05-07-2016, 02:28 PM
#1
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I've got a "beginner" strip from SRD. Are the Miller or Kanayama strops that much better?  What do you guys use and how do they compare?

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 05-07-2016, 02:37 PM
#2
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I have heard fairly good comments concerning the SRD strops so you don't have a slouch there. My original Tony Miller 3" Latigo strop remains in my den since it arrived in 2007 and I recently took it on a trip and it performed very well. With that said, I purchased a Kanayama #3 strop in 2014 and it is gets used 99% of the time. I have considered upgrading to a #80000 or #90000 Kanayama from aframestokyo but the #3 serves me so well and simplicity / luxury minimalism prevails. My suggestion, select a Kanayama and serve yourself a true heirloom.

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 05-07-2016, 03:49 PM
#3
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SRD sources great stuff that works on a budget for most folks.  That said, my philosophy is, when a accoutrement cost more than the blade it serves, no dice for me!

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 05-07-2016, 03:53 PM
#4
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True statement. I've got several nice blades but nothing that requires a line item on my home owners insurance

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 05-07-2016, 04:24 PM
#5
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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I have several strops and enjoy each of them: Kanayama #80000, Neil Miller Shell Cordovan, Scrupleworks oil tanned horsehide, and a Westholme Italian Horse Hide. Each will do a magnificent job of stropping a razor. They each have a different draw and feel to them, and I prefer to use different strops with different razors, but that is just a personal preference. An SRD strop will perform as well as any that I own. I would find a mentor, or at least other straight razor shavers in your area, and try out their strops. Once you've determined which draw you prefer, and perhaps which material you prefer, you can then find a quality strop that matches those preferences. I enjoy a light to medium-light draw, and a good quality linen for my second strop. As with everything else in this hobby, it's a matter of personal preference.

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 05-07-2016, 05:22 PM
#6
  • SRNewb
  • Senior Member
  • No. Va, USA
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I have not tried SRD strops, but their rep is enough that I could buy with confidence.
That said, I have a Tony Miller, and will buy a second.

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 05-07-2016, 05:53 PM
#7
  • ncguy1
  • TARHEEL
  • North Carolina
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I've been using a SRD 3" English Bridle Strop for almost a year now and I still enjoy it.

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 05-07-2016, 06:17 PM
#8
  • refles
  • Senior Member
  • New York
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I started with the SRD 2.5" English Bridle but if you read up on these other brands and participate in the forums I believe its only natural to be curious and 'move up' to get some of what the community considers the well respected hand crafted pieces. I added a Tony Miller 3" steer hide and a Kanayama #3, both offer different feels and I've been using those 2 regularly when I strop. Stropping on cordovan shell is a pretty unique feel, love that glassy surface feel and some days the light draw of the Tony Miller... I'm very satisfied with what I have now and don't have any plans to change them. But really from reading many many forums on this, any piece of leather will do the job Smile (this need to add is all a byproduct of this developing into a hobby) lol

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 05-08-2016, 02:47 AM
#9
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I have a Kanayama 8K, Scruppleworks 3" oil tanned from Torolf and two fast bridals from Tony Miller, I have never used strop from SRD so can't comment but once you strop on premium leather you won'y ever go back, I recently aquired a 2 1/2" fast bridal from TM with the intent to gift my son the other FB as he has my first steerhide from TM but after talking with him last evening he wants a paddle strop as thats his preference so I am needing to sell of a FB 3".

Kanayama uses there own process that I believe is similar to Cordovan, the draw is very velvet like and smooth, the oil tanned from Scruppleworks has a very magnetic draw almost heavy but fells very good to strop on and the recent TM fast bridal with linen is very fast, all are very different and offer there own benefits, my last purchase will most likely be one from Alastair at Westholme  but that's down the road.

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 05-08-2016, 02:49 AM
#10
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I have a Kanayama 8K, Scruppleworks 3" oil tanned from Torolf and two fast bridals from Tony Miller, I have never used a strop from SRD so can't comment but once you strop on premium leather you won'y ever go back, I recently aquired a 2 1/2" fast bridal from TM with the intent to gift my son the other FB as he has my first steerhide from TM but after talking with him last evening he wants a paddle strop as thats his preference so I am needing to sell of a FB 3".

Kanayama uses there own process that I believe is similar to Cordovan, the draw is very velvet like and smooth, the oil tanned from Scruppleworks has a very magnetic draw almost heavy but feels very good to strop on and the recent TM fast bridal with linen is very fast, all are very different and offer there own benefits, my last purchase will most likely be one from Alastair at Westholme  but that's down the road.

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 05-15-2016, 03:49 PM
#11
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Looks like I'm set for now but maybe a new strop would make a good Father's Day gift. Not sure why but the kanayamas really speak to me. I'll see how much the wife loves me this year.

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 05-16-2016, 05:16 AM
#12
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(05-15-2016, 03:49 PM)Magnum Wrote: Looks like I'm set for now but maybe a new strop would make a good Father's Day gift. Not sure why but the kanayamas really speak to me. I'll see how much the wife loves me this year.

I would ask for a nice vintage razor then get a nice SRD or PRC 3" strop if I were in the market for a new strop and have a nice old vintage to go with it.  I see a lot of decent older straights going for $120 or less right now that just need some cleanup time and they look almost new.

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 05-16-2016, 06:31 AM
#13
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(05-16-2016, 05:16 AM)Str8shaver Wrote:
(05-15-2016, 03:49 PM)Magnum Wrote: Looks like I'm set for now but maybe a new strop would make a good Father's Day gift. Not sure why but the kanayamas really speak to me. I'll see how much the wife loves me this year.

I would ask for a nice vintage razor then get a nice SRD or PRC 3" strop if I were in the market for a new strop and have a nice old vintage to go with it.  I see a lot of decent older straights going for $120 or less right now that just need some cleanup time and they look almost new.

Ive got several nice vintage straights. A couple of DDs and ERN/Crown and Sword and a Louper 7 day set I'm going to clean up as soon as work slows down. The only issue I have with buying a vintage strop is that you have no idea the quality or what kind of shape it's in unless it's really bad and then you don't want to buy it in the first place.

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 05-16-2016, 07:10 AM
#14
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(05-16-2016, 06:31 AM)Magnum Wrote:
(05-16-2016, 05:16 AM)Str8shaver Wrote:
(05-15-2016, 03:49 PM)Magnum Wrote: Looks like I'm set for now but maybe a new strop would make a good Father's Day gift. Not sure why but the kanayamas really speak to me. I'll see how much the wife loves me this year.

I would ask for a nice vintage razor then get a nice SRD or PRC 3" strop if I were in the market for a new strop and have a nice old vintage to go with it.  I see a lot of decent older straights going for $120 or less right now that just need some cleanup time and they look almost new.

Ive got several nice vintage straights. A couple of DDs and ERN/Crown and Sword and a Louper 7 day set I'm going to clean up as soon as work slows down. The only issue I have with buying a vintage strop is that you have no idea the quality or what kind of shape it's in unless it's really bad and then you don't want to buy it in the first place.

I would never buy a vintage strop other than for display in my shop that is barber shop motif.  I don't know much about the $150 plus strops other than for those prices they better strop the razor for me...LOL!  To each their own obviously in this lifestyle like any other hobby.  I just have a hard time spending that amount on a piece of leather.

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 05-16-2016, 01:28 PM
#15
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I would say that Millers strops are the best strops for the money. They IMO are slightly better quality than most, and the fit and finish are what I'm looking for in a strop in that price range. Kanayama are insanely luxurious and the feel these strops provide are unique among that line. As stated before any strop will get the job done , I have heard of people using newspaper  Smile

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 05-16-2016, 05:28 PM
#16
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Miller strops come very highly recommended. I really like the price of them too. Maybe I'll give the wife a couple of options and see what I end up with.

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 05-18-2016, 07:16 AM
#17
  • Obie
  • Senior Member
  • Glendale, Wisconsin
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Magnum,

Any quality strop, regardless of price, leather type or leather treatment, will do the job, provided you strop correctly. Unfortunately, many beginners opt for cheap junk, often as part of a starter kit, and consequently do not experience the joys of quality strops.

I've had the pleasure of using strops such as Tolorf, SRD, Tony Miller, Neil Miller and Kanayama, among others. Currently I am down to three: Kanayama 30000, Tony Miller 2 1/2 inch fast bridal, and an Illinois barber strop, 365 I think. I admit, out of the Kanayama 30000, 60000, 70000 and 80000, I prefer the feel of the 30000, and so the others are gone. I do not recommend the pricey strops for beginners; nor do I recommend the junk that is cheap. Pay the price and get a good strop. Yes, there is a good chance you might cut it, but that's part of the learning process. And there is always another strop.

The three-inch strops are nice, but I still prefer the 2 1/2. As for stropping method, I use the old barber method of slightly angling my blade to lead with the point and return with the heel, while maintaining the angle. This gives me the automatic X-pattern. Also, I strop on about seven or eight inch length of the strop, rather than the entire length of the strop, wrist locked and the blade manipulated, like a pencil, between the index finger and the thumb. This method gives me better control of the blade.

The strop is an essential part of straight razor shaving. For newbies, the extravagant is not necessary, but quality is. So spend a reasonable amount of money, Magnum, and get a good strop.

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 05-18-2016, 08:05 AM
#18
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Start with a Miller or SRD strop. You will regret knicking a Kanayama as a beginner.

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 06-19-2016, 02:37 AM
#19
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The purchase of a strop is one area i got the start of straight razor shaving right!! Most other items i have bought too much too quickly

I bought the more affordable natural strop in 2" about 3.5 yeas ago. Once broken in - it was a great feeling but had too many nicks to mention. 

I still use the strop a couple of times a week - i know it works and have confidence in it. I have sanded the nicks out and applied some conditioner to keep it looking the part. 
It is now a strop my friend uses when we sharpen together - he is learning and I feel the pain of every nick he puts on it!!

I have since added the 3" bridle extra long form SRD but keep my natural for travelling and every odd stropping - i still hover on the 'add to cart' for this strop as i would love to have a brand new version in my stable.  

I am by no means an expert but the natural has been perfect for me in the 4 years i have been learning this craft. My newer SRD english bridle extra long is more expensive and the last 3 months have no nicks but it has taken years to get to this level of feel

Agree with llalm - start with something simple - the srd's offer a great product that is replaceable and affordable once you have learnt what you want. I have tried only 2 other brands that belong to friends and even the swivel hooks and fixings of SRD are far more flexible and user friendly for us beginners

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 06-24-2016, 02:54 PM
#20
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I bought a cheap strop to practice on with a razor I will probably never shave with.  The idea was to just practice the motion and get used to stroping a razor.   Glad I did because the cheap strop has a slice mark in it and several nicks it while I was learning.  

After reading the posts and several reviews I ended up with a Tony Miller 3" strop and really like the quality, draw, and feel.

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