Looking into Straights....

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by UnklGus, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. UnklGus

    UnklGus Member

    So I have been watching some videos on YouTube about straight shaving... the more I watch it the more I want to try using a straight. Looks really awesome if you ask me.....

    The thing is, the only place that I have seen Straight Razors are at a reasonable fee is at antique shops, and without know enought about them, I don't want to purchase a bad one.

    Here are some Questions that I have....

    1. Is it ok to use an Older Straight?
    2. Are there good starter brand Staights?
    3. As a newbie (1 Month) to wetshaving, Am I crazy to want to attempt a straight razor this soon?

    I am sure that there will be other questions to follow. There are just some that I have been thinking about...

    thanks for your help

  2. Etoyoc

    Etoyoc Backwards

    I am not an expert, I am just starting with straights, so my $.02 would probably require me handing you change.

    As long as it is properly honed, it will be fine.

    There are some lists of what look for and what to avoid..

    Good brands
    ones to avoid

    Look through the Wiki at straightrazorplace.com

    As a newbie, why not? A lot of guys go straight to straights without mucking around with DE.
  3. MsBlackwolf

    MsBlackwolf Queen of Critters

    Watch the classifieds here at TSD and SRP. Members sell restored and/or shave-ready razors that will be all you'd need in a razor. I have only been DE shaving since Feb, and moved into straights too. The members here have been helpful and have helped supply my newest AD ;)
  4. xChris

    xChris Member

    1) Older straights are fine as long as they can still be honed to, and hold, a quality edge. In fac, some prefer the older straight to the crrent productions razors -- just like DEs.

    2) Etoyoc posted you some pages, but basically, you're looking for razors made where the steel industry was strong. This includes several locations in the U.S.; Solingen, Germany; Sheffield, England; Sweden.

    3) You're not crazy. Several guys have transitioned directl from electric or cartridges to straight shaving. It can be debated either way on whether it's beneficial to start with DEs first. I myself picked up DEs after several months of using straights.
  5. JimR

    JimR Active Member

    I certainly can't add to that. I switched from a DE to a straight after about 4 months...as long as you're lathering is ok, there's no problem!

    Well, ok, let me add to #2--if you can ever find a Japanese made straight--not the traditional Japanese Kamisori (unless you want it...), but a regular folding western-style straight made in Japan--it will most likely be a great shaver. I've had 8 or nine, all different brands, and they've all shaved butter smooth. Japanese craftsmen deserve their reputations, especially when it comes to steel...
  6. Issy

    Issy TheMadSoaper

    One word,,,wampi
  7. JimR

    JimR Active Member

    *blinkblinkblink* aahhh...Wapi!
  8. hoglahoo

    hoglahoo Yesterday's News



    Be wary of what you buy at an antique store though. You realize it will have to be able to be sharpened up by an expert - so no cracks in the blade, rust at the very edge is something to watch for as well
  9. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    Gus I am pretty sure I have at least one straight razor hanging around that I can hone up for you....:D

    People that know me are now doing this :happy102:happy102:happy102 one razor??? HA!!!!

    Anyway PM me if your address if ya wanna try one, if you like it and add to your collection, pass it forward to someone else that needs it....
    If you decide it ain't for you do the same and pass it forward for somebody else to try...

    You cover the postage I'll take care of the razor and honing....
  10. xChris

    xChris Member


    Yeah, good point about the Japanese razors. These weren't talked up much before, but are now coming to light with more members like yourself (living in that region of the world) identifying them and posting about them.


    That's a generous offer by you.
  11. JimR

    JimR Active Member

    Now see here...This is a great offer from a great guy. You will undoubtedly get a nice razor with a GREAT edge from Glen. This is a WIN WIN situation, mate.

    Well played, old bean!
  12. Etoyoc

    Etoyoc Backwards

    Wow, that is a great offer by Glen!
  13. joed

    joed New Member

    Great offer by Glen. What have you got to loose?

    Buying an EBay or antique straight razor is a good way to get a nice razor if you know what you are looking for and what to avoid. That is hard for a newbie to do. Then you will need to get it sharpened as most are not shave ready. For a newbie buying a shave ready straight is the best way to start. You will be able to focus on shaving and not be concerned about all the other things, which could add up and increase the learning curve. If you don't want to take Glen up on his offer search the classified section here and on SRP. I think I saw some on SRP for $35 if they are still available. They aren't high end but they are good to see if yo want to get in deeper. WAPIs have a following the like them for their shave and cost. I don't have any so I on't comment.

    Good luck Gus. Let me know if there is any way I can help.
  14. JimR

    JimR Active Member

    One word of warning:

    When you look into the straight, the straight also looks into you.

    Think about it.
  15. UnklGus

    UnklGus Member

    I big Thanks goes out to GSSIXGUN! I recieved the straight that he sent me in the mail today!! YAY! Very excited to learn to art of straight razor shaving as well. Going to give it a go tonight! I will keep you all posted on the status of my face post shave. Hopefullt I won't have sliced and diced it to badly.... Here goes nothing!
  16. MsBlackwolf

    MsBlackwolf Queen of Critters

    :happy088 You'll do just fine with it!
  17. jbcohen

    jbcohen New Member

    I want to start by saying that none of this is my opinion what so ever, this information is what members at a straight razor forum have told me and I repeat it here because it can add something to the discussion.

    Clasic straights are still great blades to shave with as long as they are sharp. A straight can be used until it physically breaks in two.
  18. UnklGus

    UnklGus Member

    So the first shave went all but good. I got about or three little strokes before getting the first little nick. Then about 2 more stroke, then the first sizable nick since I have been wetshaving. ouch!! I was only able to get my face done before I decided to switch over to my DE (Merkur38c/Feather combo), for my neck. I did then try to switch back over to the straight on a later pass in the shave, and was able to get my neck fairly smooth with the straight on the second go round. I did still do most of the shave with the DE though. I will get more comfortable with the Straight. I know it will take time though.

    You know what they say practice makes perfect.
  19. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    Was it the spike point that got ya or was it the blade???

    If it was the blade it is most likely that you are transferring your knowledge of that sliding motion that you know works on the DE... It also works the same on a straight we call it a scything stoke but it is way down the line, and very hard to master with the stright...

    Light pressure you already know but blade angel is in your hands now with the straight, where with the DE it is accounted for in the design more or less...

    2 spine widths is about the distance the spine should be from the face or 20-30 degrees.. Start only only the flat of the face, from the sideburns to the jaw.. once you have that mastered that spot then expand outward slowly from there...

    Much of this you probably already know Gus but I am putting it here for other's that might not also....

    Contrary to popular belief the only parts of DE shaving that really transfer over, is prep, in fact most DE shavers are better at it, and the knowledge of your own beard and face ie: you have mapped your face, you know how important stretching the skin is etc:etc:....

    And of course PM me if you have other questions....
  20. Special_K

    Special_K New Member

    Way to go Gus. Big props.
    Keep at it.

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