We have noticed that many men are still unfamiliar with what a shaving belt is and how to use it. Time to take a closer look at that, because a shaving belt is an absolute must-have if you want to keep your straight razor sharp! If you don't do this, your razor will not last as long. So if you properly maintain your open razor, it will last a lifetime. So see a shaving belt as a good investment. However, you need to know how to use it correctly. Let us take up that task today! So pay attention, we're going to start at the beginning.
What is a shaving belt?
A shaving belt is also called a shaving strop, so don't be fooled if you come across these different terms. A shaving belt is literally a belt on which you can sharpen your razor . When you sharpen your razor, it will be as sharp as when you first used it. And it is not entirely unimportant to do this once in a while, because all shaving problems such as razor burn , ingrown hairs, etc. can be prevented by a good sharp razor.
A shaving belt has two sides. One side is leather and the other is canvas. With the canvas side you ensure that all metal particles of your razor are facing the same direction. In the shaving industry this is also referred to as “pointing”. With this you literally direct the metal particles to the right side again. But, more on this later. When you have aimed your razor, you can start polishing. You do this, as you can guess, on the leather side of the shaving belt. When you polish your blade you ensure that it becomes smoother and therefore a lot more comfortable to shave with. Both sides are therefore equally important and should therefore be used both.
How do you use a shaving belt?
Many people give up using a shaving belt because they simply don't know how to use it properly. Shame! To make it easier for you, we have made a step-by-step plan for using a shaving belt. Follow these steps and your straight razor will glide over your skin like a knife through butter again.
- First of all, start by hanging up your shaving belt. You can do this, for example, at the door of your bathroom or on the hook where you normally hang your towels. Hanging is important because the shaving belt will soon have to be under tension.
- Grab the other side of the shaving belt itself and make sure there is tension on the shaving belt. It is important that the shaving belt does not bend because then your knife can move less smoothly over the shaving belt. That way you will not achieve the desired result.
- Hold your straight razor between your thumb and forefinger and place it flat on the shaving belt (on the canvas side).
- Now it's time to sharpen your straight razor . You do this by moving your blade from top to bottom over the shaving belt.
- Did you end up at the top of the shaving belt with your knife? Top, then turn your knife around and gently move it upwards again.
So you use the canvas side of your shaving belt to aim your razor. Aiming literally means that you aim all metal particles of your straight razor in the same direction. You have to run your razor over this canvas side about 15 times. If you do this correctly, you will know for sure after 15 times that the metal particles have ended up in the same direction.
Just as important as aiming is polishing your razor. When you do this, your razor will be soft and a lot more comfortable to shave with. As we described earlier, this will cause less problems during and after shaving. Polishing is done with the leather side of your shaving belt. Run your razor over the leather side about 20 to 25 times to make sure it will be soft and comfortable.
Do I need more to sharpen my knife?
A shaving belt is necessary for the maintenance of your open razor, but the shaving belt itself must also be maintained. You do this with special types of paste for your shaving belt and a tension belt.
The yellow paste for your shaving belt is specially made for the maintenance and care of the leather side of your shaving belt. This is because the yellow paste is extremely fat and keeps the leather supple. If your leather is supple, your razor will also become smoother after use.
In addition to a yellow paste, you also have a white paste for your shaving belt. The white paste is specially made for the canvas side and will ensure that the canvas is cleaned after every use. The white paste therefore ensures that the canvas side is maintained and lasts a lot longer.
After straightening and polishing your razor, using a tension strap is a good option. This tension belt also has two sides; one brown and one colored. The colored one can switch between red and green. Red has been specially developed for silver steel or carbon straight razors, green is for sharpening stainless steel straight razors. The tension belt can be used in the same way as the razor belt and is used if your razor needs to be sharpened from time to time. Aligning is actually step 1, polishing is step 2 and sharpening is step 3.
When should you use a shaving belt?
Actually it's very simple. If you notice that your razor is getting dull, it's time to use a razor belt. This differs per razor and its quality. That's why it's important to keep feeling how your razor shaves. You feel the very best yourself when your razor is ready for a sharpening! Razor burn, ingrown hairs, red bumps, they will all be a thing of the past when your razor always feels like new.
The conclusion is that it is important to use a shaving belt if you want your expensive or quality straight razor to last a long time (or maybe a lifetime). Even if you often suffer from irritation after shaving, a shaving belt is an essential part of your routine. You may be looking forward to the purchase, but if you can use your expensive razor for a lifetime, you will probably end up paying a lot less in the end!
We hope to have helped you a lot with this, but if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help you get the best products for the ideal shave. You happy, we happy.
Your friends, The Alpha Men