Normally, I perform a full stropping routine every Wednesday but I forgot this past week due to my mom's sudden and insanely fast health crisis this past week. Taking care of my mom is top priority to me which is still on going. She was released from the hospital today, but is still on the weak side. Basically I have a philosophy when it comes to straight razors, keep them sharp which is basically what I have been doing all of this time. I perform a full stropping routine once a week whether they need it or not and more often than not, they do need it because I shave almost daily with a straight razor except on Sundays or like yesterday's shave when I was in a bit of a rush and needed to get going. So that means I perform a full stropping routine every 5 or 6 shaves or once a week. Usually I use my Norton 4/8K combo stone once a month whether it's needed or not. I can go longer than that if I wanted to, but I prefer to keep them sharp at all times rather than wait until they start to pull and tug even after a full stropping routine was performed. Some people would suggest that approach which will work just as well. Other people would prefer and often recommend that you "kill the edge" by running the blade across an ordinary drinking glass and start from scratch which will also work fine, but it's really not necessary to do that every time in my humble opinion. But I do understand why they do recommend doing that which involves confidence and peace of mind. That's the reasoning behind this because people often forget and repeat stuff when they really didn't need to and usually a complete disaster results from it. So by killing the edge and starting from scratch, this insures and guarantees that the straight razor will be truly shave ready just in case you've laid the razor down some where and forgot whether you honed it or not. But since I've not had to send out my Gold Dollar straight razors to be professionally re-honed since this past May, I think I have proved that it's really not necessary to reset the bevel on a straight razor every time. But that's also why we say "your mileage may vary" every other sentence in the traditional wet shaving hobby:
I've pretty much decided to keep Norton's honing stones in the picture and intend to get a Naniwa Chosera 600 grit stone for setting bevels and a ILR 10 to 12K finishing stone in the near future. And if my situation works out, I'll get all of the Norton water stones separately. The Suehiro stones are pretty sweet but they're expensive as well. Their 10K water stone is around $150 dollars and the 20K is around $230 dollars which is pretty much a budget killer in my current situation. My friend uses them to finish his customer's straight razors. He uses Japanese natural stones or what we call "jnats", in the wet shaving hobby. They're past being expensive to say the least. So far the most expensive one that I've personally seen is $300 dollars on the web. So for me, synthetic water stones would be my first choice. More reasons as to why in a later blog post.