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Thread: Are my expectations too high?

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    Default Are my expectations too high?

    So I've been shaving with a straight for 2 years. I've also been honing razors for about 2 years. I own a king 1k, Norton 4/8 and a Naniwa 12k. I currently own about 15 straight razors that I've honed myself- relying mostly on youtube vids, trial and error, and of course countless hours reading threads on this site for learning purposes.

    The problem is I don't feel like I'm getting above average shaves with any of my straights. I also own a feather ss with professional blades - this is my benchmark. When I use a feather, shaves are BBS and AGT is never an issue until the blade starts to pull. With my straights, BBS is possible, usually at the expense of comfort, especially AGT. My AGT passes aren't necessarily uncomfortable (though sometimes they are), but usually aren't buttery smooth like I experience with the feather.

    I usually make 3 passes wtg, xtg, agt. using a home made bridle leather strop 50 round trips before each shave. No CRX, though I do own some (just don't use it).

    So, in short, are my expectations to high with my straights?

    Maybe I should send a razor out for honing, or someone can evaluate my edges for comparison? under a 16 x loupe, the edges are mirror finish, pop hairs, tree top, and usually pass HHT. I'm also paying attention to razor angle when shaving, trying to experiment and be aware of not too severe of an angle...

    Thanks for any input!
    Last edited by relli1130; 10-12-2017 at 08:47 PM.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    No, I do not think your expectations are too high. I would see if I could get a member near you to mentor you in person and/or attend one of the meets.

    Bob
    After listening to someone talk ever wonder who ties their shoe laces?

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    rhensley rhensley's Avatar
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    Without seeing the razors and watching you shave I really don't know what the answer would be. I know I've shave for some times now with a straight and it seems to just get better. I also hone my own razors. I do know that for me my technique was off for some times and although I got good shaves they weren't great. In the last couple of years it seems to be getting better and better. everything stemmed from the angle of the blade to the face. Now there are those here at the place that can give a lot better advise than me and I await there input. Also there's to me a big difference between a straight razor and feather razor. Now this is just my opinion.

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    Senior Member Steel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobH View Post
    No, I do not think your expectations are too high. I would see if I could get a member near you to mentor you in person and/or attend one of the meets.

    Bob
    +1 I agree with this. Your expectations are not too high. I think your results are too low. If you have been at this for a couple years then I would recommend that you do what Bob is suggesting. Another option is to get with someone via PM, email, and/or phone until you can get a mentor or go to a meet.
    MisterClean likes this.
    What a curse be a dull razor; what a prideful comfort a sharp one

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    Senior Member blabbermouth Gasman's Avatar
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    As what has been said sounds like good info to me. I would also say to send out one of your razors. Have it pro honed then when you get it back, you will have something to compare with your edges. That and one on one honing helps a lot.
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    Jerry...

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    Moderator Hirlau's Avatar
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    Take that 12k & choose the best razor that you have, best, meaning the one that gives you the most comfort & closeness.
    Push the edge on that razor, taking notes.

    Start out with a few light stokes on a "clean" Naniwa (fresh surface with no swarf embedded),,, strop with only one particular strop.

    Take notes on the strokes & strop.

    Shave, evaluate & then repeat with a few more strokes same pressure,,, look/feel for a difference. take notes.

    This takes into account that your razor gives you comfortable shaves to begin with & the pre-shave prep is the same throughout the testing/pushing of the edge.

    ****Keep in mind that the pressure , how little, how much, plays as important a role as the stone your using*********
    Last edited by Hirlau; 10-12-2017 at 10:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hirlau View Post
    Take that 12k & choose the best razor that you have, best, meaning the one that gives you the most comfort & closeness.
    Push the edge on that razor, taking notes.

    Start out with a few light stokes on a "clean" Naniwa (fresh surface with no swarf embedded),,, strop with only one particular strop.

    Take notes on the strokes & strop.

    Shave, evaluate & then repeat with a few more strokes same pressure,,, look/feel for a difference. take notes.

    This takes into account that your razor gives you comfortable shaves to begin with & the pre-shave prep is the same throughout the testing/pushing of the edge.

    ****Keep in mind that the pressure , how little, how much, plays as important a role as the stone your using*********
    If you are unable to get outside hands-on help this would be the best course of action. Take one razor hone, strop, shave, repeat until you get what you want. Once you dial it in on that razor try again with the next.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobH View Post
    No, I do not think your expectations are too high. I would see if I could get a member near you to mentor you in person and/or attend one of the meets.

    Bob
    Pretty sure nobody from the Pittsburgh area is on the forum. I've looked, and asked several times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blzrfn View Post
    If you are unable to get outside hands-on help this would be the best course of action. Take one razor hone, strop, shave, repeat until you get what you want. Once you dial it in on that razor try again with the next.
    Thank you! Good advice...

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    I concur with most being said.

    Your expectations are NOT too high. It actually helps in getting the most out of it all.

    Mine were exuberantly high when I started SR shaving, and for years I got good shaves, but not "perfect" ones or near perfect. And it didn't feel I had maxed out.

    High expectations and stubbornness made me seek out knowledge and different approaches to everything concerning straight razors.

    And because of that I'm able to put my best edges to date on my razors and where I rarely got it perfectly right on my razors before, I now get it right all the time. (and it wasn't THAT hard in retrospect, just took the long road of trial and error.)

    I now get my most pleasant, smooth, effortless shaves I've ever had and I'm still seeking for little advantages.

    A stone I once got so frustrated with and left in a box to die is now my favorite finisher.
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