02-14-2017, 10:26 AM
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I just recently started trying a straight and I'm still learning the basics.

I have a specific question regarding stropping on leather: how should it sound?

When I stroke the razor with light, flat/even pressure on the spine and the bevel, it doesn't make much sound at all.

When I stroke with a slight pressure to make sure the bevel is contacting, it has a hissing sound, with a noticeable metallic zing if I do it fast.

Is this the sound I should be looking to hear?  Or am I overdoing it?

What is the sound the razor makes when stropping correctly?

Thanks in advance!


11 976
 02-14-2017, 02:10 PM
  • doc47
  • Senior Member
  • Northern Arizona
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Great question Alex! Each strop will sound a bit different but you are trying to make the razor sing to you as you strop. The key is that both halves of the stropping lap sound the same. This will vary slightly depending upon the speed you use. In my experience the metallic zing occurs when your razor leaves the leather at a fast speed. The truth is the stropping doesn't need to be noisy at all. Keep using the light, flat/even pressure as you stop and you'll be fine. How are you doing coordinating the flip at the end of you 1/2 laps?  Take care as this is where most strop cuts occur.

11 659
 02-14-2017, 08:24 PM
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It honestly comes down to what type of leather you are stroppping on, Fast Bridle or English Bridle is very glassy and very quiet, Spanish Bridle has a velvety feel but slighly louder like tearing a sheet of news print, Cordovan is louder than English Bridle for me at least, horse hide is the loudest and also sounds like paper tearing but heavy weight paper and has a magnetic feel and this is all with hollow ground as wedges are totally different, the biggest thing with stropping is keeping the spine and edge in contact with the leather at all times, i actually use pressure while stropping as that whole weight of blade thing to me is way over stated and in my experience you have to make solid firm contact with the leather to achieve results and the biggest thing is ensuring that the stroke is the same going up and back, most guys have issue with the stroke coming back towards them as they raise the spine towards the end of the stroke which is easy to do and then you can roll the edge, as far as speed goes don't get wrapped up in going fast and furious as you will do nothing but cut your strop and wreck the edge, speed will come with practice so starting out concentrate on good even up/down strokes and work on getting about 40 strokes up/down in about a minute and that is moving pretty slow and easy to do and will do your edge right, i have stropped hundreds of razors over all sorts of leather and after awhile it becomes easier and easier and you will be surprised how quickly you can knock off 100 laps but thats not necessary unless you are honing, I do 25/50 on linen/leather pre shave and 25/25 post and the edges will last a long time if stropped correctly and your shaving techique is good.

8 1,840
 02-15-2017, 09:57 AM
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Thanks gents!  I will focus on the feel as much as the sound.  Dan, I'm trying to get the hang of flipping with the spine on the leather.  I have made some very small/superficial surface nicks in the leather but I figure that's part of the learning curve.  Just have to keep at it.

11 976
 03-03-2017, 05:25 AM
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Dear Surfer;

The edge of a razor is a microscopic thing. Therefore, it is very delicate. The softer you strop, the better. Put some baseball glove oil in the strop. Just a little. Rub it in. It does a heck of a difference. Then you will hear your blade sound as Lynn's in his videos.

Another thing. It is natural to relax the pressure you use with the hand that is holding the strop when you concentrate in light pressure stropping. Try to keep more pressure on with the strop hand than with the razor hand. Keep the razor hand pressure very low. And pull tighter at the same time. Both should feel effortless.

Keep rocking.

Whenever you are convinced that you are hooked and that you will straight shave for the long run, buy a paddle strop from SRD. Check it out. It is really great.

Best regards,

Pepe Peña

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

0 479
 04-14-2017, 05:12 PM
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Panther gave some great advice.
Each stroke should be one, smooth process and think "one thousand one" for each leg of the lap.  
For practicing my flip I would take an extra nylon web belt and a butter knife and really concentrate on the flip to build muscle memory.

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