Besides from the fact that Tony Miller is perhaps the nicest person to talk to (whether on the phone or over email), he makes the finest strops in the US. And that pretty much sums up this endorsement. Tony shouldn’t be confused with Neil Miller of StropShopUK. Neil looks like he makes some fine strops too, but we haven’t been able to get our hands on any examples, being across the pond and all. But on this side of the world, Tony is the undisputed leading craftsman of strops. He uses the best materials and puts in a labor of love that is evident in all his work. Even when he made padfolios and quit making strops for a while.
Tony uses the best materials possible and it shows when you use his strops. His cotton and linen are superb and is superior to any alternatives we’ve tried. The leather Tony uses has always been superb. From his latigo, to his horsehide, to his “nodovan.” Each leather performs fantastically and does the job with flying colors. Stropping on the horsehide is pure joy, the nodovan is slick like real cordovan, and the latigo has draw for those who like it. That so many have copied his strop design speaks to its brilliance. The leather handles is quite simply better. Some people prefer D-rings, but unless you have big fingers, there’s enough space to put a finger or two in between the hardware.
The problem is that Tony doesn’t always have the strop you want in stock. In fact, you have to show up on the right day, at the right time and order while he’s still selling what you want. Click here for his ordering page. Tony is a true craftsman; he makes what he wants, when he wants to. He doesn’t make stuff that is junk just because people want it. He has pride in his work and you can tell in the finished product. As of publishing date, he’s only got his new “steerhide” leather in the works. This new leather is a great replacement for latigo. The waxy feeling always bothered us and made it hard to use.
We’re going to end this article with a note about strop width. Three inches allows you to strop without an X-pattern. However, it only works if your razor’s edge is perfectly flat and don’t purchase any new razors with a curve. Otherwise, you have an extra 1/2″ of leather that never gets used since you’ll be doing X’s anyway. That’s why Tony didn’t offer it until this new batch of strops, 2.5″ is the better strop and more versatile. Once you’ve mastered the x-pattern, it becomes second nature and you’ll find it does a better job of stropping the entirety of the blade, regardless of whether its smiling or not.
So to conclude, Tony Miller’s strops are truly heirloom strops. They are built to last and they look fantastic. Any truly serious straight razor user should own one. But not until they’ve mastered stropping. You don’t want to nick one of these beauties.