What are FAQs?
Leather has been used since time immemorial to finish and maintain the sharpness of blades. It is one of natures fine abrasives, equivalent to an 8000 grit whetstone but at the same time has ‘give’ because it is soft and yielding to the metal. It removes burrs, realigns the microscopic teeth of the blade and puts a polish back on it, making the blade appreciably sharper, for longer. A word of caution – leather can only help maintain a sharp blade. It cannot sharpen a dull blade so you would need to take the blade back to a sharpening stone or steel to put an edge back on the blade, working up from coarse to fine grades – not a practical solution for tiny razor blades! It is better to strop and keep blades sharp than replacing razor blades/cartridges early or removing unnecessary material from your knives or tools on a stone or steel.
We only use full grain bovine leather for our strops – usually premium shoulder or butt for the fine finishing side (the only side on our Razor Honing Pads, Belt Strops and Paddle Strops) and side leather for the rough nap side of our Bench Strops.
Pretty much. Our Razor Honing Pad works with most handheld razors – disposable, cartridge and safety razors. It is most effective with properly manufactured multiblade razors such as Gillette’s Mach 3 or Fusion heads (other brands are available) and least effective with cheap single blade disposables or poorly manufactured (sand cast) safety razors. The better the razor, the better the result. The product effectively doubles the life expectancy of each individual blade so if you have a safety razor, you can expect it to last twice as long – a five blade cartridge razor, five times as long!
Absolutely! All blades become deformed by shaving, regardless of how many are in the head. Blades also develop nicks on the tip of the blade from tackling hair, which is surprisingly strong – there is obviously nothing that can be done to repair these but the two together (deformed blade + nicks) create perfect conditions to cut yourself. Stropping on our Razor Honing Pad smooths out the blade and puts a polish back on it, making shaving smoother and the blade last longer. It will only really double the life expectancy of the blade but by smoothing it, you are less likely to cut yourself on a badly deformed blade.
However, not all safety razors are created equal. The heads on safety razors such as the ones we sell are machined in Germany to fine tolerences so the internal bar that the blade rests on is perfectly flat and the guard is perfectly even. This means that the blade is flat when you install it in the razor and although it will deform from use, stropping it on our Razor Honing Pad will bring it back to close to flat. Smoother shave with less chance of cutting yourself! Many of the heads manufactured in Asia and the Far East are sand cast – this means that a fine sand is used as a temporary mould and moulton metal is poured in. The result looks the same but if you inspect closely, you will see imperfections on all surfaces of the head, including the internal bar that the blade rests on and the guard, which protects your skin. This means that when you install the blade it is already slightly deformed and is likely to only get worse. Stropping will only bring it back to close to new, which wasn’t good in the first place.
This is not a tale of woe to scare you into buying a new razor – you might be lucky with the budget razor you have and the casting might be absolutely fine. However, if you do find that you cut yourself a lot shaving with a safety razor, you really shouldn’t, so please consider buying a new, properly manufactured safety razor.
One last thing – even the best DE blades can have tiny burrs left from the manufacturing process so all blades benefit from a gently strop before your first shave. This will ensure the blade is in the best possible shape before you start.
The question really should be ‘which will last longest?’ They all perform the same task equally well as they all have the same leather on the top but the bases are markedly different. Bamboo is made from laminated strips of bamboo and is untreated so really needs to be dried off after use as bamboo can be susceptible to mould if left wet. Alternatively, you could oil or lacquer the base to seal it – we don’t. The other options are both single pieces of hardwood that are both used in outdoor furniture and boatbuilding as they are impervious to water and antibacterial. The Iroko is an African hardwood from managed forests and is FSC certified. The Reclaimed Teak is Teak (The King of Woods) that has had a previous life as either boat or building materials or as furniture. We have turned it into something useful. All three woods are sustainable options.
Yes but you need to think about scale – our Razor Honing Pad would be fine for stropping a small penknife but anything larger really needs a more appropriately sized strop. Our Bench Strop is a great all-round option for any size of knife but if you want to keep your fingers completely away from the action, then our Paddle Strop would be the best option.
We don’t offer a collection service but we are out and about at various Artisan markets in the South. We will publish dates as they become available so that you can visit and say hello.
Shipping & Returns
Please first refer to this FAQs page to see if any question you may have is answered here. If not, get in touch through our contact form and let us know what you want to return and the collection address. We will send you a prepaid return envelope or arrange a courier collection. As soon as we have received and inspected the goods (as per our Return and Refunds Policy) we will issue the refund.
The whole process shouldn’t take more than 10 days max. We will issue the refund the same day as we receive the goods back from you and it usually takes 1-3 days for credit card companies to refund the money to you. PayPal can take longer.