survivability question

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by 2dollaryo, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. 2dollaryo

    2dollaryo New Member

    Being a mans man who shoots rifle, pistol and bow, fishes from a kayak, pans for gold, drives a jeep and rides a motorbike its only natural that I would gravitate towards shaving with a straight razor.
    Given that I have only recently discovered the DE however I am inclined to master this first before jumping headlong into a straightrazor frenzy. I do have a question though for anyone willing to take the time to fill me in, whats the worst damage you've ever done to yourself with a str8? stitches? my right hand is steady but my left? It has the dexterity of a newborn.
    I really would like to give it a shot and obviously theres nothing to it but to do it but in the back of my mind theres the "one wrong move" demon on my shoulder.
    your experiences and advice are appreciated.

  2. Chimensch

    Chimensch Member

    As you can tell from the title of my recent video, I've been shaving with a straight for 30 years and I have cut myself a few times. The two worst were not on my face. The worst one was a 2" slice on my thigh (no stitches) that I have no idea how it happened. I was stropping and stopped to do something with my other hand and the hand with the razor made some kind of unconscious motion and slash!

    The second worst was on my thumb. It was a new TI with custom scales and I didn't realize that the edge of the razor was flush with the bottom of the scales and, I don't know why, but I rubbed my thumb across the bottom of the scales and slice!

    On my face, an occasional scrape or nick and, recently, a half-inch slice on my jaw. These things heal in 3 days and are never life-threatening. The razor requires your full-attention but I don't think its possible to do yourself serious damage unless you do it deliberately. By the way, I have done myself far worse damage with a knife in the kitchen.
  3. crackstar

    crackstar Israeli Ambassador to TSD

    Mamma Mia, Dov--I am so afraid now to use my Dovo Bismarck. I don't know what happened, but my confidence is no longer there.........I take my hat off to you, for being so skillfull. :) :1respect
  4. Hanzo

    Hanzo Well-Known Member

    My worse accident with a straight was not realizing my blade had a nick in it, shaving with it down my cheek cut me pretty badly, still have discoloration there as a result. Doesn't deter me its still fun to use a straight .Cuts seem to come through inattention, a razor that is not sharp enough or not stretching the skin . Also round point razors are easy to use without cutting yourself than spike points.I don't think its a challenge to shave with a straight , the challenge is honing that straight. Switching hands is no big deal. At first you are aware you have to do it so you do it, but the more you shave the more its routine. Now I switch hands with the razor without giving it a second thought. Good luck.
  5. PalmettoB

    PalmettoB The Old Guard

    I have multiple small cuts, but they do indeed heal quickly. Most of these are A) near the top of my cheek or sideburns where I carelessly dug in on the start of a stroke, or B) on my neck where I dug in carelessly beginning an ATG stroke. The worst cut ever was about 1/4 inch long and took about two weeks to heal. I agree with Chimensch. I've done worse with woodworking tools making scales. You almost have to be suicidal to really do any damage to yourself. Do you have to pay attention? Oh, yeah! But don't fear the straight.
  6. Jimbo

    Jimbo New Member

    The bottom line I think is that the most you will ever have is accidents, and most accidents are not all that serious. You would have to be seriously intent on causing damage for anything drastic to happen.

    The worst thing I ever did was dig the entire edge into the back of my head, which left a skin flap 1 inch long and several mm deep. And the reason that happened was that I could not believe I had actually dug in so I kept going with the stroke! It healed completely with no scar in about a week. But that was ages ago when I first started using straights on my head. An incident like that usually makes you more careful... :)

    So, barring sheer idiocy like I displayed, I think that, with proper care and attention to technique, you will be fine and any damage will be minimal.

    Oh, and there is no need to use your non-dominant hand if you do not want to, especially when shaving your face.

    Good luck!

  7. Sparticus 6/8

    Sparticus 6/8 Member

    I cut my head off but it sewed back on ok.

    In my short experience I have found your unlikely to cut your face, the razor will tell you what it does not want to do, never force it.
    Also your face will tell you if what your about to do will cut you. I have found the most likely time I may cut myself is when I'm doing other things. Like warming my strop up with one hand while the other holds the strop and razor. To that end the razor is only opened to shave or sharpen. Four small painless nicks is my tally to learn a straight razor. Just take time and make for peace and quite when you learn the straight.
  8. southernscribbler

    southernscribbler Well-Known Member

    I can only offer a comment here from a newbie to str8 shaving (got 2 shaves under my belt). I watched numerous vids on you tube yesterday and one of the participants made the statement, that his biggest risk isn't the stroke of the blade, even in the tricky areas, like the chin or lip area, but the placing of the blade at the beginning of the stroke. That blew my mind, but I got to thinking about it, and reflecting back, it's true. I am still at the point of laying the heel on my face, then angling as I begin the stroke. Not sure if that's the correct way, but so far, it's worked for me.
  9. goshawk

    goshawk Well-Known Member

    My worst cut came as the result of talking and shaving at the same time. I started answering a question my Mom called out to me from the kitchen and the next thing I knew I had a Fromm shavette hanging out of my cheekbone and blood all over everywhere. I wore a bandage for a week ( boy did people's eyes get big when I told them it was a shaving cut!) and I've still got the scar.

    Moral of the story; when you use a straight razor shut up and pay attention!

    Best Regards

  10. 2dollaryo

    2dollaryo New Member

    Thanks for the feedback, sounds like its all about focus, no distractions. makes perfect sense to me. No using a str8 with a hangover!
  11. alabamalawyer

    alabamalawyer Member

    I think the prior posts have hit on the two most common accidents. The first, especially for beginners, is to put the blade against your face and then think about your angle and adjust the blade. This will give you a little cut. The key is to be ready to start the stroke when the blade gets to your face.

    The second is to pay attention. I have never had any serious cuts using a straight. It is unusual that I have any kind of nick now. However, the other day I was shaving and talking to my wife while doing so. I managed to nick both of my ear lobes. :ashamed001 Lesson learned -- pay attention and remember the bottom part of the ear lobe can get covered with shaving cream.
  12. JimR

    JimR Active Member

    You know, I'm an utter fop--I don't hunt, fish, or rassle bars, I just hang out in front of a computer and geek out on video games, linguistic conundrums and bad genre novels (well, ok, good ones mostly) but I ALSO gravitated toward straight shaving...;)

    Yeah, I've had some doozies, but luckily the edge is so freaking sharp, they heal in a couple of days. Worst for me, as well, was on my thumb doing some restoration work. Bled like a stuck pig, I did...
  13. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
    Ahhh....a fellow member of the not so manly man straight shavers group, I see. ;) :signs046

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