One of the questions I get asked a lot is and I quote: "Can cartridge razors be re sharpened?" My answer today is yes they can be re sharpened. To re sharpen a cartridge you simply build a slurry and shave the stone and if you really want to get them much sharper, use buffing style strokes. 1st, I started with my Apache Strata:
Next I went with my Shoubandini Type 100 which took a little bit of time:
After I got done with the stones, I went ahead and stropped the razor which has increased the longevity of these blades by at least 3 times over. To strop these cartridge razors, you simply go in the opposite direction than you would when you shave. Now if you don't have a leather strop, you can use a cotton terry towel which you can get for almost nothing at any big box store. Another thing that you can use that does an excellent job is an old pair of blue jeans. Stropping these cartridges is the secret to making them last much longer. I went from getting just 2 shaves to 13 shaves just from stropping alone which makes the costs go down due to increased longevity:
I personally prefer natural stones specifically what you see below but you can use synthetics if you want. I highly recommend getting the ILR and/or Belgium Coticule and using Dr. Matt's under running water technique for much quicker and easier honing:
In terms of buying an entire line of stones, you really don't need to when it comes to cartridge razors. In fact you really only need 1 stone and 1 strop and that's it. I've heard elderly gentlemen claim that they kept their straight razors going with just barber hones and a strop for 30+ years which is really not surprising but I seriously doubt that you can keep a cartridge going that long. My reason for this specific blog post is to show that yes you can re sharpen your cartridge razors and yes you can get more shaves out of them by stropping.