My Straight Shave Saga (continues...)

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by olafurson, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. olafurson

    olafurson Member

    Oh, I'm so glad my friend! I hope you can save yourself from at least one of my three scars. :ashamed001

    Best of luck with your own shaving adventures!
  2. Compa

    Compa New Member

    This thread is fun and very educational :D
    Personal experiences and littel advises are invaluable help for n00bs like me haha. I have to find the time to read all the thread. also reading the comments from the experienced folks makes it even more valuable ;)

    Man I can't wait for the moment I do my first shave with a straight, still a few weeks away from it but I am getting more and more excited with the idea. Your first shave gave me a wider view of the experience... 'cause the first one might come with some cuts and burning results but reading how you didn't gave up makes me feel comfortable :D.

  3. olafurson

    olafurson Member

    Yeah, make that the first 25 or so... :rolleyes:

    Actually, I nicked myself a couple of times yesterday. Nothing permanent, just... annoying. Nothing that would keep me from this great hobby though! I consider them simple reminders of my own mortality.

    You'll do fine.

    Many happy shaves to you! Thanks for reading my saga!
  4. Rambling

    Rambling New Member

    Very much enjoyed your saga, trials and tribulations, expirences, lessons, ect.

    Interesting an informative but not dry (not to me who doesnt even have a straight to play with yet) Makes me wanna dive in.
  5. olafurson

    olafurson Member

    So I learned a few things this morning that I thought I'd share with the team.

    First, don't shave at work unless you have all your necessary equipment, including styptic.

    In a pinch, though, ice works REALLY well and has the added benefit of not leaving any residue or stinging. Score!

    Also found the best little at-work aftershave secret: generic dollar-store Instant Hand Sanitizer! Check out this ingredient list: Aloe Vera Juice, carbomer, fragrance, glycerin, propylene glycol, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), triethanolamine, water. How perfect is that? Not QUITE as moisturizing as I normally like, and sadly no menthol, but still wonderful! And this particular brand smells great, like a Gin and Tonic.

    Plus, now my face won't get H1N1! :p

    Finally, straight razor shaving is not something that can be done in a hurry. It can be done quickly, don't get me wrong, but if you're in a HURRY, you're going to mess up. The same goes for if you've had one too many to drink, or you're in any other way impaired. To shave with a straight razor, you must have complete focus. If you can't be focused and take your time, DON'T DO IT. Wait until you have the time and the proper state of mind. Put the razor down, and wait. You won't regret it.

    Shave on, brothers and sisters!
  6. olafurson

    olafurson Member

    So I was asked today, would I take up straight razor shaving again, knowing what I know now?

    Here's my answer - thought I'd share with the group. :)


    Good day, sir!

    Thank you for writing, and for reading my little saga!

    If you have a method of shaving that you enjoy and gives you perfect shaves every time, why on earth would you switch??

    Having said that... yes, I personally use straights daily and won't go back.

    Here's the thing about straight razors and "maintenance". I own a belgian coticule hone, but have never used it. I've got a handful of razors, all of which I sent out initially to a fellow for honing, and have never needed redone.

    I figure at some point in the future, when one of them needs done, I'll ship it out to him again and have it back within 2-3 days, $20, no big deal. That will probably be a year or more from now.

    Stropping is fun, so I don't consider that work at all. Plus, even 100 laps on the strop only takes two minutes. And strops are part of the awesomeness. You don't get to play with much leather when using a SE, do ya? Mmmmm... the sound of steel on leather...

    I have several issues with safety razors. First, it's easier to clean a straight than a DE/SE. What with trying to pry/rinse/brush the lather and hairs out of the mechanisms, fussing with blades every few days, having to rinse the damn thing like a thousand times mid-shave because it keeps getting clogged... bah. Straights, you only have to rinse off like half a dozen times during the shave, and they clean up in a snap, no leftover hairs.

    As for closeness, there are only two factors to consider: 1) how sharp is your blade, and 2) at what angle can you hit the hairs.

    1) A straight razor stays sharp for at least, let's say, a hundred shaves. No sharpening, no changing blades. I bet life sucks pretty bad on day 5 of your SE/DE shaves, doesn't it? Bah again.

    2) The reason I switched to straights in the first place is because I wasn't happy with the contortions required with a DE to get the blade to lay flat enough against my skin to get the flattest hairs. The "doors" kept getting in the way. With a straight, since the entire blade is exposed, that's not an issue. You can get it as flat, and at any angle you want.

    I can honestly say that only within the last, maybe two weeks do I feel REALLY confident with my shaving ability so that I can do all three WTG/XTG/ATG passes daily without irritation or cuts. So I started in what, March? That means you can expect eight months of less-than-satisfactory shaves just to get back to where you are now, but with a straight instead of an SE. And probably a couple scars.

    Worth it? I guess that's up to you..................

    NOTE: Stropping improves only the smoothness, but not the sharpness, of your blade. If your Red Injun hasn't officially been honed recently, it's probably not sharp enough. Straight shaving with a not-sharp-enough blade is hell. You wouldn't use an old dull blade in your SE, wouldja? I can refer you to an excellent honemeister.

    NOTE 2: The only logical reason a SE could possibly deliver a "better" shave than a straight is if the straight hasn't been sharpened. Once sharpened, a close straight shave = a close SE shave. A blade is a blade.

    You find me the most "aggressive" SE/DE razor you want, and you'll still be holding a razor that's one step less "aggressive" than a straight, because the entire blade is exposed.

    You find me the sharpest badass Feather-brand japanese whatever-you-want ninja ginzu kamakazi SE/DE blade, and I'll show you a straight that's at least as sharp and will stay that way for a hundred shaves instead of three or four.

    Plus, there's NO waste with straights, nothing to throw away, no blades in the trash, nothing to buy again ever (unless you want a prettier one!), no company that can go out of business and deprive you of blades, none of that BS.

    I know it's a difficult thought getting rid of all your SE/DE stuff, but think of it this way - sell all that stuff and get a custom rescaled straight or two (or seven, or fourteen), and you'll be set for life.

    <IMHO, YMMV, and all that other disclaimer stuff here.>

    Thanks again for writing!

    Or, if you give up, I'll happily take your Boker off your hands. After I have it honed. ;)
  7. TuttoItaliaOnline

    TuttoItaliaOnline New Member

    "A straight razor stays sharp for at least, let's say, a hundred shaves. No sharpening, no changing blades. I bet life sucks pretty bad on day 5 of your SE/DE shaves, doesn't it? Bah again."

    But can you sharpen a straight razor yourself? And isn't it noticeable after. let's say 30 shaves? When you still have 70 left but it isn't as sharp as the first 10?

    That's with the DE-razors a real outcome. As fas as I see, many here have so many razorblades that only if they would get to the age of 250, there would be a problem. So the DE-razors always have sharp blades.
  8. hoglahoo

    hoglahoo Yesterday's News

    That's a nice post, olafurson

    I think I agree with everything you said

    And it does come down to what you prefer, but it would be hard for most people to know what they prefer until they tried both

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