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Thread: 'Normal' maintenance schedule for a straight?

  1. #11
    The Electrochemist PhatMan's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    Hastings, UK
    Thanked: 526



    The below is what is use for my rotation razors. It is on the side of 'little and often'. It is probably a tad too much, but it works fine for me

    My daily stropping is sixty (60) passes on linen and sixty passes on tallow tanned leather (I use a Neil Miller modular padddle strop).

    After seven (7) shaves - ca. 10 laps on a hard leather paddle strop dusted with 0.5 micron CrOx. Test shave & repeat if needed.

    After ca. twenty-eight (28) shaves - ca. 10 laps on a Naniwa 12k SS (SS = Superstone). Test shave and repeat if needed.

    'Harder' steeled razors (e.g. Thiers-Issard C135) might need a few more laps; 'softer' steeled razors (e.g. my Dovo Best) are fine with the above.

    After a year of shaves, I reset the bevel (Naniwa 1k SS) and go through linear sequence of 3, 5, 8 & 12 k Naniwa SS.

    As I have said above, this 'system' works fine for me (I like the maintenance side of straight razor usage ).

    Have an experiment and see what works for you : experimenting is one of the things I really like about straight razor shaving. What works fine for one person may not be optimum for another

    Good luck

    Have fun !

    Best regards

    Last edited by PhatMan; 03-26-2014 at 08:58 AM.

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to PhatMan For This Useful Post:

    coryschmidt (03-26-2014)

  3. #12
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2013
    West Jordan, Utah
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    Many thanks for all the replies. I'm a software engineer so my analytical tendencies are bleeding into the straight razor arena. :-)

    I think I've ironed out some of my earlier issues and reduced some variables. I struggled with blade angle initially which I'm sure caused my razors to dull prematurely. I also assumed that I didn't need special beard prep if I shaved within 5 minutes or so of getting out of the shower but once I started doing a hot towel treatment a few weeks ago it's made a huge difference. I was feeling pulling on razors that were expertly honed (not by me) which just confused me and skewed the baseline, plus I'm sure it didn't help keep the edge nice and sharp. I'm pretty confident that my stropping is fine as I don't see a huge drop-off in sharpness between shaves now.

    Since my original post I received a Dovo from and shaved with it yesterday morning. Splendid shave by the way. So now I've been reminded what a good edge feels like and as long as I'm consistent with blade angle and beard prep I can tell when an edge is losing its sharpness. And now with some idea (although a very small sample size) of how long folks go before having to hit the hones I have more confidence that my technique, after a few months of refinement, isn't too far off.

    Lastly, I do enjoy the satisfaction in straight razor shaving but I frequently fall back to the programmer in me that feels compelled to refactor, refine, and make things as efficient as possible. Thanks to Phrank and Phatman for the reminder to have fun with it.

    Next up will be to tackle the honing. I have plenty of practice razors for that.
    Steel likes this.

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