Razors are engineered to effectively shave your body hair with as little pain and/or irritation as possible. Most blade razors are designed to be dragged against your skin at approximately a 30° angle for optimum cutting. As you continue to shave with the same cartridge, the hairs on your face pull the very thin blades out of alignment and cause micro-imperfections along the leading edge of the cutting surface, thus dulling the blade. To postpone this from happening, the folks at ShaveFace have developed the Strop, a modern day version of the old leather strap barbers used to keep straight razors sharp. The Strop promises to keep your cartridge razor sharp many times longer than without it… Let’s see how it fares.
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I have found most quality, name brand cartridge blades last me a week or two, dulling after about 5-7 shaves. According to ShaveFace, running a razor against the Strop presses the blades back into proper alignment. The friction built between the denim and the blades theoretically smooths the surface of the blades for a sharper, more comfortable shave.
- Hold the razor as you would to shave, blade facing the top of The Strop with the handle towards you.
- Blades should be face down on the denim and placed at the bottom of The Strop.
- Apply the same pressure you would for a clean shave and push the razor the length of The Strop, from bottom to top.
- Repeat the motion 15-20 times for best results.
- Rinse razor after stropping.
- Repeat steps 1-5 before each use.
- Drink black coffee.
- Climb a mountain.
FYI: steps 7 and 8 are optional 😉 .
The Strop is made in the USA from thick high quality raw-denim and leather. According to ShaveFace, all of their products are “hand stitched ’n’ studded by a real man with well-trimmed scruff and branded with bronze and the heat of a thousand suns”. The denim and leather are thick and very good quality. The stitching is well done and meant to last many years of daily use.
Not only can you use the Strop by laying it flat on a hard surface, the blade sharpener can also be attached to a towel bar to be used vertically. Also making for easier storage that is out of the way.
The same brass studs that enable the Strop to hang on a towel rack allow it to roll up for compact transportation or storage. Though I found it took several tries to get it rolled up tight enough so that the holes line up with the brass studs.
To add a personal touch, you can have your name embossed into the leather of your Strop. The Strop theoretically works with any disposable cartridge razor: Gillette, Schick, Harry’s, Dollar Shave Club, Venus, Bic, etc. The Strop is not meant to be used with straight razors.
As I mentioned above, I typically get 5-7 shaves out of a razor which usually lasts me a week or two before needing to switch out cartridges. For this review, I tested the Strop over a 6 week period on two cartridges. I shaved twice before using the Strop. After that, I followed the ShaveFace directions to the letter and found that the Strop did not make the blade first shave sharp each time but did extend its useful life. The Strop kept my blades sharp enough to comfortably shave for approximately three weeks, doubling its lifetime.
The Strop did extend the life of my razor blades but not to the extent promised by ShaveFace. ShaveFace says the Strop can keep your blades sharp three to five times longer than without using it. That said, the razor blades I sharpened with the Strop did last twice as long than normal. I was able to use each of the blades approximately 3 weeks and that shorter timeframe could be due to my technique…so your mileage will most likely vary. But the bottom line is that the Strop does extend the life of cartridge razors thus reducing the cost and waste of using disposable blades.
Source: The sample for this review was provided by ShaveFace . Please visit their site for more info.