One of the questions that gets asked a lot is and I quote: "How often do I strop, and what do I do when it starts to pull and tug during a shave? To answer the first part you strop on the smooth leather ONLY before each shave and if you're new to straight razors, you don't want to do no more than 50 round trips until you get more experienced at stropping. Now for the second part of that question. After roughly around 5 to 7 shaves I perform a full touch up on my strops shown below using the green chromium oxide paste. The first strop that I use is the pasted 8 by 3 inch balsa wood strop and I do 15 round trips and you lead with the spine when you strop no matter which strop you use because you don't want to take a chance on digging into your strop:
After I finish with the pasted balsa wood strop, I go to my 3 inch black latigo hanging strop and I start with the pasted nylon webbing side and I do 10 round trips:
Next up I take an ordinary micro fiber cloth that you can get any where and I wipe the blade off and then I go to the clean nylon webbing side and I do 15 round trips:
Once again I wipe the blade off and I go to the rough leather side and I perform 25 round trips and no more than that on the scrub leather. This cleans and polishes the razor's edge:
Next I wipe the blade off again with a micro fiber cloth and I take my fingers and rub them across the smooth leather to kindly give it a bit of lube from the oils contained in your skin and it also warms up the leather a bit which does make stropping a little easier and then I perform 50 round trips which should make the razor much smoother and a lot more comfortable to use:
Stropping gets easier as you gain experience. If you are new to straight razors, do NOT try to perform more than 50 round trips on the smooth leather until you gain more experience because there's a good chance that you will roll the razor and ruin the edge by over stropping it due to that initial learning curve. I've kindly just stuck to 50 round trips on the smooth leather only before each shave. But that's just me and what I'm comfortable with as always in the wet shaving world, your mileage may vary. So do what ever works for you that you feel comfortable with. But I do recommend just 50 round trips on the smooth leather only before each shave.