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View Full Version : Kanayama strop review



Chef Niloc
01-24-2012, 03:09 AM
So I might just be the1st person to get a razor strop before a razor. I had herd such great things about these that I had to check them out 1st hand. I will say from a leather workers standpoint the mere sourcing of this leather is impressive. I thought that it was B.S. that they would be using true Shell cordovan to make these as finding shells big/ long enough to make these would be a task in itself! Hard as it is for me to believe there is no doubt that they are made from true shell. I have seen many other strops from different makers and the technique to these is unique. The velvety uniform texture achieved on these far surpass anything else I have seen. There is however a obvious "conditioning" used to make these that set them apart from other strops I have seen. I say "obvious" but I can't say that for sure till I experiment a little, but I think I know what they are doing. Any way I cant offer any more of a review other then on its workmanship as I don't have a razor yet to try it out on, and I'd be know expert in doing so. The one big negative thing I can say about it is it's hardware is a little on the "cheep" side compared to other strops I have seen. Giving the price of these I would think they could use some heavier duty quality hardware not made from nickel plated thin mystery mettle.


http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa214/celtic2174/ea28ec2b.jpg

http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa214/celtic2174/aa86c6e4.jpg

http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa214/celtic2174/8ca67526.jpg

http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa214/celtic2174/1fb2e51f.jpg

http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa214/celtic2174/b28e9b48.jpg

http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa214/celtic2174/f29368fd.jpg

http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa214/celtic2174/b0e69a28.jpg

mainaman
01-24-2012, 07:48 AM
I find the hardware to be very well executed and stable. I have an SRD strop that has different hardware, that cupped and warped and is pretty much useless now. My Kanayama is still flat and nice.

rahimlee54
01-24-2012, 09:10 AM
I have never had an issue with either of my SRD strops. That Kanayama looks awesome though.

Chef Niloc
01-24-2012, 10:28 AM
I find the hardware to be very well executed and stable. I have an SRD strop that has different hardware, that cupped and warped and is pretty much useless now. My Kanayama is still flat and nice.

I have not seen a srd up close, but it's hardware looks better in the pic on there sight. Do you have there horsehide strop? If so how would you compare the leather to the kanayama?

Chef Niloc
01-24-2012, 10:47 AM
http://www.straightrazordesigns.com/the-strop-shop/straight-razor-designs-3-premium-horsehide-strop

It's the description on this that bothers me. "With a couple of very small applications of neatsfoot oil and daily hand rubbing, your Horsehide strop will break in with a draw you will appreciate and give you a life time of service."

The right application and types of oil's would be critical in a good working strop, I wouldn't trust myself doing this if I had not been working with leather for some years now. I'm also not convinced that neatsfoot oil is the best thing to use for a strop?
Bigger problem is the " daily hand rubbing" part. It would take hours of skilled labor and the right tools ( not your hands) to properly "Bone" horse hide. As I sad I have not seen the SRD strop but from reading this it looks like they are just selling you a strap of leather and making you "make" it into a strop yourself by doing all the work conditioning it yourself (the hard part)?

heirkb
01-24-2012, 10:54 AM
That's fairly typical of horsehide strops that you can buy. They do some work on it, but there's a lot of breaking in.

The Kanoyama (I think Kanayama was a typo on the stamp that they never bothered to change) hardware is a pretty classic style of strop hardware. It's similar to the hardware of a lot of vintage strops, except that those just had a square instead of the flower-like thing. I also like how it looks on a strop better than the rivet hardware a lot of contemporary strop makers use.

Oh, and congratulations on the strop. You got an awesome strop. I've gone through at least 10 or more strops and none have felt as nice as the Kanoyama ones.

mainaman
01-24-2012, 11:50 AM
I have not seen a srd up close, but it's hardware looks better in the pic on there sight. Do you have there horsehide strop? If so how would you compare the leather to the kanayama?
Yes I have the #4 SRD, the Kanayama is much better and I have the lowest model which is not Shell Cordovan, it is just Shell I believe.
My problem with my particular strop is the 3 holes are not perfectly aligned, which is what cases the warping.

The leather is finished very well very shiny, it also tells you when you are done stropping because the draw changes(increases)

Chef Niloc
01-24-2012, 01:01 PM
Yes I have the #4 SRD, the Kanayama is much better and I have the lowest model which is not Shell Cordovan, it is just Shell I believe.

Should be just Cordovan just like the SRD is using. It comes from the area right above the shells, "horse but strap". But strap is great leather, it's what I use almost 100% of the time for my sheath making. I have been told that it makes just as good a strop as shell but I'm not convinced that's true having now seen strops made from shell. But straps are also about 1/10th the price of Shell.



The leather is finished very well very shiny, it also tells you when you are done stropping because the draw changes(increases)

Kanayama or SRD?
More draw is a better thing, no?

heirkb
01-24-2012, 01:08 PM
I don't like no draw. I like the Kanoyama, which is light to medium. Medium is also nice (like SRP Premium I). Too much draw is annoying.

I thought cordovan was the tanning process and not just the section of the horse. I don't think SRD markets their strops as cordovan. There are 3 or 4 guys out there who make strops out of genuine cordovan, but I forget all their names...Oh, ************ was (is?) one. Good luck getting in touch with them, though.

I made some strops out of shell a few years ago and they were awesome. The Horween brand cordovan shells are thin, but have incredible draw. They are nothing like the ultra thick Kanoyama cordovan, though.

Edit: The name is censored I guess...how about H.A.N.D.A.M.E.R.I.C.A.N. I thought only links were censored here.

mainaman
01-24-2012, 01:24 PM
Should be just Cordovan just like the SRD is using. It comes from the area right above the shells, "horse but strap". But strap is great leather, it's what I use almost 100% of the time for my sheath making. I have been told that it makes just as good a strop as shell but I'm not convinced that's true having now seen strops made from shell. But straps are also about 1/10th the price of Shell.not sure about that, the SRD is thicker then the Kanoyama



Kanayama or SRD? the Kanayama is much better finished

More draw is a better thing, no? I think this is a question of preference, I like a bit more draw, for the kanayama I noticed the draw changes when the edge is where it needs to be. The draw initially is very little , but as the edge gets burnished more and more the draw increases.

Chef Niloc
01-24-2012, 08:59 PM
The term cordovan can get confusing as it us interpreted as both a color (as in dye) and a type of leather (horse hide). The "shell" is a cut from the rear side of the horse, think but cheeks. Now to confuse things more there is what is known as "shell cordovan process". This refers to the way the shells are tanned and finished. The term cordovan can be used to refer to any type of equine leather, but the term "shell" should be saved for the specific part (but cheeks) that have been vegetable tanned, then treated with different oils (fatlacquering), and buffed ( patenting), I.E. shell cordovan process. There are only 3 or 4 tanneries in the world that still make the stuff on a commercial level. Horween in Chicago is the only one in the U.S. and is credited with making the best. France makes a lot but there hides are very small when compared to others as there horse hides are a byproduct of there horse meat industry. Horses used for food are butchered young compared to Horween that gets its hides mostly from retired race horses.
As for Horweens shells being thin, that comes with he grade of the shell. I only learned this recently when talking with me of the sales managers at Horween. Grade A are the nicest and largest then grade B, down all the way to E. however there is a grade "X" that is a extra thick grade A or B, comes off of old clydesdale draft horses (thank you Budweiser). Availability of these as you may guess is just about never for the average person.
As to the thickness of the but strap leather used it also comes in deferent weights 5-7oz, 8-9oz, and 9+, most places that sell the stuff don't tell & or offer you that.

Keith from HA has thought me a lot about leather, he is a wealth of knowledge and has been generous in sharing it with me, he also makes great strops.