Abrasive pastes, essential for the smoothest shave 

Grinding paste is an unbeatable tool to maintain your strop (or honing strap, as some call it) and optimize the sharpness of your razor blade by containing abrasive particles. It simultaneously accomplishes two important tasks: providing care for the leather and sharpness for your blade.

If you're a fan of straight razor shaving, you should definitely keep abbrasive paste on hand to ensure that your valuable piece lasts long and maintains maximum sharpness for a pleasantly smooth shave.

There are various colors and types of grinding pastes. Don't worry, we're here to show you what the different colors mean and how to apply grinding paste correctly.

Abbrasive paste colours and their difference

All strops and honing straps can be used with a grinding paste. The more you use your strap, the more it wears down. Grinding and care pastes protect your strap from wear. There are tube and stick pastes, but essentially, they do the same thing. The colors on the tubes indicate the best use – either for care or sharpening.


Our care paste does what you'd expect: it nourishes the leather. It doesn't have any abrasive effect when honing. It ensures that the leather of your strap remains supple over time and doesn't become brittle. Brittle leather can damage the cutting edge of your razor blade.


Black paste contains very fine particles, providing an extremely fine abrasive effect for the ultimate finishing touch. If your blade feels slightly dull on the skin, this paste is perfect. For more significant wear, the red or green paste is needed.


Red paste, with its medium-fine particles, offers a greater abrasive effect than black paste. By honing on a leather strap with red paste, even a slightly dull edge can be restored to full sharpness. The red paste is the all-purpose paste. Its red color comes from the iron oxide it contains, which provides its abrasive effect.


Green paste, which gets its color and abrasive function from the included chromium oxide, has a strong sharpening function due to containing the largest abrasive particles of the colored pastes. Leather straps coated with green paste, due to their high sharpening function, have the potential to restore even more worn edges to perfect sharpness. Afterwards, we recommend honing with the red or black paste.

Application of Grinding Pastes

To care for your strop, use the color recommended by the manufacturer or the one already applied. If you have a honing leather that hasn't been treated with paste yet (all DOVO leather comes without paste pre-applied to leave the choice up to the client), you can initially massage in a care paste and let it soak in. Then, you can thinly apply one of the grinding pastes.

Care pastes can be easily applied by hand and then washed off by hand.

When applying the black, red, and green grinding pastes, a cotton cloth is helpful as they are more difficult to wash off the skin. Ensure to apply the grinding paste as evenly as possible. Gently massage the grinding paste and let it soak in for at least 1 day. After that, your strop will be ready for use.