Category Archives: Stropping

Introducing the Bison Cordovan Strop

I have been asked by Bison to take a look at their new cordovan strop. Full disclosure, I didn’t buy it, but I don’t get to keep it either.

The leather is real cordovan leather from Horween. One of the last two known tanneries still making horse leather. For those of you unfamiliar with cordovan, it is amazing leather. It is something else.

What struck me first about the leather is the deep & rich brown color. It’s a great color. I definitely approve. The next thing that struck my eye was the hardware. The hardware is unlike everything else out there. The clip and fasteners are simple & elegant.

Inspecting the strop, the craftsmanship is exquisite. There really isn’t much to say in this regard other than it is very well constructed.

The cotton piece is what I’m not terribly enthusiastic about. It feels stiff for some reason. That said, it’s not different than modern day offerings. It is also infinitely better than nylon webbing. Functionally, it does the job perfectly fine. It just isn’t as soft as my vintage Japanese strop.

As good as the hardware and the cotton piece are, you are reading this review to find out how good the actual working piece is. So, how good is the leather? It is excellent.

The cordovan used in this strop is different than the cordovan you normally see in strops. It is a darker color, more similar to the cordovan found on shoes than on Japanese cordovan strops. It also performs differently. The leather starts off extremely creamy and supple. It then breaks in to something completely unique. If Japanese cordovan feels extremely slick and plastic-like, Horween cordovan feels life like and has an extremely nice draw to it.

The closest leather I can compare it to is actually Tony Miller’s horsehide, but it’s not the same at all. It is cordovan with a hint of draw. Incredibly slick and smooth as only cordovan can be, but it has some draw like latigo. It is very hard to explain this in words, but suffice it to say that the feel is absolutely unique and a real joy to use.

In sum, the leather is not friction less like a Kanayama, but it may just well be better because of it. It is certainly a different beast and deserves a place in your shave den if you are serious about strops.

ASR’s Ultimate Illustrated Guide to Stropping

Words cannot express how important stropping is. Read on to find out exactly what stropping does and why you should do it.

This article’s aim is to educate you on how to properly strop your razor. From how to grip the strop, to how to perform each stroke. We will show you the right way to strop your razor and the correct number of laps you need to do in order to keep your razor in tip top shape.

Attaching the Strop

When your stropping, you need to do two things: control the tautness of the leather and control the razor. In order to pull the strop taut, you either need a paddle strop (in which case you can skip ahead) or you need to attach the non-handle end to something. I personally prefer my doorknob attached with a piece of leather thong. As you can see from the pictures, a simple loop made with a square knot easily attaches to a metal rod.


In the picture on the left, you can see a very basic strop with just a hole in the top attached using a very long loop of leather. This is by far the simplest method of attachment. To the right is how I attach my personal strops. They all have hooks so I use the same principle as show to the left, but hook onto the end of the loop. I don’t use the included metal circle and prefer this method because the flexibility of the leather thong really helps to keep the strop flat.

Holding the Strop

The oldest style of strop is just a square cut at the bottom. Also known as barber’s style. Don’t know why. There is really only one way to hold this type of strop. Using your thumb and forefinger you pinch the bottom and pull. Pictured to the right of the square cut bottom is a D-Ring. A D-Ring is just that a metal ring in the shape of a D. It is attached to the strop on the straight end and you hold the round end. You hold it as pictured with more or less fingers as desired.


As strops evolved, the D-Ring (pictured above) and strop handles evolved (pictured below). A strop with a handle can be held either by the handle or in the same manner as a barber’s strop. If you own a Tony Miller strop or a clone, your strop will have a square ring with a leather handle. This type of strop presents infinite ways to keep the strop taut. Take a look!




By far the most popular way to grip the strop is by the handle. It is the easiest and most intuitive way to pull the strop taut. That said, I actually prefer some of the other methods shown. I find they are a little easier to hold and keep the strop taut.

You’ll notice in the pictures that the strop is being held waist high and pulled to near the middle of my body. My feet are apart and provide a solid foundation. What is important in where you pull the strop to is that you are able to have full range of motion for your stropping hand. Too close to your body and it will get in the way on the downward stroke. Too far away and your stretching to reach the leather. Etc.

How Taut Should the Strop Be?

The tautness of the strop is also important, although there is a ton of leeway as continually demonstrated by pictures and videos of barbers using extremely loose strops. Since you are not a barber with decades of experience shaving clients with a straight razor, you should stick with the tried and true. Keep the leather taut, but not too taut. There should be some deflection in the leather, but not so much that the leather is flopping around. Check out the pictures below for an explanation.

The pictures depict the most amount of deflection to the least amount of deflection commonly used. You should strive for the middle picture. The picture is a little skewed, but there isn’t as much deflection as it appears. The bottom is also acceptable and represents a full amount of tension coupled with downward pressure from the razor. As you can see, the downard pressure from the razor adds some deflection to the strop.

I apologize that my assistant wasn’t able to take the photos head on, but I hope you get a better idea of the amount of slack you can/should use.

Flipping the Razor

By far the hardest skill to learn is flipping the razor. This is what all strop and edge damage results from. Incorrect flipping of the razor will result in a nicked strop and possibly a rolled edge. Click on the image below to see how to properly flip your razor.


You flip the razor by rotating on the spine. The edge does all of the moving, the spine stays still. As an additional preventative measure, you should try to flip the razor while the razor is still moving. In other words, slow down the stroke, then while the razor’s edge is still moving very slowly, turn the razor 90° so that the edge is vertical, stop the razor, start moving it in the other direction, then lay the edge flat. Doing this will help prevent nicks and cuts to your strop.

The Laps or Strokes


Stropping is a useless exercise if you don’t do enough laps or don’t do them properly. While it doesn’t matter whether you start stropping at the top of the strop or at the bottom of the strop, it is important to get into the habit of stropping in an X-pattern. Put in words, you start at the top of the strop with the edge facing towards the top, and the toe to the left (assuming you’re right handed). Then as you drag the razor down, or towards you, you pull the razor to the right (or from the heel to the toe). Repeat for the other direction.


You can add some flourishes to the stroke as well. For instance, you can rotate the blade 45° so that the razor is at an angle such as this: / or \. Doing so involves some wrist action. I like to call this type of stroke the “Figure 8.”

Final Thoughts

Stropping is by far the most important straight razor maintenance skill you will learn. If you learn to do it properly, your razor will last for many months. Fail to strop properly and your razor won’t stay sharp for long. To get the most out of your stropping, follow these simple guidelines.

  • Strop often – before & after a shave is ideal.
  • There’s no such thing as too many laps – at least 100 is what I recommend.
  • Utilize a cotton/linen strop – a canvas component is a stropping effect multiplier. Use the cotton before the leather and after the shave to dry the razor.
  • Use an X-Stroke or Figure-8 Stroke – these strokes make sure you strop the entire edge of the razor.
  • Wider is not better – if your using an x-stroke, a 3″ strop does you no good.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Pastes, Sprays, and What to Put Them On

Chromium Oxide pastes and diamond sprays are the easiest method to keep your razor sharper for longer. We’ve had several questions regarding what are the best practices with regards to these sharpening compounds; and sharpening compounds these are. They are used to slightly sharpen the edge and should not be used for daily stropping. While there is heated debate as to whether the edge degrades over several uses, using pastes/sprays undoubtedly makes a dull razor a little sharper. In our experience, while pastes/sprays prolongs the need for sharpening on stones, the edge from stones is still superior (a good explanation of why can be found here). The two main types of sharpening compounds are chromium oxide (which comes in a crayon, powder, or paste form) and diamond sprays.

Chromium Oxide (aka Crox)

Whichever medium of chromium oxide you use, the best stropping medium we have found is plain old cotton. A close second is linen, followed by the rough side of a leather strop. The smooth (good) side of a leather strop is also a decent medium but ruins the strop for daily stropping. If you don’t happen to have any of these, balsa wood is an acceptable medium. We haven’t had much success with crox and wool felt; your mileage may vary. Best practice is to apply the chromium oxide to the opposite side of the cotton/linen/leather you use for your daily stropping. This way you can flip the piece over when you need to touch up the razor, but at all other times you use the clean side for daily stropping.

Chromium oxide used for sharpening applications is normally found in .5 micron grit size. Grit size is used loosely because both grit and micron are different terms of measurement. .5 microns is generally regarded as being the equivalent of 20,000 to 35,000 grit. The .5 micron size is generally well liked and most users report a smooth shave. We recommend purchasing .5 micron if you wish to use crox.

Diamond Spray

Diamond sprays only come in one medium: a spray bottle of diamond powder suspended in a liquid. To use diamond spray, very sparingly spray the diamonds over the length of the stropping medium you wish to use. In our experience wool felt is simply superior to all other materials. Cotton and linen come in second place, but due to their more rigid and less cushioning surface tend to produce a harsher edge. The back of a leather strop can also be used. The smooth side and balsa wood did not produce very good results for us.

Unlike crox, diamond sprays come in a wide variety of sizes. From .125 microns to 5 microns and up, diamond sprays can be had in many different micron ratings. The .25 micron is as small as we recommend. In fact, we find the .25 micron to be pretty harsh on the face. We should also take the time to note that many people find the chromium oxide to be smoother than diamonds; even in equivalent micron sizing. This is probably due to the nature of the cutting particles. Where crox particles are generally circular in form, diamonds are crystalline by nature. These crystals invariably produce more jagged cuts in the steel than the circular crox particles. That said, diamond pastes come in a smaller micron rating. Choose accordingly.

Crox v. Diamond Sprays

There is much debate over which one is better. The general consensus is that diamond sprays are sharper, but harsher, and crox is smoother, but duller. As I said above, this is due to the nature of the cutting molecules. However, the medium plays a large role in how the spray/paste affects the edge. For example, using crox on balsa wood will make the edge harsher, and a bit sharper. That said, the end result isn’t very pleasant compared to better options. Crox on a smooth leather strop will give you that sharp razor you want, but you lose a bit of the smoothness. My favorite is crox on cotton. Sharp enough for daily shaving, but still smooth and irritation free.

Diamond sprays are inherently sharper than crox. Crox only comes in .5 micron sizing at its finest grit. Diamond sprays come in a bewildering array. From .125 to 16 microns, you can find a diamond spray or powder for whatever application you need. .25 micron diamond spray is generally the smallest your going to find in spray form. At least one seller sells the .125 micron size; yet he’s the only one I’ve found so far which puts his claim into question. Either case, the diamond spray allows you to go sharper. Yet, you get a harsh edge because of the way the diamonds cut into the steel, as I said above.

To ameliorate this problem, straight razor users have come up with a variety of methods to combat the harshness. The most popular method by far is using a felt medium. And honestly, until we come up with something better; felt is as good as it gets. Yet, felt comes with its own problems. The very reason felt works in softening the edge is because the felt is so cushioning. Press down on the felt and it dips a little. Not so with cotton or balsa wood. Okay the balsa will compress if you press hard enough. But that is the inherent problem with diamond sprays and felt. The felt allows much more deflection in the cutting surface than any other method. Now, this deflection creates a more obtuse edge angle, but not by much. Perhaps over time the angle’s obtuseness becomes evident, but not for a while. Even then, you can still shave with a more obtuse edge angle.

So, in the end, the diamond is sharper due to the smaller micron sizes available. Yet, the crox is more than sharp enough and is smooth. In the end, it doesn’t really matter, both methods are eclipsed by physical stones and actual honing. Yet, both methods produce a serviceable edge that will get the job done.

Five Inexpensive Alternatives to a Strop

While you should own a real strop if you are committed to straight razor shaving, I recognize that some people aren’t ready to jump in feet first. Or, maybe your saving up for that premium strop or want to practice your stropping skills on something inexpensive. To that end, I’ve compiled this list of five inexpensive strop alternatives. Most of these items you already have. If you don’t own them, they are inexpensive to purchase.

1. Leather Belt

A leather belt is the obvious and most easily obtained alternative to a strop. I’ve said it many times already, but a strop is a piece of leather. So is a belt. While strops are made from better quality leather than most belts these days, a belt is still leather, even though its probably been sanded and dyed. The better quality of belt, the better results you’ll get. To use the belt, just attach it to a hook using the belt buckle, wrap it around a rack, or mount it on something sturdy. Then, hold the other end and use it just like a very skinny strop. You will eventually want a real strop though. While they are still leather, there aren’t many horse hide belts that come in 2.5″ or 2″ widths. Nor are there many cowhide belts that come in that width either.

2. Newspaper

The paper texture and printing ink serve as an excellent medium for stropping. The ink even acts as an abrasive of sorts, polishing the edge of the razor. While not nearly as good as leather, newspaper serves in a pinch. To strop on newspaper, fold the newspaper so you have approximately a 3″ wide stropping surface. Lay the paper on the edge of a sturdy table. Hold the newspaper on the top with one hand and strop normally. The folding provides enough cushioning to replicate the deflection of a normal strop.

3. Jeans/Denim

Seriously. There is very little that distinguishes a cotton component of a high quality strop from regular good old fashioned denim. In fact, the only difference may just come down to type of weave in some cases. While cotton does not substitute for a good leather strop, it comes pretty close. Stropping on jeans is as simple as putting them on, and stropping on your thigh. It helps to sit down while doing so. Alternatively, you can fold the jeans and lay them on a table similar to the newspaper method above.

4. Palm of Your Hand

As crazy as this might sound, the palm of your hand is leather. It is also a very good stropping surface. In fact, some people prefer to finish stropping on their palms after stropping on leather. To strop on your palm, hold out your non-dominant hand and strop in a very small x-pattern on the pinky side of the palm.

5. Back of a Legal Pad

Surprisingly the back of a legal pad works pretty good. However, its not nearly as good as any of the above strop alternatives. In addition to the back of the paper pad, cardboard also works in a pinch. To strop on it, place the pad on the edge of a table and strop normally.

6. Used Seat Belt (Bonus!)

A cloth strop is an expensive addition. However, the benefits are worth the cost. However, there are some low cost alternatives for those with a DIY frame of mind. Used seatbelts can be had for a dime. Alternatively, you can cut up those used jeans for a cotton strop. All it takes is a little DIY know how to attach some sort of mounting hardware. One way is to punch a hole in the top and loop a leather thong through it. More intricate methods are also available.

Strop Maintenance and Upkeep

The most complex operation in strop maintenance is applying oil to rejuvenate the leather. For normal, everyday maintenance, all that one strop maker recommends is to rub your hands up and down the strop. This will transfer the natural oils in your hands to the strop leather. If you use the strop every day, the daily action of the razor and your oils should keep the strop hydrated. In extreme cases, your strop may have dried out. Meaning, the natural oils found within your strop have evaporated. If this has happened, don’t panic. Your strop can be brought back to life with the simple application of oil.Neatsfoot oil is distilled from the shin bones of cattle. Neatsfoot oil is used as a conditioning, softening and preservative agent for leather, making it ideal for strop rejuvenation and conditioning. It is useful for all types of leather and is widely used. It is also relatively inexpensive. An alternative to neatsfoot oil, if you have aversions to animal based products, is light mineral oil. This is not to be confused with heavy mineral oil widely found at pharmacies and supermarkets in the U.S.. Light mineral oil is thinner. It also goes by the name of butcher’s block oil or food grade mineral oil. It can be special ordered by your local pharmacy as well. This derivative of oil production serves as an alternative to neatsfoot oil.

You can tell if/when your leather is in need of conditioning if you experience high levels of “leather dust.” You will notice the dust after a round of stropping. The leather particles are being shed much like our skin sheds cells on a daily basis. However, your razor shouldn’t be coated in this “dust.” It is a sign that your strop could use some conditioning because it is dried out and needs oil.

To condition the strop, just put a little bit of oil on the palm of your hand, and rub it up and down the strop. Repeat as necessary.

Strops: What is Draw and How does it Affect the Strop?

Draw is a technical term used by the straight razor community to describe a quality stropping leather has. While a strop is ultimately a piece of leather, different leathers act differently on the razor. Leathers can have very unique experiences while stropping and can give vastly different feedback to the user. Which brings us back to the definition of draw. Draw is the resistance or drag one feels when stropping. Ultimately, the amount of draw a leather has is dependent upon the leather used and the tanning process. Adding neatsfoot oil to your strop temporarily increases the amount of draw. Sanding the leather permanently increases the draw. Ultimately, draw does not affect the final edge terribly much. It is more a personal preference option.

Different leathers with draw have different accompanying attributes. For example, latigo has a lot of draw, but has a waxy feel to it. Suede has a lot of draw, with a clean feeling. Buffalo has a similarly clean draw to it, although it does have less draw than latigo. We haven’t tried Tony Miller’s new “bull-hide” yet, but its supposed to have a lot of draw with a clean feeling, possibly similar to buffalo. Regular leather has a medium amount of draw, while horse hide has almost no draw. Shell Cordovan is the slickest, with as close to no draw as possible. It is also why archers love cordovan finger-tabs. Shell cordovan has incredibly low levels of friction.

Which brings us to why certain leathers have more draw than others. Its all about friction and surface area. To increase the draw of any leather, all you have to do is lightly sand the leather. Lightly sanding the leather raises the nap and “suedes” the leather. We take no position on whether you should or shouldn’t do this, but if you do, we recommend starting using a high grit (800-1,000) and working your way down. Raising the nap increases the surface area contacting the razor and edge, thereby increasing the resistance felt, aka draw. Another factor is how the leather was tanned. Different tanning methods will influence the final product and affect the draw of the leather.

What Does Draw Do

Now, what exactly does an increased amount of draw actually do? The answer is simply change the amount of feedback. Some people have put forward that leathers with more draw are more effective at sharpening the razor due to the increased resistance and surface contact. But other than personal opinion and conjecture, there has been no evidence presented which supports this hypothesis. In addition, if this was true, we’d all be sanding our strops to increase the draw and suede would be the leather of choice. In our opinion, draw only affects the feedback you receive. Other than increased tactile feedback, there is no advantage to draw.

So, to sum everything up, draw is a personal preference. Some people really like it and take sandpaper to their horse-hide strops. Some strop makers buff slicker leather to increase draw. Others offer very exotic leathers with more draw than traditional cowhide. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference. The amount of draw, by itself, is a personal choice.

ASR Endorses Tony Miller Strops

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.

What strop do I need? What strop should I buy?

This post is for the new straight razor user looking to purchase their first strop. There is a lot of information out there on the internet. It would take a very long time to read it all. Trust me, I’ve only read half of it at most. A lot of it is non-sense, some of is useless, and most of it is repetitive. Here is the bottom line: a strop is a piece of leather. That’s all it comes down to. No amount of fancy hardware, ornate screws, cordovan handles, or silver clips will make the strop any better than any other strop. Its just a strip of leather and a strip of canvas (good strops come with both) mounted with hardware facilitating easy setup in your shave den.

So, as a new user, the question I get asked most often is: “what should I buy?” The answer depends upon a few factors, so I’ll go over them in this article. The first factor is how committed you are to straight shaving. If your committed and know you aren’t going to quit, that this is the bee’s knees for you, then yes, you need a strop. If you just want to try straight razor shaving, not knowing whether you’ll like it or not and could quit at any moment, the answer is: no, don’t buy a strop.

The truth is, you don’t need a strop at all. In fact, bad stropping hurts your razor. Stropping is a learned skill, just like straight razor shaving. Good stropping prolongs your razor’s edge life, bad stropping drastically reduces it. The difference between stropping your razor and not stropping it comes down to how long the blade can go in between sharpening before it becomes too dull for comfort. Ultimately it depends upon a number of factors including: skill level, hair thickness, density of stubble, and tolerance level. Putting it into numbers, an unstropped razor should last between a week to a month or so. A regularly stropped razor will typically last between 6 months to a year in the hands of a skilled stropper. However, in the beginning, I wasn’t exactly a master of stropping, so expect only three months to six months at first. Remember, bad or inadequate stropping will drop that number even further.

So, now that I’ve established that you don’t actually need a strop, lets talk about those who are sure they do want to stick with straight shaving. If you fall into this category, then yes, you need a strop. Its not essential right away, but you’ll eventually want one so badly it becomes a need. So, its best to purchase one right away. To these people I always suggest the following: “Buy the strop you can afford to lose.” I say this because as a new strop user, you are extremely likely to nick or damage your strop in some manner. In most cases the damage is only cosmetic, but the risk of catastrophic damage is significant. When you become proficient at stropping and know you won’t cut up your new $300 cordovan strop, then you can buy the expensive stuff. But until then, it is wise to invest minimally.

At the most basic level, a strop is a piece of leather with mounting hardware. If your in the DIY mood, go down to a leather supply store, buy a strip of leather, punch a hole in it, string a leather thong through it and voila you have a strop. Mount the string to a hook or doorknob and hold the other end with your non-dominant hand. In fact, having no handles or D-rings was how most good quality strops were sold back in the straight razor’s heyday. I’m not sure why, I much prefer handles, but whatever the reason, it works now, and it worked then. There’s nothing wrong with it. Another, perhaps even cheaper, but definitely simpler, alternative is to just use a belt. Find a belt made with good quality, top-grain leather and strop away. Remember, we’re not going for the best quality strop in the world, just something functional.

Moving up a notch in the strop market, there used to be several good options for inexpensive starter strops. Unfortunately most or all have dried up. Tony Miller was the most widely known. That said, the Illinois Strop Company (now owned by Fromm) is still in business. Which is great news for new strop buyers. Sadly, they’re quality has lapsed over the years. But at the price, you can afford to buy three or four per one really good quality strop. And they come with a canvas strop too. Another option is the RupRazor Filly strop.

And for those who like to splurge, well, you’ll just have to wait for the next stropping article.

Do I Really Need a Strop for my Straight Razor?

Just as you don’t need to buy hones or learn to do any honing, you do not need a strop. However, if you want to keep your razor sharper longer, you want a strop. Or, you could constantly re-hone and re-sharpen your razor once a month. So, if you want to keep your straight razor sharp without the need for hones or honing lessons, you need a strop. Click here to learn more about stropping, what strop you should buy, and how to strop.

The more proficient you become at straight razor shaving and stropping, the more features you want with your strop. Features such as linen, cotton, chromium oxide, horsehide, cordovan, etc etc. If you get too much SRAD (Straight Razor Addiction Disorder), you will find yourself with at least two strops consisting of a leather and fabric piece. For the beginner, you do not necessarily need or want an expensive strop.

The point of stropping is to remove the oxidation on the edge and realign any burrs that may have formed. Removing the oxidation (rust) keeps the razor’s edge sharper, longer. Oxidation is the enemy of sharpness (honing accomplishes the same objective, but is much more costly and time consuming). Yet, you don’t need an actual strop to start your straight razor journey. An actual strop makes the process easier, looks better, and usually consists of quality components. However, in the end, a strop is just a piece of leather. Regardless of the leather quality, all it is is a piece of leather attached to a mounting point, with or without a handle at the other end.

Instead of plunking down $100 on a strop you may or may not like or damage, you can use a leather belt made from quality leather. You can also purchase a leather strip from someplace like Tandy Leather and making your own mounting hardware. Finally, if your adventurous enough, brave enough, and/or poor enough, you can just strop using the palm of your hand.