Are you new to the world of straight razor shaving or looking to get started? It’s important to start with the right tools and take your time to get a great shave without cutting yourself. 

If you want to achieve the optimal sharpness while also testing your blade, the best way to improve the cutting edge is to invest in some tools, such as a honing stone, whetstone, and a leather strop.

Honing is a refining technique performed every two to three months or when the straight razor blade has serious damage. The blade is passed over a honing stone with varying grit levels to achieve a glass-like polish and a razor-sharp edge.

Using a leather strop, the straight razor's edge can be realigned when damaged, smoothed, or chipped. The metal warms up as it slides across the abrasive surface of the leather, aligning its cutting edge and removing any dullness that could cause pulling.
Synthetic stones have different grit levels, and are both less expensive and more accessible.

You want your stone to be between 4000 and 8000 grit to both maintain and sharpen your edge to achieve a great cut.  The higher the grit the smoother the edge will be so start on the coarser grit and go up from there. 

Don't ever hone on a dry stone, and always keep the entire edge on the stone. Start by placing the razor on the stone flat and using only the weight of the razor, and start with a few strokes in a direction away from you. Hold the tang and handle with your right hand while keeping the blade flat on the stone with your left middle and index fingers. Wet the stone as you go.

Flip the blade along the spine when you reach the stone's bottom. Start dragging it away from you, and that's one lap on the stone's surface.

We recommend a sharpening stone as wide as your straight razor’s blade. However, if you have a smaller honing stone, you can use an x-pattern to ensure that you hit all the parts of the blade.

After honing your straight razor, it is time to smooth out the edges or deburr the edges. If your burring is strongly prominent, this is a job for a stone. A strop is limited to minor straightening and aligning a razor edge. It is the final step to deburr the edge more effectively and prepare your razor for shaving.

To strop a straight razor, you will need three things:

  • Strop
  • Stropping paste with chromium oxide as the main ingredient
  • A place to hang (if using a hanging strop)


Stropping a straight razor is an essential step you need to do every time before you shave. There are several strops that will be your daily workhorse, as discussed, but the most takeaway is learning to master how to use them correctly.

  1. Hang your strop on a sturdy hook, then pull it towards you until it's firm. If your strop has a canvas side, you can run the blade against the fabric to clean and reheat the steel.
  2. Put the blade on the strop, keeping the spin always in contact with the stropping surface. When you strop, the spine and edge of the blade should always touch the strop. Get hold of the shank of the razor, which is the thicker steel between the blade pivot and handle.
  3. Pull the razor towards you while applying light pressure to the spine (not the edge). As you move it, keep the blade of the razor flat against the strop.
  4. Twist your wrist when you reach the end of the strop to start the upstroke. The razor's spine should constantly be in contact with the strop, acting as a pivot.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 and make 40-50 laps. To clean and polish the blade, strop it 3-5 times on the canvas side



Always strop your straight razor before you use it to shave. Make sure there is no dust or dirt on the leather side by running your palm over it. Then, use the proper stropping techniques and keep the strop tight and straight so you don't damage the razor's cutting edge. Do this for 10–15 laps.

Just like safety razor blades or disposable razors, keep the straight razor in a well-ventilated area for 48 hours to prevent rusting or tarnishing and to allow the burr on the edges to realign. If you're not going to shave soon, rub the blade with a non-acidic oil once it's dry. Damascus is a steel and if not properly dried and oiled it will begin to rust if left sitting in a damp bathroom environment. 


Steps to a great shave:

  1. Exfoliate before you shave
  2. Use steam to warm, moisten, and hydrate the skin before you shave
  3. Use a high-quality badger brush or a synthetic brush to apply shaving cream or soap
  4. Use a sterile, clean, and sharp blade that has been honed or stropped
  5. Use the right technique by holding your skin tight, shaving downward, and following your beard growth map