Straight Razor Catching on Whiskers

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by Topher, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. Topher

    Topher New Member

    I recently had my first straight razor honed by a well known Honemaster. After using it twice, I feel like the blade is still catching on my whiskers and that I have to apply more pressure than I'm comfortable with. This is my first true straight razor so I thought perhaps it is my technique but switching to my shavette, I have no problems.

    So a couple questions for thought: does a shavette provide an easier/sharper shave? should my straight razor be giving me a catch free shave? Was my razor not honed sharp enough?

    Any thoughts would be much appreciated.
    JazzDoc, Billyfergie and Keithmax like this.
  2. Spyder

    Spyder Well-Known Member

    How’s your angle with the straight? Maybe it’s too steep(?)
    JazzDoc, SRNewb, Billyfergie and 3 others like this.
  3. Topher

    Topher New Member

    It definitely could be angle. Would the angle with a straight be much different than a shavette?
    JazzDoc, Billyfergie and Spyder like this.
  4. Bama Samurai

    Bama Samurai with Laser-like Focus Staff Member

    No. It's basically the same angle. SR may require more pressure than shavette. Also be sure you are fully stretching the skin.
  5. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    I ruined the edge on my first str8 honed by Glen, aka @gssixgun .
    Poor stropping technique on my part resulted in a rolled edge :ashamed001:
    Being the great guy he is, he told me to send it back to him. He touched up the edge free of charge.

    Rolled edge? Poor stropping? Just something to consider.
  6. Keithmax

    Keithmax Breeds Pet Rocks

    In the begining I ruined two edges due to bad stropping. Angle is important too as is a wet lather, make sure it is very wet.

    A properly honed straight is a sharp or sharper than a shavette, in the end they should cut both cut through stubble with ease.
  7. PickledNorthern

    PickledNorthern Fabulous, the unicorn

    My two cents: Your shavette is likely going to feel sharper than the edge you were sent. It isn’t that the straight isn’t sharp per se, it is that it was sent to you smoooooooth. I am a guy who prefers a “crisper” feel to my edges. It doesn’t necessarily cut any better, just feels different.

    As you get used to the actual straight, you will find that while the overall technique is the pretty much the same, skin stretching and the angle strokes become somewhat more important.

    It is also possible as others mentioned, that you rolled the edge stropping it. Did you try it before stropping it? If you send it back to be touched up, when you get it back, use it straight out of the box. See what it feels like, so you can establish a baseline.
  8. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    Most of us that do this professionally want you to Succeed, we really do see if you like it you will keep coming back :D

    We are enablers big time

    It does happen that a Newb tears up the edge,,

    Reasons I have seen the most

    Bad Stropping, but normally that can be fixed by stropping correctly, put the strop on the edge of a table or counter and strop slowly perefctly and without the strop hanging 100 laps and see what happens

    Bad Angle, this not only give a bad shave but is REALLY hard on the edge, try the stropping as I described above

    Testing the edge, seriously I have seen so many people destroy a freshly honed edge by doing dumb tests... The three worst I have seen The Thumb Nail test, The Paper test, and the Tomato test.. No really it happens more often than you think :(

    Most reputable professionals have no issue checking the edge for you if it ain't working At least then you will know if it is you or the edge
  9. Topher

    Topher New Member

    Thanks for the comment. That really helps. After having it honed, it's still not cutting anywhere close to how smooth the shavette is. Sounds like I'll need to have it serviced again.
    Keithmax and Spyder like this.
  10. Topher

    Topher New Member

    Thanks for the comment. I think I'm going to have to send it back and have it rehoned. I don't think it's my angle. I'm comfortable enough with my shavette. The real question I should have asked is should a recently honed straight cut as smooth as a shavette? The Hone Master claimed it would be stropped and "shave ready" so I shouldn't really take it to the strop. The only thing I did to test the edge was take it to some arm hairs to compare against the shavette. After trying to shave with it a couple times now, I'm really thinking it's the edge. Thanks again.
    Billyfergie, Keithmax and Spyder like this.
  11. Topher

    Topher New Member

    Thanks for the post. I tried shaving with it right out of the box (post-hone). I stretched the skin, as I do when shaving with a shavette. I'm really starting to think it's just not sharp enough. It tugs too much and I had to apply way more pressure than I'm comfortable with. A sure way to slice my cheek off.

    I guess the better question is: should a straight cut as smooth as a shavette? I have no problems with the shavette.
    JazzDoc, Billyfergie and Keithmax like this.
  12. Bama Samurai

    Bama Samurai with Laser-like Focus Staff Member

    Correct diagnosis.
    JazzDoc and Billyfergie like this.
  13. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    A Shavette Experience will Not Help You here..In Fact it Can Hinder Some Folks..I Hone Razors Every Week for Folks & I Can Tell Ya Some of the Folks that Struggle the Most are the Ones that have Been Using a Shavette...Its Like Comparing a Motorcycle to a Car..:D

    Because they THINK they KNOW Something about SR Shaving when they DONT..By the Way..I was One of them..:happy102:

  14. renol

    renol New Member

    I find my razor has a tendency to "pull" if I haven't stropped it correctly. A couple shaves ago I got distracted in the middle of my stropping process causing me to not finish and started shaving before the blade was ready. I ignored the pulling on a few days' growth and gave myself a nice inch long slice on my lip. Couldn't use the str8 for over a week and had to borrow someone else's safety razor.
    JazzDoc, Keithmax and Billyfergie like this.
  15. JohnDB

    JohnDB Well-Known Member

    Two sided answer.
    Shavette blades are thinner and will have slightly less "tug" than a straight.

    But if you can get your straight properly honed and stropped...not much difference. And a straight razor cleans up in a quarter of the time than a shavette. (Fewer parts)

    If you are using too much pressure... something is wrong. Try the stropping techniques that we're mentioned above by laying out your strop on a table and giving it 100 perfect strokes. (With no more pressure than what is needed to keep it flat on the strop and the strop flat)

    Look at the edge through a jewler's loupe. See if it curves or has scratches.

    I'm one of the few guys who switch back and forth because I am a slave to speed. I shave once a week religiously. Straights and shavettes are the bomb for me. I use shavettes when I travel. Otherwise I use my straights.

    Stropping is essential for a great shave out of a straight. It isn't true for shavettes. Wild variant...but it's true.

    You either get really good at stropping (it really isn't much to learn) or you stay with shavettes. But IMHO the straights have a more comfortable shave after the shaving is done. Much less harsh feel on my face.
    JazzDoc, Keithmax and Billyfergie like this.
  16. JazzDoc

    JazzDoc Well-Known Member

    I have certain str8 razors that hang up like that and make my shave quite uncomfortable even if I hone properly on 1K, 5K, 8K and 12K on Naniwa Super Stones, then strop on firehose with diamond spray and finish with a good leather strop.

    The remedy? An edge refinish on a La Veinette coticule* followed by an abbreviated strop. *I know when the refinish is over when I feel the blade giving more resistance on the coticule as if it’s being pulled onto the coticule’s surface like a magnet or vacuum would do.
    DaltonGang and M14Shooter like this.

Share This Page