Spend more on a better product.
I usually don't complain, and I wrote a glowing review on this site for the Boker straight razor which I purchased with this strop... but this strop is quite dissapointing. Compared to my english bridle strop from Portland Razor Company, this one seemed cheaply made right off the bat. The leather was badly dried out when it arrived, and despite careful pre-conditioning, it began to crack and fray with gentle stropping (within the first two weeks!) It now has pills and strings coming off it and is nowhere near being smooth (has the consistency of corkwood after a few months. Please note I am experienced using these and have not nicked or cut it once, I have kept other strops in fine condition for many years. I understand that russian leather is morre supple and not supposed to be as durable as English Bridle, but this is not normal. Also, the handle is glued to the leather (no hardware). In the heat and under tension from stropping, the handle slowly pulls away from the leather. Do yourself a favor and shell out twice as much for a GOOD strop, it will last you 10x as long... so will cost 5x less (long term). Heck, my other stop might outlive me, this one won't outlast the socks I am wearing!