03-02-2013, 06:48 PM
#1
  • savagejoerude
  • If you ain't a LOSER, you ain't livin'!!
  • New Orleans USA
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I've been at this for almost 7 months now and have heard these terms come up a few times on the forums. I've figured out the fact that these are techniques used to tame an otherwise extra sharp or not so smooth blade. Can someone explain to me how these techniques are accomplished and do they really work. I can see the usefulness for such a thing. And in my quest to find out all I can about wet shaving and to improve my shaves I NEED TO KNOW...lol Thanks... Sav

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 03-02-2013, 07:06 PM
#2
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Hand stropping is easy to explain. It does the same thing as stropping a straight razor. Except that there's some acids and oils in our hands whereas a leather strop generally doesn't have such fluids.

Don't know what a cork does but it's supposed to do something. I could never figure out the logic though.

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 03-02-2013, 07:10 PM
#3
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Palm Stropping:

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 03-02-2013, 08:48 PM
#4
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Joe,
Corking is done for blades that are a little too sharp and you want to temper/make them milder. You just lightly run the blade on top of a piece of cork to dull it a bit. i used to do it with the Feather Pro blades for my Cobra and Feather Artist Club DX straight.
i would never do it with DEs or SEs, though.

Here is a video of the Maestro, himself, hand stropping one of his creations. Skip to the 3:50 mark and see him go at it.

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 03-04-2013, 11:16 AM
#5
  • MikeGJ
  • Member
  • Grand Junction, CO
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Corking is drawing the blade edge through a cork, or similar soft material. Styrofoam is often used as a substitute for cork.

The purpose is to take off or even out the rougher parts of the blade, making the first shave smoother and "safer".


Stropping is a sharpening process, used to put a final edge on a blade. Straight razor users strop to sharpen and finish the edge, before shaving. Celistino is referring to this process.

As you surmised, when you see some one refer to "hand stropping" or "palm stropping" a double edged blade, it refers to an alternative to corking, to smooth out an edge (rather than sharpen it).


How: blade is carefully held between the r. thumb and r. first finger, blade is carefully "wiped" or "pulled", in the direction away from the edge, against the heel of the left hand, on each side of the edge. Blade is then rotated to allow the other edge to be done.

Sharpspine's video post (#3, above) illustrates the process well.

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 03-05-2013, 06:19 AM
#6
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I palm strop blades at times. There are a few blades that tend to make the first shave a more pleasurable experience with this technique ( Green Gillettes and Shark Chromes for me ).

I don't find it a 'must' do, but I tend to think it is worth the minimal effort on some blades.

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 03-05-2013, 09:15 AM
#7
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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The only blades that I hand strop every time is my single edge blades. They always seem to leave a bit of irritation on the first few shaves if I don't regardless of carbon/stainless, coated or not hand stropping makes the first shave much more enjoyable afterwards.

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 03-05-2013, 09:27 AM
#8
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Thanks for the information, it is good to know.

I use to find Feather Professional blades for the Artist Club and Cobra a bit too harsh on the first few shaves. I'm going to try this hand or cork stroping and see how it goes.

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 03-05-2013, 08:45 PM
#9
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Fantastic post, The mystery terminology finally explained.

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 03-10-2013, 10:30 PM
#10
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I always palm strop my blades before the first outing with a new blade, as to smooth out the edge and remove any micro material/imperfections on the fresh edge. I also palm strop after every shave, but I only do this to clean/dry the blade edges post shave.

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 03-11-2013, 12:00 PM
#11
  • Cobre
  • Member
  • Vancouver, Canada
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Has anyone taken before/after pics of the blades using a microscope? part of me thinks there may be a placebo effect with stropping DE blades like this...

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 03-11-2013, 07:48 PM
#12
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(03-11-2013, 12:00 PM)Cobre Wrote: Has anyone taken before/after pics of the blades using a microscope? part of me thinks there may be a placebo effect with stropping DE blades like this...

I think thats a fantastic idea, I wonder if theres a wiki for it already? If not that would be great a photo to see if corking, or palmstroping really does make a difference and what it does to the blade before and after.

Maybe someone has a microscope thats powerful enough to take a picture, The best I can do is a magnifying glass and flash light Biggrin

I palm stropped my Feather tonight and it really made for a smooth shave, seemed like it smoothed the "first shave" roughness out of it.

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 03-16-2013, 08:12 PM
#13
  • savagejoerude
  • If you ain't a LOSER, you ain't livin'!!
  • New Orleans USA
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I agree. An in depth look at the pro's and cons of palmstropping/corking....

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 03-17-2013, 05:21 AM
#14
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I had a batch of Derbys where the second shave was better than the first. I started "corking" them with styrofoam and my first shaves improved.

Then one day standing there with a Derby in one hand and styrofoam in another, I looked at all the other blades I could use and asked myself "why?". So I stopped using Derbys and no longer "cork".

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 03-17-2013, 09:46 PM
#15
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
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I palm-strop DE and SE blades before the first use and after each shave. My first shave on a new blade is always smooth. I would point out that hand/palm-stropping smoothes the edge, but it doesn't dull it like corking does. Some claim that they get longer life out of a blade from hand-stropping.

- Murray

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 03-24-2013, 09:33 PM
#16
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(03-17-2013, 05:21 AM)Aimsport Wrote: Then one day standing there with a Derby in one hand and styrofoam in another, I looked at all the other blades I could use and asked myself "why?". So I stopped using Derbys and no longer "cork".

What a great post. Thank you for that. I feel the same way about much of shaving. Yes, it can be fun to make something more usable but with so much stuff to choose from, why bother trying to make something work for you. I have dumped a lot of soaps for the same reason.

So many wonderful blades out there, why try to make something work for you when it doesn't out of the box.

Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk HD

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