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Thread: Is my razor sharp enough?

  1. #11
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    The HHT was a useful tool for me in the beginning, but I hear you can get banned for saying it could be of any use. So.......... don't use the HHT. It is very very bad.

  2. #12
    Junior Member TonyM's Avatar
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    I think bottom line I need to practice practice practice. Both with shaving technique and stropping. I suppose you don't become a pro overnight. I still get excited when I can get through a complete shave nick free.

    I guess I'm just a bit confused as to how the blade should feel when properly sharp. From the videos I've seen online, it looks like it passes over the hair very smoothly. This really isn't the case for me, as I consistently get minor pulling, and need to pass over certain sections of my face repeatedly. Is this just cause I'm a beginner and my technique is wrong? Or should a truly sharp blade glide smoothly on the skin no matter the skill level?

  3. #13
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    I'm in a very similar situation to you, and once or twice i've had a really nice glide and then back to normal. But of course i'm taking the hard road myself, I've yet to send a razor off for a reference hone as to what 'sharp' really is (mine will cut arm hair just fine, and cut but not cleanly HHT - in NZ so not sure of the cloesest honemeister worth their salt - I've been using lapping film/tile with a microscope and pasted strop). I don't really get much of a pull on the sideburns/cheeks but chin/neck/mustache area is somewhat lacking.

    Since i'm such a beginner myself I think much improvement can be made on all fronts, especially lather for now as I've had some downright sticky grippy attempts that i'm sure is as much my prep and lather hydration than anything else.
    Last edited by FruitLooPs; 02-16-2012 at 05:33 AM.

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    Plausibly implausible carlmaloschneider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhorsoft View Post
    If don't want to "ruin" the Thiers Issard, look for a cheap razor you can practice honing on - something in the $25 or less range that's in good shape. Having a "reference" razor is also a good idea. I have one Lynn honed for me that I only use every 6 months or so as a reference. When the ones I hone start to shave better that that one, I'll send it back to Lynn for a fresh reference.
    I'm a complete idiot with tools, I use a cast iron doorstop as a hammer, have about three screwdrivers, 5 spanners and 1 rusty electric drill to my name make a mess of every handyman job I tackle (I've used chewing gum for putty in the wall before) and I learnt to hone from this site without doing any damage at all. I think you'd have to be pretty unlucky with a tricky razor as your first or really careless to wreck a razor honing it. The trick is the same as shaving:

    1. respect the razor for the dangerously sharp, finely crafted tool it is
    2. learn as much as you can from here and don't be afraid to ask questions
    3. start out really slowly, small steps, start with just a little bit first
    4. be gentle
    5. be precise
    6. document and test
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    Plausibly implausible carlmaloschneider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FruitLooPs View Post
    ...especially lather for now as I've had some downright sticky grippy attempts that i'm sure is as much my prep and lather hydration than anything else...
    Yeah, that's lather that's too dry in my experience...It's amazing how much water some creams can hold. Of course too much water can affect cushion, but I'd rather have too little cushion than a dry lather myself. A dry lather always causes my blade to dig in...
    Tomdraug likes this.
    Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?
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  6. #16
    May your bone always be well buried MickR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyM View Post
    I think bottom line I need to practice practice practice. Both with shaving technique and stropping. I suppose you don't become a pro overnight. I still get excited when I can get through a complete shave nick free.

    I guess I'm just a bit confused as to how the blade should feel when properly sharp. From the videos I've seen online, it looks like it passes over the hair very smoothly. This really isn't the case for me, as I consistently get minor pulling, and need to pass over certain sections of my face repeatedly. Is this just cause I'm a beginner and my technique is wrong? Or should a truly sharp blade glide smoothly on the skin no matter the skill level?

    There's your answer to your own question right there.

    More than likely it is bad technique, but there are plenty of other factors that may be a part of the problem, such as poor stropping having turned your edge, poor prep etc. And a beginner will usually need to touch up the razor sooner rather than later, so having someone who knows what they are doing refresh the edge for you is also a good idea. If you know that the razor is sharp, then it's just down to finding the problem that is of your own creation.


    Mick
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyM View Post
    I guess I'm just a bit confused as to how the blade should feel when properly sharp.
    Can someone please answer this specific question? How do we test to confirm the blade is properly sharp and ready to shave.

    I understand all this takes patience and practice to develop technique, which is what makes straight razor shaving so compelling. The part that worries me is trying to develop that technique with an ill-prep'd blade where I can never get off the ground.

    I'm concerned at the very least I may not be stropping correctly (width of strop, linen vs. leather, # of strokes, etc), but at worst that my inexperience may be killing the professional shave-ready hone and so I need to start thinking of going back to the beginning and learn to use the stone. I'm not afraid of the stone, I just want to know when it's necessary.

    I realize there are many here who are sufficiently experienced that you "just know" your blades are well-prep'd and ready after honing and stropping.

    My specific question: what test(s) of the blade for adequate prep did you use as you developed that experience - how do you know when the blade needs add'l or adjusted stropping vs. how do you know when it's time to hone - where you were able to proceed with confidence that your blades were ready and so allowed you to focus on face prep, lathering, blade angles, etc.

    Thanks for any more guidance.

  8. #18
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    Learning how a good shaving edge feels when touched *lightly* to your dampened thumb pad takes experience. You just gotta practice. You can do that by performing that test on a new double-edge razor blade or even a cartridge blade. Then doing the same test on your straight razor's blade before shaving with it to see how it actually shaves.
    Last edited by JeffR; 12-07-2014 at 10:59 PM.
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  10. #19
    Senior Member Splashone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meperry64 View Post
    Can someone please answer this specific question? How do we test to confirm the blade is properly sharp and ready to shave.
    You shave with it.


    I understand all this takes patience and practice to develop technique, which is what makes straight razor shaving so compelling. The part that worries me is trying to develop that technique with an ill-prep'd blade where I can never get off the ground.

    I'm concerned at the very least I may not be stropping correctly (width of strop, linen vs. leather, # of strokes, etc), but at worst that my inexperience may be killing the professional shave-ready hone and so I need to start thinking of going back to the beginning and learn to use the stone. I'm not afraid of the stone, I just want to know when it's necessary.

    I realize there are many here who are sufficiently experienced that you "just know" your blades are well-prep'd and ready after honing and stropping.

    My specific question: what test(s) of the blade for adequate prep did you use as you developed that experience - how do you know when the blade needs add'l or adjusted stropping vs. how do you know when it's time to hone - where you were able to proceed with confidence that your blades were ready and so allowed you to focus on face prep, lathering, blade angles, etc.

    Thanks for any more guidance.
    It doesn't shave well. (pulls, skips etc.)
    The easy road is rarely rewarding.

  11. #20
    Senior Member blabbermouth tcrideshd's Avatar
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    If you've had a razor done right for you then you will know what it feels like, then the test us the shave, if you have been shaving for a while your technique should be good enough to tell when the edge is right , all the other test won't tell you like actual shaving does , they just give a clue to it being ready to try. The only way I knew what a really shave ready edge was to send my first razors off to be honed. Now that I can shave pretty good I know when it's rwady for refreshing. Tc
    Ever wonder why you never see a motorcycle in front of a Shrinks office? ,,,,, then you have never ridden one "

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