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View Full Version : How many strop between passes?



danstar250
06-05-2008, 03:49 PM
I'm a considerable newb to the straight world, and decided not to start with custom honed razors but rather to learn to hone, strop, and shave altogether. So far, so good.

I've noticed that my shave is much more comfortable if I strop my razor between passes. Is this usually necessary? How many find it necessary? Does it indicate that I need to change or improve any of my techniques?

BTW, from what other members have said my razors are of fine quality. For example, my first one is a vintage "Dixie Blue Steel" by Union Cutlery Co. I bought it at an Antique store, and could tell it had never been honed or used.

professorchaos
06-05-2008, 03:59 PM
I only strop before a shave and that is entirely sufficient for a close, comfortable shave. If you find that you need to strop between passes, I would recommend checking your techinique and ensuring that your razor is sharp. My guess is that it is not quite dialed in and could use a little more time on a hone.

FWIIW - those Dixie Blue Steel razors are good shavers, so you don't need to worry about whether or not it will take a good edge.

Suzuki
06-05-2008, 04:14 PM
Shouldn't be any need to strop between passes.

Occasionally some folks will touch up a razor on a very fine finishing hone during the shave, but this is not the norm.

ouch
06-05-2008, 04:18 PM
You shouldn't need any stropping between passes, but it could happen.

When stropping, always remember to use no pressure. Unlike a stone, leather will compress. Even though you use an edge trailing stroke, as the leather compresses and distorts at the edge of the blade it can round off the edge. Another reason to keep that strop taught.

mparker762
06-05-2008, 08:37 PM
Some people strop between passes. The old barber manuals mentioned this technique as well. I used to do this and saw a lot of benefit, then I discovered that the culprit was the way I was wiping the lather off my blade. Once I switched back to rinsing under the tap it stopped being as much benefit, though it still seemed to help a little bit. Back when I did this I generally did about 10-15 laps on leather between passes. It doesn't take much since you're just aligning the edge and not removing corrosion.

Limey
06-05-2008, 08:49 PM
I wouldn't suggest it either. Wet hands or wet razor mean wet strop...no thanks!

danstar250
06-05-2008, 08:52 PM
This is why I love B&B. Great advice from helpful people, and quickly too!! I'm going to give the razors I use a little more time on my finishing hone, and make sure I strop with super light pressure on a very tight strop. I would rather not strop during a shave - I don't like the interruption.

Seraphim
06-06-2008, 01:57 PM
I used to use too steep a razor angle in relation to my face. I found that would dull my razor pretty quick (as well as give an uncomfortable shave, and higher risk of cuts...). With a llower angle, shave comfort has improved, edge retention has improved, and cuts are a thing of the past (I probably shouldn't have said that...:frown:)

You may indeed have a particularly tough beard (in which case, strop away...), or it may be something to do with your technique. Experiment and see what works for you.

devnull
06-09-2008, 03:46 PM
+1 on everything above. When I first started straight shaving I had to strop between passes. Later on I found that if I lowered the angle of the blade I didn't have this issue. Also I found that when I would set the razor down between passes to lather sometimes it would roll onto it's side and bend the tip a bit.

Most of these isses are just procedural and you will figure them out pretty quick but I say if stropping between passes gets you a better shave then why not? I don't have to anymore but YMMV.

danstar250
06-09-2008, 03:54 PM
The suggestions are working - I'm no longer stropping between passes. My angle was probably the biggest culprit. Two weeks into exclusively straight shaving, and I'm hooked for good. My DE's aren't going to see any action. My shaves aren't as BBS as the best shave with my Fatboy, or Slant, but they are pretty close and even and I don't use a cleanup crutch. Will an experienced straight user get as close as a Slant shave? Do we really need to? I have to admit, I'm a perfectionist by nature so the BBS obsession is pretty strong.

JBHoren
06-09-2008, 06:51 PM
Also I found that when I would set the razor down between passes to lather sometimes it would roll onto it's side and bend the tip a bit.

I place a folded-up shaving towel to the right of my sink, and place my razor on it between passes, while I rinse-off and lather-up. "An ounce of prevention..."

Smooth shaving!

AustinC9
06-09-2008, 06:58 PM
The suggestions are working - I'm no longer stropping between passes. My angle was probably the biggest culprit. Two weeks into exclusively straight shaving, and I'm hooked for good. My DE's aren't going to see any action. My shaves aren't as BBS as the best shave with my Fatboy, or Slant, but they are pretty close and even and I don't use a cleanup crutch. Will an experienced straight user get as close as a Slant shave? Do we really need to? I have to admit, I'm a perfectionist by nature so the BBS obsession is pretty strong.

I find that using a properly honed and stroped straight razor with proper technique will yeild a BBS shave vastly superior to any other method. It takes time to master this however, so don't get discouraged. Best of luck to you.

danstar250
06-09-2008, 09:00 PM
Both encouraging as well as disappointing since I'm not to that level yet, but I'm a stubborn and reasonably handy fellow and I'm going to keep on keeping on:biggrin: