We are curiously unique

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by Rkep01, Mar 5, 2019.

  1. Rkep01

    Rkep01 Well-Known Member

    I've been thinking recently about the type of person who uses an archaic, outmoded, ancient method of shaving. One that still, despite all the modern tech in shaving, produces an incomparable shaving experience, better than anything else out there. We shavemeisters are certainly a very unique brand of individual. I can't begin to count the number of times that someone, upon learning that I shave with a cabbage chopper, has said to me, "Get out! Really? Aren't you afraid that you'll cut your throat?" or "Man, I don't know. I don't have the plums to do that. I'd be too scared of cutting myself!" or asked, "How and/or why did you start this in the first place?" I know that all of you have had similar experiences. How have you answered? How did you start? What was your motivation? I think some of the answers will be amusing and interesting. So here it is from me:

    A few years ago my son got fed up of paying extortionist prices for cartridge razor refills and decided to buy a few straight razors on Ebay and try shaving with them. Well, when he told me about it, I got my back up a little and thought damn, if he can do it, so can I. I had been shaving with a Norelco electric and had not been happy with the shaves I had been getting from it for a long time. There was no way I was going to get into the expense of cartridge razors, I decided to try his route and buy my own straights. After the first two weeks, I acquired a new nickname...Scar Face! I persisted and became proficient at shaving with a straight. Naturally, after a while, the straights needed honing, so I looked on YouTube for any information and came across videos on honing by Lynn Abrams and our very own Gssixgun. So, making a long story short, I bought some stones and started honing and learning and here I am. What are your stories?
  2. Hembree

    Hembree Not as pretty smelling

    Not a straight razor fellow but mine started when Gillette sent me a battery operated cart in the mail. I was already a cart user and I checked the prices for the new battery operated cart. I said there has got to be a better way and started researching double edge razors and the rest is history.
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  3. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    I Started Shaving with Single Edge Hollow Grind Razors..I Had to Get into Honing to Sharpen them to Shave Ready...I Learned to Hone on Lapping Film..I Mastered Lapping Film then Bought a Full Naniwa Super Stone Progression. & then Some Natural Finishers..I Got into Honing SRs Along the Way Whilst Learning to Shave with One..I Now Hone SE Hollow Ground Blades & SRs for Folks World Wide...:)

    Its Been a Long Learning Curve...But..Ones Skills Reach High Levels when One Hones Blades for Other Folks..No Bones about that..:angelic007:

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  4. Moose

    Moose Well-Known Member

    Not a straight razor guy either. I started with carts. I then used electric razors for years. I always had trouble with ingrown hairs and googled the best razor for ingrown hairs. The search brought up safety razors. I remember my grandfather using one and always thought it was cool. Took the plunge and now I can't think about anything else.
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  5. Rkep01

    Rkep01 Well-Known Member

    Great collection, Billy. Good story. When I said I got into shaving with straights it was originally to save money. :happy102:
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  6. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    Bought some and grew some!!! :happy097: Great story Bob.
    Mine is unique. The last TSD Fundraiser, @Paul76 donated a straight razor. And when I saw that, I said to my wife: If I win and that's available, I am going to learn how to shave with a straight." Well, first number picked was yours truly, so I went for it. Paul was generous enough to send, what he
    thought would be a better starting razor; one that had a rounded tip, a Wade & Butcher. They sat there on my counter while I trained my left hand with my DE's, until I finally "grew some" and went for it. The rest is history. I have set a bevel, own a straight for every day of the week; have sold all but my favorite 4 DE's and am very happy to be firmly situated on "The Dark Side".
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  7. lightcs1776

    lightcs1776 Well-Known Member

    No one other than my kids knows that I have transitioned to straights. Several others know that I have used a safety razor for a few years. My transition to straights only began last Fall and was immediately hooked. I told my wife, just earlier today, that I don't plan on adding any safety razors, but could easily add many more straights. I actually am waiting for the time to come where it is brought up in a conversation.

    Sent from my DROID Turbo using Tapatalk
  8. Mr. Oldschool

    Mr. Oldschool Johnny Dangerously

    Long ago I read Alas Babylon and was inspired by the part of the story when they found straight razors in the attic and were finally able to shave again. I bought a John Williams straight razor (mostly because of the Star Wars composer...) and tried to shave with it which was a complete disaster. Under magnification I could see that the edge had chips that I couldn't see with the naked eye. Having at the time no online communities to draw support from, I put the razor away and shelved the idea of straight razor shaving. I remember one of the people I talked to when I was shopping for razors actually told me that he was a barber and he had never heard of anyone shaving themselves with a straight before and told me I shouldn't try it. At least it wasn't a total loss, because I learned the benefits of making a real lather and stopped using canned shave cream then and there.

    Several years later I came across the Art Of Manliness website and read his articles about shaving. Off his recommendation, I found a copy of the manual Shaving Made Easy, and I got a shavette type razor for something like 7 or 8 bucks. With a little practice and bloodloss, I eventually got where I could do a decent job of shaving and turned my attention to the John Williams still sitting forlorn in my dresser. I bought a hone to try fixing it myself, but eventually had to send it to Larry Andreasson to get it honed properly. Once I had razor in hand I was able to finally make to commitment to straight shaving. I had picked up a couple DE's along the way that were nice to use when I got frustrated in trying to get a BBS shave from the straights, but I now haven't used them in I can't remember how long... probably more than a year or two. I now have several razors, even after having a sale and getting rid of the ones I wasn't using. And I still have the John Williams.
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  9. Paul76

    Paul76 Well-Known Member

    An old coworker had told me that a straight shave was the best shave that you canget. I had purchased a zeva brand shave kit. It seemed really sharp, when I looked up honing I found Lynn’s and glen’s videos. Both were a big help, and as it turned out what I purchased only looked like a razor and couldn’t hold an edge for a full shave. I was pointed in the direction of Larry at the whipped dog, and after a short convewith him I had my first shave ready straight. After a few months and a lot of great advice I was finally getting amazing shaves.
  10. BamaT

    BamaT Well-Known Member

    Not a straight razor guy, but I had been sick of carts and their prices for years. I started shaving with a cart around 1971, soon after the introduction of the Trac II. I dabbled a time or two with electric razors, but hated them. They didn’t shave very well (I have a course heavy beard) and would irritate my face to no end if I tried to shave more closely. So I went back to carts, trying various brands and number of blades through the years. They were just about shot after a week, and I would force myself to use them for a second week because of the cost.

    About 6 years ago, I saw a VDH brush and bowl set at Walmart, and I remembered my old shave brush I bought about the time I started shaving. I decided to buy the set, and immediately began investigating soaps and brushes, and began to read about DE razors. That Christmas my wife gave me an Edwin Jagger DE8911 and a sample pack of blades, and the rest is history. I’ve acquired several vintage razors, but never reaching the level of RAD many are afflicted with. My primary goal in the beginning was economy, and I have stayed pretty true to that. My current favorite razor is a Gillette Black Beauty adjustable. While saving money was the original motive, I came to enjoy shaving, and will never go back to carts.
  11. brit

    brit Well-Known Member

    not an sr guy... will try at some point, but started in the early 80s with plastic bics and a trac 2..hated it then..progressed to mach 3s till mid 2016.started using a wilki brush and williams in 2006.after a man cave purchase , a g-2 fatboy,i researched a little and bought a weishi, an ej89 and a merkur 34c.the usual starting point.you know ,tub of tobs sandalwood etc.after that i went down the vintage gillette rabbit hole and joined here in jan 2017..the rest is history...
    Frijolero, BamaT, Keithmax and 5 others like this.
  12. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster

    Shaved with an Atra till the cartridges were no longer available. I believe the original Atra was a nice setup. I could not find anything that was comfortable and not leave me with ingrowns. Went electric. Continued that way as long as I was coat & tie material and also began sporting the 'Don Johnson beard'.

    When I returned to manufacturing, I found I could get away with a weekly shave and went with the Mach III. The Sunday shave damage was always healed by the next week. Never really cared for that razor or it's price, but never tried anything else.

    Having noticed on TV, Gillette commercials marketing a program to compete with mail shave clubs, I started looking around. I found this traditional wet shaving style.

    Started with a DE and was hooked on these great new comfort levels even if I had a daily shave. Got more stuff! Even abandoned the 'Don Johnson' Brillo pad beard. Got more stuff.

    I was always afraid of the commitment to straights and unsure if I could be successful. I won a TSD raffle box containing a straight. Getting a feel for that razor in my hand prompted me forward. At about 6 months, I followed sound advice from great folks here and committed to get a good razor and learn how to use it. I'm keeping my other stuff but mostly use straights now. Got more stuff.

    I have thought many times how many more folks would make the jump if they had a shave ready straight just for a week.
  13. Keithmax

    Keithmax Breeds Pet Rocks

    I started shaving with a Trac II and over the years the number of blades increased and my shaves got worse. About 7 years ago I bought the 5 blade monster and the irritations terrible plus the in grown hairs. I said why am I paying so much for such a lousy shave? Maybe I needed to go a completely opposite way, electric or straight razor. The electric was even worse, ripping the hair from my face.

    I researched straights and thought I was not capable enough to maintain them so I started with DE razors. It was a revaluation, my shaves were better, the irritation gone and my skin improved too. Then shaving became fun and found a preference for aggressive razors. My gateway drug was a 2011 R41, it was the bridge to finally giving straights a go. I ordered a sight unseen from Whipped Dog and haven’t looked back. I wish I found this many years ago.
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  14. Jabez 58

    Jabez 58 Member

    Hi all, Ive been shaving since I was 14 or 15 and have been down just almost every shaving route except SR, though I do have one of my grandfathers, i started out with a old Gillette safety and over time moved onto the then new plastic disposables and the new multi blades but got fed up them not giving me what I wanted from them. I've tried over the years various Remington, Braun, Phillips electric shavers none of which came close to what they promised!! I remember one big white and black cartridge razor in the 70's that you wound the blade on giving you 5 blades one after another but I forget the name of that one ? But I do remember it was really expensive, Finally back again to multi angle multi blades moving to Mach and Fusions, these latter razors did a good enough job but there was no real enjoyment in it and the ever upward cost of shaving, led me back to my old DE 's, full circle but at least giving a much more satisfying shave and an all round far better experience. Then I came across and got bitten by the Rolls Razor bug, I had a couple of tidy blades in the sets I had so gathered up my courage and started using it. Big question is...it a safty or is it a straight edge?? Then just recently Billy from earlier posts on this thread sharpened one of my other rolls blades for me (super job, thanks billy ) and I've been using that as my go to razor and I love it, it's a slightly different discipline to use it as need to keep that steep angle or else but I've never had a blood letting session from it and it's a cool bit of kit and still going strong though it's like me and over 60 years old.
    In all my many razors over the years one thing I can say without any doubt is that the bic Orange was by a country mile the very worst razor I have ever used, talk about death by a thousand cuts, However I am told its good on legs though:happy102: ha ha
  15. oscar11

    oscar11 Well-Known Member

    It's just in my nature to follow my curiosity which often leads to the path less traveled.
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  16. Jabez 58

    Jabez 58 Member

    I have just remembered the name of the cartridge razor I spoke about in my previous post
    The Gillette Techmatic...
    wow what a pile of expensive junk that was ha ha
    It was a cartridge with one long length of thin razor blade coiled up, you had to just Wind the lever round on the back to expose a new length of blade. Supposed to give you the equivalent of 5 razor blades, a good idea ummm perhaps maybe? Nah and a dreadful shave!
    Anyone else try one of these ?

    Attached Files:

  17. Rkep01

    Rkep01 Well-Known Member

    Amen, Brother. That's been my whole life in a nutshell! Striving to be unique and not care what others think.
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  18. tspierce78

    tspierce78 Active Member

    Have always been a disposable wet shaver bouncing back and forth between electric occasionally. That said, I’ve always been fascinated by straights, DE safeties, and those that were crazy enough to use them. Until last spring. I was a first time dad to my son and thought, “what better time than now to pull the trigger on getting into it”?

    My son’s always just wanted to be around when doing something and he’d sit in his bassinet watching me get ready for work just smiling. The thought of him having memories of watching his old man shave the old school way with old school tools to eventually do it himself in turn and handing down those tools to him makes me smile. So, did my research and made my first purchases through Jarrod at TSS convincing myself I’d save money in the long run...

    Now I’ve picked up a slight obsession for all things shaving related and can’t stop! Hoping to eventually dabble in making my own soaps. Soaps are probably my main passion now. At any rate, I enjoy the learning and collecting aspect of it all. Plus, I’ll have plenty to pass down to my son one day. Hunt the good stuff!

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  19. Rkep01

    Rkep01 Well-Known Member

    It's funny how the obsession part always kicks in!
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  20. tspierce78

    tspierce78 Active Member

    There is just so much cool stuff out there and awesome folks who make them. Of all the vices to have, this one ain’t too bad. Pretty neat how your son got you into it. And they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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