08-21-2015, 07:46 PM
#1
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A member on another shaving forum re-introduced the idea of palm stropping blades before a shave to get the best out of their blades. I was intrigued and decided to read up more on palm stropping. As with everything else with shaving, the results of palm stropping were YMMV but hey, there was no harm in trying it out right?

The day before, I had a shave with a Personna Lab Blue in a bakelite slant which was OK, nothing amazing and with a little irritation. I never had great results with blades that were labeled stainless - Gillette greens, Astra SS, Supermax Stainless, Lab Blues/Med Preps versus their Platinum counterparts which always provided me with excellent shaves and no irritation. So today, I gave the Lab Blue a palm strop before my shave and the result was fantastic - BBS with no irritation, a first for me with this blade. However, I do note that the experiment was flawed. My second shave was with a Gillette Slim and it was with a blade with already one shave under its belt.

Next week onwards, I'll be trying a fresh Lab blue blade, palm stropped, in a Wolfman WR1-OC, to see if palm stropping does work. Now my question is, anyone else palm strops their blades?

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 08-21-2015, 08:02 PM
#2
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I have never tried that, but I have enough blades for a lifetime or two, so I just use mine twice and to the blade disposal.

Looking forward to read more experiences, it is definitely interesting.

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 08-21-2015, 09:13 PM
#3
  • Hanzo
  • Senior Member
  • Oakland, California
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Stropping DE blades I would guess grew out of stropping straight razors and since it worked with straights perhaps some thought it would work with DE blades. Hand stropping a DE blade  seems like hand stropping a  straight which goes way back as well, the point is to utilize a the skin like leather and smooth out a rough edge on carbon blades. Some old timers like a friends dad would strop a DE blade on the back of their belts using it like a straight razor strop.

Corking a blade , passing the blade through a piece of cork seems to want to address actually removing the coating on stainless steel razor blades I am guessing and would seem related .

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 08-22-2015, 03:50 AM
#4
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To me palm stropping carries an un-necessary risk of accidental slicing of skin.  I don't think the benefits outweigh the risk.

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 08-22-2015, 06:07 AM
#5
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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Yes, stropping a DE blade and devices for doing that goes back a long ways. I always thought it was a practice associated with the dirty 30s Great Depression when everyone needed to economize. Probably totally wrong on that though. With the coated blades we have today I wonder if the practice does more harm than good.

Bob

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 08-23-2015, 12:40 PM
#6
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A friend told of his dad stropping his blades some 50 -60 years ago so I would guess you are correct that many did so in an effort to save money. I've done it a few times, never really saw much, if any, difference.

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 08-23-2015, 01:35 PM
#7
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I am a firm believer in doing this but have little to back it up...
A little stropping done the right way does help with straightrazors,  ... oh well Biggrin

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 08-23-2015, 05:36 PM
#8
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(08-22-2015, 06:07 AM)BobH Wrote: Yes, stropping a DE blade and devices for doing that goes back a long ways. I always thought it was a practice associated with the dirty 30s Great Depression when everyone needed to economize. Probably totally wrong on that though. With the coated blades we have today I wonder if the practice does more harm than good.

Bob

A lot of people have referenced our modern coatings in discussions like this before as a reason to avoid stropping DE blades. This probably has some merit, as a lot of DE blades have warnings on them about wiping the blade, and I imagine that the coating is at least part of the reason. Might as well try it though if the blade's nearing the end of its life.

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 08-23-2015, 06:19 PM
#9
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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(08-23-2015, 05:36 PM)Shannon Wrote:
(08-22-2015, 06:07 AM)BobH Wrote: Yes, stropping a DE blade and devices for doing that goes back a long ways. I always thought it was a practice associated with the dirty 30s Great Depression when everyone needed to economize. Probably totally wrong on that though. With the coated blades we have today I wonder if the practice does more harm than good.

Bob

A lot of people have referenced our modern coatings in discussions like this before as a reason to avoid stropping DE blades.  This probably has some merit, as a lot of DE blades have warnings on them about wiping the blade, and I imagine that the coating is at least part of the reason. Might as well try it though  if the blade's nearing the end of its life. 

Yea, true if near end of life could do no harm. Oth I'll save my stropping for my SRs or heaven forbid we wind up in 30s style depression.  Wink

Bob

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 08-23-2015, 08:07 PM
#10
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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Knew I had this somewhere.

[Image: DSCF0185_zpsjsb5ywqi.jpg]

[Image: DSCF0186_zps31fqys7i.jpg]

[Image: DSCF0184_zpsjebj8858.jpg]

Pre WWII English made Lillicraps hone for DE blades. Yes, it is slightly radioactive.

Bob

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 08-23-2015, 08:35 PM
#11
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It doesn't work. It is all psychological. I do do it for another reason though. Drying carbon steel blades.

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 08-25-2015, 10:26 AM
#12
  • Mouser
  • Senior Member
  • Forest City, Florida U.S.A.
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I strop my vintage, both carbon and stainless, on a pair of jeans. Not for any life extension reasons, but more for smoothness of performance. How often do you see someone in a blade review comment on how it smooths out on the second use? Can't say it helps, won't say it doesn't.

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 08-25-2015, 11:46 AM
#13
  • Entasis
  • Atop the Razor's Edge
  • Southern California
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I palm strop DEs to further clean the blade.

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 08-25-2015, 02:54 PM
#14
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I do it occasionally but have no clear evidence of its effect though. 
Sometimes I do it for cleaning the blade when it looks like soap or cream have accumulated on the edge. 
I don´t know about you guys but I prefer using a just-honed kitchen knife after a couple of uses compared to when I just sharped it. No evidence in this case either.

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 11-10-2015, 07:36 PM
#15
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I don't know if it makes a difference either, but I will palm strop a blade before its first use if it is the brand of blade that I find usually improves for the second shave (without palm stropping). My theory is that it may "clean" the blade of some coating imperfections. I don't find it dangerous (if I focus) and I don't buy the "do not wipe" warnings that you see on some blades - I've got to believe that they are an attempt by the manufacturer to reduce liability rather than avoid ruining a blade.

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 11-11-2015, 05:40 AM
#16
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I strop the blade daily, after use, on my left underarm. Besides alingning the edge, the friction warms the edge and makes sure it is dry (according to japanese straight razor culture)
It is the first time I have gotten considerable more shaves out of my blades

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 11-11-2015, 08:05 AM
#17
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(11-11-2015, 05:40 AM)Bibbelmann Wrote: I strop the blade daily, after use, on my left underarm. Besides alingning the edge, the friction warms the edge and makes sure it is dry (according to japanese straight razor culture)
It is the first time I have gotten considerable more shaves out of my blades

Interesting.

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 11-26-2015, 03:02 PM
#18
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(08-23-2015, 08:35 PM)fram773 Wrote: It doesn't work. It is all psychological. I do do it for another reason though. Drying carbon steel blades.
My opinion also, although I do strop each side once after my alcohol rinse to help dry the edge. I do it gently to not remove the coating.

Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk

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 11-26-2015, 11:14 PM
#19
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a quick palm strop is more hygienic it helps get the last bit of residue off the blade. and a lot of blades seem to do better anyway, surface imperfections on the edge.

consider the de razor blade is just like a straight razor, it gets charpened, and why does it get the final strop?

to break off any imperfections in the edge, things that would make your lather red.

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