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Thread: Buying a straight razor for my boyfriend who is a complete beginner

  1. #1
    Nyx
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    Default Buying a straight razor for my boyfriend who is a complete beginner

    Hi there!

    So my other half has always been interested in straight razors but has never purchased one.

    For Christmas I wanted to get him a straight razor with the essentials that he would need to go with it.

    Of course I have no idea about them and the more Iíve read about them the more confused I get with the intricate things about them like round or square blade, 5/8 6/8 etc, and the extra tools needed.

    Does anyone know what make or kind of blade would be good for a beginner along with the main essentials that would be needed to go with it.

    Much appreciated in advanced!

    Nyx.
    Last edited by Nyx; 11-21-2017 at 10:01 AM. Reason: Spelling mistake
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    Senior Member Porl's Avatar
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    Hello and welcome to the forum, your other half is a lucky man.

    You have come to the right place. Once he gets into the hobby he can look into it more and decide what kind of point he likes and the grind etc.

    The only really important thing is to make sure that what you buy is shave ready. Other than that for a beginner I would recommend a round point maybe 5/8 or 6/8.

    There are places that sell beginners kits with all that you need to get you started. If you are States side Straight Razor Designs is as good a place as any and they will definitely be shave ready. In the UK you could look at The Invisible Edge.

    Apart from the razor you will also need a strop, I would recommend 3" wide as that will make it easier to learn (don't spend a ton on a strop as it will get some nicks in it at first) a shaving brush maybe either synthetic or boar hair. They whip up a lather really well and will not break the bank. Also get some nice shaving soap or cream the places I have mentioned for purchase only stock good products. A nice after shave balm would be good too. I tend to always use Geo. F. Trumper's Skin Food the lime is really nice. Other than that he should be well on his way. So a nice cologne that you like the smell of. There is no reason you shouldn't win out of this too

    Good luck!
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    Senior Member Porl's Avatar
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    PS. Once he gets his kit, tell him to join this forum and head over to the beginners section and look into the library. Good advice to go along with a great gift, his Christmas will be a good one I'm sure.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth Gasman's Avatar
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    Great info and welcome. I too recommend buying from SRD if your state side. You can call and speak to them and they are very helpful. Good luck and your doing a wonderful thing for your other half.
    Jerry...

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    Nyx
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    Thank you so much! You have been a massive help! I will take a look at the invisible edge as Iím in the UK and shipping over a kit from the straight razor website costs a bomb. Thank you again!
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    Senior Member Crawler's Avatar
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    I'd also add that if he is apprehensive/unsure about using his new gear, after pouring over the wealth of knowledge in the library/forum, he might consider a mentor. Finding someone local, and having one-on-one guidance can dramatically reduce the learning curve in this wonderful sport!

    Oh, and (in addition to it being shave ready) make sure he does NOT strop the razor before the first shave! Many a newbie have buggered the edge of a perfectly good razor with bad stropping technique, and then can't figure out why their razor won't cut butter.
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    You're a keeper, for sure.


    - Shave ready razor from a trustworthy place, someone's first razor is always special, but as a beginner something might happen to it, maybe a ding or chip or a rolled edge; keep it quality, but simple 5/8s are usually recommended and I think that's a good size as well

    (you can always ask the seller about the finish / progression on the razor and come here for feedback, or from a known vendor that shouldn't be a problem)

    - Decent strop, Dovo strops are quite good imo, I dig them a lot (take note that your a first strop will probably get destroyed or nicked up prettttyyy good)

    - A Decent brush, I like Plisson's synthetic (usually brushes will last a lifetime and won't be that prone to beginner's error

    - A nice cream (I dig cream over soap for the comfort aspect, which I find more important than closeness of the shave certainly when learning to shave with a SR)

    If he gets real into it, I'd buy him a nice razor or strop, etc. later for another occasion, christmas, birthday, etc.

    The suggestion of a mentor is probably the best investment and a wealth of knowledge, I wish I had one, also the forums to turn to will be a positive thing to have for him.

    Keep it quality, but simple.

    And also,
    if he starts shaving, there's one big thing that he should always have in mind: pressure, or the lack thereof

    An interesting link:
    http://shavelibrary.com/index.php/Shave_Library
    Last edited by TristanLudlow; 11-21-2017 at 01:07 PM.
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    Senior Member Porl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyx View Post
    Thank you so much! You have been a massive help! I will take a look at the invisible edge as I’m in the UK and shipping over a kit from the straight razor website costs a bomb. Thank you again!
    I am also in the UK and have used them before. They are very quick to respond to any queries you might have. In fact when I was starting out I messaged them to see about getting something on a budget and he sold me a slight second at a reduced price, I still use it and cannot even remember where the mark was it has been polished out long ago by daily stropping. He currently has a sale going for Movember too.

    If you are in the UK there are a few other sites that sell a better selection of brushes, soaps and creams than The Invisible Edge that I use regularly too. Shaving Shack, Shave Lounge, Shaving Station, the Traditional Shaving Company (they have an actual shop in Leeds too) to name a few.
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