number one, roll the razor on its spine at the end of each lap so that the edge comes into the air, and number two, during each lap you do not lift the spine of the razor off. If you lift the spine of the razor off the strop as your stropping, you’ll what we call roll the edge, which usually requires taking the razor to the sharpening stones to fix. So, be very careful with those two aspects, and that’s essentially how you strop a razor.
Are Strops Ready to use Immediately?
For the most part, yes. Strops are generally sold ready to be used as soon as they’re taken out of their packaging, although it might be a good idea to apply a conditioner to some brands. Some users also like to make the surface a bit more coarse by using sandpaper along with the leather, but this isn’t needed.
What Materials are Strops Made Out Of?
Strops are usually made from either leather or suede. Some models may incorporate synthetic materials into the mix. If you notice one that has the latter, don’t shy away from it though, as a blend of all three can sometimes last much longer than ordinary leather. Yet it’s mostly dependent on how you use the strop, to begin with.
How am I Supposed to Use a Strop?
If your primary use will be for a straight razor, simply place the strop on a sturdy device, such as a doorknob (if there’s a hook for it), place the blade perpendicular to the leather side, then gently but firmly stroke up and down. There’ are more techniques that you could follow, so be sure to check online or read the product’s instruction manual if you can.
How Long will my Strop Last?
Most strops are generally good from anywhere between six months to a year. Some brands may last much longer, especially if you’re careful with your strokes. The greatest cause of wear on a strop is the blade itself, which can create marks and gradually scratch of its material over time.
What are the Benefits to Using Strops?
By far, the greatest benefit is money saved. For people using straight razors, no longer will you have to rely on disposable razors to groom your hair. Women can use them as well, and the blade will remain sharp enough to reduce the likelihood of getting a nick from a jagged edge. You can also sharpen up all the knives in your kitchen. In short, the life of your cutting and grooming tools will be extended with a razor strop, tenfold.
If you enjoyed the article, take a moment to go over the Comparison Table and Buyer’s Guide, if you haven’t already. They provide important information that can make your search for the strops above much easier. But if you continue to have trouble narrowing down the strops evaluated, the Red Deer and GBS High-Quality Leather Strop both a must buy. And that’s no criticism for the rest of the three that were reviewed, so settle on one of them if they offer something that the previous does not. Whichever you end up with, get ready make your cutting tools last much longer than before.