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Thread: First Razor

  1. #1
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    Default First Razor

    Hello All

    This is my first post. I am considering using a straight razor. However, I am apprehensive due to the fact that I know how much maintenance this requires.

    Perhaps it would be a good idea to briefly explain my current shaving routine. At present, I use a shaving gel (the type that does not froth up into a foam - not sure if I can mention the brand here) and I shave with the typical five-blade safety razor. I shave in the shower without a mirror. I shave with the grain only, because I can suffer from ingrown hairs. I never go a second time and shave against the grain.

    So, I am thinking about buying a cut-throat. I have read the beginners shopping list and am therefore wondering what people think about this:

    Empire - SHAVING STRAIGHT CUT THROAT RAZOR + STROP R on eBay (end time 27-Mar-11 16:46:15 BST)

    I know that you probably get what you pay for, but I am just wondering whether or not it would be a good razor to start with.

    I also have two other questions. I am sure these have probably been answered elsewhere, so please forgive me:

    1) I do not really have anywhere to hang a strop. What are the wooden paddle strops like?

    2) How long can I get away with just using a strop and not having to use a honing stone? For now, using a strop seems to be daunting enough!

    Thanks for any advice that can be offered, much appreciated.

    llymah

  2. #2
    Member JDCAL29's Avatar
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    Hey man. I'm not one of the old guys on this forum, but I was pretty apprehensive about the straight saving at first too. I also have problems with my neck getting really red and bumpy with a safety razor or an electric. This is a great place to go as a resource, and people on here genuinely want to help you, and will guide you through every step of your straight razor experience!

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    Baby Butt Smooth... justalex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by llyamah View Post

    1) I do not really have anywhere to hang a strop. What are the wooden paddle strops like?

    2) How long can I get away with just using a strop and not having to use a honing stone? For now, using a strop seems to be daunting enough!

    Thanks for any advice that can be offered, much appreciated.

    llymah
    chances are it won't be very good for 20 quid, you'll probably have to spend a bit more but get everything bit by bit. for basics you'll need a razor and a strop, then soap and a brush.

    1. one isn't better than the other its pure preference as long as its got good leather on it your good to go. some have double sides like cotton, softer leather, but there's members who have used a sole piece of leather for years.

    2. that depends on your technique, how well the razor was honed and how hard the metal of the razor is. I've had razors last months with just stropping, some lasting double the length of others for holding an edge.

    and yes, it may seem daunting, stropping, but if you've looked at other threads throughout the forum, there's a common theme: take it slow and build the muscle memory and you'll be fine, there's vids all over the forums and youtube.

    THE RAZOR
    there's countless threads on razor acquisition - ebay, then get it honed up (my route to acquiring razors) - SRP classifieds(link above) which are highly recommended for beginners because the razor is guaranteed shave ready when it arrives and is relatively cheap.

    THE STROP
    for strops check out the stropshop in the UK paddle strops(recommended for beginners - I use one myself, absolutely superb) and hanging strops
    very well priced strops and handmade, cant go wrong.

    SOAPS
    well, no one can write enough on soaps. Mostly personal preference - Mitchells wool fat which I use myself for face latherers, I actually used Boots own brand which is cheap, very available and pretty good for the price and will last at least two years

    BRUSH
    the omega pro badger brush is cheap and well respected. I don't have much knowledge on brushes unfortunately.
    have fun
    Last edited by justalex; 03-12-2011 at 08:18 PM.

  4. #4
    Excited Member AxelH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by llyamah View Post
    Hello All

    This is my first post. I am considering using a straight razor. However, I am apprehensive due to the fact that I know how much maintenance this requires.

    Perhaps it would be a good idea to briefly explain my current shaving routine. At present, I use a shaving gel (the type that does not froth up into a foam - not sure if I can mention the brand here) and I shave with the typical five-blade safety razor. I shave in the shower without a mirror. I shave with the grain only, because I can suffer from ingrown hairs. I never go a second time and shave against the grain.
    How about just going across the grain on your second pass? You can tell us your non-lathering shaving gel.

    Quote Originally Posted by llyamah View Post
    So, I am thinking about buying a cut-throat. I have read the beginners shopping list and am therefore wondering what people think about this:

    Empire - SHAVING STRAIGHT CUT THROAT RAZOR + STROP R on eBay (end time 27-Mar-11 16:46:15 BST)

    I know that you probably get what you pay for, but I am just wondering whether or not it would be a good razor to start with.
    Some of these crud razors are made of steel whose properties are so unsuitable for shaving human facial hair that they cannot even be honed to a shaving edge, period. There are some very cheap, modern razors coming out of China that are of a suitably fine carbon steel structure that can deliver acceptable shaves, but they are the exception and still require one of our beloved honemeisters to function as quality control and hone to shave-ready. Not something suggested to newbies with no experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by llyamah View Post
    I also have two other questions. I am sure these have probably been answered elsewhere, so please forgive me:

    1) I do not really have anywhere to hang a strop. What are the wooden paddle strops like?
    They're great. I see that you want to start frugally, and I understand that. Think about it this way: with a paddle strop you actually save a lot of money because if you get a quality one you are investing in not one but two very important tools (if you're a naughty boy, that is..)!

    Quote Originally Posted by llyamah View Post
    2) How long can I get away with just using a strop and not having to use a honing stone? For now, using a strop seems to be daunting enough!
    Why don't you try a double-edged safety razor first? No stropping, honing or blade maintenance. You're shaving in the shower with a disposable razor which has training wheels all over it. That's the logical intermediate step. You could learn all the major fundamentals of real wetshaving during the time you spend with that, making the transition to open razor shaving much easier and less painful (and less dangerous) so it wouldn't be a waste of time.

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    Respect Thy Nephew AlexRankin's Avatar
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    I'm new at this as well (about 8 weeks). I went with the Dovo Best Quality 6/8 full hollow razor. It was recommended to me from a lot of people here. It's a standard, no frills great razor. I love the thing! I call it Ms. Celie. I got a strop from Straight Razor Designs with the kit. As far as hanging your strop, I use a caribeener to hook it to my towel rack. I store it on a hook inside my closet door. Don't go super cheap on a razor or a name you cant find reviews about. I'd go with this Dovo. It'll get you go on the right track straight out of the gate.

    -Alex

  6. #6
    zib
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    I'm not familiar with that seller or brand of razor. I can't say if it's good or bad. I'd recommend the classifieds here, or the invisible edge in the UK. The guy's name is Steve, I believe. Neil Miller as well, stropshop..Both are good vendors. If you really want to get into this hobby, you should get something that's of known quality. There's a big learning curve with Straight razor shaving, from Lather building, to shaving technique, stropping technique, etc...

    At least with known quality stuff, you can rule out the fact that it's your gear giving you trouble. As far as Paddles Vs Hanging, it really personal preference. For, and YMMV, I prefer a hanging strop for my daily shave. I use paddles for pastes. Pastes are used like hones, for touching up a dull blade....

    Under normal circumstance, a blade should last for a few months before needing a touch up. Then, something like a Barber's hone would come in handy..Neil Miller at the strop shop usually has some..
    Last edited by zib; 03-12-2011 at 09:25 PM.
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    I would go for a Dovo Cellidur black (price in Belgium 56 Euro). Start with this razor. You must be aware that in the beginning, you can damage your razor very quickly, you can hit the tap when you are rincing the blade, you can damage your blade while stropping etc. etc. And after 3 months, when you feel sure enough, you can buy a better razor...and you will feel the difference...
    Good luck, and enjoy your shaving....

  8. #8
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    welcome to srp

    this set you've linked to looks like all the other junk razor-shaped objects that are not capable of shaving. to me they look the exact same thing with just a new brand name put on them every so often.

    paddle strops work just as well, actually they remove at least one more thing that a beginner needs to master - keeping a hanging strop tight.

    how long can you keep your razor going? from 1 shave to hundred shaves depending on how well you execute the stropping itself, how good is your shaving technique, how good is your beard prep, etc...

    unless you screw up the edge right away usually several weeks at the beginning (say 4-6), and longer later on. keep in mind that regaining the edge on a razor that was properly honed is immensely easier than making it shaving sharp to start with.

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    Don't buy that razor.
    Try and find a starter kit from one of our vendors or maybe a nice vintage razor in the classifieds. It will cost more but you will have quality gear lasting the rest of your life.
    Every day without fail one should consider himself as dead-Tsunetomo

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. Very helpful.

    I will not be going for that razor, after all. Absolutely happy to spend a lot more on that, but do not want to spend too much in case I ruin any of the equipment.

    AxelH - The gel I use is a King of Shaves gel. Seeing as I can tell you this, the razor I use is a Gillette Fusion. What are training wheels, and will this razor have them? Also, what would be the advantage of using a double edged safety razor over this? Can you recommend any? I have heard that a German company called Merkur do a pretty decent one.

    Thanks again for all of the advice.

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