If you use a Boker, Dovo, Thiers-Issard, Edwin Jagger, or other traditional solid blade folding straight razor, you will notice that after several shaves, the blade will start tugging on your whiskers as opposed to slicing cleanly through them.
Once you become an accomplished Straight Razor Shaver, you will recognize this feeling right away.
A sure signal it's time to break out your sharpening stones, is when you feel your eyes begin watering while you're shaving...
A reasonable rule of thumb is that you will likely need to perform a touch up honing on your razor somewhere between every 4 and 6 shaves.
Keep in mind YMMV, Your Mileage may Vary depending upon your beard and face prep.
Stropping is also required to line up the edge on your straight razor prior to shaving.
If you are not interested in honing or stropping, you can opt for a replaceable blade Folding or Non-Folding Straight Razor made by Feather, or a Shavette style Folding Razor that requires no honing. stropping, or other maintaining...
Written by Geofatboy
Below is my instructional video regarding stropping a traditional straight razor:
Below is my video using a Feather No-Sharpen Straight Razor / No Honing or Stropping Required.