View Full Version : What size strop

12-30-2008, 12:23 PM
I just picked up a Dovo Pearlex Stainless Steel straight and I'm looking for a strop. Can someone tell me the pros/cons of the different width strops. Is it a matter of preference or is there a functional difference? Thanks for the help.

Tony Miller
12-30-2008, 03:16 PM
It basically comes down to doing an X-pattern or not. Most straight razors have a 2 3/4" to 3" wide blade so on a 3" strop one could simply go straight up and down with no sideways motion (an X-pattern). Now many feel the X is an important step as it follows the scratch pattern left on the blade from a hone.....unless of course you used a 3" wide hone and simply went straight up and down. on a narrow strop obviously some sort of side to side "slide" as the razor travels up the length of the strop will be needed.

In the past most strops were narrow. A quick search of vintage strops on ebay will show most American brands were around 2 1/2" wide, and even today most European strops ranged from 1 1/2" to 2" wide with a single 3 1/4" version standing out from the crowd (Jemico and Dovo strops seem to originate in the same place so I consider tham the same here). In the USA today though the norm seems to be the 3" wide, "Bigger Is Better" type strops.

I myself prefer a 2 1/2" if for no other reason than it's classic proportions but 85% of my sales are in the 3" models.

Hope this explains a little.


12-30-2008, 03:26 PM
Thanks for the indepth information, Tony. I will be placing an order with you once your storefront is back up online. Thanks again.

12-30-2008, 05:20 PM
I like the 3" because the blade is on the leather longer both not having to "X"
but it seems to me that the 3" strops tend to be longer so there is a lot of STROPPING going on.:biggrin:


12-30-2008, 06:20 PM
I like my 1 1/2" latigo hanger. When traveling, it's usually a 1 3/16" loom...

P.S. Tony's strops are great.

12-30-2008, 09:32 PM
Thanks for all the replies guys. I'm new to straight razors and I had read on one of the other threads that a paddle stop may be easier to learn on. Any truth to this? Thanks again,

Tony Miller
12-31-2008, 07:31 AM
Yes and no, depending who you ask. In theory being a hard, rigid surface one does not need to worry about excessive slack or dipping it the strop that can cause one to roll an edge. It is also not going to shimmy side to side when stropping if not taut either. But, the drawbacks are a shorter surface, which means less contact area per stroke so more strokes are needed and being shorter there is much more flipping and rolling over of the razor at the end of each pass, a step usually difficult for a beginner to do well. Some fellows find the rigid surface to be easier to follow with hand and razor, others find it harder as they cannot seem to coordinate the perfectly straight line movement.

I typically use a paddle seated resting across my knee or with the end resting on something in the bathroom giving it some stability but still allowing it to float a bit with the movement.

Quality of the edge will be the same on either strop once the technique is mastered though.

I would really only choose a paddle over a hanging strop for one of two special reasons:

You have very limited space and no where to use/store a long hanging strop

You are on a tight budget and a paddle with abrasive on one side and plain leather on the other is the least expensive do it all tool. If you bail on this you spent less than on separate stropping and honing tools, and if you continue it still fits in the rotation with hanging strops and hones.
(yes, one can paste a hanging strop but technique is far more important if you do)

Ideally though it is hanging strops for daily use, paddles for pastes.


01-05-2009, 10:45 AM
i have a 2.5 and a 3 inch hanging. i like both and find that even on the 3, i still do an x pattern.

to me the difference is the length of the strop. my old illinois was either a 16 or 18 inch and it was fine. (don't remember and don't have anymore) my russian i use daily is 22 inches long and i like it so much more. long strokes and less laps. 50 on this is like 200 on a small paddle.

i also have a 1.5x18 inch paddle. i like it after honing. it has paste on one side and not on the other. good finish.

and a four side paddle which is great for traveling. mine is smaller than tony's, but it works. i had to get used to it and the longer paddle strop i have. it was so easy to lose form at first, but now it is fine.

you just have to try and see what works. some people use newspaper, an old belt, their palm(careful), or whatever else they have. just try something and see. i don't think you will go wrong with tony.

good luck.


02-17-2009, 12:09 PM
It's all about size! 3" workes for me!

02-17-2009, 08:08 PM
I have a 3" but I still like to use the x-pattern.

02-18-2009, 12:53 AM
I have one of Tony's 3" strops but recently bought one of his 2" strops.
I think I'm liking the 2" better...but I'm not really sure why.:bored: