When honing your straight razor to that perfect Shave Ready state, the occasional use of a stropping abrasive can be especially useful; ensuring that any razor you get your hands on, is one made unbelievably sharp.
Used in combination with the small amount of heat and friction that naturally occur when stropping, Chromium Oxide is ideal when it comes to helping you achieve not only an extremely refined edge, but one that lasts. Done correctly, this abrasive can be used to keep your straight razor in that coveted, shave ready condition for as long as a year and a half; reducing what feels like the never-ending need to send your razor out for sharpening.
In fact, you shouldn't be surprised if the inclusion of this stropping abrasive makes an immediate difference to your honing experience; almost effortlessly producing that remarkable, legendary sharpness, custom of a perfect hone, and providing you with continually flawless shaves, time and time again.
Offered in a convenient paste, this fine stropping abrasive can be used alone, or together with either diamond spray, or other abrasives containing a more aggressive grit. Regardless, Chromium Oxide should always serve as your last, or only, abrasive; used after sharpening, and directly before stropping.
Remember, it is important not to strop with these kinds of abrasives too often, or too aggressively, as you will prematurely round off the edge.
Some Basic Information Regarding Use:
Stone -> Chromium Oxide/Abrasive -> Leather Strop
For an easy and seamless application, our 0.50 Micron Chromium Oxide Paste is delivered in a neutral suspension, and maintains a 50 000 Grit.
Chromium Oxide works equally well on both balsa wood, cotton canvas or on corium leather boards. Your strop should be lightly coated with the abrasive, using just enough to turn the surface green, before wiping off the excess with a paper towel.
Typically, 10 passes with the Chromium Oxide is enough, and is a good starting point if you are unsure. Keep in mind, however, that depending on the length of your strop, and the level of treatment your razor requires, this can vary.
More important than anything though, is knowing exactly when your razor can benefit from a pasted strop; if you notice tugging while shaving, or a significant decline in your razors performance that cannot be corrected with regular honing, then it could be time to use an abrasive treatment.
An Important Note About Misinformation:
For years I've noticed self-proclaimed internet experts make countless videos, blogs, and forum posts containing false information about "proper" straight razor honing; in those same years, I've received countless calls from customers confused about what conflicting information is actually correct.
After reviewing what feels like thousands of these more-than-lacking instructional guides, I've found that they are often missing important steps, promote low-quality products, or are dead-wrong entirely; and, honestly, misinformation only leads to confusion, no matter how popular or widespread that misinformation seems to be.
In reality, you shouldn't be using Shapton Ceramic 30,000 Grit stones for straight razors, the ceramic is too hard, and the particles that break off when you hone are uneven and cause chips in the blade; you shouldn't be using stones higher than the 12 000 finishing stone, because it's wasteful and unnecessary; and you should absolutely never feel as if honing is a more daunting task than it really is, because of inconsistent information.
While honing is by no means a complicated task, it is incredibly important to have the right tools and guidance. Instead, the false information that is repeatedly being put out there misleads, convolutes, and distorts what should otherwise be a simple set of techniques.
Straight razor shaving was truly perfected in the 1940's. New-age techniques, as whimsical and ambitious as they may be, almost always sacrifice the quality of the hone.
My hard recommendation is to just stick with Naniwa 3000 Grit, the 8 000 Grit, and either the 10 000 or 12 000 Grit as finishing stones. Any higher and you are wasting your time and money. For the occasional use of a higher Grit, stropping abrasives should be used instead; remember, proper Chromium Oxide Paste (not the crayon type) is 50 000 Grit, and is created specifically for this purpose.
Note: Each screw-top jar contains 2oz of Chromium Oxide Paste, made exclusively for the Classic Edge. This new brand is 50,000 Grit with 100% pure Chromium Oxide in neutral suspension. You have enough here to last a lifetime, as long as you’re not honing 10 razors a day! Our 0.50 Micron Chromium Oxide is not a luxury, or even an option, it is a true necessity!