Board strops are perfect for anyone new to the World of Straight Razors. Much easier to use and do an outstanding job. Balsa strops are for Chromium Oxide, which without question is a bare necessity. Corium Board strops are the best first choice in a strop, why? Use it to learn for a low price, and once you have the hang of stropping just use it for Chromium Oxide down the road. See when you first start learning to strop there is a chance you may cut your strop, and better to cut a board strop than a high end Ashcroft strop. So even if you cut your first Corium strop it can still be used with Chromium Oxide down the road. But Phil, isn't the strop ruined once it has been cut? Yes and no.... For finally stropping yes, but if you decide to use it for abrasives just sand down the leather with 400 to 600 grit sandpaper. Don't forget to run a lint roller over the leather to remove any of the sand particles left behind. That is VERY important! Hope this info helps and thank you so much for visiting our small online store! Phil & Jane.