New STR8 Users Declining?

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by Spyder, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. Spyder

    Spyder Well-Known Member

    I have no data, just a gut feeling; perhaps from something I ate? But, it just seems that I haven’t seen or heard much from new folks in the last year or so.
    A few years ago it appeared there were more folks out there proselytizing the use of straight shaving than there are now.
    Since the hijacking of the straight razor place, Lynn is pretty much out of the picture. His partner retired and closed up shop. New razors that were once hard to find are now able to be bought at bargain prices. A new TI can’t be had for $120.
    What say you? Is it real, or too many pieces of cheesecake????
  2. brit

    brit Well-Known Member

    maybe just like the first issue of the mustang in 64 -hugh interest and sales,,now the second level has started, slower and steady growth..
  3. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    Unless we teach others, the use of Straight Razors will die out. Also, think about about it, how many people out there really know how to hone a Straight? Once that art dies out, the use of straights will drop off, fast. How many here send their razors off, to get honed?
  4. Tdmsu

    Tdmsu Well-Known Member

    I like straight razors, and I'm glad I've learned the skill, but I get better shves from SE like the Supply, and just as close with DE like the Vision.

    Maybe I have not learned straights well enough, but I'm happier using SE or DE most of the time.
  5. jimjo1031

    jimjo1031 never bloomed myself

    According to Wikipedia, since 2012, sales have been increasing, after the James Bond movie Skyfall came out.
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  6. brit

    brit Well-Known Member

    unfortunately my son rarely even shaves, likes the stubble fad at present..i love looking at straights, cool razors, but my hand /eye coordination at this point makes me leary..
  7. CastleShave

    CastleShave Well-Known Member

    It is true, I find in the dozens of groups I’m in the SOTDs are predominantly use of DEs. Which is pretty sad to me although I’m happy that they are getting great shaves. The use of a straight razor is completely different. It requires art, technique and passion. Where as a DE any novice user can pick it up and just get a great shave. I chose to do videos of using a straight because there simply isn’t enough of us using them on cam and showing more technique and style. It is very costly to get started with straights which can have an ultimate impact on your purchase. There is also the issue with buying one straight and then when it needs to be honed you lose it for 2 weeks. For someone that has multiple straights this may not be an issue but for those with just one or 2 I can see this having an impact on there purchase. Stones are not cheap to invest in either. I’m about 3k deep in stones. And just because you got one doesn’t mean you know how to use them. Regardless of synthetic or natural. I try to guide as many people as possible and encourage them further in to the lovely art of straights. Simply because I love them and I know if others gave them a chance I know they would too. Vintages are just so wonderful! With a mix of modern technology and a restored vintage blade, I don’t see how anyone can’t end their shave with a superior sense of pride and accomplishment.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  8. Briscoe

    Briscoe Well-Known Member

    Prices are stagnant for straight razors. I do think the skill of forging the steel to razors is similar to good masonry skill, a lost art. There seems to be a glut of older razors on the market as well. A lot of fake razors coming out of India, Pakistan etc. As for new users, I believe it goes in cycles, these sites in a lot ways are great for recruitment of new users. Let's face it, there is a 6 month learning curve, and much frustration on the progress in that period. The straight users in this forum are more than helpful to the newbies. I try to pay it forward to anyone who wants advice on straights that I can honestly give them the right advice on. I am sure some millennials we take the torch and carry on.

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  9. Spyder

    Spyder Well-Known Member

    I think that movie did impact straight sales positively, but that movie is now a faded memory. It seems like the last year may be trending down. For example; I do know that dubl ducks can be had for a fraction of what they were going for several years ago.
  10. lightcs1776

    lightcs1776 Well-Known Member

    Interesting... I have one straight and one shavette and didn't even consider that I should have more. They are a significant investment, either in time to restore one or funds to purchase one in good condition. I was given lapping film, a generous gift from a forum member, and need to improve my honing skills. Stones are simply out of the question, as there are other priorities for disposable funds, but I may add a couple more straights down the road.

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  11. jimjo1031

    jimjo1031 never bloomed myself

    I have noticed prices going down, but not sure if that means less buying, but it might. Me personally, with prices going down, I'd buy more of them.
  12. brit

    brit Well-Known Member

    my budget predicted my shaving choices with a fair bit of bartering to get my unicorn brit aristocrat de..some lower pricing may help sales as well..
  13. Chuck Naill

    Chuck Naill Well-Known Member

    You guys are friendly and helpful. When I first had an interest, I didn't receive much useful information from other forums. Learning how to hone and strop is not hard, but if you don't know anything, it appears to be complicated. This is because the experts don't agree or have differing methods I suppose.

    I started with a film progression and honed my first razor, as Fremont, Ohio 5/8 which resulted in a fine shave. I was hooked. Some advise I send out for honing. If I had to send my razors out to be honed I would not use a SR.
  14. RyX

    RyX DoH! Staff Member

    That's where I stand. I got started in Wet Shaving through an interest in SR. After buying an RSO and locating a local knife shop that offered honing, I picked up a couple vintage straights. Honing is a brick wall I haven't climbed yet. A couple of WD 5/8 RP did let me develop enough skill to do most of a full shave. Shavettes also happened for a while. Then I got distracted by a Fat Boy...
    Yep. To be an accomplished SR User takes more than learning shaving technique. Secondly stropping consumes one nicked up Newbie strop, and a nice one that can be maintained for years of use. Phase three of the knowing of Straights is collecting stones and learning to use them. I've got a nice Barbers hone that ought to give a touch up to an undamaged but dulled edge. I got lazy and pop in a fresh SE or DE blade instead.

    On the up side I'm enjoying brushes, soaps, and aftershaves! :cool:
  15. oscar11

    oscar11 Well-Known Member

    I think what we enjoy perhaps some find tedious especially in an era of instant gratification. I've never had a razor sharpened by anyone but myself with the exception of a few new straights that I bought and that was hit and miss as far as sharpness goes but never requested the service. You also need commitment to learn the process of shaving and sharpening and some will not be willing. The ones that do will bear the torch for the next generation. I think if you look at a new guy who gets a new straight and a strop and on the first shave hacks up his face a bit and then hacks up his strop and is left with a dull razor and no idea how to sharpen or what to use to sharpen it with probably figures he's up against the wall. Only a percentage will get by that that wall or even try.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
  16. BigD

    BigD Well-Known Member

    Here's my theory, and this is coming from a DE, SE safety razor user.

    SR shaving is the equivalent of a stupid pet trick. Takes a long time to learn, fun to do, fun to watch, but does nothing really special or well, and you're better off doing it another way. However, that dog did get you that beer. It's covered in drool, might be punctured, and it would have been faster and better to get it yourself.

    There's a difference between enjoying a task and the task becoming tedious. With DE shaving, yes, there are a few more extra steps that are needed to help prepare the beard, shaving the beard properly, and taking care of your equipment. This adds to the enjoyment of the process for most. Yes, time is added, but not to the point where you will be late for work.

    Straight razors, which were never made to be used on one's self, but for a barber to use on customers is a very maintenance heavy piece of equipment. Even to the point that it seems most SR users only shave once in awhile at best. Even then a good close shave can never be achieved. Especially around the mouth and nose. Good luck not getting nicks on your neck. Forget about BBS, it isn't happening. The maintenance of the blade and the maintenance on the equipment that maintains the blade is quite time consuming and costly. Here's the real kicker. No matter how much you hone and strope an SR, it will never come close to the sharpness of a DE or SE. Anyone ever tells you differently, they are lying.

    With that said, if you like shaving with an SR and don't mind the extra time used to use an SR, then that is just fine, and I wish you nothing but success.

    However, for a cost/quality/time basis, DE shaving is your best bet with SE close behind. Also, it's still better than using cartridges.
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  17. TheFiveO

    TheFiveO Well-Known Member

    @Spyder this is a great topic, thank you for bringing it up. I do think that SR use has probably reached it's pinnacle , at least for this point in time. Much of it can be attributed, as many have already opined, to the time and practice it takes to achieve a consistent and quality shave, as well as, the time commitment needed for honing /stropping/etc.

    Also, I do think that much of the interest in SR razors is diminishing due to the change in social trends such as the proverbial "hipster" movement. While there certainly is no shortage of leather shoe,plaid shirt, hi-wad skinny jeans wearers, I have noticed their prevalence isn't as great as it once was. Who knows what the next trend is going to be.

    That being said, I think it is imperative on us who know how to SR shave, hone, strop etc etc to pass on the tradition whenever we can. When I talk about SR shaving, I always get the "man I'd love a straight razor shave" from people who are interested in it, however, other then receiving a SR shave, they have no real interest in the "art of shaving". Alas, I think with many people, shaving has been relegated to the daily grind as opposed to a luxury or personal care time . As I have said before to my wife, the whole SR shaving experience to me is analogous to her sitting enjoying polishing her nails or whatever. People seem to be gravitating more to the Henry's and Dollar Shave clubs for their "boutique" shaving experience. I analogize this to people who saying they love craft beer but have never had anything other then Shock Top or Blue Moon, both of which are craft "style" beers from the Big Breweries. Give them a Angel City Brewing, Belching Beaver or any other independent brewery and they say those beers are too strong for them.

    On the bright side, hopefully now I can find more vintage SR to restore and hone! I had reached a spending limit!
  18. Spyder

    Spyder Well-Known Member

    First off thanks for calling me a liar. Secondly thanks for calling my friends here liars.
    Many of us come from the de and se world, including me. Straight razors can be and are as sharp as a de blade.
    It would do you well to know what you’re actually talking about before making some of your statements.
    Nice to meet you.
  19. BigD

    BigD Well-Known Member

    Sorry, brother. You may think you have gotten it as sharp as a DE or SE, but if you put it under a microscope, it's close, but not as sharp. A DE and SE, as far as mass produced items, are some of the, if not the sharpest man made products. Are there sharper things made by man? Of course, but those are usually specialty items. Stone and leather, unless there has been a mass upgrade in the way these are produced in the last few years, cannot get any edge as close to a DE or SE. Because of the thickness of the SR, needed for durability and longer wear, the angle of the edge is too steep. It may feel sharper if say you cut a piece of meat with it due to the weight of the steel behind it helping push through and cutting the fibers of the meat. A DE and SE have shallower angles to the edge. Thus a sharper edge. However, this sharpness is not as durable and as long lasting as a SR. That is why you can strop a SR and cannot strop a DE or SE.

    DE and SE you give up durability for sharpness. SR you give up sharpness for longevity and durability.

    Like is said before, if you enjoy your SR shave, go for it. Do not take it personally when facts are given. You're right though. I should have said, "If someone tells you they can hone and strop an SR as sharp or sharper than a DE or SE, they are either lying or they don't understand how things are made"
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  20. Norcalnewb

    Norcalnewb Magnanimous Moos

    I definitely haven't been active on the SR subforum lately, as I have pretty much stopped shaving with straights and gone back to DE. I will say, that despite comments above, I no doubt got better, more comfortable shaves with a straight. However, they also took me more time. Once I started a few activities in the morning before work, something else had to be given up, and unfortunately that was straight razors. I know it doesn't seem like much, but the blade maintenance and the extra time it took me with a razor added time I just found I didn't have. Then, I realized that all my work with straights helped my DE shaving quite a bit as well. I definitely miss straights, and pull one out every now and then, but honestly they will have to wait until things slow down, which likely won't be until a few kids move out.

    I certainly enjoy watching all the SOTD posts, and I do hope interests picks up again. For what it's worth, I have wondered if there is a general decline in wet shaving in general, as it doesn't seem like we see quite the rate of new shavers joining the forum as a few years ago.

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