Never tried a straight razor

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by jaro, May 11, 2019.

  1. jaro

    jaro Well-Known Member

    Hi all I have never tried a straight razor before but want to. Tell me about some good straighs please for a beginner. I am sort of afraid of them.....
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  2. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    Not too late to try one out. It does take a little bit of a commitment, to master. Basically you need only two things, a "Shave Ready" Straight Razor, and a capable strop. Dont spend much on the Straight, so you can decide if it's for you. Whipped Dog usually have Shave Ready razors, at an inexpensive price. If it were me, I would order two, because you will need a back-up, while learning. Watch several videos on stroppjng, before even attempting it.
    For me, Straight Shaving is about as easy as DE shaving, and about a fast. But, Straight Shave results are so much better.
  3. Chuck Naill

    Chuck Naill Well-Known Member

    Good advice from Dalton Gang.

    I started with a Feather SS. This will allow you to shave with a straight without the need to produce and maintain an edge.

    Congratulations on your decision. :)
  4. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    @jaro I committed to 100 shaves with a 1 hour time allotment for each shave. Used it in the beginning, less later.

    I got 2 razors from sources known to provide good edges. For boot camp, I used mostly the first with the second as my comparative control.

    Start slow and add. My first use was one pass on cheeks WTG. Then I completed with a safety. I slowly added other areas, strokes and passes. About 30 shaves in I committed to the straight only.

    No rushes, no distractions, keep your mind on focus, period.

    Expect comfortable shaving. Expect that the closeness will gradually improve. Expect that you will nick your strop.

    You may want to involve yourself in the 30DC thread, you can find help there.

    Equipment wise, do you have a budget range. Good used - $50-60 is reasonable. A new Dovo Best Quality (do not get alcocol on these) is around $100, it goes up from there. I've heard of a source on Etsy that works inexpensive Chinese razors well (I have no experience with them). Add about $40 for a starter strop.

    I think it is a more difficult learning path, but you could consider a $20 DE shavette w/corner guards. I have one that outshaves all my straights. Wish I'd have found it $1000 or so ago.

    One thing, when you become accomplished on a straight, all your shaves will improve regardless of the equipment.

    Be well.
  5. jaro

    jaro Well-Known Member

    thank you for the info. i will continue to research all the info you guys have provided so far.. This is something I am considering trying, im still a lot nervous !! I currently use de razors so this would be alot different i think.
  6. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    Not to fear!

    Out of the gate, small area, slow.
    I began with the razor almost flat to the skin, started a stroke and tipped up till it cut. No more than I was comfortable with.

    Stretch the skin. It is hard for a blade at a low angle to dig in.

    Good luck.
  7. jaro

    jaro Well-Known Member

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  8. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    Just goes to show perception is everything

    I started using a SR in 1981 I find DE razors scare me to death, I imagine it taking a perfect 1-inch strip of my Hollywood face right off :p
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  9. Keithmax

    Keithmax Breeds Pet Rocks

    Hi Jaro

    I think everyone is a bit nervous when first trying a straight. I recommend a 6/8 round point razor to start with but having it properly honed is the most important. A lot of good advice in the threads above. I started by just shaving my cheeks and then finishing with a DE, each shave I went a little farther with the straight until I did not use the DE at all.

    There is a saying that it takes about 100 shaves to become proficient with a straight and it took me about 100. It took me 30 shaves until I stopped finishing with a DE. While I can get a great shave from my DE razors I get more satisfaction and joy using my straights, plus it looks cool.
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  10. jaro

    jaro Well-Known Member

    thanks everyone for the continuing info.....
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  11. The Fox

    The Fox Well-Known Member

    When I decided to give straight razor's a try, I jumped in with reckless abandon and bought a razor someone on You-Tube was all excited about. No time for additional research, there's money to be spent! And here it is. It looks all tough and manly, but it was also a big mistake. Since then, I found out opinions on this manufacturer vary, but the main problem is the tip. If you've already started looking at razors, you may have noticed that the vast majority (at least newer razors) have rounded off tips. The square tip on mine makes the razor quite bloodthirsty. I've never given myself a serious cut with a straight, but this particular razor leaves what looks like cat scratches on my face if I'm not really careful. So I'm sure other guys on here can give you more well informed advice, but my one suggestion for someone looking to jump in is, don't be like me. DO NOT buy a square tip razor! At least not as your first one.

    To be fair to the manufacturer of this razor, they do sell round tip razors, I just didn't appreciate the difference when I bought mine.

    Attached Files:

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  12. jaro

    jaro Well-Known Member

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  13. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    Good advise, starting out. Cool looking might get you cut. Play it safe, at first.
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  14. Karl G

    Karl G Well-Known Member

    I’ll echo some of what @DaltonGang and @Keithmax and others have already said.

    Ideally, get a blade that’s 5/8th to 6/8ths in width - the most common size. A rounded point is a plus. If the point is square, dull just the very tip by lightly dragging it across something hard.
    Definitely have it professionally honed. Whipped Dog razors will come that way but I’d get any other razor professionally honed - even if the vendor says it is, “Shave Ready.”
    A strop will be required as well - Whipped Dog has a Poor Man’s strop that will be adequate while you are learning
    Definitely watch some videos
    Expect it to feel unnatural and to take 10 shaves or so before you get one that feels like you are doing it right
    Start with just the cheeks and just a with the grain pass; build up from there
    Post on this forum - everyone’s been there and you can get a lot of support and tips :happy088:

    Happy shaving - Karl
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  15. SammieM

    SammieM Well-Known Member

    It does require a commitment, but the shave is great.
    Someone mentioned Whipped dog, but I am not sure if he has user grade razors anymore. Worth a try. I would recommend getting one from the marketplace to start with that is not very expensive and is shave ready.
    People recommend learn to shave first and then honing. It could be difficult to jump into both from the get go. Plenty of artisans that make excellent strops for a great price.
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
  16. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    The last time I looked, he was out of the Vintage Straights.

    Try the classified section, on this site. Members are always selling Straight Razors. Usually good quality, most shave ready.
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  17. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    High their, @jaro. You can read my story here:
    Adam of @Drygulch Leatherworks sent me his loaner set consisting of a Cattaragus Straight and a Genco Straight along with one of his 3 inch strops. I would do the first pass with the straight and do cleanups with a safety. I alternated straights for about two weeks and was hooked. I sent back the razors, but I bought the strop from him. I now have 15 straights. I use straights on Saturdays.
    A friend gave me an H. Böker: I sent it to @HolyRollah for a restore, and it was my first straight.
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  18. jaro

    jaro Well-Known Member

    nice looking boker
  19. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    Thanks. It's a keeper. Great shaver, too.
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  20. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord Staff Member

    5/8” round tip razor recommended as a first straight razor. You certainly can learn with a square point, but the margin for error is increased.
    Have fun!
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