If only the same thing would have been said of your razors as being the only edge tool that gets keener with constant use. However, Chromium Oxide (CrOx) holds the best-kept secret that restores your razor’s edge and keeps it polished.
The jeweler’s rouge-like paste, when used with heat and friction from stropping, gets the bevel exceptionally smooth and reduces honing. And the results? A sleek and a smoother razor with incredibly sharp edges.
If you want to prolong the use and the life of your razors then Chromium Oxide is that inevitable tool that will reduce honing. It is simply that ingenious way of saving time and money.
To get the best of Chromium Oxide you have to understand it. Just before you get pasty here is Step by step guide to using strop sharpening paste.
To begin with, how do you achieve that perfect stroke?
1. Hold the strop in a flat and firm way, but not very tight
2. Lay both the edge and spine flat on a firmly held strop.
3. With minimal to no pressure, push in a direction that is moving outwards from you with both the spine and edge remaining flat on the strop paste
4. Just before your razor reaches the end of the strop material, flip your razor over, always ensuring that the spine is in contact with the strop.
5. Pull your razors towards you and subsequently flip over the spine.
• Rolling your razor on in the middle of stroking
• Pulling the edge away from you or towards you
• Applying uneven pressure
• Insufficient tension resulting in slack within the strop
• Excess tension in the strop
• Letting the blade hit the hardware on the end of strop
Now you know what to do and what not to do when stropping, here are some insights on the stropping paste.
Strop sharpening pastes are abrasive compounds that are used in the final stages of sharpening. Stropping sharpening paste is used to achieve that polished and well-honed edge. The most common type and effective stropping paste is Chromium Oxide.
You can buy Chromium Oxide from many places. You can easily find this paste from knife-making, straight razors, and honing sites. If you need to cut the budget you can find an equally effective generic version of CrOx mostly from hardware stores.
Chromium oxide is pocket-friendly and the best part is that you can always buy just enough for your razor as it is sold in varying amounts.
Using strop sharpening paste is not complicated but you need to do it right. If you had a great childhood with crayons then you are better off. But before you get there you will need to first clean the strop.
Strop is a piece of leather but some would use balsa wood. The best way to clean a strop is to use isopropyl alcohol and thereafter pass sandpaper over the strop.
You can now apply the strop sharpening paste. If you are using the crayon like paste, apply it on the strop by passing it back and forth. For a better spread, rub the paste in with your fingers.
Heat the back of the leather to melt the paste using low heat. Then use a paper towel to rub back and forth to blend in the paste. To know that the paste is well spread and is properly applied on the strop, test using your fingertip.
Your finger should glide over the strop and not stick on the surface.
Knowing when to paste your strop may be a bit tricky. But if you are an avid user of your blade you will get clues that will help you know when to paste. For instance, you might notice some roughness or that not so fine shave that you once used to get.
When that feel of underperformance of your blade strikes in, then you know it’s time to paste. If you had applied the paste effectively on the strop then that would be enough. Most of the people apply paste to their strops once.
Stropping is not a daily activity. The essence of stropping is to create a surface that is more abrasive than a non-pasted strop. It is therefore recommended to apply the paste on the prep side but applying the paste on the leather side.
This is because it holds the stropping paste better and has it spread well over time. It is recommended to apply the stropping paste at the center of the strop but also consider:
• Ideally when you have one strop place the paste on the reverse of the prep side
• Modify the strop if you have one-piece hanging strop for better spread of the paste
• Two pieces of hanging strop may be effective as it gives you multiple stropping surfaces
If you are using CrOx then a quarter-sized portion will just be enough. Rub it at the center and spread it gradually as you increase the circle. Normal stroking will spread the paste with time.
If you prefer a pastier surface you can add some drops of neatsfoot or mineral oil and spread it. Wipe off excess oil using a cloth.
Even better, you can purchase a CrOx spray that allows you to spray directly on the strop, let it dry well and begin stropping.
If you need a quick touch-up then 10 to 20 passes are good to go. To know if the blade is well stropped then visually check on the bevel for an even distribution by keenly looking for fogginess like in areas where the paste is working.
For a standard strop 30-40 passes is sufficient to smooth it out and for that extra 10% well smoothen out blade.
Cleaning the stropping paste wound requires a piece of cloth to wipe off the excess paste on the surface. Take a piece of cloth or a paper towel and wipe it.
Stropping paste will help you save money and time on honing. Besides, it will help to keep your plate smooth and razor sharp for a longer time. In fact, it is the best way to keep your blade to last as long as possible.
And your stropping techniques? Ensure that they equal that of a competent shaver and a competent Razor Sharpening Paste. Click Add To Cart.