The straight razor is "shave ready" when it comes to you, you do not need to strop the blade before using the razor for the first time, but is recommended as you use it multiple times. The blade is made of carbon steel, which makes it easier for you to get a sharp focus at stropping / grinding than if the blade were made of stainless steel. You simply get a sharper edge. It also means that you must be careful to wipe the blade after use and store the knife dry to prevent rust.
Giesen & Forsthoff has been making razors for over 100 years. In 1923 Paul Giesen and Eugen Forsthoff moved the production to Baumstrasse in the heart of Solingen steel districts. They are still seated here today. And with 100 years of experience under the belt, combined with German quality and German steel, we dare say that Giesen & Forsthoff is one of Europe's foremost manufacturer of razors.