Rasoir Sabre France Horsehide and Denim Hanging Strop 3.4 x 18.6″ Made in France AS USUAL THE LATEST STOCK LOOKS DIFFERENT IT HAS GUSTAVE LALUNE STAMP AND WHITE WEBBED REAR


Not like a cordovan shell, if you were wondering.   More like a horse version of a ‘latigo’ type calf/steerhide, ie heavily tanned with strong tannins in the first step and this keeps extra oils in the hide which enhance durability but also slow down the strop’s action considerably.

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This HORSEhide strop is backed with natural denim. It is hardly a looker, to me or most; see the pictures of my own copy making a living in the shop since late 2017.  But this is a horse shell hide, and that is one hell of an exceptionally rare bit of kit here in 2019+.   Horse shells have special skills.  Think of this strop as the Sam Cassell of strops; “never mind how I look, just gimme the damn rock” (or, in this case, the razor).

The folding over of a seam on the denim is downright silly, and you can feel it under the blade.  The hides’ stropping planes are often not so pretty.  Blood vessels in the plane are normal; the one I use daily has a dark vein meandering over 40% of its plane.   The strop arrives covered in excessive lipids that you have to squeegee away with your stropping or rubbing down with a glass, etc.   A metrologist would not exactly be impressed with the parallelism of the logo embossments, and in fact many kindergarteners would find it lacking.

However, in spite of all the trashing on it I can come up with as a means to cut off the normal problems of selling handmade small batch French items, I can nonetheless declare this is my strop of choice for making a living in the shop in our sale of many hundreds of straight razors per yr along with another 50-100 honing-for-personal-or-for-hire sessions, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.  You just can’t get a vintage ~glassy and thick shell  in the usable/restorable condition desired (undoubtedly they’re out there on eBay/etsy with enough gobs of time to devote to the hunting, but you’ve got to search that constantly, bid low and often on the various black blobs, and eventually get a piece that is better than anything of new production which we can sell or source to you today).

This hide has a higher coefficient of friction than I’d ever want, which I blame to the heavy tanning method chosen.   A pity that occurred on a horse hide.

But one absolutely cannot begrudge this tool’s remarkable durability along with its ability to quickly realign the razors’ edges with a decent enough ability to talk to the hands/ears to keep its job – a job for which in my case there are many competitors.    This strop’s a tank, and a fast worker that is brilliant on thin blades.  It is not remotely surface-fragile like a cordovan-tanned shell (with their brilliant and for me infinitely superior glassy feedback to this one’s waxy affair).   I really miss those Walkin’ Horse horsebutts that were bone dry, if ya’ll remember those?  They were glassy, not fragile, a nice combo.  This is the best of what’s now produced combining durability and affect if one can ignore the typical “French handworkmanship” paradox (they may very be Earth’s worst at that handiwork uniformity part, which is all the more perplexing given the unfettered pride with which they act on the very matter).

The two planes are stitched together with a single D-ring at the bottom. Good horse hide is sooo hard to find these days. This is a large and heavy strop for staying at home (306g), with a soft and flexible piece of thick (3.36mm!) horsehide for those who know the difference. Pliant enough to be rolled easily for travel, and tanned in an extra-heavy-tannins manner more similar to the deceased ‘WJ’ (Wild Juchten) Solingen calfhide strops which used birch tree oil in their tanning process (this is not glassy like a cordovan horse shell, you can still tell it is a horse if you’ve been around a long time at this but it feels more akin to latigo type tanned steerhide).

Additional information

Weight 32 oz
Dimensions 20 × 4 × 4 in