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How do you strop a straight razor?

Sean
Spring, TX

 

First, it is important to clarify that stropping is not the same as sharpening, which is called "honing" and is done using a wetstone. Before using a straight razor, it must be sharpened to be shave ready and then be honed every few months. Stropping is done before every shave to align the edge of the blade so that the steel is pointing in the same direction and you have a straight, clean edge. To strop a razor, you move the straight razor's edge forward and back against a razor strop. Simply attach one end of the strop to an immovable object, like a towel bar or bedpost, and pull the other end taut. Using light pressure, run the blade horizontally (spine first) up the leather surface with the blade flat against the leather. At the end of the stroke, flip the blade over and run the blade horizontally back down the strop. It is recommended to do this about 40-60 times. Learn more in Shaving with a Straight Razor.

 

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