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Posts: 10,216
Registered: August 2005

 

3" Tony Miller Artisan Horsehide Strop with G 3" Tony Miller Artisan Horsehide Strop with Genuine Linen Backing.....
Reviews Views Date of last review
9 3017 Tue September 29, 2009
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated None indicated

 

Description:
Artisan 3" Horsehide on the left - Red Latigo on the right....





First - let me say, Tony makes some beautiful strops..... I mean they are really something special. Second - let me say, no one "needs" a $100 strop. Now - onto the review....



Stropping surface:

The cut of horsehide is nice and thick, and there certainly is no "skimp" on materials here. The horsehide is exceptionally smooth, and the razor just glides across the strop with tremendous ease. There is pretty much no draw from the horsehide.





Genuine Linen Backing:

The Genuine Linen is no superior to a standard canvas, and is a little "sloppy" looking compared to tightly woven canvas, as strands of the genuine linen sort of "hang" off the side and such. There isn't really much you (or Tony for that matter) can do about it, and Tony began offering this based on requests from his customers - not based on his feeling that this is a superior linen surface.... as well... it isn't. I recommend passing on this option, as it runs an extra $11, and offers no benefit... if anything it is a detriment, as the rest of the strop is SO incredibly gorgeous, and perfectly crafted - it's almost like paying money to have plasic rims/hubcaps added to a brand new Mercedes.





Quality:

The fit and finish on this strop is simply first rate.... so far, this strops are the nicest I have seen/experienced - and I have quite a few strops. The handles, made of black latigo, are superbly made, identical in size and there is not much that could be done (if anything) to improve the quality of this fine strop.



Overall:

While it is a superbly made strop, and for what it is - a good value - I am not sold on the horsehide, nor the Genuine Linen. I used this strop for a week straight with a 5/8'ths Dovo Tortoise honed on a Belgian Coticule, then did a touch up hone - to get the edge to where I felt it was a week prior and did the same exercise on my standard Tony Miller Red Latigo strop, and the difference was marginal at best - probably in favor of the red latigo. One thing is for sure - the Red Latigo works faster, has more draw, and is more fun to use... at least for me. Essentially the same story for the genuine linen VS canvas... I don't notice a real benefit of one over the other (or using a linen/canvas side at all for that matter) so I would say save the $11. It's an outstanding strop, and you probably cannot get a smoother/slicker strop as a "finishing strop" if you feel you need one, or can/will benefit from one. If you want the prettiest strop out there and aren't afraid of spending a fair amount of $ on a strop, you aren't going to find a better looking (the contrast with the creme colored horsehide and the black latigo handles is gorgeous), finer crafted strop at any price. If on the other hand, you are looking JUST for efficacy/results - I would say stick with a Tony Miller strop in Red Latigo. Do I regret buying the horsehide? Not at all. Would I buy another? I don't think so.



TO DISCUSS THIS REVIEW PLEASE SEE THIS THREAD!
Keywords: 3" Tony Miller Artisan Horsehide Strop with Genuine Linen Backing.....

<<
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Author
joel

.

Registered: August 2005
Posts: 10216
Review Date: Mon November 5, 2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros):
Cons:
Fit & Finish: 9
Amount of Draw: 3
Thickness of Leather: 8
Efficacy: 8
Overall Value: 5

 
Artisan 3" Horsehide on the left - Red Latigo on the right....





First - let me say, Tony makes some beautiful strops..... I mean they are really something special. Second - let me say, no one "needs" a $100 strop. Now - onto the review....



Stropping surface:

The cut of horsehide is nice and thick, and there certainly is no "skimp" on materials here. The horsehide is exceptionally smooth, and the razor just glides across the strop with tremendous ease. There is pretty much no draw from the horsehide.





Genuine Linen Backing:

The Genuine Linen is no superior to a standard canvas, and is a little "sloppy" looking compared to tightly woven canvas, as strands of the genuine linen sort of "hang" off the side and such. There isn't really much you (or Tony for that matter) can do about it, and Tony began offering this based on requests from his customers - not based on his feeling that this is a superior linen surface.... as well... it isn't. I recommend passing on this option, as it runs an extra $11, and offers no benefit... if anything it is a detriment, as the rest of the strop is SO incredibly gorgeous, and perfectly crafted - it's almost like paying money to have plasic rims/hubcaps added to a brand new Mercedes.





Quality:

The fit and finish on this strop is simply first rate.... so far, this strops are the nicest I have seen/experienced - and I have quite a few strops. The handles, made of black latigo, are superbly made, identical in size and there is not much that could be done (if anything) to improve the quality of this fine strop.



Overall:

While it is a superbly made strop, and for what it is - a good value - I am not sold on the horsehide, nor the Genuine Linen. I used this strop for a week straight with a 5/8'ths Dovo Tortoise honed on a Belgian Coticule, then did a touch up hone - to get the edge to where I felt it was a week prior and did the same exercise on my standard Tony Miller Red Latigo strop, and the difference was marginal at best - probably in favor of the red latigo. One thing is for sure - the Red Latigo works faster, has more draw, and is more fun to use... at least for me. Essentially the same story for the genuine linen VS canvas... I don't notice a real benefit of one over the other (or using a linen/canvas side at all for that matter) so I would say save the $11. It's an outstanding strop, and you probably cannot get a smoother/slicker strop as a "finishing strop" if you feel you need one, or can/will benefit from one. If you want the prettiest strop out there and aren't afraid of spending a fair amount of $ on a strop, you aren't going to find a better looking (the contrast with the creme colored horsehide and the black latigo handles is gorgeous), finer crafted strop at any price. If on the other hand, you are looking JUST for efficacy/results - I would say stick with a Tony Miller strop in Red Latigo. Do I regret buying the horsehide? Not at all. Would I buy another? I don't think so.



TO DISCUSS THIS REVIEW PLEASE SEE THIS THREAD!

------------------------------
- Joel
joel (at) badgerandblade.com
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Grigio

DE Envious

Registered: January 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 27
Review Date: Wed January 16, 2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros):
Cons:
Fit & Finish: 9
Amount of Draw: 3
Thickness of Leather: 8
Efficacy: 10
Overall Value: 8

 
I have the exact same strop, but with Red Latigo trim. The craftsmanship is exquisite and the strop itself is a work of art.



The leather is gorgeous, with its natural colour variation. It has very little draw, but it functions beautifully.



I'm not sure if the real linen makes any difference but I definitely don't think it detracts from the strop. If anything I think it adds a beautiful natural look to the strop that fits in great with the horse leather.



As Joel mentioned, if you just want a functional strop, you can save some money by buying another one of Tony's strops. But in my opinion its well worth the money to own something so exquisite, especially since it will last a lifetime!



Ivan
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ZethLent
The Merkurian Candidate

Registered: April 2007
Posts: 624
Review Date: Fri May 15, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros):
Cons:
Fit & Finish: 7
Amount of Draw: 5
Thickness of Leather: 8
Efficacy: 8
Overall Value: 8

 
I have the Horsehide and Red Latigo 3" Tony Miller. Bare in mind that I am not a leather savant and only offer my opinion of the strop that I bought from Tony.



I was really excited when I first got it and have used it exclusively since (months), not only for my dailing shaves but for all of my honing too. But am not sold on the horsehide.



I have another horsehide strop that is a Japanese 'French Shell' which is much preferable in that even though it has less draw than the latigo, there is still draw that can be felt. An almost buttery feeling on the Japanese strop (not the super expensive cordovan), unlike this horsehide, which almost feels like you are passing your razor through thin air. I always wonder if stropping on it is worthwhile, when I am stropping on it.



The TM horsehide is nice but is a lesser product than his red latigo which I feel is excellent. I kind of wish I had got the linen instead.







Fit and Finish: Mine was not flawless, but very good nonetheless.



Amount of Draw: Thin air...



Thickness of leather: Great for horsehide.



Efficacy: ???? Is it really doing anything ????



Overall value: I would get the latigo instead.
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Tony Miller

The Strop Man

Registered: October 2005
Location: Nottingham, Maryland
Posts: 942
Review Date: Thu May 21, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros):
Cons:
Fit & Finish:
Amount of Draw:
Thickness of Leather:
Efficacy:
Overall Value:

 
Zethlent,

Thanks for the review. I myself suggest the Latigo over the horsehide if this is one's only strop. I mention on my website that horsehide has a very light draw so there should be no surprise here that it feels much different than latigo. I prefer horsehide as a second finishing strop, or with some surface work to increase draw if it is being used as a persons only strop.

Tony

------------------------------
The Heirloom Razor Strop Company www.thewellshavedgentleman.com
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crankymoose

Floris Ranger

Registered: November 2007
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3864
Review Date: Tue May 26, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros):
Cons:
Fit & Finish: 10
Amount of Draw: 3
Thickness of Leather: 10
Efficacy: 8
Overall Value: 9

 
I bought this strop a little over 2 months ago, mine is horsehide with linen backing and maroon trim handles.



I have been using primarily a Tony Miller red latigo and cotton backed strop for the previous 2 1/2 years although I do have a couple others but that has always been my go to.



Typically on the red latigo/cotton I was doing 25-50 laps on the cotton and 50-75 on the latigo with very good results. When I got the horsehide I knew from the light draw my approach would have to be different, now I do the majority of the stropping on the linen avg 50 laps which I find to be superior to the cotton for draw and follow that up with about 25-30 passes on the horsehide. I have put over 50 razors over it now and I noticed a smoother shave with the hollow ground razors which the majority of mine are vs using cotton and latigo, for the wedges I could not tell any difference whether using linen/horsehide or cotton/latigo.



The draw on the horsehide while there is very little I have been using it daily the past 2 months I wipe the leather with my palms and while I don't know if that or the use of 2 months have done anything at all to it as it still looks brand new it feels as if there is just a slight more draw then when brand new.



for Efficacy Wikipedia defines that as the capacity to produce an effect, for me as mentioned with hollow ground razors it works great, provided the linen or if desired another strop is used enough before going to the horsehide.



Overall value, if used properly including the linen component it performs as good or better then any other strop and unless damaged it will last a lifetime, that said I think the tendency of a lot of straight shavers especially new straight shavers is not to strop enough on either the linen/cotton or leather/horsehide so for new straight shavers I would recommend the Latigo as it has more draw and possibly potential to accomplish the same thing with less laps.



To use the horsehide only without the linen did not give me very good results, however I have went from cotton to latigo to the horsehide with very good results.

------------------------------
Jim
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Tony Miller

The Strop Man

Registered: October 2005
Location: Nottingham, Maryland
Posts: 942
Review Date: Wed May 27, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros):
Cons:
Fit & Finish:
Amount of Draw:
Thickness of Leather:
Efficacy:
Overall Value:

 
Crankymoose,

Your results seem consistant with my suggestions on this strop. A light, almost non-existant draw for full hollow and lightweight "delicate" grinds, a heavier draw for "wedge like" and less hollowed heavy weight razors. For me at leats a heavy draw helps me control my stropping motion with heavy weight razors but seems to bog down my morion on light razors. Also for me a heavy razor on a light strop seems slightly out of control, demanding more of my concentration.



A light draw strop is not for everyone, especially not beginners as I feel the slower action of a higher draw helps them maintain control. I typically either use my horsehide for light razors or after using latigo.



The rating system is sort of an odd one. Thickness of leather for one...thickness or lack of does not make or break a strop. I have owned very thin, yet very effective commercially made strops so giving one a 0 for thickness would give a bad impression even though the tool performed as it should. Same with draw, light draw or heavy draw, a 0 or a 10, but did it do what it was advertised to do it did it not?



Tony

------------------------------
The Heirloom Razor Strop Company www.thewellshavedgentleman.com
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ZethLent
The Merkurian Candidate

Registered: April 2007
Posts: 624
Review Date: Tue August 11, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros):
Cons:
Fit & Finish: 7
Amount of Draw: 5
Thickness of Leather: 8
Efficacy: 8
Overall Value: 8

 
I am revisiting my remarks and evaluation of the horsehide portion of my Heirloom strop.



I am not sure if it is the increase in humidity here in Japan of what but my horsehide strop has naturally increased its amount of draw dramatically.



I did nothing other than I usually do and the draw and feel of it vs. the latigo component has become much prefered in my estimation.



Not a sticky draw, but a buttery smooth draw that feels oh so nice.



I just wanted to revise my statemnt of 'thin air...' to 'buttery smooth!'. Very nice.



It is still is faster than the latigo but not by much.
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richmondesi
.

Registered: January 2009
Posts: 8
Review Date: Tue September 29, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros):
Cons:
Fit & Finish: 8
Amount of Draw: 9
Thickness of Leather: 8
Efficacy: 8
Overall Value: 9

 
I bought this strop in a lot with every intention of selling it as I already had a great red latigo strop with the cotton option. I was happy, but before selling it, I was told that I needed to give it a try. So, to the review:



Fit and Finish: I love everything about this strop except the look of the Linen component as Joel mentioned. It looks a little unkempt, but there's not really anything that can be done about that. Everything else is great.



Amount of Draw: I rate this high because it's my desired amount of draw. I find that using the linen extensively and following it up with the horsehide makes for a really great, smooth shave. My red latigo never did match this level of smoothness, irrespective of the various techniques/combinations I employed.



Thickness of Leather: This piece of leather is really nice. I believe it to be just about the perfect thickness.



Efficacy: The horsehide combined with the linen has proven to be my best strop combination. The linen does an excellent job of removing oxidation and restoring sharpness while the horsehide provides the smoothness that I want in my edge. I would love to find a better one if it's out there because it would be truly tremendous



Overall Value: I think it's a great value because it helps me get the most out of my razors, and I'm willing to pay a premium for the best products.



Conclusion:



The most cogent comment that I can think of referring to this strop is that I rarely even use the latigo at all anymore. I've found the linen/horsehide to be a significant upgrade in both the stropping experience as well as performance of my razors.
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Tony Miller

The Strop Man

Registered: October 2005
Location: Nottingham, Maryland
Posts: 942
Review Date: Tue September 29, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros):
Cons:
Fit & Finish:
Amount of Draw:
Thickness of Leather:
Efficacy:
Overall Value:

 
Thank you Rich. I too wish the linen component was a bit "neater", more like my cotton material but I am at the mercy of the only mill producing this cloth. The linen fibers, having so little final processing tend to be a bit "wooly" so there is the odd hair sticking up and the weave itself leaves a slightly wavy edge.



The minimal fiber processing is also what seems to give it it's polishing abilities and is what makes it work so well for most people.



As always, thickness is relative. Some want thick and stiff, some thin and pliable. I simply go by feel when making them. I specify 6 to 8oz for Latigo and a bit heavier for horsehide. It it feels right I use it, if not it becomes a practice strop.



Glad you found a combo that works well for you.



Tony

------------------------------
The Heirloom Razor Strop Company www.thewellshavedgentleman.com
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