Aaron is asked a question about honing and stropping a straight/cut throat razor
James Allen, from the UK, asks:
“Hi, my face is on fire and I have about 5 cuts as well. I am new to shaving with a straight razor and have tried to hone and strop the blade myself. I used a 800 grit stone, then onto an 8000+ slate stone, then strop. The blade will pop hairs from my arm but when I try to shave with it, it just isn’t sharp enough. Please tell me where I’m going wrong? (had to abandon my shave 3/4’s of the way through to) very painfull.”
Honing and sharpening your own straight razor is a fine art
Honing and sharpening your own straight razor is a fine art. From what I have read, you need even finer grit honing stones to continue your process.
I definitely recommend taking your razor to your local barber, or finding a honing specialist in the UK through one of the many online shaving forums (straightrazorplace.com, badgerandblade.com, and shavenook.com are the most popular). Many gentlemen there will be able to hone your razor, and give you tips and tricks on how to learn to hone it yourself.
Also you can find great information on stropping your blade (rolling the edges will defeat all your honing work!) and shaving technique. Good luck with your new shaving venture, and I wish you the very best!
Do you have any burning questions you would like to ask our wet shaving expert Aaron Wolfenbarger?
Called a modern Renaissance Man by many, Aaron has many interests including music, science, theology, his family, camping, backpacking, style, grooming, and of course wet-shaving. His love of wet-shaving began as a teenager when he was gifted a brush, mug, and soap set for his birthday. He can be found on many online wet-shaving and men’s forums and on Twitter as @KiltedShaver.